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WFGM awards $1.6 million to 38 community organizations

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has tapped 38 organizations to receive grant awards during the group’s 2023-24 annual grant cycle.

This cycle’s grant awards amount to a nearly $1.6 million investment in the community.

Shante K. Avant, WFGM president and CEO. (Courtesy photo)

“We are building on the lessons learned through our place-based strategy to reduce poverty,” said Shante K. Avant, WFGM president and CEO. “Our Vision 2025 plan focuses on maintaining the gains we have made in South City, ZIP code 38126 while simultaneously expanding into other economically challenged neighborhoods,” said Avant.

The $1.6 million investment is WFGM’s highest such investment to-date and is a six percent increase from last year’s contribution total. Since 1996, WFGM has awarded more than $35 million to 185 local non-profits, including investments in advocacy and research.

In 2015, WFMG launched Vision 2020, a five-year strategic initiative aimed at reducing poverty in ZIP code 38126. The initiative included a $7.1 million strategic investment in programs serving South City – ZIP code 38126, one of the most economically challenged neighborhoods in Tennessee.

As part of the plan, WFGM established a place-based investment strategy to fund grantee partners that provide programs in support of five goal areas: (1) case management and wraparound services; (2) job skills and employment; (3) early childhood development; (4) youth development and employment; and (5) financial education and asset building.

The Vision 2025 strategic plan, includes four additional zip codes – 38105, 38106, 38107 and 38108.

“Our goal is to impact the lives of more than 8,000 individuals annually by focusing on advancing economic and social mobility,” said Avant.

According to WFGM, the group’s investment has yielded these results:

  • 3,438 individuals receiving job training and placed in jobs.
  • 141 individuals starting a business or micro-enterprise.
  • 7,069 young people participating in youth development programs.
  • A 53 percent increase in average annual earned household income for adults.

WFGM plans to build on its success with support to its 2023-24 grantee partners in these investment areas:

Vision 2025 Investment Area 1: Case Management and Wraparound Services – Hope House Day Care; MIFA (Metropolitan Interfaith Association); Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc.; Urban Strategies Inc.; Room in the Inn; Salvation Army of Memphis and the Mid-South.

Vision 2025 Investment Area 2: Job Skills, Employment and Entrepreneurship – Advance Memphis; Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis; DeNeuville Learning Center; Dress for Success Memphis; HopeWorks; Karat Place, Inc.; Memphis Urban League, Inc.; Southwest Tennessee Community College Foundation; YWCA of Greater Memphis.

Vision 2025 Investment Area 3: Early Childhood Development – ALLMemphis; Early Success Coalition; Families Matter; Porter-Leath.

Vision 2025 Investment Area 4: Youth Development and Employment –A Step Ahead Foundation; JIFF Juvenile Intervention & Faith-based Follow-up; Booker T.Washington Middle and High School; Emmanuel Center, Inc.; Girls Scouts Heart of the South Girls Inc. of Memphis;|Memphis Inner City Rugby; Mustard Seed Inc.; New Ballet Ensemble and School; |STREETS Ministries; University of Memphis Research Foundation-Herff-GEE; Vance Avenue Youth Development Center; Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South; Memphis Black Arts Alliance; Kids in Technology.

Vision 2025 Investment Area 5: Financial Education and Asset Building – Knowledge Quest; Community Legal Center; RISE Memphis; South City a Community of Opportunity Revitalization Empowerment (SCORE CDC).


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