Recent Grants

Recent Grants Recent Grants

Through the FOREVER Funds, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits through annual, competitive grantmaking processes and through special initiatives. Our volunteer committees, whose backgrounds and perspectives reflect the diversity of the Mid-South, research and assess the needs of our community, and the agencies that are making the greatest impact, to award grants that ensure this region thrives.

We invest in the capacity of organizations to equip them to effectively manage operations and high-performing programs. We believe healthy and sustainable organizations exhibit strengths across these areas: a clear mission and purpose backed by a strategic vision; strong board governance and oversight; stable staff and volunteer leadership; efficient, effective management and program practices and policies; sound financial management and resources to carry out the organization’s mission; and a solid relationship and engagement with the communities it serves.

See recent grants below awarded through the FOREVER Funds in the Community Foundation's service area.

Nonprofit Capacity Building Intermediary

Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants

These grants are awarded to established nonprofits that are working to become more effective organizations by increasing efficiencies in operations. FY 2023 grants totaled $264,442. Forty-one percent of funded agencies are led by executive directors/CEOs of color.

Read below, in the agencies' own words, summaries of their funded requests. All grants are to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the organization. To learn more about these outstanding agencies, click to visit their profiles; you can also donate to help them meet their matches through their profiles.


    Advocates for Immigrant Rights | $15,000

    Advocates for Immigrant Rights (AIR) fights for the dignity, safety, and inclusion of immigrants in the United States, especially those most marginalized, through legal representation and advocacy. AIR has four years of data, a strong board, and a solid staff. We are in a prime position to develop a strategic plan to advance our organization to meet the needs of our clients and to build on our sustainability for the next five years.

    ARISE2Read | $5,562.50

    ARISE2Read recruits and trains volunteers to use an engaging protocol to support elementary students' growth in foundational literacy skills necessary for success in school and life. New opportunities to serve children outside of our typical parameters emerged during the pandemic, allowing us to reach even more children both during and after school. However, our information technology system has not grown at the same pace as our program, and we want to ensure the sustainability of our operations into the future.

    Binghampton Development Corporation | $3,750

    The BDC improves the quality of life in Binghampton by investing in people and property. The BDC is more aware than ever of the importance of trauma-informed care when working with people, and especially with children in under-resourced communities. The Karyn Purvis Institute at Texas Christian University created its Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®) program and provides practitioner training across the U.S. Our staff members hope to use this training to be better equipped to care for not only our neighbors in Binghampton, but also the entirety of Memphis.

    BRIDGES | $12,500

    BRIDGES unites and inspires diverse youth to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation. BRIDGES serves more than 3,000 students per year, and is the most efficient and effective way for students and parents to get the information they need. BRIDGES has contracted Baby Grand to design a new website in order to make our user experience seamless and engaging, and to showcase our newly refreshed branding.

    Carpenter Art Garden | $8,028

    Carpenter Art Garden is a nonprofit organization dedicated to working with the children of Binghampton to promote each one's creativity and self-worth through exposure to artistic, educational, and vocational programs. Updated technology will remove barriers to community resources and learning materials to support Binghampton residents.

    CasaLuz | $9,697

    CasaLuz is the first and only nonprofit organization in the Memphis/Shelby County area that culturally and exclusively serves Hispanic/Latinx victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes. The purpose of the CasaLuz Information Security and Technology Upgrades Project is to provide heightened security demanded by the sensitive nature of our work. A motivating factor for this request is to increase CasaLuz's capacity to serve without concerns about security or subpar equipment.

    Crosstown Radio Partnership | $6,500

    Crosstown Radio Partnership provides a musical, cultural and artistic platform that represents and informs the people of Memphis, in all our diverse and unvarnished glory. WYXR will increase the number of accessible computers for volunteer and staff use and acquire remote audio production equipment. The new computers will allow more volunteers and interns the opportunity to interact with the station and provide our primary staff with the necessary technology to execute all audio and video production tasks. The remote audio production equipment will expand our production impact beyond our walls and into the neighborhoods we serve.

