Greenville Women Giving announced their 2018 grant recipients on May 15. They awarded $601,745 to eight local organizations.
Funding for these grants is made possible through membership donations and other donor-directed contributions through the Community Foundation of Greenville.
This year’s grantees were FAVOR Greenville ($100,000), Gateway House ($100,000), Jasmine Road ($100,000), Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands ($88,540), the Warehouse Theatre ($75,259), Homes of Hope ($50,000), Loaves & Fishes ($50,000), and Mill Community Ministries ($37,976).
The grant process is extensive. Each organization applies for a specific amount of money, and that number is not adjusted. “Ultimately, the choices are made by the entire membership,” says Emelia Stephenson, who has been a member since the organization’s first year and is now one of the four co-chairs that make up the leadership team.
There is a committee that narrows down the applications to a manageable amount, and then the entire membership, which sits around 550, is given a ballot to vote on. “Ultimately, it [the chosen grantees] is what resounded with the membership,” Stephenson says.
One of the grantees, FAVOR Greenville, will put its awarded funds toward a new program, Nicholtown Outreach Project. FAVOR, which stands for Faces and Voices of Recovery, works to create a response to the suffering caused by addiction in our community.
“Nicholtown is an ignored and neglected area in terms of recovery support services,” says FAVOR CEO and COO Rich Jones. The funds “will hire a full-time staff to get into that area,” he adds. FAVOR believes in grass-roots support for communities that can only be accomplished from the inside out.
“We are exceedingly appreciative of this grant,” Jones says. “It’s only through GWG, that are willing to take a chance on a project like this, that we are able to change anything. There’s no dedicated funding for this type of work; it’s too innovative. So it takes an organization that’s visionary like GWG to be able to put us on the map.”
Stephenson notes that GWG has helped fund FAVOR in the past. “It was a no-brainer to take this amazing program to the people,” she says.
Greenville Women Giving follows each grant awarded until completion to ensure that the monies are used properly and that the organization has the support system they need to accomplish their goals.
“We have a committee that is in charge of following all grants to completion, and we require a report from all of our grantees, and that organization is not allowed to apply for another grant if their previous grant hasn’t been approved as completed by that committee,” Stephenson says. Each grant recipient has a personal cheerleader at Greenville Women Giving to help them successfully complete their goals.
Since its inception in 2006, Greenville Women Giving has donated $5.4 million in total grant funding to the Upstate community.