We are excited to announce that the GiveWell Community Foundation has recently awarded $105,000 through a new grant program called “Empower Polk.” The goal of this new program is to empower local nonprofits, meeting needs that will help them fulfill their mission and support our community more effectively.

Support for core operations and business infrastructure can be the most needed and most difficult for nonprofit organizations to obtain. So, for its inaugural year, the Empower Polk program focused specifically on infrastructure support, helping nonprofits get the additional training, tools, or technology they need to execute their mission.

Empower Polk funding was open to organizations that have established Agency Funds within the Community Foundation, and requests were reviewed and selected by our Grants Committee. Twenty-five local nonprofits received between $1,500 and $5,000 in funding from the Grant Committee Unrestricted Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.

If you would like to support future Empower Polk grants, donations can be made to the Grant Committee Unrestricted Fund online at givecf.org/donate. Donor-advised fundholders may request a grant be made from their fund to the Grant Committee Unrestricted Fund.

The following nonprofit organizations received funding through Empower Polk:

  • All Saints Academy to develop innovative teaching practices.
  • Alliance for Independence for technology improvements.
  • Cornerstone Hospice for community outreach and support.
  • Central FL Speech & Hearing Center for technology improvements.
  • Family Literacy Academy at Lake Wales for marketing and outreach improvements.
  • Florida Dance Theatre for marketing improvements.
  • Gospel, Inc. for video creation.
  • Imperial Symphony Orchestra for strategic planning.
  • Junior Achievement of Polk County for staff training.
  • Lakeland Choral Society Inc for strengthening choral groups and youth choirs.
  • Lakeland Kiwanis Charitable Foundation for leadership training.
  • Lakeland Volunteers In Medicine for marketing and development improvements.
  • Meals on Wheels of Polk County for technology and website improvements.
  • Noah’s Ark of Central Florida for board development and staff training.
  • Parker Street Ministries for marketing and website improvements.
  • Polk Education Foundation for marketing improvements.
  • Santa Fe Catholic High School for technology improvements.
  • The Schools of McKeel Academy for strategic planning.
  • SPCA Florida for bilingual marketing improvements.
  • Strings in Need to provide instruments for students.
  • Talbot House Ministries for board development and strategic planning.
  • Theatre Winter Haven for marketing improvements.
  • Volunteers In Service To the Elderly (VISTE) for technology improvements.
  • Women’s Resource Center for staff training.
  • YMCA of West Central Florida to better secure check-in/out for camp and childcare participants.
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