The right tools build a stronger nonprofit

Lita Pardi, senior program officer, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Lita Pardi

By Lita Pardi, senior program officer, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

When considering investing in a nonprofit organization, many donors direct their support to programs that give them a clear picture of what they are supporting – books for children learning to read or employment skills training for those who want to get better-paying jobs. Although investing in programs is important, I am here to challenge you to consider making an investment that will strengthen an organization from within. Continue reading

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Building better boards — and professional connections — one VIP at a time

Listening in on a conversation between two United Way VIP alumni, you’d be excused for thinking you were among graduates of a beloved alma mater. Over the past 24 years, United Way of Greater Atlanta has welcomed more than 2,000 professionals to its Volunteer Involvement Program, forming bonds among leaders of diverse backgrounds and enhancing nonprofit board readiness for some of our community’s most passionate individuals. Continue reading

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Beyond Books with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance

By Lauren Jeong

For those of us who work in nonprofits or philanthropy, we know it takes more than studying fundraising models or learning how to read a 990 to be effective. Working in this sector takes experience with our audience, clear communication, innovative problem solving and overcoming the fear of making your very first fundraising ask. Continue reading

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A 5k on an airport runway? Yeah, it happened…

3.1 miles on a runway at the world’s largest airport. 1,985 runners from across the country lined up at dawn. And an Olympian, Mayor, United Way of Greater Atlanta’s spokeskid and our very own CEO were leading the pack. Continue reading

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An unexpected, but rewarding, career path to philanthropy

By Mendal Bouknight, VP philanthropy, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Growing up in rural South Carolina I aspired to a career in forestry and recreation resources, not fundraising. But that all changed when, as a Junior at Clemson University, a friend with the Alumni Association asked me to serve as the first-ever Student Representative on the Alumni Board. Continue reading

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Greater Atlanta stepped it up this summer

Summer’s coming to a close and kids are back in school. They’re making new friends, learning new skills and growing like weeds. And to do all this, they need fuel. Like sunshine to a seedling, the food they’re getting during the school day is giving them the energy they need for their brains and bodies. While some kids may bring in a carefully packed lunch with every food group equally represented, others rely on federally funded free and reduced meals during their school day. In fact, more than 350,000 kids across the 13 counties of Greater Atlanta receive free or reduced lunches during the school year. You might be wondering: Where do these kids receive lunch during the summer months? Sadly, without access to school lunch programs, many were at risk of missing a meal or more each day. Continue reading

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Engaged Parents Make a Difference

By Tyronda Minter, director, community, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

I am the mother of two teenage, African-American boys – a senior and a sophomore in public school. Being their mother is one of my greatest joys. Since their very first day of pre-school, I have been involved in their schooling experience – from PTA President, to Chair of the School Policy Council, to Booster Club Mom, I was known as Christopher and Dechristian’s mother rather than by own first name. Why was this volunteer work important to me? Because strong parent engagement yields better academic outcomes for our children. Continue reading

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A Year of Positive Change!

This year, Greater Atlanta came together in a big way. Thanks to 140,000 donors across the community, as well as leaders like Campaign Chair David Mangum, president & COO of Global Payments Inc., and support from our top corporate campaigns at Publix, AT&T and UPS, we’ve exceeded the 2015 – 2016 campaign goal – allowing United Way to make an even greater impact through the initiatives and programs that matter most. Continue reading

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Community Foundation’s summer fellow reflects on philanthropy, passion and purpose

By Jazondré Gibbs

Having the opportunity to work as the summer fellow for the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta is not one I took lightly. I chose to apply for this particular fellowship because of the opportunity it gave me to move around a whole organization and see more than just one side of the parts that help organizations function. The fellowship works through a rotation that allowed me to work with each respective team: Office of the President, Marketing and Communications, Community, Philanthropy and Capacity. Through these rotations, I was able to take this summer to work on so many important skills! Continue reading

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Young Professional Leaders Work to Create Brighter Tomorrows

At the beginning of the year, United Way of Greater Atlanta President, Milton Little, Jr., posed a question to our Young Professional Leaders (YPL): How are the children? The well-being of children in any given community is a direct indicator of how the larger community is doing. As a compassionate group of Atlanta’s emerging leaders under 40, YPL took inspiration from Milton’s challenge and sprang into action to help our region’s children thrive.

Taking Initiative to End Childhood Homelessness in Greater Atlanta

13450749_10155127732167316_1936695863688244238_nYPL focused service events throughout the year around children and families and set a breakthrough goal to net $50,000 to a United Way initiative. After digging deeper into the issues surrounding child homelessness, the YPL Advisory Board voted for proceeds from our year-end gala in June, “Night for a Brighter Tomorrow,” to benefit United Way Kids Home Initiative (KHI) – a comprehensive and long-term solution to fight childhood homelessness.

I am proud to say that YPL exceeded its goal, with net proceeds raised of $70,000 to create sustainable change in our community. Huge thanks to all of our sponsors – including presenting sponsor Delta Air Lines, our partners, YPL members, YPL Advisory Board and the great work of United Way of Greater Atlanta that makes this possible.

Continue the Momentum & Make a Difference

I am excited to see what YPL will do next and am honored to pass the baton of YPL Chair to Ivan Shammas, General Manager at Telemundo.  I encourage all of you to continue the momentum and movement of YPL and get involved! You’ll make great connections, see the work of United Way firsthand and most importantly – help create sustainable, positive change in Atlanta. Visit to learn more and join. You won’t regret lending a hand to lift up your community!

Juanda Roberts is the 2015 – 2016 Board Chair of United Way of Greater Atlanta Young Professional Leaders, as well as Alliance Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting LLC.

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