Behind the UPS Foundation’s Support for Developmentally Disabled Adults in Georgia

Credit: enABLE of GeorgiaAs we’ve covered in the past here at IP, the UPS Foundation’s funding has been a little all over the board lately. From financial inclusion to disaster relief and refugees, those brown delivery trucks aren’t necessarily the first things that come to mind when local nonprofits are in need of funding.

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In general, the UPS Foundation’s grantmaking focus is four-fold: diversity & inclusion, volunteerism, community safety, and environmental sustainability. And both national and international groups regularly see UPS’s support. However, sometimes this corporate funder surprises us with highly targeted grants that hit close to home.

The UPS Foundation’s attention was recently drawn to the Southeast when it awarded a $15,000 grant to enAble of Georgia, Inc.  to support an adult day services program in Roswell. The group will be using the money to buy smart boards and tablets to work with the 120+ Fulton County individuals it serves and also with Medicaid documentation.

A big part of enAble’s services are employment programs that help adults with development disabilities find meaningful work. The adults in these programs have mild/moderate and severe/profound intellectual disabilities, autism, Downs syndrome, and cerebral palsy, psychiatric disabilities, and hearing and vision impairments.

The president of the UPS Foundation, Eduardo Martinez, shared that the foundation was honored to support enAble’s efforts to help people with special needs physically, socially, and intellectually. So essentially, this plays into UPS’s diversity and inclusion grantmaking focus.

One interesting thing to note here is that the UPS Foundation is actually based in Atlanta and was established here in 1951. So it comes as less of a surprise than you may have thought to see UPS support going to groups in the Atlanta metro area.

Unfortunately for grantseekers in the Southeast, and everywhere else for that matter, the UPS Foundation does not accept or respond to unsolicited grant proposals. This means you’ll need to secure the personal recommendation of a UPS employee or catch the foundation’s attention by getting UPS volunteers to log their volunteer hours through its Neighbor-to-Neighbor tracking system. In fact, any hours logged are open for funding opportunities by UPS’ local offices.

In this specific instance, UPS volunteers have been working with enAble of Georgia for nearly 20 years. These volunteers have been helping out with everything from social events to yard work. Not only that, but enAble actually has two managers from UPS on its board of directors. So clearly, this is a well-connected organization that has a long and involved history with UPS. And this is exactly the type of arrangement UPS looks for in new grantees. And since UPS is headquartered in Atlanta, it should be easier to make these connections than pretty much anywhere else.