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Momentum: Westside

The Georgia Center for Nonprofits is proud to partner with The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to bring Momentum—an innovative approach to capacity building—to Atlanta's Historic Westside nonprofit community. The goal of the Momentum: Westside project is to increase the impact and sustainability of nonprofits serving Atlanta's Westside neighborhoods by improving their capacity to think and act more strategically, and to function more effectively as a leadership team.

Momentum: Westside is a three-year, capacity-building initiative built to help nonprofits grow their respective community impacts to ensure that they play a primary role in revitalizing the historic Castleberry Hill, Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods for all residents. The initiative focuses on strategic planning, data analysis, and leadership and organizational development as a way to support the advancement of robust infrastructure within Westside-based nonprofits.

“We publically committed to being a catalyst to help transform the Westside neighborhoods.  Through our work, we know that nonprofits serving the Westside of Atlanta are a critical piece of the equation. Through Momentum: Westside, those organizations selected have the opportunity to access resources that have long been needed to increase their collective community impact.”  

– Frank Fernandez, Vice President of Community Development, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Meet all 45 nonprofits in the Momentum: Westside cohort


Program Details - Core and Community Groups launched in Spring 2015

The Core Group is comprised of 6 organizations, who will engage in an intensive three-year process involving:

  • "Performance Dimensions" assessments
  • Facilitated strategic planning using GCN's balanced scorecard
  • Board development coaching
  • Financial sustainability and revenue analysis, planning, and coaching
  • Collaboration planning and coaching
  • Monitoring and evaluation planning and coaching
  • Financial support for each year of the program

The Community Group is comprised of 39 organizations, who will receive training opportunities over three years that focus on organizational management, leadership and governance training and support.


Working in collaboration

This short video highlights the Momentum: Westside partnership with IBM (though their "Impact Grants" program), GCN, and the Blank Foundation.

More about Momentum 

The first and largest project of its kind in Georgia, Momentum was developed by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits to support the work of nonprofits addressing complex issues in communities around the state. Piloted on Georgia's southern coast in 2011, more than 200 nonprofits and 13 national, regional and local funding partners have participated in Momentum initiatives to date. 

Momentum is designed to help participating nonprofits create actionable high-impact strategy, make dynamic data-driven decisions together with their board and management team, and implement enduring systems to manage and measure results, leaving organizations well-equipped to manage and sustain higher performance levels over time. Throughout the process, organizations work both individually and within cohort groups to share, support, and learn from one another. The process includes an organizational assessment and customized organizational development plan, an intensive team-based performance management training program, and individualized coaching. 

The process actively supports and measures growth at the individual, team, and organization-level around the following goals:

Enhancing Organizational Strategic Capacity – Momentum will help participating teams build capacity to think and act more strategically, thus enabling them to increase their organization’s performance and impact.

Developing Effective Leaders – Momentum will help leaders become more strategic, results-oriented, and focused on constant improvement because of their access to top ideas in the sector and our direct support and coaching in implementing those ideas.

Fostering Collaborations – Momentum will help nonprofits develop their ability to build productive partnerships.

Promoting Sustainability – Momentum will help build lasting capacity within these nonprofits through peer network creation, extending the reach of the program over time.


Press Releases
& Media Coverage

A short video highlights the Momentum: Westside partnership with IBM through their "Impact Grants" program (August 2015)

Press release: Capacity Building Grants Awarded to 45 Westside Atlanta Nonprofits Through Momentum: Westside Initiative (March 19, 2015)

View photos from the Core and Community Group kickoff sessions (April 2015)

GCN's Karen Beavor and Blank Foundation's Frank Fernandez on 11Alive's Atlanta & Company (Jan. 15, 2015)

Karen Beavor joins WSB's Jocelyn Dorsey for a One-on-One interview (Jan. 18, 2015)