The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has named Open Hand and Covenant House Georgia as recipients of the 2013 Neighborhood Buildersaward. The program is a strategic investment that couples leadership training with a $200,000 unrestricted grant for high-performing nonprofits that have made a significant impact addressing needs related to community development, critical needs or workforce development and education. Nonprofit leaders gain valuable skills and apply funding where it is most needed for maximum local impact.
“We recognize the important roles Open Hand and Covenant House Georgia play in serving our most vulnerable residents and ensuring better lives for so many in our community,” said Geri Thomas, Georgia market president, Bank of America. “The leadership training and funding will not only deepen their impact today but sustain their mission and services over time.”
Open Hand helps people prevent or better manage chronic disease through Comprehensive Nutrition Care, which combines home-delivered meals and nutrition education as a means to reinforce the connection between informed food choices and improved quality of life.
“Over the years Open Hand has primarily served the nutrition needs of adults,” said Matt Pieper, executive director of Open Hand. “With the Neighborhood Builders funding we received from Bank of America, we can extend our programming to youth and families and build a model that can be self-sustaining. The grant also enables us to invest in greatly needed technology to help us become more efficient with our operations. That will allow us to allocate the resulting cost savings to serving more people.”
Covenant HouseGeorgia is a leader in providing shelter and other services to homeless, runaway and throwaway youth ages 18 to 21. The organization’s goal is to help stabilize youth in crisis and work with them toward attaining self-sufficiency through counseling and life skills training as well as education and vocational training.
“The Neighborhood Builders grant comes at a crucial time for us because we are in a transition and growth period,” said Allison Ashe, executive director of Covenant House Georgia. “We have moved from a 15-bed shelter in South Atlanta to a seven-acre campus with five buildings and 61,000 square feet. And we will grow to a total of 88 beds — 60 in the crisis shelter and 28. The funds also will help us increase the crisis shelter staff and initiate outcome measurement tools along with the leadership training Bank of America’s grant also provides.”
According to the Bridgespan Group, Neighborhood Builders is the largest investment in nonprofit leadership development, 2.5 times the next largest program (in spending) and the third largest in number of leaders served. Through the program, now in its tenth year, Bank of America has invested $160 million in 800 nonprofit organizations and provided training to 1,600 nonprofit leaders. Neighborhood Builders furthers the company’s broader philanthropic commitment to addressing core issues that are critical to the economic vitality of local economies, with a particular focus on low- and moderate-income communities.
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