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Blank Foundation seeking applications for Westside funds from nonprofits

By Maria Saporta

The opportunities for the revitalization of the Westside continues.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and the Georgia Center for Nonprofits today are unveiling the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund – along with an open application process to support capacity building in the community.

The application process and guidelines are outlined on Westside Momentum, a three-year capacity-building initiative of the Prosperity Fund.

Westside Momentum is designed to strenghten and empower up to 50 nonprofits in Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhoods – including Vine City, English Avenue and Castleberry Hill.

Working on the Westside: Rev. Howard Beckham and the Blank Foundation's Frank Fernandez stand as partners in Westside Works program

Working on the Westside: Rev. Howard Beckham and the Blank Foundation’s Frank Fernandez stand as partners in Westside Works program (Photo by Maria Saporta)

“We know that nonprofits serving the Westside of Atlanta are a critical piece in transforming the neighborhoods and residents’ quality of life and have been doing so for years with limited resources,” said Frank Fernandez, the Blank Foundation’s vice president of community development. “Through Westside Momentum, we have the opportunity to help them build their organizations and increase their collective community impact.”

Westside Momentum is open to all Westside-based nonprofit organizations and community initiatives looking to strengthen leadership, build infrastructure, and deepen collaborative efforts that can help restore the English Avenue, Vine City, Castleberry Hill neighborhoods as vibrant and thriving communities.

Applications will be accepted through February 13, 2015.

Karen Beavor, president and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, said nonprofit organizations are key in creating thriving communities.

“When nonprofits are strong, strategic and sustainable their impact on the issues and causes important to communities are greater,” Beavor said. “The momentum process is a proven model that builds nonprofit capacity to produce results, and we are excited to be a partner with the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to offer it to the organizations and leaders working to make the Westside a great place to live, work and play.”

Westside Momentum will consist of two programs: Core Group and Community Group.

The Core Group Program will support up to six (6) Westside nonprofits through an array of training seminars, personalized business coaching and consulting, and deep leadership training.

In addition, Core Group participants will receive ongoing, customized training and support that can be applied to their real-world situations. Financial support will be provided to aid in the execution of necessary practices and investments needed for becoming higher impact nonprofits.

The Community Group Program will support up to 50 Westside, nonprofit organizations with hands-on training and networking opportunities.

The Community Group Program will consist of three, successive year-long programs focused on management, leadership and governance training and support.

The Georgia Center for Nonprofits will be conducting information sessions for interested organizations to discuss the application process and answer any questions. Information sessions will be held on January 12, 22 and 26, 2015. Details for each session, as well as information on Westside Momentum, can be accessed by visiting this website or by calling the Georgia Center for Nonprofits at 678-916-3008.

The Blank Foundation has pledged to invest at least $15 million in the Westside communities as a way to help improve the neighborhoods adjacent to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium currently under construction.

The city’s Invest Atlanta also has pledged to donate $15 million from the Westside Tax Allocation District into the same communities. About half of Invest Atlanta’s funds already has been distributed.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. Latosha Arnold Washington January 8, 2015 11:14 am

    Travis StegallReport

  2. Stacey Hopkins January 8, 2015 3:31 pm

    My hopes are that this isn’t just hush money to keep groups quiet and that the non-profits who do apply, actually use the funding in the manner intended. As we can see from Summerhill and other initiatives of this nature done previously in Southwest and West Atlanta, this hasn’t always been done.

    Actual, living-wage employment that is accessible to
    Job training and education opportunities.
    Affordable housing and mortgage assistance to counter the
    damage wrought by predatory lending practices and keep residents in the
    community and preserve the neighborhood.
    Drug and alcohol rehabilitation services along with health
    and mental health services.
    Programs serving ex-felons who are trying to reestablish
    themselves in society, diversionary programs for youth offenders.
    Home ownership programs for working and low-income families.
    Grants for small, independent entrepreneurs to open
    businesses and develop a diverse, local shopping district.
    Afterschool programs for youth and affordable day care

  3. Alan Holmes January 8, 2015 3:46 pm

    Shawn Deangelo WaltonReport


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