Community Foundation of Louisville Announces More Than $463,000 in Fund for Louisville Capacity-Building Grants

On January 22, the cafeteria at the Americana Community Center was filled with more than 60 nonprofit representatives and community supporters as the Community Foundation announced its first round of grants focused on strengthening nonprofit organizations working in Louisville’s most distressed ZIP codes. The energy and excitement was palpable as the Community Foundation of Louisville, in partnership with the Lift a Life Foundation, the James Graham Brown Foundation and CFL donors, including William O. Alden Jr., awarded over $463,000 in capacity building grants to 28 nonprofit organizations.

At the Community Foundation of Louisville, it’s important to have our boots on the ground and respond to community needs. “We are committed to Louisville being a community where people and place thrive. As a founding partner and continuing supporter of the Greater Louisville Project, we were drawn to its report on poverty, which demonstrated clearly how scarcity in parts of our community affects us all,” said Susan Barry, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “With the help of our generous donors and partners, we are able to use the Fund for Louisville to invest in organizations serving our most challenged neighborhoods, and support nonprofits in a way that helps them grow stronger and better serve the needs of our community.”

Capacity building grants are intended to enhance the ability of nonprofits serving Louisville to achieve their mission, operate more effectively and build long-term sustainability. In contrast to program or operations support, capacity building investments support activities such as strategic planning, staff training, feasibility studies or technology improvements.

During this year’s grants celebration, grantees shared how funds for capacity building impacted their organization. Green Hill Therapy received a $13,000 capacity building grant in 2016 and Executive Director, Lee Ann Weinberg, told the crowd its capacity building need was crucial but simple. “We needed phones,” she said. That simple ask led to internal communication and workflow efficiencies and improved donor connections that she credits with $92,000 in cost savings and fundraising increases, to date.

Dr. Georgia Turner, Executive Director of 2NOT1: Fatherhood & Families, Inc., talked about her organization’s mission and work. “We help young fathers get involved and stay involved in their children’s lives, strengthening families and improving outcomes for children,” she said.  2NOT1 received a 2018 capacity building grant to offer professional development opportunities for staff and board members.

And Tom Stephens, Executive Director of Center for Neighorhoods, said his organization used a 2017 capacity building grant to purchase new software that helped his organization better manage its member, donor and participant relationships. Tom shared how the Center was able to connect different constituents who have created an affordable and in-demend soccer league for youth in south central Louisville.

Deborah Williams, Chair of the Foundation’s Mission & Impact Committee, commended the speakers and 2018 grantees for taking time to build their organizations’ capacity, noting the work is often behind-the-scenes, but often generates out-sized returns for an organization’s efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability.

The Community Foundation of Louisville is proud to partner with individuals and foundations to strengthen nonprofits working to serve those most in need. The application period for the 2019 capacity building grants will open this spring.


The 2018 Fund for Louisville recipients are:

  1. 2NOT1: Fatherhood & Families, Inc. – $15,300 – Invest in professional development
  2. Americana Community Center – $20,000 – Invest in professional development and create new promotional strategies
  3. Bates Community Development Corporation – $20,000 – Evaluate and reorganize the organization’s programming
  4. Canaan Community Development Corporation – $20,000 – Invest in technology upgrades and professional development
  5. CASA, Inc. – $13,250 – Evaluate impact of programs
  6. Catholic Charities of Louisville – $17,847 – Engage in a structural and strategic evaluation process
  7. Consumer Credit Counseling Services of the Midwest – $5,708 – Invest in technology upgrades
  8. Cultivating the Youth Experience – $7,000 – Conduct a program evaluation and purchase software to track client data
  9. Doctors & Lawyers for Kids – $17,245 – Invest in donor management and fundraising software
  10. Dress for Success Louisville – $20,000 – Develop a strategic plan and establish standard operating procedures for administrative functions
  11. Horses Offering Opportunities for the Future – $9,400 – Invest in technology upgrades
  12. Jewish Family & Career Services – $20,000 – Invest in technology upgrades and training for staff
  13. Kentucky Center for African American Heritage – $20,000 – Invest in technology upgrades and a new website
  14. Kentucky Refugee Ministries – $20,000 – Evaluate the agency’s effectiveness in assisting families in achieving self-sufficiency and community integration
  15. La Casita Center – $15,298 – Invest in technology upgrades and training for staff
  16. Louisville Metro Affordable Housing Trust Fund – $20,000 – Conduct a community needs assessment to inform the Fund’s strategic plan
  17. Louisville Story Program – $15,000 – Develop a five-year organizational business plan
  18. Mission Behind Bars and Beyond – $18,000 – Develop new communications strategies
  19. New Roots – $20,000 – Secure new software to better manage and analyze client/shareholder data
  20. Peace Education Program – $20,000 – Establish standard training procedures and approaches
  21. Prodigal Ministries – $10,000 – Invest in technology upgrades
  22. Restorative Justice Louisville – $5,816 – Invest in technology upgrades and staff training
  23. River City Drum Corp Cultural Arts Institute – $19,415 – Establish standard operating procedures and invest in professional development to prepare for leadership changes
  24. South Louisville Community Ministries – $15,000 – Invest in staff training and develop new marketing strategies
  25. The Cabbage Patch Settlement House – $18,750 – Invest in leadership training for staff and plan for leadership changes
  26. The Coalition for the Homeless – $20,000 – Evaluate the feasibility of a new program
  27. The Salvation Army Louisville – $20,000 – Invest in technology upgrades
  28. Youth Build Louisville – $20,000 – Invest in technology upgrades