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Member Stories

Each month, we publish a “member story”– highlighting great causes, chronicling progress made, identifying challenges, and celebrating accomplishments. In these stories and throughout our publications, we give voice to your perspective on current issues, opportunities, and actions taking place across the sector and around the state.

Read the latest Member Story in This Month @ GCN, along with fresh insights, grant opportunities, sector news, and more – all delivered to you each month.
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Action Ministries

GCN member Action Ministries, a statewide hunger relief, housing, and education nonprofit had a goal to raise $10,000 during Georgia Gives Day 2013. Learn the simple but powerful recipe they followed to exceed that goal, and the straightforward strategies every nonprofit can adopt to ensure Gives Day success in the years to come. 
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Advocates for Children

Find out how this Northwest Georgia nonprofit has, over 30 years, evolved from a​ home for abused children to a full-service organization providing “anything and everything” to prevent child abuse and help its victims—from counseling and family services to highly-trained court-appointed advocates.
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Atlanta Track Club

Atlanta Track Club is the second-largest running club in the U.S., boasting 22,000 members of all skill levels and walks of life, and a program including clinics, socials, a monthly magazine, and some thirty races annually—including the AJC Peachtree Road Race, the world's largest 10K and a 46-year-old Atlanta tradition bringing more that 63,000 participants and volunteers into the heart of the city every July 4th.
Read more.

Angel Flight Soars

Angel Flight Soars aims to “remove transportation as an obstacle to medical care” for patients throughout the South. How are they doing it? With a 1,200-strong volunteer army of pilots and “earth angels” flying seven missions a day, every day of the year.
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Atlanta Community ToolBank

Five years ago the Atlanta Community ToolBank was the only tool lending program of its kind, now it’s a nationally in-demand nonprofit franchise. High demand and rapid growth may seem like an ideal problem to have, but organizations should never overlook the unique challenges of such circumstances. Learn how sincere dedication to mission attracted the key partnerships needed to navigate rapid growth.
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Atlanta Humane Society

With new leadership and fresh approaches to measuring impact, the Atlanta Humane Society is changing the way people perceive and interact with companion animal shelters, both in the Atlanta region and around the southeast.
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Captain Planet Foundation

In 1990, Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) debuted an animated series starring five teenagers who, with the assist of earth’s greatest champion, Captain Planet, tackled an array of environmental challenges, working together to take down the “soldiers of slime” and other environmental bad guys. The call to action: “Saving our planet is the thing to do… The power is yours!” 
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Center for the Visually Impaired

Though it’s no stranger to the issues facing most nonprofits, CVI has been growing its range of services and its client base by investing in innovative new revenue streams like the ClearAnswer Contact Center, which does double duty as a service—providing jobs for a client population suffering 70% unemployment.
Read more.

Challenged Child and Friends 

For 30 years, Challenged Child and Friends (CCAF) has worked to provide a complete suite of services for young children with special needs, aged six weeks to six years-including the professionals they require individually as well as the all-inclusive classroom that gives them confidence and friends among their typically-developing peers.
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Communities in Schools of Georgia

Community Can-Do: How Communities in Schools of Georgia supports 180,000 students yearly. With 31 affiliates, CISGA works to improve academic outcomes for students across the state through services like after-school and in-school programs, tutoring, mentoring, and career preparation.
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CURE Childhood Cancer

This Atlanta-based nonprofit cancer research foundation knew that major changes were needed to move the grassroots organization to higher impact. Here, CURE's leaders share highlights of the organization’s “inside-out” transformation, how executive coaching jumpstarted their major gift and annual fundraising program, and how rebranding and social media have energized the nonprofit’s “zealots.”
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Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Building on the legacy of its iconic founder, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is meeting the challenge of engaging new supporters for a cause half a world away through storytelling and social media.
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DDD Foundation

We talked with the DDD Foundation (Dentistry for the Developmentally Disabled) about the challenges of running a nonprofit from strategic planning, to reaching supporters, to dealing with Medicaid.

