The Georgia-Pacific Foundation was established in 1958 by the papermaking and manufacturing company now headquartered in Atlanta, GA. The foundation views itself as a community-based philanthropic funder, and focuses on four areas of “investment”: Education, Environment, Enrichment and Entrepreneurship.
The foundation places an emphasis on literacy through its Education focus. Literacy programs can be spearheaded by individual schools or school districts (traditional public schools dominate the Georgia-Pacific Foundation's direct school giving), as well as outside literacy programs and support of community libraries.
When thinking about your literacy program—and other uses for your library, if that's your organization—also be mindful of the foundation's other emphases within its Education focus, which are college scholarships, job readiness and teacher development.
Regardless of how you define your literacy project or library program, a unique aspect of Georgia-Pacific Foundation giving is that it comes to you as general operating support. But even though it generalizes its funding, this foundation has rigorous expectations for your program's impact, with an application that asks you to discuss how you will measure tangible improvement in the community you serve as a result of your program. But the foundation has a lofty vision, 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 where the Georgia-Pacific Foundation is looking to unlock potential: your literacy program or library 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, instead stating "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 literacy and library giving, the basic range is $1,000 to $5,000 (with outliers on both sides).
Recent literacy and library grantees include:
- $5,000 to Books for Keeps (Athens, GA)
- $5,000 to the Desoto Trail Regional Library (Camilla, GA)
- $5,000 to the Early County Literacy Task Force (Blakely, GA)
- $1,000 to Hempstead County Library (Hope, AR)
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.