The Ford Foundation is starting its $160 million America's Cultural Treasures initiative by giving grants to 20 arts organizations with leaders of color. "This is a social justice megaphone," says Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director of Ballet Hispanico, one of the recipients.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the United Philanthropy Forum a $9.1 million grant in support of the Momentum Fund, an initiative offering coronavirus relief grants for nonprofits and direct support to organizations serving communities that have primarily residents of color. The Gates Foundation recognizes many nonprofits have seen an influx in coronavirus relief contributions and wants to help them distribute support as effectively as possible, says executive Victoria Vrana.
The Bezos Academy and the Day 1 Academies Fund, an initiative of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' Day One Fund, have selected Des Moines, Wash., as the home of the first of a network of free "Montessori-inspired" preschools. The Day 1 Academies Fund is one of the $2 billion Day One Fund's initial commitments, and Bezos plans to develop more free preschools in low-income areas.
Oakland Family Services in Pontiac, Mich., will use a $1.2 million grant to identify opportunities for growth, potentially scaling its reach beyond the 40,000 people it serves annually. "This funding allows us to do the creative planning work necessary to increase the scale of our work to reach even more people, while leveraging successful programs and critical funding already in place," says President and CEO Jaimie Clayton.
Many nonprofits in Arizona lack access to disinfectant wipes, antiseptic spray and other personal protective equipment, according to an Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits survey of 360 organizations. "It is vital that we, as citizens of Arizona and residents of those communities, support them either through donations of money or, if possible, the PPE many of them so desperately need," says CEO Kristen Merrifield.
The Turn 2 Foundation, a nonprofit started by former professional baseball player Derek Jeter, helps students develop leadership skills, feel supported and make healthy choices. The nonprofit's work supporting kids and helping them remain healthy was especially important this year, says President Sharlee Jeter.
The Knight Foundation is directing $8 million in grants to projects to redesign and improve four public spaces in Akron, Ohio. The grants are intentionally large and focused so they'll have the greatest effect, says Kyle Kutuchief of the Knight Foundation.
The Nonprofit Repositioning Fund distributes "merger/acquisition" grants to help nonprofits pursue changes that may increase effectiveness and reduce redundancy in the greater Philadelphia nonprofit environment, Director Nadya Shmavonian says. Shmavonian notes that the organization's work is as important or perhaps even more crucial when it leads organizations to realize a merger would turn out to be ineffective.
Youth Emergency Services, the Food Bank for the Heartland and the Alzheimer's Association of Nebraska have altered their programming to continue serving those in need during the pandemic. YES is working to diversify its funding, while the Alzheimer's Association of Nebraska modified its annual fundraiser walk and uses a 24/7 hotline to assist Alzheimer's caregivers.
GROW La Crosse and Hillview Urban Agriculture in La Crosse, Wis., have merged to form GROW, a nonprofit that will continue the organizations' mission of teaching local youth about nature, gardening and healthy eating. "It is my belief that the more gardens, the more healthy food options and the more environmental efforts that we can sustain in our community, the better off we all are," says Executive Director Jamie O'Neill.
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