ATLANTA – October 28, 2016 – The Balser Professional Advisors Council’s giving circle has announced a $25,000 grant to Our House, a nonprofit organization that offers children and families experiencing homelessness the tools, support, and education they need to thrive. The grant was made after the group heard funding pitches from three nonprofit organizations that had been selected via a diligent vetting process.
Our House CEO, Tyese Lawyer, answers questions during the presentation at the Community Foundation.
The Balser Professional Advisors Council is a network of professional advisors including accountants, wealth managers and estate attorneys who have demonstrated an interest in philanthropy, both personally and professionally. The group is a joint program of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta to provide opportunities for education, knowledge sharing and networking.
Our House works to break the chains of homelessness by providing quality early childhood education and comprehensive support to families experiencing homelessness. Our House will apply the grant to facility renovations that will include private bathrooms for families to use.
“During the pitch, the group was struck by the fact that families in shelters often don’t have much private space, including restroom facilities,” said Christy Eckoff, director of gift planning for the Community Foundation. “Something we take for granted in our own homes is a luxury to families experiencing homelessness. The group was pleased to be able to contribute to making Our House feel more like a home.”
Prior to making their pitch to the council, representatives from Our House and selected other nonprofits received presentation training from the Center for Civic Innovation. Their training included a seven-hour workshop on pitching techniques plus individual coaching sessions that were sponsored by the council.
The Balser Professional Advisors Council giving circle is a way for council participants to learn more about their community and the challenges faced by local residents. Members pool funding in order to make a collective grant to nonprofits, allowing for a more significant, collective contribution.
This year, the group decided to make an impact on the issue of the opportunity gap. According to Harvard and Berkley research about the metro Atlanta region, a person born in the lowest economic quartile here has just a four percent chance of reaching the uppermost economic quartile in his or her lifetime. Through the giving circle, members explored this issue, took a tour of our region to see select nonprofits doing good work for the community and worked collectively to develop a list of nonprofits addressing the issue for consideration of their grant.