Where Has Whitehead Foundation Money Been Going in Atlanta Lately?

The Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation is a locally focused and accessible funder for grantseekers in the Atlanta area. It accepts grant proposals on a rolling basis throughout the year, and all you need to do to get your foot in the door is send a quick email to the staff.

This is also one of the larger funders in the area in terms of assets. At the end of last year, Whitehead reported over $1.465 billion in assets, and it handed out over $58 million in grants last year.

So let’s take a look at where this funder’s support has been going around town lately so that you can tap into these resources too.  

K-12 Education is No. 1

The bulk of grants have been going to K-12 education and academic enrichment lately. Funding mostly goes to Atlanta Public Schools and focuses on teacher quality and graduation rates. Historically, K-12 education has been the largest funding area for many years.

Whitehead has been a big supporter of Achieve Atlanta, which is a supporting organization of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The funder gave $20 million in seed money to this cause, for the purpose of awarding need-based scholarships. This group awarded approximately 900 need-based scholarships this past spring to eligible Atlanta Pubic School high school senior applicants. Achieve Atlanta set a goal of awarding $4 million in scholarships in 2016, thanks to Whitehead’s help.

Children & Youth is a Growing Cause

This is followed by causes for children and youth. This encompasses personal development, academic support, and recreation for Atlanta kids in need. A few months ago, Whitehead was recognized for its support of Children’s Village at Christian City in Union City. Along with other funders, like the John and Polly Sparks Foundation, Whitehead’s money helped build a food storage facility, swimming pool, outdoor amphitheater, and landscaping.

Whitehead gave the second most grants to children and youth causes last year, but that hasn’t always been the case historically. Over the past five or so years, funding has been pretty evenly split overall among human services, children and youth, and early childhood education.  

Importance of Services for Families

Although fewer grants traditionally go to human services causes in the Atlanta area, this is a still a major area of giving for the Whitehead Foundation. It has supported Families First, one of Georgia’s largest and oldest family services agencies on Atlanta’s Westside. This is one of the city’s most impoverished areas, and the nonprofit focuses on mental health for children and families and adoption and foster care services.

Overall, Whitehead’s human services giving program prioritizes initiatives of the United Way of Greater Atlanta’s Regional Commission on Homelessness to reduce homelessness and programs that provide job training and employment services.

Occasional Health Support

Whitehead’s health grantmaking is a little more limited; however, it does support local clinic efforts around town sometimes. This is especially true if the clinics promote access to care for underprivileged individuals and families. Last year, the Whitehead Foundation awarded a $4 million challenge grant to the Mercy Care Foundation for its capital campaign to build a Chambee clinic. As the only federally qualified health center in the area, this clinic is expanding from its current location to house 12 exam rooms, four dental operatories, and lab service space. All of this is making primary care more available for up to 5,500 patients per year.

To learn more about this funder’s local giving in the Atlanta Metro region, check out IP’s full profile of the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation.