Two years ago, thanks to a $1 million gift from The Coca-Cola Company, we launched our third collective impact grant cycle – Breaking Barriers, Building Women: Economic Empowerment Program. This funding has allowed us to support eight local nonprofit organizations, focusing on higher education and asset building for low-income women in Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, and Gwinnett counties and host annual workshops and trainings for the cohort. The eight organizations were 9to5 Georgia, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, Buckhead Christian Ministry, Clayton State University Foundation, Gwinnett Tech Foundation, H.O.P.E., Inc., Literacy Action, and Nicholas House.
As part of our Collective Impact approach to grantmaking, AWF engages in a shared measurement system that allows us to collect data and measure results consistently across the grantee cohort. We’re very proud of the two-year results of this program. Almost 4,000 women were served in two years, exceeding the goal of 2,000 women having access to higher education and/or asset building opportunities by 87%. Our grantees’ clients went on to earn degrees or certifications, become homeowners, and obtain living wage employment.
- 3,733 women had access to the Breaking Barriers, Building Women: Economic Empowerment Program combination of services.
- 577 women have received higher education and/or asset building opportunities.
- 235 women have enrolled in an undergraduate or technical school program within 4 months of entering the program.
- 154 women have attained a degree or certification.
- 56 women have obtained full-time employment in their career fields, earning incomes 250% above poverty level.
- 20 women enrolled in homeownership programs have become homeowners.
- 380 women have participated in and completed financial literacy training.
- 147 childcare scholarships/free childcare services have been provided.
Individual Success Highlights
A student at Clayton State University received child care assistance for her 3-year-old son through Clayton State’s BOOST program. This allowed her to graduate with a B.A. in Psychology & Human Services, actively participate in campus organizations, and complete an internship at Marcus Autism Center, which she would not have been able to do without access to quality child care. She is working towards her master’s in occupational therapy at the University of Tennessee.
Atlanta Habitat for Humanity’s My Money. My Future. program helped disabled Vietnam combat veteran Dr. D. recover from medical debt to own her own home. While dealing with the stress of homelessness due to her medical bills, Dr. D’s husband passed away and her son was diagnosed with cancer. She stepped up to care not only for her son, but her granddaughter as well. Dr. D. was licensed to practice as a psychiatrist in Germany, but before she had time to focus on establishing credentials in the U.S., her world came tumbling down. Atlanta Habitat’s My Money. My Future. program that pairs would-be homebuyers with one-on-one financial training from a HUD-certified housing counselor. Through hard work and discipline, Dr. D. turned her situation around. She helped to build her own home and moved into it this past spring.
Partnerships have been a key outcome of our collective impact approach. 9to5 Georgia leveraged partnerships with two AWF Women’s Pathway to Success grantees Our House and Jewish Family & Career Services to help Our House client Naomi*. Through this grant, Naomi received training on completing a job application, resume writing, job interview skills, conflict resolution, and workplace discrimination. After the training series was complete, Naomi reached out to 9to5 Georgia to ask for additional support in improving her resume. They were able to connect her with Jewish Family and Career Services and JFCS has provided Naomi ongoing coaching and career services. Naomi has several promising upcoming job interviews.
We are grateful to The Coca-Cola Company for their support of the Breaking Barriers, Building Women: Economic Empowerment Program and are thrilled to announce that the Truist Foundation has made a generous lead grant in support of a third year of funding for this program.
*Name changed to protect identity.