    Explore Bike Share | $11,886

    Explore Bike Share provides a bike share system for all Memphians to promote bike culture through community development, bike education and safety training, and encourage exercise and healthy lifestyles. We will complete an upgrade of our technology systems and equipment. The project will include computer software and hardware upgrades with updated desktops, laptops and tablets, accounting and office software, security systems, and related accessories.

    First Step Recovery Centers | $5,605

    First Step Recovery Centers provides person-centered treatment and recovery services for substance use disorder, primarily helping low-income and/or justice-involved individuals build a successful path to wellness and recovery, funded by private grants and federal, state, and local government contracts. We are doing a major upgrade of our operating system, storage, communications, and telephone system. The goal is to improve efficiency and effectiveness of communications, records storage and access, which will enable us to enhance services provided to our clients, as well as improve business function.

    The Gentlemen's League | $7,500

    The Gentlemen’s League is an all-male mentorship program that serves boys of color in grades 3-12, through whole-child targeted supports, incentive programs, social-emotional development, and intentional mentoring that creates opportunities for children to experience joy and success. Hosting The Gentlemen's League Board Retreat and Learning Series will allow us to educate our board members on their roles and responsibilities while cultivating their leadership and expertise to further our mission to intervene in the lives of at-risk boys.

    Gestalt Community Schools | $15,000

    Gestalt Community Schools is a K-12 charter network that leverages community assets to empower our students to be community-ready, career-ready, and college-ready. During the height of the pandemic, Gestalt's network of schools elevated the social-emotional support for families and students. However, there was a gap in the support provided to our executive leadership team. Gestalt will launch a program focusing on executive leadership self-care and sustainability.

    Good Shepherd Pharmacy | $10,000

    Good Shepherd Pharmacy is a nonprofit mail order pharmacy that connects underinsured patients with prescription assistance to increase access to their prescription medications in a cost-efficient way. Good Shepherd needs to invest in its fundraising infrastructure. The organization's website needs to be updated to WordPress for easier maintenance and to include increased functionality for receiving donations. All these elements need to be integrated into an overall fundraising and development plan for the organization so that it can continue to grow.

    Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County | $15,000

    Since 1933, the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County has worked tirelessly to save the lives of abused, neglected, and injured animals, to prevent animal cruelty, and to enrich people’s lives through animal companionship. The Humane Society's Building Technology Capacity to Save Animal Lives project will provide vital technology upgrades throughout the shelter to support and enhance animal shelter software, communication, data collection, and crucial medical animal information. This project will enable adopters and vet clinic patients to complete forms electronically.

    Indie Memphis | $7,500

    Indie Memphis is creating community through independent film and supporting the development of filmmakers. Indie Memphis will undertake a three-year strategic planning process and enhanced staff training. The strategic planning will be facilitated by an outside consultant, and the training will include child protection, diversity and equity, finance, fundraising, grant writing, and management courses.

    Just City | $8,086.50

    In support of its mission to transform local criminal justice policy and practice to ensure it is fair for all, regardless of wealth, race, or ethnicity, Just City's board of directors will undergo fundraising training, management will receive coaching, and the entire organization will attend a workshop designed to identify and uproot white supremacy.

    Memphis Bears, Inc. ($3,500)

    Memphis Bears, Inc. provides school-age at-risk youth the opportunity to develop their intellectual, social skills, and physical well-being in a challenging and safe environment. We will further develop and implement fundraising efforts to increase donors, retain and engage recurring donors.

    Memphis Family Connection Center | $5,000

    Memphis Family Connection Center (MFCC) supports hope and healing for families and children through holistic clinical services, community training and implementation, as well as trauma-informed resources that inform better care practices, prioritizing root causes and community support. MFCC launched Safe & Secure TN in collaboration of 11 local organizations to implement trauma-informed practices and policies. In collaboration with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University, MFCC will train and equip these organizations in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®). This capacity building project will deepen the mental health support for our community.

