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Foundation awards 'Challenge Grants' to four local nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia announced Monday an award of $125,000 in Challenge Grants to four nonprofit organizations. Pictured from left to right are Tom Merkel with The IMPACT! Group, Kyra Slack and Shirley Cabe with Norcross Cooperative Ministry, Greg Lang with Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, Judy Waters executive director of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia and Sherry Patton and Leigh Couch with Creative Enterprises. (Special Photo)

The Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia announced Monday an award of $125,000 in Challenge Grants to four nonprofit organizations. Pictured from left to right are Tom Merkel with The IMPACT! Group, Kyra Slack and Shirley Cabe with Norcross Cooperative Ministry, Greg Lang with Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, Judy Waters executive director of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia and Sherry Patton and Leigh Couch with Creative Enterprises. (Special Photo)

DULUTH — Four local nonprofits have been challenged to increase their fundraising efforts with one-to-one dollar match grants.

The Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia announced Monday an award of $125,000 in Challenge Grants to four nonprofit organizations — $50,000 to the Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett, $50,000 to The IMPACT! Group, $15,000 to the Norcross Cooperative Ministry and $10,000 to Creative Enterprises Inc.

The awards are part of the foundation’s 2014 discretionary grant disbursements gifted to help local nonprofits leverage dollars to further their capital campaigns.

The Challenge Grants offer each recipient the opportunity to double fundraising efforts with a one-to-one dollar match. Each organization must first raise their awarded amounts before the foundation will disburse the Challenge Grant dollars. Monies raised must be new contributions, and each organization is challenged to raise the funds by the end of 2014.

“We have found challenge grants to be very effective and impactful over the past few years as they motivate organizations to seek out new support and enable them to show their donors a greater return on investment,” said Julie Keeton Arnold, 2014 Grants Committee chair. “The Foundation is honored to be working in partnership with these great organizations that do such good work in our community.”

The four organizations were selected from 10 organizations that applied for the grants.

  • Good Samaritan Health Center, which provides medical services to uninsured and underinsured working poor at a location in Lawrenceville, will apply the $50,000 Challenge Grant to its 3.0 Project focused on relocation and expansion. The center has recently launched a $3.5 capital campaign to purchase a larger facility with more parking and expand its services to provide dental, pediatrics, a pharmacy and mental health clinic.
  • The IMPACT! Group, an agency that offers a variety of housing assistance services that help families from all economic backgrounds, will use its $50,000 grant to kick off a $2 million capital campaign called IMPACT! For Vets that will focus on delivering housing facilities and specialized services for veterans. According to HUD, there are nearly 3,600 homeless veteran families in the Gwinnett community.
  • The Norcross Cooperative Ministry will apply a $15,000 grant toward its Restoring Hope Campaign. The organization’s $3.5 million capital campaign has been focused on stabilizing hundreds of families in the Gwinnett community by offering support and guidance via education, employment services, emergency housing, food and clothing distribution, transportation, children’s activities and more.
  • Creative Enterprises’ $10,000 challenge will go toward its new Paving the Way & Smoothing the Transition Campaign. With a mission dedicated to the enhancement of the lives of individuals with disabilities, it is imperative that the parking lots, driveways and sidewalks are smooth, level and in good repair to ensure adequate mobility and safety for clients. The grant dollars will be used to repave all driveways and parking areas connecting the seven buildings on Creative Enterprises’ campus.

“These challenge grants announced today allow us to turn $125,000 in giving into $250,000 that brings online new facilities and services that will benefit thousands in our community,” said Judy Waters, executive director of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. “This is a perfect example of how our Community Foundation enables philanthropic dollars to have greater impact for all involved. We are excited to be investing in these campaigns that are addressing real-time needs.”