With the Grants to Green program launching in 2008 and relaunching as GoodUse in 2018, this program has positively changed the trajectory of hundreds of nonprofits by saving them millions in utility costs. GoodUse allows these organizations to use those funds toward their core services to the community instead of building operations. With founding partner The Kendeda Fund, the GoodUse program has grown enormously, helping build the resiliency and sustainability of nonprofits and communities across the nation.
Initiated in partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Southface Institute, Grants to Green was catalyzed by The Kendeda Fund and focused on energy and water building upgrades for nonprofits in the metro Atlanta region.
Southface, in partnership with the JPB Foundation, launched a companion program to Grants to Green called the Nonprofit Water and Energy Efficiency Initiative (NEWE). NEWE allowed Southface to expand its work to help nonprofits save energy and water on a national scale. Through this new initiative, two portfolio partnerships were established with Feeding America and the National Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) to work directly with their food banks and BGCA clubs.
Southface expanded its work with nonprofits that operated campuses through Grants to Green. Eleven organizations participated in the campus program, receiving grants in excess of $3.5 million with cumulative utility savings of $757,000.
Within each nonprofit partner, a Green Champion is chosen to help the organization get the most out of the program. Green Champion gatherings began in conjunction with Southface’s annual Greenprints Forum, a prestigious conference of policymakers, professionals in the green building field, academics, manufacturers and industry leaders. The event further raised the profile of Grants to Green and spread awareness among thought leaders of the program’s impacts.
Together, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, The Kendeda Fund and Southface built a strong legacy through this program, with over $10 million in utility savings from energy and water upgrades for more than 200 nonprofits in the first decade. View the 10-year report here. In 2018, the Community Foundation transitioned the grant-making portion of the program to Southface Institute. Building on a decade of tremendous impact, Southface extended the program to nonprofits throughout the Southeast. In its new home, the program continued with the same services and impacts but with a brand-new name: GoodUse.
Southface continues to help nonprofits build program capacity by reinvesting the savings from reduced utility bills, adding the Salvation Army – Southern Territory to its list of portfolio partners. Additional partnerships are established with the Fox Theatre Institute to support historic theaters throughout the Southeast and with the organization green|spaces to support the program for nonprofits in the Greater Chattanooga Region.
Because of their synergistic missions, GoodUse and the NEWE initiative are merged under the GoodUse brand. Southface, in partnership with The Kendeda Fund, the JPB Foundation and other funders, continues to innovate in order to expand this initiative, including conducting virtual building assessments, focusing on indoor air quality advancements, and exploring innovative financing, such as Solar Energy Procurement Agreements (SEPA) and revolving loan structures.
If you are interested in being part of the expansion and growth of GoodUse, please contact us and learn more about the ways the program helps nonprofits build capacity by saving critical funds they can invest back into their community.
Share your completed GoodUse project story here.