Margaret Cowan (right) has kept an outreach focus throughout the pandemic. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/TSD Archives)

I Am My Sister’s Keeper, which helps single working mothers increase their earning potential, has received a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis.

Margaret Cowan, the nonprofit’s founding keeper, said the money is for operational expenses that will help the organization increase its profile, efficiency and reach.

 “It’s a one-time grant that will allow me to receive a small stipend, which I included in the grant application. It also will help us with marketing and to boost the stipend for our communications person,” Cowan said.

That also includes possibly adding office equipment that could boost operational efficiency.

She also hopes the Community Foundation grant will boost the nonprofit’s chances of receiving grants from other funding agencies.

Cowan is among three people — along with barber and musician William Gandy Jr. and James Cook, who owns and operates restaurants at Memphis International Airport — The New Tri-State Defender has followed since April, documenting how the pandemic has impacted their professional and personal lives.

Sutton Mora (Courtesy photo)

Sutton Mora, the Community Foundation’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, the grant was issued from the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund.

 “The city (Jim Strickland) and county (Lee Harris) mayors contacted us about starting a philanthropic fund. We launched last March. The fund is designed to support nonprofits serving those most impacted by the (COVID-19) outbreak,” Mora said.

The grant to I Am My Sister’s Keeper came out of phase three of that effort, which is about “resiliency,” Mora said.

“We want to support organizations that have been supporting those impacted (by the pandemic) … This will help them continue their work.

“(Cowan’s) grant was targeted for smaller organizations that don’t have the resources. These are operating dollars to help them (continue their efforts),” Mora said, adding that 46 organizations had received grants under phase three.

Phase one grants were for emergency response. Phase two was about helping organizations “recover” from the pandemic’s negative impacts.

In all three phases, so for, between 150 to 200 organizations have received $7.5 million in grants, Mora said.

In another funding development, Mora said a national source has provided funding that will allow the foundation to continue the program through 2021, along with other projects.

“One of those projects is $750,000 to River City Capital to help small businesses, with a focus on people of color,” Mora said.

(Jerome Wright is deputy editor for The New Tri-State Defender. Reach him at [email protected])

LIVING THROUGH COVID-19 — ARCHIVES

Maneuvering through the perils of COVID-19

Living through COVID-19: A trio of profiles – Part II

Living through COVID-19: A trio of profiles – Part III

Living through COVID-19 — Part IV

Living through COVID-19: A trio of profiles – Part V

Living through COVID-19: Part VI

Living through COVID-19: Part VII 

Living through COVID-19, Part VIII

Living through COVID-19, Part IX

Living through COVID-19, Part X

Living through COVID-19, Part XI

Living through COVID-19, Part XII

Living through COVID-19, Part XIII

Living through COVID-19, Part XIV

Living through COVID-19, Part XV

Living through COVID-19, Part XVI