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Philanthropy Thought Leadership

GoATL supports Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund in its mission to rebuild Georgia businesses and nonprofits

By Nikonie Brown, content and social media associate, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Established in late 2020, the Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund known as SOAR, provides economic recovery loans and free business assistance to small businesses and nonprofits across the South and Southeast to help them recover and rebuild from the economic effects of COVID-19.

The Community Foundation’s GoATL Fund closed an investment of $500,000 in SOAR in March 2022 to support underinvested small businesses and the capacity of community development financial institutions (CDFIs) across Georgia.

As of May 2022, SOAR has distributed more than $28 million in loans to over 570 small businesses and nonprofits across 15 SOAR states and Washington, D.C. Ninety-three of these loans have gone to businesses and nonprofits in Georgia.

Of the SOAR funds distributed to date, 78% of loans have gone to business owners who self-identify as a woman or a person of color, with 51% going to Black-owned businesses. Nearly 90% of the loans went to businesses with 10 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, and 82% of recipients have annual revenues less than $500,000. Small business recipients operate across more than 20 industries including agriculture, construction, educational services, healthcare, restaurants and retail, among others.

Learn more about SOAR’s progress here.

Want to be an investor in GoATL? Use your donor advised fund (DAF) to get involved with a minimum investment of $25K. Contact your philanthropic officer for more details.

GoATL is Georgia’s first diversified impact debt fund designed to achieve both a social and financial return. This innovative fund model accelerates and sustains positive community outcomes by providing cost-effective loan capital to address our region’s most critical needs. Learn more.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash


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