Here’s a New Opportunity for Nonprofits along the Georgia Coast

Many of our grantmaking conversations about philanthropy in Georgia have been centered on Atlanta, and rightfully so. However, there are other regions of the state that deserve mention too, especially when locally focused foundations are stepping up and taking the lead.

Some people don’t even realize that there are islands off the coast of Georgia and that the needs here are quite different than those in the Atlanta Metro Area. The Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation recently opened up a new grant opportunity, which prompted us to take a closer look at what this funder cares about and supports.  

This is a foundation that has been around since 2005, and it focuses geographically on Glynn, McIntosh, and Camden Counties. It’s based on St. Simons Island, Georgia. The areas of focus shift from year to year, which isn’t uncommon among community funders. But the big focus this year is on at-risk youth, which was decided on from a community needs assessment and nonprofit feedback. This was the focus of 2016 grantmaking as well, and 25 percent of last year’s competitive grant cycle recipients were first-time grantees.

More specifically, these are the topics that are most concerning to CCGF this year.

  • Early childhood literacy
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Juvenile crime and gang activity
  • High school graduation
  • Youth development and innovative education strategies
  • Risk reduction (child protective, substance abuse, and mental health services)

Now keep in mind that this isn’t the largest funder in the region by any means. It is pretty small as far as community foundations go—under $17 million in assets and 60+ funds. On the other hand, there aren’t a whole lot of foundations that pay close attention to this particular region. Also: this foundation has been in a time of transition, so now may a good time to explore the opportunities here further. 

Last month, the foundation said goodbye to its last two founding board members who have been involved in community philanthropy since 2005. New board members and officers were named in December. Also, grantmaking has been on the rise at CCGF. It hit an investment total of over $1.5 million by mid-2016, which set it up nicely to surpass its 2015 total of $2.2 million in grants.

The new opportunity is for grants up to $5,000, and applications are due February 28. Overall, this funder is looking for nonprofits that show collaboration, use volunteers, have creative solutions, and know how to use quality research methods. All grants are awarded for a 12-month period between July and June. Learn more about the application process for competitive CCGF grants here. But first, check out the list of past grantees to learn more about what this funder typically supports within its focus of at-risk youth.