Whether you're interested in causes such as animal rescue, addressing homelessness or job training, you have the opportunity to support these initiatives and many more by donating to a local nonprofit organization through A Community Thrives, a crowdfunding and grant program, now through Aug. 13.
Nearly 700 organizations are taking part in the 2021 program, a $2.3 million initiative sponsored by Gannett, the USA TODAY Network’s parent company. The monthlong giving event allows community-building groups to raise money through an online platform. Projects that raise a minimum amount are then qualified for grants up to $100,000.
On the platform, you can search for nonprofits using filters based on location and category, as well as search by keyword. The nonprofits participating in this year's giving event cover a wide range of social issues including refugee community support, food insecurity, parental education and resources, youth STEM education, and many more.
"The Gannett Foundation, like Gannett Media, places a high value in supporting historically underserved groups," said Sue Madden, director of the Gannett Foundation. "We look to attract a wide assortment of applicants representing diverse geography, racial and ethnic groups serving a variety of issues and needs."
In addition to the money organizations raise, top projects will also qualify for additional grants from A Community Thrives. Nonprofits are categorized into two tiers based on annual operating budget, and grants will be awarded to the top three fundraisers in each category. A Community Thrives will also grant separate National Project and Local Operating Grants to eligible organizations.
The crowdfunding portal includes preliminary leaderboard results on the page, and each week there are bonus incentive grants available for organizations based on either most unique donors or most raised that week. Recipients will be announced in September 2021.
What kind of difference can donations make?
Since 2017, A Community Thrives has distributed $12 million in grants and donations to community-based organizations across the country.
Previous grant recipients have seen the impact of these funding opportunities firsthand. Minnesota-based 30,000 Feet, co-founded by Kevin Robinson and Vanessa Young, was one of 16 national grant winners in the 2020 A Community Thrives program.
The organization received a $100,000 grant to support its plans to open a Black Arts Center, which will "provide a safe space and daytime academic support for youth who are suspended from school or experiencing homelessness," according to the nonprofit's crowdfunding page.
"Nonprofit organizations serve our most vulnerable citizens and this program provides an opportunity for small and large organizations alike to attract much needed support to further their missions in local communities," Madden said.
Nieda Abbas is co-founder of Havenly Treats, an advocacy workshop program for refugee women that provides support in the form of job training, political education, and community organizing. The organization — a $50,000 grant recipient during the 2020 A Community Thrives program — benefits immensely from this type of financial support.
“This grant will open a hundred doors for us,” Abbas told USA TODAY.
To learn about all the 2022 A Community Thrives participating nonprofits, go to acommunitythrives.mightycause.com.
Contributing: Elinor Aspegren, Joel Shannon, USA TODAY.
'We really want to serve the community': Three local nonprofits earn $20,000 through Gannett Foundation initiative
'Game changer' for community nonprofits: Gannett Foundation relaunches multimillion-dollar crowdfunding and grant program
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gannett Foundation A Community Thrives crowdfunding: How to donate