Innovative Community Foundation Effort Pools Money for Charities

Print Share on LinkedIn More


May 31, 2012; Source: Memphis Flyer

GiVE 365, a project of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, brings community members together to raise and grant money to local nonprofits. Not everyone in Memphis has $10,000 to set up their own donor-advised fund through the community foundation in Memphis but several hundred have $1 a day to spare for GiVE 365.

The programs members donate $365, or a dollar a day, to the fund, which distributes grants to nonprofits in the region. In the program’s three-year history, it has given $80,000 to 17 local nonprofits. The grants tend to go to smaller organizations that don’t have a lot of funding from elsewhere. Melissa Wolowicz, vice president of grants and initiatives for the Community Foundation, said the program had originally been conceived to include people 40 and under, however they quickly did away with age limits as they realized that people of all ages wanted to participate. The goal of the project, according to Wolowicz, is to “make [philanthropy] more accessible.” Now it’s about collective grantmaking for all community members.

The third season kicks off June 5 with the announcement of grant themes. In August, donors will gather to make the grant decisions. GiVE 365 currently has 215 members. This year, their goal is to make it 365. –Kristin Barrali