Alexandria, VA —ACT for Alexandria (ACT) has awarded $106,500 in capacity building grants to 10 Alexandria nonprofits to help strengthen their infrastructure, management and governance, ultimately enhancing the organization’s ability to have a positive impact on the lives of those they serve and the community, as a whole. Since 2005, ACT, the community foundation for Alexandria, has invested more than $1,000,000 in capacity building grants to Alexandria nonprofits.
“From addressing affordable housing to encouraging creative expression and providing support for the most vulnerable, this year’s grantees have inspired us through their innovation, thoughtfulness and passion for serving our community,” said Heather Peeler, President and CEO of ACT for Alexandria.
In partnership with several generous donor advised fund holders, ACT for Alexandria awarded grants to nonprofits for strategic planning, racial equity, and community engagement projects. This year’s grant recipients include:
Alexandria Housing Development Corporation – Strategic Planning
- This project will provide guidance for developing new and renovated housing, improve resident services and strengthen their organizational infrastructure, while incorporating a lens of furthering their commitment to racial equity.
Alexandria Soccer Association – Strategic Planning
- This project will address the organization’s continued growth, commitment to racial equity, management of community partnerships, sustainability and infrastructure.
Carpenter’s Shelter – Racial Equity
- This project will provide a collective understanding of how racism and racial inequity has contributed to the homelessness of those the organization serves, with the goal of assessing what programmatic changes are necessary to their services. The project will also help identify what issues to prioritize for their advocacy efforts.
Casa Chirilagua – Community Engagement
- This project will provide intentional time and space to strengthen relational bonds and trust to foster the flow of information about needs within the families and communities so the organization can build programming to address issues that arise.
Friends of Guest House – Strategic Planning
- This project will provide facilitation of two highly structured consensus-building workshops to guide the staff and Board through a process of mission review and realignment, ultimately serving as the foundation for their strategic plan.
Local Motion Project – Racial Equity
- This project will examine racial equity through the lens of dance, addressing both inequities and white normative approaches in dance education and using dance as a tool to investigate ideas around structural racism.
Offender Aid & Restoration – Racial Equity
- This project seeks to transform the organization to one that embraces anti-racism, racial equity, and inclusion internally; operationalizes it in every aspect of programming, policies and practices; and empowers constituents and others who have been marginalized, and those who have benefited from systemic racism to advocate for equity.
RunningBrooke – Community Engagement
- This project will develop an Equity Action Plan, Community Advisory Board and engage community stakeholders, including underrepresented voices, to ensure the organization’s framework for program design and implementation represents the needs and perspectives of their diverse community.
The Spitfire Club – Racial Equity
- This project will develop a training curriculum for future mentors who serve their beneficiaries and provide guidance on how to incorporate a lens of race, equity and inclusion in the organization’s community outreach, recruitment and review of their new strategic plan.
The Child & Family Network Centers – Racial Equity
- This project will develop a Racial Equity in Early Learning Plan, centering those impacted by racial inequities, to ensure the organization is providing a safe, welcoming, multi-cultural space for every family as they prepare for Kindergarten.
This year, ACT for Alexandria began exploring a trust-based approach to its grantmaking and philanthropy. “In light of our commitment to equity, we piloted a trust-based approach to grantmaking aimed at breaking down the power dynamic that traditionally exists between funders and grantees and to foster a more a collaborative learning environment for everyone.. We also believe this approach will enable ACT to be more nimble and responsive to needs that arise and create stronger partnerships with the nonprofit community, “said Brandi Yee, ACT for Alexandria Chief Program Officer.
ACT for Alexandria is Alexandria’s home for philanthropy and for people who want to make a difference. As a community foundation, ACT is dedicated to improving the lives of people and nurturing Alexandria’s vibrant community by supporting the growth and sustainability of nonprofits, engaging the community on key issues and partnering with donors to amplify the impact of their giving.