    Memphis Jazz Workshop | $5,000

    Memphis Jazz Workshop provides music intensives and unparalleled guidance for middle and high school students creating the next generation of jazz enthusiasts and highly trained musicians. We will purchase four interactive smart boards to be utilized in the delivery of the latest pedagogical techniques available to jazz students. The interactive smart boards will serve as an additional medium to deliver jazz and musicianship instruction to students, creating more pathways to learning via virtual concerts, master classes, field trips, and more.

    Memphis Medical District Collaborative | $12,000

    The Memphis Medical District Collaborative is a community development organization working with partners to strengthen the communities in the Memphis Medical District so that they are more livable, vibrant, and safe. We are developing a streamlined customer relationship management system with to provide organization-wide program management and communication tools, data tracking, and reporting. The software and consulting services will strengthen program efficiency and service to the Medical District community. This project also establishes an online fundraising system, diversifying the organization's future financial sustainability.

    Mid-South Men's Health Organization | $6,100

    MMHO is dedicated to raising awareness for issues affecting men's health by encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, providing education and information on testicular and prostate cancer, and providing assistance to those in need. We will upgrade our technological infastructure to better reach our supporters and allow our supporters to better connect to each other.

    Naturally Nurtured Birth Charitable Services | $5,250

    Naturally Nurtured Birth Services is a doula collective, providing affordable emotional and evidence-based support during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. To grow, Naturally Nurtured Birth Services needs to invest in its technology infrastructure. The organization's website needs to be updated to include functionality for doula scheduling and increased functionality for receiving donations. The doulas working for the organization need iPads for charting and patient care. The organization also needs a software package for basic constituency management. All these elements will be integrated into an overall Technology Plan for the organization.

    New Dawn Social Services | $3,825

    New Dawn Social Services exists to cultivate a healthy, safe and communal environment; equip individuals to reintegrate into society after incarceration or rehabilitation. This grant provides technology support in the form of laptops, printers, computers, and software for residents of sober living facilities transitioning from incarceration and substance use rehabilitation centers. Our support helps to propel the mission of the organization through the empowerment of our residents.

    Orpheum Theatre Group | $9,500

    Our mission is to enhance the communities we serve by utilizing the performing arts to entertain, educate, and enlighten while preserving the Orpheum Theatre & Halloran Centre for Performing Arts and Education. This project is intended to build teaching artists' capacity to effectively implement arts education programming by providing new opportunity for specialized training. Our teaching artists will receive certification in trauma-informed best practices, will learn the technical aspects of student performance, will practice advanced strategies for creating social impact through the arts, and will expand their ability to incorporate music theory to enhance student productions.

    OUTMemphis | $15,000

    OUTMemphis empowers, connects, educates, and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community of the Mid-South by providing direct services in housing stability, food security, sexual health, social support, and resource referrals. IT hardware and support will help serve the LGBTQ+ community with elevated efficiency and security. This grant provides much-needed resources for our Community Center and Youth Emergency Shelter, for both staff and participant use. IT consultants will work on two core tools: (1) Our online Resource Guide, the region's only LGBTQ+-specific referral database, and (2) Our internal case management software for collecting and evaluating all program participant data.

    Overton Park Shell | $15,000

    Established in 1936, the historic Overton Park Shell presents a signature series of free concerts for Memphis and the surrounding communities every year, in an effort to build community through music and education, finding common ground in a diverse audience. The Expanding Our Connection project will strengthen and upgrade the Overton Park Shell's WiFi for both internal and partner use. This will enhance our current internal operations for staff and volunteers, as well as increase possibilities for potential sponsors, partners, rental events, artists, and security.