Enrichment Services Program

The decision to restructure in processes and approach isn't one to make lightly; that's why Columbus-based ESP made it a deliberate, all-inclusive process based in solid data and effective tactics. With a fifty-year history of identifying the barriers that prevent people from fulfilling their potential, they went to work identifying its own, and implementing ways to better carry out its mission.
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Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy

Did you know that over 60% of low-income families in Georgia don't own a single piece of reading material suitable for kids? Find out how one nonprofit, utilizing key partnerships and a robust volunteer program, is addressing this problem one book at a time. 
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Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta

Five years ago, Karen Harris knew next to nothing about food allergies. Today, she’s Georgia’s most dedicated advocate for children with food allergies, championing the cause in schools, the media, and the General Assembly. Read more about the amazing impact achieved by Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta just three years after its founding, even without full-time staff or significant funding.
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Friends of Disabled Adults and Children

From a two-person operation out of a family garage to a cutting-edge warehouse in Stone Mountain, FODAC has grown into an organization providing its services across the state, country and the world. Learn more about how they dealt with tough growing pains caused by their own growth and success by remaining faithful to their strategic plan.
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GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students

Using advocacy, policy research and development, and public engagement, GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students works with private partners, government agencies, and family partnership to support pre-K care across the state.

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Georgia Eye Bank

With 30 full-time staff, a cutting-edge health care facility, and a service population of thousands, including stakeholders in acute need and high distress, CEO Eric Meinecke is taking time out of his busy day to work one-on-one with a donor he won't ever get a chance to meet—but one whose donation will make a world of difference in the life of a fellow Georgian.
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Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation

For 30 years, the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation has been serving Georgia’s firefighters, burn survivors, and the community that supports them through a wide array of programs and initiatives, from fire safety “blitzes” to Georgia’s only summer camp for burn survivors.
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Georgia Innocence Project

The Georgia Innocence Project's interim director told us about their Georgia Gives Day plans and how the popular podcast Undisclosed, which highlights a single case each season, helped spotlight their work while giving their client a new shot at freedom.

Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement

Just over ten years ago, Gov. Roy Barnes helped create the Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement  (GLISI) as part of his educational reform plan.  Discover how they’ve sustained and expanded their mission, now as a fully private nonprofit, in our latest member profile. 
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Georgia Radio Reading Service

In operation for more than 30 years, GaRRS gives the visually impaired, and others unable to read in print, an audio assist in the form of all-day, all-night, all-volunteer broadcasts. With more than 17,500 listeners, a 24/7 programming schedule, and a rich array of programs ranging from daily newspaper-reading to audio tours of destinations near and far, the organization’s most amazing feat may be its retention rate: the average GaRRS volunteer has been reading on the air for 15 years.
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Georgia Urban Forest Council

Mary Lynne Beckley, executive director and sole full-time staffer at the Georgia Urban Forest Council, gives the inside scoop on how the Council helps Georgia grow.

Golden Harvest Food Bank

A 2011 study showed that 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households—including 16.7 million children. That’s one in six Americans—and the rate in Georgia is even higher, at 17.4%, putting it in the top five most food insecure states. Learn how an Augusta-area food bank enacted a strategic succession plan to ensure the change in leadership would not affect their vital impact.
Read more.

Golden Key International Honour Society

Bound together by academic achievement and a desire to give back, more than two million members make up a global movement that began nearly 40 years ago right here in Georgia
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Goodwill of North Georgia 

One of the state’s oldest charitable organizations, GNG has a short but tactical mission—“We put people to work”—that President Raymond Bishop notes “everyone can remember.” It takes more than a catchy mission statement, however, to keep a nonprofit in business for close to 90 years. To continue offering job training, job placement programs, and employment services to North Georgians, Goodwill employs a rock solid business strategy that keeps generating revenue while holding true to Goodwill’s core values. It’s no wonder Goodwill has established itself as a high performing, revenue-generating nonprofit champion. 
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The Joseph Sams School

In thirty years, the School has grown from an early intervention preschool program, with one instructor, two paraprofessionals, and a handful of toddlers, to a full cradle-to-career suite of academic, life-skills, extracurricular, and vocational-training programs serving more than a hundred children and young adults a year. Even more remarkable are the results: the school’s first cohorts, facing a range of challenges from autism to Down syndrome to speech disorders, are today active and independent members of their communities.
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Mary Hall Freedom House

