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FNF Awards More Than $250,000 in New Grants

First Nonprofit Foundation awarded more than $280,000 in new grants in March, bringing our total giving to date to more than $1.57 million. The awards include:

  • $100,000 to Aspire of Illinois to redesign its Career Training Center.
  • $50,000 to Mobile Loaves & Fishes to launch a neurofeedback therapy program.
  • $50,000 to Sister To Sister to create a new online platform for their community.
  • $26,000 to the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club for a new technology training program.
  • $25,000 to South Carolina Birding Trail, Inc. to create a birding trail app and website.
  • $25,000 to Camp No Worries to fund camper scholarships.
  • $10,000 to Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project, Inc. to support the ABOVE program.

Our New Grantees and Projects

Aspire of Illinois is a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps kids and adults with developmental disabilities succeed from birth through adulthood. Aspire will use FNF’s $100,000 grant to convert its existing career development workshop area into a Career Training Center with nine “training pods.” The new pods will cover the following areas: Hospitality/Healthcare, Culinary, Distribution (Warehouse), Retail, Subcontract Employment, Outside Volunteer Experiences, Sensory Integration, Social Communication Instruction, and Personal Portfolio (resume) development. Clients will rotate through different sets of training pods daily depending on their interests. Aspire hopes to open the facility by July 2016.

In September 1998, a group of parishioners from St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, Texas, began delivering meals to the homeless out of the back of a minivan. Today, Mobile Loaves & Fishes provides meals to the homeless and working poor of Austin and San Antonio as well as Providence, Rhode Island, New Bedford, Massachusetts and Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition, the nonprofit’s services have multiplied over the years into a suite of community living, community gardening and career development programs for disabled and chronically homeless clients. The nonprofit will use the $50,000 FNF grant to buy equipment and provide training for a new neurofeedback therapy service.

Sister 2 Sister is a comprehensive resource and support network for Jewish divorced women with a special focus on single mothers and young divorcees. The organization’s mission is to help clients regain their footing and become independent, confident women and mothers following a divorce. Sister 2 Sister uses an innovative counseling model that connects women and children with an organized support network encompassing hundreds of volunteers. The organization will use the $50,000 grant from First Nonprofit Foundation to develop a new website and dedicated online forum that will allow more women to benefit from their programs and provide an electronic archive of connections and services.

Frank Callen Boys & Girls Clubs have been serving the youth of Savannah, Georgia since 1917. The organization will use FNF’s $26,000 grant to add robotics and video development training to its Club Tech program. Club Tech provides participating members with training in the latest technology used in academic and career settings. The robotics and video development program is an advanced curriculum provided by Microsoft and Comcast for Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the U.S. The grant will provide funds for equipment, materials and expanded program staff.

South Carolina Birding Trail, Inc. (SCBT) is a nonprofit corporation working to conserve and restore natural ecosystems with a focus on bird habitats. The organization encourages businesses to preserve natural resources by offering sponsorship opportunities for birding trails in coordination with local Audubon chapters. SCBT will use the $25,000 grant from First Nonprofit to develop a website and phone app that will dramatically expand sponsorship opportunities and dynamically connect trail users with sponsoring businesses, a model that can be replicated in other states.

Founded in 1995 by childhood cancer survivor Kasey Hall-Massa, Camp No Worries is a one-week residential camp in Tabernacle, New Jersey for children dealing with cancer. The camp welcomes children battling the disease as well as siblings and bereaved siblings, and all campers attend for free. Camp No Worries provides a chance for children to enjoy a stress-free week of boating, swimming, hiking, crafts, campfire sing-alongs and other traditional camping activities. The camp will use its $25,000 FNF grant to fund camper scholarships.

Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Project, Inc. (WEOP) is an Atlanta, Georgia-based nonprofit that promotes the economic independence of women through career development programs with a focus on women with low to moderate incomes. One of the organization’s core programs is Advancing Business Opportunities Ventures & Enterprises (ABOVE), which provides contract training classes, supplier diversity workshops, technology training and technical support for business growth and development. WEOP will use its FNF grant to support the ABOVE program and continue its mission to help women become economically self-sufficient.

The Rewards Are Great

It’s been incredibly rewarding over the past two years to see the impact our funds are having in communities across the country. We’re eager to see the results of this latest round of grants as these innovative nonprofits get to work on their new projects.

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