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Philanthropy Thought Leader Uncategorized

Generous families power philanthropy in Atlanta

Erin Drury Boorn

By Erin Drury Boorn, senior philanthropic officer, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Atlanta has many generous families who are committed to giving back to their community, and some of those use a private family foundation as a way to direct their giving. I am fortunate to work with one of those families through the Community Foundation.

This foundation was started as the family’s tangible expression of the value of giving back to the community that had made them successful. It was established to serve basic needs, such as affordable housing, early childhood development and senior care. Now in its third generation, family members are spread out in different regions of the U.S. and are pulled in multiple directions with their own careers and commitments. When it became increasingly difficult to manage the time and administration a private foundation requires, they started researching possible solutions.

After an extensive, two year process, the family decided to absorb some of the assets from their foundation into a fund at the Community Foundation. They are also working with community foundations in two other states where family members live and have ties, and where they want to make a local impact.

Today, we handle the behind-the-scenes work, like the grant application process and research that helps the family make informed decisions about the organizations they support. This allows family members to focus on the joy and impact of giving and honor the commitment of that first generation to give back locally. In 2017 alone, the family’s grant making totaled more than $144,000 to 23 nonprofits in our region. That is generosity in action and an example of how Atlanta’s families are a powerful force for making our region better.

To learn more about how your family can make a difference, learn more on our website.


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