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VOL. 129 | NO. 182 | Thursday, September 18, 2014

GiVE 365 Awards $62,600 in Grants

By Don Wade

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A community’s needs are infinite, yet the resources available to provide help are finite.

So it only made sense for GiVE 365, The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis’ dollar-a-day philanthropy program, to have a theme geared toward cooperation.

This year’s grant cycle was called “Collaboration for Change: partnerships that support innovative problem-solving in the community.” Recently, GiVE 365 awarded grants totaling $62,600 to support collaborative nonprofit efforts.

“They had to be working with at least one other organization,” said Ashley Harper, director of grants and initiatives at The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

One of the most natural partnerships involved HopeWorks, which received a $9,800 grant and provides GED training and tutors for the unemployed and underemployed and often for people with criminal records. HopeWorks is partnering with Advance Memphis, which provides similar training to people in the 38126 ZIP code.

“They do a lot of the same things,” Harper said. “It’s nice to see them not competing against one another for what are limited resources.”

Another grantee, the Center for Transforming Communities/South Memphis Neighborhood History Project will pair high school students from the community with students from Rhodes College; the college students will act as mentors during an eight-week project next summer in which the high school students collect oral histories from older residents in the neighborhood. That grant was for $7,500.

Among the other grants:

Door of Hope Inc./Sowing Seeds for Success received a $10,000 grant to add gardening plots, nutrition education and health and fitness programs to clients preparing for a life after homelessness.

Hattiloo Theatre/Hattiloo at the Library received a $6,500 grant to stage interactive plays for children at six Memphis Public Library branches over six months.

Literacy Mid-South/Read Memphis Project got a $7,500 grant to create and strengthen community-based literacy and adult basic education centers in the Mid-South.

The Mid-South Peace and Justice Center/Immigrant Rights Project received a grant for $8,830 to provide compressive “Know Your Rights” training. They are teaming up with Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and Memphis Immigration Advocates, a nonprofit law firm.

“The immigrant community gets taken advantage of in a number of different ways,” Harper said.

Formed in 2010, GiVE 365 members donate $365 a year, pool their money, and vote with others on the annual grant-making theme and the grant recipients. This year, there were 45 applicants. That number was reduced to 12 finalists who each had three minutes to make in-person presentations to GiVE 365 members in an event at Hattiloo Theatre. Members ranked their top five in online voting to determine the grant recipients.

Since GiVE 365 started, Harper said, about $285,000 has been distributed.

“It’s like any grant process,” Harper said. “At a certain point, they seem to have equal merits and (choosing) gets pretty tough.”

PROPERTY SALES 32 252 16,449
MORTGAGES 35 120 10,207
BUILDING PERMITS 215 1,041 39,585
BANKRUPTCIES 52 188 7,785