A 20-year record of recovery, community, grace, and growth. We spoke to Mary Hall Freedom House about their work to empower women to break the cycle of addiction, poverty, and homelessness for themselves and their children.
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Macon Rescue Mission

In its 60-plus years, Macon Rescue Mission has become an indispensable resource in Central Georgia by rehabilitating the homeless, providing a safe haven for the abused, distributing groceries to the needy, and helping start other successful service organizations like the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank.
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Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC)

In addition to providing a “shopping mall” of support options for foster children and their families, MAAC helps teens find their own voice to advocate for themselves.
Read more.

Nature Conservancy in Georiga

The economy might be bringing you down, but at least one Georgia nonprofit saw opportunity in the downturn—and brought in more than $25 million as a result. Find out how The Nature Conservancy in Georgia built a fundraising campaign that was successful despite challenging economic times.
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North Fulton Community Charities

By winning donor trust, growing with the community, and involving volunteers in every aspect of the operation, NFCC helps the low-income residents of an affluent area of town keep their heads above water—and they recently scored a $200,000 grant to take their programs on the road.
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Ogeechee Riverkeeper

Learn how a small Statesboro nonprofit keeps two Georgia rivers safe for fishing, swimming and drinking, protecting the human and wildlife communities that depend on them.
Read more.

Open Door Community House

Over nearly a century, Open Door has continued growing to meet the needs of families in their Columbus community.
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Quality Care for Children 

The state of Georgia has nearly 400,000 children under the age of six spending as many as 10 hours a day in the care of someone other than their parents—and the numbers are increasing every year. Unfortunately, the quality of care for these children is not in any way consistent, and there has been little to help parents reliably compare available services.
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Refugee Family Services

Where resettlement services leave off, Atlanta's Refugee Family Services dedicates itself to the continuing success of Georgia's refugee population, helping thousands of refugee women and children each year with everything from pre-K education to starting community nonprofits of their own.
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Safe Harbor Children's Center

This Brunswick nonprofit has been helping runaway, abused, and at-risk teens for more than two decades, but their new executive director couldn’t find the on-the-job assistance she needed to get the organization humming. Find out how GCN helped Safe Harbortackle its community awareness issues and revamp a neglected strategy plan in our latest member.
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Senior Connections

Five years of economic uncertainty act like a double-negative for nonprofits. Unlike for-profit businesses, who see demand dwindle as consumers hold tight to their wallets, allowing them to scale back operations, many nonprofits see demand increase during uncertain times. Because turning away people in need is not an option for most nonprofits, they’re forced to find new and leaner ways to operate.
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Southface has become the leading voice of sustainable building practices in, and beyond, the Southeast. Their strategy: an inclusive approach to building a diverse – and perhaps surprising – set of partners, and taking a market-driven approach to advance sustainable building as a mainstream opportunity. Their advice to fellow nonprofits: “Connect with everyone you can and work with them on some level: Find that common ground to make things happen."
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Special Olympics Georgia

Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) is the largest nonprofit organization in the state providing athletic training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Their first Games, which took place in 1970, drew 500 athletes. This past January, at SOGA’s State Indoor Winter Games, they hosted 1,926 athletes, 759 coaches, and 176 unified partners. Over its last two Games, SOGA brought together more than 3,700 athletes to compete and connect.
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Street GRACE

Bringing together 80 churches, 50 organizations and more than 2,000 volunteers, member nonprofit Street GRACE leads a multi-pronged assault against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Atlanta and throughout the state, where hundreds of kids are bought and sold each month.
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Telfair Museums

With 180,000 annual visitors and a reputation as a top U.S. arts destination, Savannah’s Telfair keeps its stride after nearly 130 years of collecting, exhibiting, and educating. Read more.

True Colors Theatre

Atlanta is a home to this award-winning theater company that's creating diverse theater for a diverse urban audience, as well as managing a nation-wide competition for high school students, all while managing to keep the books balanced. 
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