Future Foundation Atlanta

Category: News

The Community Foundation is one of the largest community foundations in the country. Together with its donors, it averages more than $75 million in grants annually to an estimated 2,000 nonprofit organizations, encouraging and strengthening multi-sector partnerships and strategic philanthropy as a whole. Here are some of the ways Future Foundation is benefitting from The Community Foundation’s support.

Grants to Green Initiative

At Future Foundation, we believe in setting a positive example in a number of ways—from our programs for youth to the environmental performance of our facilities.

That’s why we were excited to receive a grant from Grants to Green to assess our energy and water use. Grants to Green, a partnership between The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Southface, provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits.

Future Foundation was granted an assessment award in 2014. We are now seeking an implementation grant from the Community Foundation to implement the recommendations that were made. The value of implementation grants is that they will help us produce gains and significant improvements in a number of areas, including:

  • Better operating efficiencies.
  • Overall reduced costs, which contributes toward our long term sustainability.
  • Well-being and morale benefits to volunteers, students and staff as a result of improved lighting and heating systems.
  • Professional development and education opportunities for staff and students to become more environmentally conscious.
  • Modernization of outdated electrical and non-energy efficient systems.

Brittany Gray, Future Foundation’s Director of Planning & Strategic Initiatives, is also our Green Champion. “Our 2015-2017 strategic plan includes goals to enhance our organizational infrastructure to support long-term enhanced program development and to conduct a formal physical space audit to determine our long term space needs for administrative and programmatic effectiveness and efficiencies,” says Gray. “We are actively planning to address these goals and objectives in low-cost, innovative ways through partnerships.”

The key Grants to Green recommendations we hope to implement include lighting retrofit to LEDs; smart plumbing and air sealing of attic; and more efficient rezone and ventilation of HVAC systems to allow for more comfortable and effective air flow. “We believe these improvements will enhance organizational and employee health,” says Gray. “That’s why our board and stakeholders have bought in to this new initiative and are actively seeking additional funding to support these efforts.”

SIDEBAR

About Grants to Green

Grants to Green gives metro Atlanta nonprofits the opportunity to renovate or build healthier work places that are energy, water and environmentally efficient. The ultimate goal is to improve a nonprofit organization’s building structure to not only have less of an environmental impact, but also to increase the cost-efficiency of operations—ideally saving enough in operating expenses to enable it to provide additional services.

Future Foundation closes the gap between dreams and reality for 1500 Atlanta youth and families living in poverty each year. Though surrounded by challenges like substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and community violence, 100% of Future Foundation’s teen participants have graduated from high school since 2007. A full 100% went on to post-secondary education. One hundred percent. It is worth repeating.

Future Foundation’s model to empower youth to dream about, invest in, and prepare for their futures WORKS. You have asked how to get involved in this good work. Therefore, we invite you – and the Atlanta community – to become a founding member of the 100% Circle.

100% Circle launches on Georgia Gives Day 2015

Since 2012, Georgia Gives Day invites everyone, in every corner of the state, to support the organizations that make Georgia great. In three years, nonprofits have raised more than $5 million through the Georgia Gives initiative.

GAgives.org is as an important platform for Future Foundation as serve Atlanta youth through our afterschool centers and partner schools. Last year, we connected with 200 new supporters and received more than $15,000! That brought us to 10th in the state on the “Most Donors Leaderboard.”

This year, as we grow in reputation, expand our services and build financial sustainability, we need to do even better. That means we need more Future Foundation advocates. We need you.

Become a Future Foundation 100% Circle Member this Georgia Gives Day with a gift of $100.

Want to do more? Become a 100% Circle Investor with a gift of $1,000.

Simply go to GAgivesday.org/c/GGD/a/future-foundation. Whether you give $100, $1000, or another amount, your investment in Future Foundation will change young lives for the better. To learn more, contact AValverde@future-foundation.com.

My heart has been heavy this week as I learned about the consecutive killings of two South Fulton students due to senseless violence. One of those students, Benson West, was a freshmen at Banneker High School and participating in our RealTalk ATL Program. I never met Benson, but I learned from our team this morning he was quiet in class, it was clear he was struggling with something, and recently asked about our College4Careers Program.

Hearing about Benson’s inquiry eerily illustrated for me the gap between the dreams and the realities facing our youth living in impossible situations due to violence and poverty. Above are pictures I received this week of students at Banneker High School participating in a College4Careers workshop about Albany and Georgia State University.

I am so very proud that our youth living in some of the most challenging environments are dreaming and fantasizing about escaping from the clutches of poverty while the reality of their circumstances pounds its fist, demanding to be let in through doors like violence.

Benson and Amira (both pictured above) are gone too soon, yet there are so many more youth dreaming. Get involved today to make sure we can create door stops so more of our youth’s dreams become their realities. Inbox us @ info@future-foundation.com with your ideas about how people can get involved and we will keep an updated list on our website.

#gonetoosoon #butneverforgotten

With you in service,

Qaadirah

If you want to make a large impact in society, start in your own community.

That’s one of the lessons rising 6th and 7th graders get during our Community Circles exercises, which begin each day of summer program. The 30-minute Community Circles focus on topics that aren’t typically addressed in school. “Students at this age are curious about a lot of different things,” said lead teacher Johnathan Reaves. “And, since our facilitators are not that much older than the students themselves, the students often find they can relate to them better.”

A recent Community Circles discussion compared the church shooting in Charleston to the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham. Another dealt with cyber bullying via Instagram, Facebook and other social media. “We stress to the students that they need to be aware of what they post and to be careful not to reveal their location,” said Reaves.

Community Circles are the last activity the students take part in together before breaking into academic groups. “Our hope is that the Community Circles help prepare the students to approach their academics—and their lives—with curiosity and an open mind,” said Reaves.

An elevator pitch or speech is very short, persuasive and designed to create interest in a project, idea, product—or even yourself. According to MindTools, a good elevator speech should be interesting, memorable, and succinct. It needs to explain what makes you unique. And it should be no longer than a short elevator ride—20 to 30 seconds.

Believing that self-empowerment starts with self-confidence, we have been using elevator speeches as part of our summer program curriculum. It all starts by working with the students to help them define themselves. That includes using gratitude journals that students use to write about what they’re grateful for and self-esteem journals that contain positive aspects of their personalities and physical qualities. The students draw on both journals to write their elevator speeches.

In addition to helping the students with their writing, teachers stress the importance of delivering the speech with self-confidence. “We tell them to look the other person in the eye,” said lead teacher Johnathan Reaves. “If you don’t believe in yourself, others won’t believe in you, either.”

The students also learn the importance of passion. “If a person can feel that you are sincere and true and care about what you’re doing, they’re going to remember you,” said Reaves. “You need to leave an impact, so that when the other person leaves, they’re thinking about something you said.”

The final step in the elevator speech exercise is using boxes to build “elevators” the students use to practice and deliver their speeches. “In the end, we want the students to develop their own voices,” said Reaves. “Elevator speeches are one way to achieve that.”