Youth centers need air-conditioned spaces for after-school programs. Rehabilitating injured sea turtles requires tanks with filtration systems. Food banks have refrigerators to run. Meeting urgent community needs costs money, and with limited funding, nonprofits often own or lease older buildings with exorbitant utility bills because of ongoing issues like air leakage. These inefficiencies also harm the environment by burning through natural resources and causing climate-warming emissions that are also hazardous to health.
Southface Institute has been tackling this problem since 2008 through their GoodUse program, which provides financial and technical assistance to make cost-saving efficiency upgrades to nonprofit facilities. While there are 545-plus GoodUse projects in 29 states, there is now a special pool of funds just for nonprofits in Sarasota, Fla., launching as GoodUse Sarasota.
Momentum has been building locally for a few years through a separate Partners for Green Places (PG4P) matching grant program that was funded by Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation; Community Foundation of Sarasota County; and The Funders Network in partnership with Sarasota County and the City of Sarasota. After making sustainable improvements to 15 Sarasota nonprofits and seeing the results of two local GoodUse projects, these partners made the strategic decision to incorporate PG4P’s program into Southface’s GoodUse program.
The GM Equity Fund, Seagrape Foundation, and Elizabeth Moore joined as major contributors to help launch GoodUse Sarasota, and on March 27, Southface announced its first-ever cohort of GoodUse Sarasota grantees: Project 180, Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, and Save Our Seabirds.
By increasing the energy and water efficiency of their facilities over the next several months, these nonprofit grantees will save mission-critical dollars that they can invest back into their core services to Sarasota’s communities year after year, all while helping to save the planet.
Applications for the next cohort of GoodUse Sarasota grantees are due by June 18. Visit www.southface.org/gooduse for more on the program process and requirements.
About Southface Institute
Southface Institute is a sustainable building nonprofit headquartered in Georgia with a satellite location in Florida known as Southface Sarasota. Each year, Southface’s GoodUse program helps 40-50 nonprofits upgrade the efficiency of their facilitsouthfies so they can save on their utility bills and invest more in their core services to the community. Since 2008, 545+ GoodUse projects have saved nonprofits $3.5 million annually in operating costs! In 2023, partners in Sarasota set aside funds just for local nonprofits, forming GoodUse Sarasota. Learn more and join Southface in building sustainably for life at www.southface.org.