George Family Foundation Awards a Combined $2.4 Million to Community Partners in Latest Grant Round

Monday, August 24, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of efforts for racial justice following the death of George Floyd, the George Family Foundation expanded its grantmaking by $640,000 to include several one-time emergency grants to select organizations.

Combined with $1.76 million in its regular grantmaking round, the Foundation has awarded a total of $2.4 million to more than 40 organizations.

“We are glad the board decided to move nimbly in support of grantees and other community organizations facing the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic,” said Penny George, board chair. “The time is upon us all to do more than we might have thought we could do, to be part of this transformative moment to galvanize change in social justice and equity. We have increased our rate of giving this year and have done so as thoughtfully as we can.”

Founded by Penny and Bill George in 1994, the George Family Foundation is a $58 million private family foundation that supports integrative health and healing, authentic leadership, spirituality & mindfulness, youth development, the environment and community.

The Foundation joined other philanthropic organizations in supporting emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the distribution of $100,000 grants to the community emergency funds at The Minneapolis Foundation and the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations; food relief efforts at Second Harvest Heartland and the North Texas Food Bank; and additional support to move programs online at the George Wellbeing Center at the Douglas Dayton YMCA, to name a few.

The Foundation also provided emergency support to several organizations following the senseless death of George Floyd and the underlying systemic racism it laid bare.
Grants to CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio), the Healing Justice Foundation and Marnita’s Table will support their work in community healing from trauma, providing resources for communities of color and sparking conversations on racial injustice. In addition, the Foundation designated a grant to the Lake Street Council to help rebuild Lake Street.

As part of its regular grantmaking, the Foundation has continued supporting the general operations of many of its long-term partners. It has also issued significant new grants to the On Being Project for its Civil Conversations & Social Healing Initiative; United States of Care to support general operations and its internship and fellowship programs; Academy for Integrative Health & Medicine to support partial scholarships for its certification program; and Sojourners to support general operations and 2020 election projects.

“Sojourners is so very grateful for the George Family Foundation’s ongoing partnership and support of our work,” said Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners. “This year’s increased grant will enable us to expand our Lawyers & Collars voter protection work, which provides effective strategies to prevent voter suppression and intimidation of people of color and vulnerable communities. Now we can extend our reach in Arizona and Wisconsin, while we continue our work in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.”

The grants approved at the spring 2020 board meeting include:

  • $300,000 to The On Being Project to support Civil Conversations & Social Healing Initiative.
  • $200,000 to Sojourners to support general operations and 2020 election projects.
  • $100,000 to Duke University to support the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences Annual Fund for Financial Aid program.
  • $100,000 to the Sigma Chi Foundation to support the Sigma Chi Online program.
  • $100,000 to the United States of Care to support general operations and its internship and fellowship programs.
  • $84,000 to the Georgia Tech Foundation to support the ISyE George Family Fellowship Leadership program.
  • $75,000 to Auburn Theological Seminary to support the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle: Expanding our Reach Project.
  • $70,000 to the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing to support general operations and the HH-DNP 2.0 Project.
  • $60,000 to the Georgia Tech Foundation to support the Women in Engineering Leadership program.
  • $60,000 to The Sanneh Foundation to support general operations.
  • $50,000 to the Academy for Integrative Health & Medicine to support partial scholarships for the George Fellows program to benefit Minnesota practitioners who serve people in under-invested communities to become fully certified as integrative medicine practitioners.
  • $50,000 to Faith in Public Life to support general operations and voter protection and accurate census efforts for 2020.
  • $50,000 to Minnesota Public Radio to support The Good Leader Project.
  • $45,000 to the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas to support STEM programming at the STEM Center for Excellence and for mental wellness response due to COVID-19 on behalf of the Next Generation Fund.
  • $45,000 to Voyageur Outward Bound School to support general operations for the Urban Youth Outward Bound program.
  • $40,000 to Education Opens Doors to support general operations.
  • $40,000 to Family Tree Clinic to support the creation of an integrative healthcare model at the clinic.
  • $40,000 to the Institute for Professional Education to support The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM) special issue on Effectiveness, Implementation and Dissemination Research in Integrative Health.
  • $37,500 to North Texas Food Bank to support general operations.
  • $30,000 to Ripple Effect Images to support general operations.
  • $30,000 to the Tides Center to support general operations for Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US).
  • $25,000 to the Guthrie Theater to support the 2020-2021 annual fund.
  • $22,500 to the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health to support The Integrator Blog project over the next three years.
  • $20,000 to Juxtaposition Arts to support general operations on behalf of the Next Generation Fund.
  • $20,000 to the Mindful Life Project to support capacity building on behalf of the Next Generation Fund.
  • $20,000 to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Foundation to support the youth environmental education programs.
  • $20,000 to the Page Education Foundation to support general operations.
  • $20,000 to Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas to support general operations.
  • $10,000 to Tergar International to support general operations.

The list of emergency fund grants given as of June 30, 2020:

  • Allina Office of Philanthropy
    $10,000 grant to support the Caring for Caregivers Fund due to COVID-19.
  • Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
    Additional grant of $15,000 to support general operations due to COVID-19.
  • Bonton Farms (The Dallas Foundation)
    Additional grant of $25,000 to support general operations due to COVID-19.
  • Breck School
    Additional grant of $35,000 to support the Breck Family Tuition Relief Fund due to COVID-19.
  • CLUES
    $25,000 grant for general operations to support housing, employment and food access and to address the systemic racial inequities experienced by Latinx communities and other communities of color.
  • Eagle Valley Community Foundation
    $10,000 grant to support The Community Market COVID-19 Appeal Fund.
  • Eagle Valley Land Trust
    Additional grant of $35,000 to support the Land & Rivers Fund to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19.
  • Family Tree Clinic
    Additional grant of $15,000 to support the telehealth program launched to provide patient care due to limited clinical visits caused by COVID-19.
  • Healing Justice Foundation
    $25,000 grant for general operations to support community healing in the midst of COVID-19 and ongoing racial injustice.
  • Lake Street Council
    $25,000 grant for the We Love Lake Street Recovery Fund to rebuild the Lake Street corridor following the destruction incited by the killing of George Floyd.
  • Marnita’s Table
    Additional grant of $25,000 to further online convenings with national as well as local audiences to create dialogues on racial inequities following the killing of George Floyd.
  • North Texas Food Bank
    Additional grant of $25,000 to support general operations due to COVID-19.
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
    Additional grant of $10,000 to support general operations due to COVID-19.
  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
    $100,000 grant to support the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund due to COVID-19.
  • Second Harvest Heartland
    $50,000 grant to support emergency food efforts due to COVID-19.
  • The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul
    $10,000 grant to support the “Women In Blue” film due to the killing of George Floyd.
  • The Minneapolis Foundation
    $100,000 grant to support the OneMpls COVID-19 Response Fund.
  • YMCA George Wellbeing Center
    Additional grant of $100,000 to support the rapid deployment for online wellbeing programs due to COVID-19.