GiVE 365 helps chart a five-year plan for Memphis

Since GiVE 365 was founded in 2010, the organization has provided $378,190 in grants to local nonprofits. For 2016, they targeted their collective giving power at local programs that will have a tangible impact on Memphis in the next five years.
 “GiVE 365 is an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and currently has a membership of nearly 285 households,” explained Ashley Harper, the Community Foundation's Director of Grants and Initiatives and manager of its GiVE 365 program. “It was developed to engage new donors in local philanthropy and provide a way for individuals and families to make larger charitable donations together than they may be able to make alone. The structure of GiVE 365 is a dollar-a-day giving circle that lets members pool their money and make a positive impact on our community through grants to nonprofit organizations. Half of the money is granted within a year and half is placed into an endowment to support the future of the program.”
Each year GiVE 365 members select a theme for grant applicants to address. For 2016, the theme was “Memphis 2020: programs that will have a tangible impact on Memphis in the next five years.” The following nonprofit organizations were awarded grants totaling $52,285. 
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis have been serving local youth for 54 years by providing programs that focus on Academic Success, Good Character and Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. The organization received $8,640 to support their Healthy Cooking Classes.
 The Boys and Girls Club's healthy lifestyles programming
“The Healthy Cooking Classes at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis are designed to inform and empower the families of our Club members to make healthier eating choices by cooking at home,” explained D. Matthew Welch, Director of Grants & Outcome Management. “Many low-income families throughout Memphis needlessly forgo eating and cooking healthy foods on the belief that eating healthier is too costly. Although 85 percent of low-income families hold this attitude, research has shown that those who shop responsibly and cook healthfully spend 14 percent less of their annual income on food than families who frequently eat prepared and fast food. Not only do responsible cooking and eating make for healthier people, they also improve financial stability. By offering free healthy cooking and shopping classes to the families of our Club members, BGCM hopes to provide low-income households with the awareness they need to lead healthier and more fiscally sustainable lives.”
Exchange Club Family Center
The Exchange Club Family Center’s mission is to provide prevention and intervention services for families “at risk” for abuse and neglect, as well as education and support services. GiVE 365 awarded $5,000 to their First STEPS - Teen Parenting Program.
“This program is a one-year, comprehensive teen parenting and life-skills support system for first-time teen mothers between the ages of 12-19 years old who may lack family support or other resources to help them develop positive, nurturing relationships with their newborn children,” said Erma Simpson, Director for First S.T.E.P.S. “The program begins with a 14-week parenting and life-skills class that addresses prenatal care, parenting, family planning, job readiness, and anger management. This class helps teach teen mothers to provide for themselves and their infants, prevent child abuse and reduce juvenile delinquency.”
Hope House
The mission of Hope House is to improve the quality of life of HIV-affected individuals and their families by providing high quality early childhood education and social services. The organization received $4,322 in grant money from GiVE 365 for the Hope House Preschool Program, which serves children ages 3 to 5 who are impacted by HIV/AIDS and living in poverty. The 2016-2017 school year will be the program’s third year as a Shelby County School Community Partner, with 80 percent of funding provided by Shelby County Schools and Hope House raising the remaining 20 percent.
“Having funding secured for the remainder of our programs means that we can provide the community a highly specialized preschool program where children living in poverty and impacted by HIV can thrive,” said Lenox Warren, Director of Development. “The gift from GiVE365 has given us a great advantage in reaching this goal.”
HopeWorks Inc.
HopeWorks, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to serve the under-resourced through outreach programs that develop individual worth, encourage personal responsibility and promote the honor and value of work. By implementing a holistic approach through daily classes and meals, educational training and spiritual counseling, HopeWorks strives to break the cycle of crime, addiction and generational poverty that traps so many in our city. GiVE 365 awarded $10,000 to the Personal and Career Development Class.
“The 13-week Personal and Career Development class combines job skills training with life skills to provide students with tools necessary to succeed on the job,” said Felicia Carter, Media & Grants Coordinator for HopeWorks. “Students learn how to apply for jobs, create cover letters and resumes, handle conflict on the job, and how to interview, as well as attend counseling sessions, financial management classes, and have a mentor. HopeWorks helps find jobs for students who graduate from the program. This class has only been offered at the Midtown location, but starting this past February, HopeWorks began piloting this program at the Shelby County Division of Corrections. Once the inmates are released, these returning citizens will connect to HopeWorks to receive help finding employment.”
Indie Memphis
Indie Memphis is an arts organization dedicated to year-round programs that showcase independent filmmaking. 
 Indie Memphis
"The organization is best known for its annual Indie Memphis Film Festival presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc., which transforms the city into a connecting point for filmmakers, musicians, artists, and audiences," explained Executive Director Ryan Watt. “However, our grant application requested funds specifically for our inaugural Youth Film Fest that will be held Sept. 24 at The Halloran Centre.”
Indie Memphis received a $10,000 grant in support for the Youth Film Fest, providing local youth a chance to submit a short film (under 10 minutes) and see their work on a big screen, as well as participate in workshops with established producers, directors and actors.
Let's Innovate through Education (LITE Memphis)
The goal of LITE Memphis (Let’s Innovate Through Education) is to empower high school students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to launch social venture ideas in order to break the cycle of poverty and create sustainable businesses in communities across Memphis. The organization received $10,000 to support its Entrepreneurial Pipeline program, allowing LITE Memphis to hire interns from low-income communities to help the students in the program find scholarships for college, internships, and access to networks that will help them build their ideas.  
 LITE participants
“Less than 1 percent of all business revenue in the city of Memphis comes from black-owned businesses, yet over 60 percent of the population is African-American,” said Hardy Farrow, founder of LITE Memphis. “The Let's Innovate through Education Program (LITE Memphis) is building an entrepreneurial pipeline over a 10 year period by empowering minority high school students to launch social impact projects.”
Memphis Crisis Center
“For 45 years, the Memphis Crisis Center has been the voice of hope for thousands of people just like you,” explained Executive Director Mike LaBonte. “People who’ve lost their jobs, lost their family, lost their way. People who deserve the chance to feel better, if just for a moment.”
The GiVE 365 grant for $4,322 will be used for the Memphis Crisis Center’s Volunteer Outreach and Support program to ensure that there is always someone to answer the call in that moment of distress and support the volunteers doing this life-saving work.
“They know the role around-the-clock emotional support can play in reducing individual self-harm, suicide, and family violence, and in promoting the safety and well-being of those in crisis,” explained LaBonte. 

Read more articles by Emily Adams Keplinger.

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