    Samaritan Counseling Centers of the Mid-South | $2,402

    Samaritan Counseling Centers of the Mid-South offers hope and healing through professional counseling services, while respecting and integrating the personal and spiritual values of the individual. Our capacity building project consists of acquiring both electronic medical records software and donor management software in order for our organization to be more equipped to organize the client and donor records we use, to reach and communicate more efficiently with our clients and donors, and to serve the populations that need us the most.

    STREETS Ministries | $7,500

    STREETS exists to engage, encourage, and equip youth to achieve their potential by realizing their God-given purpose. Our vision is to ignite a flame of hope in every child, every day. We will purchase 24 new laptop computers, and the accommodating charging/storage station for STREETS' newly renovated learning center at the Downtown Vance Ave. location. This site serves approximately 150 students per day.

    Thistle and Bee Enterprises | $6,500

    Thistle and Bee exists to help women who have survived sex trafficking, prostitution, and addiction thrive. We are looking to enhance the quality of our future plans via infrastructure support for our board of directors. We aim to achieve this through a facilitated strategic planning retreat as well as pursuing diversity training through Momentum Nonprofit Partners. We are hoping through the combination of these endeavors we can sustain healthy, thorough growth for our organization.

    WKNO Public Broadcasting | $6,000

    WKNO is the Mid-South's premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting both unique local and national content for television, radio and digital media. Technology within the media broadcasting services continues to rapidly change. WKNO implements community programming services for television and radio broadcasts in the Mid-South. We are seeking assistance with professional development workshops and conferences within the public broadcasting community for key staff.

    Wolf River Conservancy | $7,500

    Wolf River Conservancy protects and enhances the Wolf River watershed as a sustainable natural resource for conservation, education and recreation. We will develop a succession and strategic plan, invest in new laptops with docking stations, and update its phone system to better fit its employee needs.

    Women's Advocacy Center | $5,250

    The Women's Advocacy Center empowers and supports survivors of domestic abuse in East Shelby County. By upgrading our technology, we anticipate improved engagement with our Board of Directors, increased data visibility with our client management tool, and better product performance from our phone and online meeting tool. This technology enables us to effectively communicate across all areas of our organization.

    Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis | $7,500

    The Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis will transition to a uniform digital grantmaking system. We will also implement our Vision 2025 strategic plan to increase the impact of programs and investments that benefit women and children in five Memphis neighborhoods by 2025, continuing our work in zip code 38126 and expanding to 38105, 38106, 38107, and 38108.

Intermediary Grants Intermediary Grants

These grants provide unrestricted operating support to agencies whose work directly supports other nonprofits. FY 2023 grants totaled $315,000. Eighty-three percent of funded agencies are led by executive directors/CEOs of color. To learn more about these outstanding agencies, click to visit their profiles

    BLDG Memphis | $65,000

    BLDG Memphis provides capacity assessments, training programs, and technical assistance for its member organizations working to revitalize Memphis neighborhoods.

    Center for Transforming Communities | $50,000

    Center for Transforming Communities works closely with residents and institutions to support equitable community change work, from efforts to minimize the adverse impact of community development to power and capacity building support for residents.

    Community LIFT | $65,000

    Community LIFT focuses on neighborhood development and planning, creating partnerships and securing funding from public and private sources to make sound investments in neighborhoods and community development organizations.

    Literacy Mid-South | $35,000

    Literacy Mid-South facilitates a network of collaborative projects with local education and human service organizations and provides resources, training, other tools and supports to help improve program quality and increase literacy outcomes in the Mid-South.

    Momentum Nonprofit Partners | $75,000

    Momentum Nonprofit Partners provides educational programs to staff and board leadership of nonprofits in order to drive equitable, measurable, and lasting change in the sector and in the community.

    Whole Child Strategies | $25,000

    Whole Child Strategies partners with local resident-champions, neighborhood schools, and local organizations to build capacity and relationships, invest directly into the community, and address the root causes of issues where they arise.