The Rocket Blog

As members of the Memphis community, RocketFuel is proud to share an area code with an organization like the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (CFGM). Their mission is simple: strengthen the community through philanthropy.

Client Spotlight: Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

During the course of our work, we get the opportunity to get to know so many wonderful organizations and people. We find this to be such a inspiring experience that we think it should be shared. 

That’s why we are starting a new monthly series on The Rocket Blog to shine the brightest spotlight we could find on those people and/or organizations that continue to make RocketFuel who we are today. Our clients are doing great things in the Memphis area and beyond. We think you're really going to enjoy getting to know some of them and encourage you to issue them a digital high five!

Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

First up in our series is the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and their wonderful program, GiVE 365 Memphis

As members of the Memphis community, RocketFuel is proud to share an area code with an organization like the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (CFGM). Their mission is simple: strengthen the community through philanthropy.

For those of you not familiar with community foundations, the definition is essentially a nonprofit organization managing a collection of charitable funds established by the community for the community. Funds are gathered through both donations and endowments and then distributed back into the community as grants awarded to local nonprofits trying to make a difference. 

Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

The Foundation currently manages approximately 1,000 different charitable funds and endowments with a value of about $350 million in total. In its 45 years of operation, CFGM has made grants of over $709 million in total that have benefitted thousands of local nonprofit organizations in the western Tennessee, eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi communities. It is currently the largest public or private grant provider currently in the Memphis area. 

GiVE 365 Memphis

These funds are established by both individuals, families and organizations - many of whom advise the recipients once a grant is rewarded. One of the most popular and successful programs providing this kind of opportunity is the GiVE 365 Memphis program. 

This program provides an outlet for emerging philanthropists to give back to their community - all for $1 per day. These yearly donations are then collected into a pool and distributed once a year to community nonprofits through several fun, interactive programs and events. Basically, participants donate $365 a year, combine it with the other program members' equal donations, and then distribute to selected nonprofits the group decides on. 

GiVE 365 Memphis

Nonprofits seeking additional funding for community enrichment programs are encouraged to apply for these grants every year and are then narrowed down by members to a select group of finalists. Several events are organized through out the year for members to network with each other, participate on grant review teams, and interact with the various nonprofits that apply each year. 

The 2014 theme is Collaboration for Change: Partnerships that support creative problem-solving in the community. All the awards granted this year will benefit two or more organizations collaborating on a project benefiting the community. 

Every year, GiVE 365 holds a finalist event where each of the nonprofit chosen present their project in front of all the program members. Here’s the catch: each presentation can only be three minutes long. In those three minutes, presenters must explain the need for a grant using any (reasonable) tactic within the time limit. 

Some use the time to thoroughly explain all the ends and outs of their program. Others use visuals like posters and charts to explain a community need for a program like theirs. And others bring community members who have benefited from similar programs to give testimonials on how these funds can benefit them and their future. 

GiVE 365 Memphis

This year, 12 different nonprofits were chosen by GiVE 365 members as grant finalist for the finals, held at the Hatiloo Theater on August 18th. The 2014 finalists include Literacy Mid-SouthClean MemphisMemphis Gay & Lesbian Community CenterCenter for Transforming CommunitiesMid-South Peace and Justice CenterShelby County Books from BirthDoor of Hope, Inc.HopeworksSouthern College of OptometryJunior League of MemphisService Over Self, and Hatiloo Theatre.

You can watch each of the presentations from these finalists at this years' event here.

Out of the $96,370 requested by these finalist only $62,600 is currently available to fund the requested grants. GiVE 365 members have until Friday, September 5 to submit their votes for those they think should be a recipient this year.

Since its creation in 2010, GiVE 365 Memphis has grown to over 250 members who have raised nearly $225,000 in grants benefiting their community - in addition to the $360,000 endowment the program has grown so far. And it is only getting bigger. 

For more information about joining GiVE 365 Memphis, visit their website