Georgia-Pacific Supports Housing as Enrichment

The Georgia-Pacific Foundation was established in 1958 by the papermaking and manufacturing company now headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The foundation views itself as a community-based philanthropic funder, and focuses on four areas of “investment”: Education, Environment, Enrichment and Entrepreneurship.

None of these areas obviously scream "Housing." But housing is an explicit priority for this foundation, with support for it flowing through its Enrichment umbrella. Housing as enrichment? Yes. It's a new way of looking at what's much more often defined as a basic need. Public safety is also explicitly listed in the Georgia-Pacific Foundation's enrichment bucket, along with two other areas that can be more traditionally defined here: youth development, and arts and culture. So your competition for this pot might be broader than it is for other housing funders; it certainly is different.

On the upside, the Georgia-Pacific Foundation's funding always comes as general operating support, which is rare among its peers. But even though it generalizes its funding, this foundation has rigorous expectations for your housing program's impact, with an application that asks you to discuss how you will be able to tangibly measure improvement in the community you serve. Rest assured, the foundation has a lofty vision of purpose, too (it likes to use the word “potential”) so do not be deterred from pitching a project that aspires as much as it provides measurable, results-oriented outcomes—just be sure not to forsake the latter.

In terms of those communities the Georgia-Pacific Foundation is looking to enrich: your community arts program must be located within 30 miles of one of Georgia-Pacific’s facilities. The company has a presence in 32 states, with multiple locations in many (10 in Texas, nine in Oregon, seven in California, four in Virginia, and four in Michigan, for example) so this geographic restriction still allows for a lot of eligibility for a foundation grant.

The Georgia-Pacific Foundation places no strict parameters on grant amounts, explaining that "when deciding what or if we will contribute, we consider the value of the program to our communities and the amount we have available to donate." But you will be required to put a specific ask amount into your application. For housing, the basic range is $5,000 to $20,000 (with outliers on both sides).

Recent housing grantees include multiple chapters of Habitat for Humanity, as well as $27,500 to Covenant House Georgia (Atlanta, GA) and $5,00 to HouseProud Atlanta (Atlanta, GA).

The Georgia-Pacific Foundation has an open application process with a recently revised application. It's a rolling application, and the foundation states you'll receive notification within 60 days.

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