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Clayton groups get Community Foundation 2009 grants

Special to the Clayton News Daily

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta's Clayton Fund recently awarded its 2009 Common Good Funds grants to seven Clayton County non-profit organizations at a luncheon sponsored by the Clayton County Rotary Club.

"As a response to the current economic climate, the grant review committee, as well as the entire Clayton Fund board, chose to emphase emergency assistance needs and at-risk populations," said Kim Frederking, regional outreach director for The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

The Clayton Fund awarded $22,600 this grant cycle. Since 2003, the group has distributed close to $100,000 to more than 25 local nonprofits through its competitive grants program. This year, the foundation received 26 applications and selected seven recipients.

However, over the last three years, The Community Foundation, through all of its grant programs, both restricted and unrestricted, has invested approximately $300,000 in Clayton's non-profit organizations.

"Our reach has been widespread," said Frederking. "Last fall, The Community Foundation awarded a $15,000 grant to the League of Women Voters to open a Clayton County branch to increase citizen engagement and advocacy in the election process, especially the important school board races."

The Clayton Fund's parent organization, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, awarded approximately $90 million in grants to non-profit organizations in the Atlanta region and beyond in 2008 -- a record-breaking amount for the organization, founded in 1951.

Donors gave approximately $121 million in gifts to the foundation. Of the $90 million in grants, approximately 81 percent came through donor-advised funds, which allow individuals to contribute money to the foundation and receive tax benefits immediately.

The donated assets are placed in an account and invested so they can continue to grow over time.

"Donors realize the incredible impact a gift can have on a non-profit organization, particularly during an economic crisis, such as this one," said Community Foundation President Alicia Philipp. "And because they have been able to add gifts to their funds at The Community Foundation during good times, they now have dollars they can recommend directly to nonprofits during these more difficult times. This continued increase in giving is an amazing testament of the unique ability of community foundations to efficiently respond to emerging community needs."

The following Clayton County non-profit organizations received grants:

· Calvary Refuge Center -- To support the emergency (overnight) shelter, which serves men, women and children.

· Clayton Family Cares -- To support a new program that provides identification documents to the homeless and low-income residents of Clayton County.

· Good Shepherd Clinic -- To purchase medicine and medical supplies for uninsured residents of Clayton County.

· Hearts to Nourish Hope -- To support summer programs for disadvantaged high school youths.

· House of Dawn -- To support an Independent Living Program that gives residents life and financial training, in order to successfully transition to self sufficiency.

· Prevention Plus -- To fund a literacy tutor for students reading under their grade levels and attending the Forest Park Street School.

· Royal Family Kids Camp of Clayton -- To support summer camps for children in the Clayton County foster care system.

For more information on The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and/or the Clayton Fund, visit www.cfgreateratlanta.org, or call (678) 462-8320.