Austin-area nonprofit and municipal organizations that are working on projects designed to improve their communities can now apply to the 2020 A Community Thrives program, a $2.3 million initiative of the Gannett Foundation.
The program is sponsored by Gannett, the parent company of USA TODAY, the American-Statesman and seven other daily newspapers in Texas.
The nationwide crowdfunding and grant program is entering its fourth year of supporting organizations that address social issues, including education; housing; arts and culture; wellness; and the environment.
Typically, organizations apply to raise money for a specific community-building project. Accepted organizations will work to raise money on their own through a crowdfunding campaign using a national platform, and they then may be eligible for 16 major grants to be awarded across the country, ranging from $25,000 to $100,000.
In addition, A Community Thrives will award more than 100 grants nationally that will be targeted specifically toward communities such as Austin that are served by Gannett news organizations.
These local grants, which start at $2,500, can be used for general operating expenses. They are chosen by local leaders at Gannett news organizations.
The deadline for organizations to submit applications is Sept. 11. They must apply through the A Community Thrives website: acommunitythrives.mightycause.com.
“It is a core belief that we actively engage and support nonprofit organizations where we live and work and that we help support a vibrant community not only through our journalism, but by giving back and helping support a strong philanthropic environment,” said Statesman Publisher Patrick Dorsey. “We are very excited to launch the A Community Thrives program in Austin and provide an opportunity for much needed support for our nonprofit organizations. This is a perfect addition to our Season for Caring, Cap 10K, Swim Safe and other community-focused programs.”
Since the last A Community Thrives initiative, in early 2019, Gannett has expanded the footprint of its USA TODAY Network, joining GateHouse Media to become the largest U.S. media company by print circulation, serving communities in 47 states. For nonprofit groups, that means more regions will be offering local grants.
Last year, more than $4.5 million was distributed to nonprofit groups as a result of the program. Applicants raised more than $2.5 million through their own fundraising efforts, and the Gannett Foundation gave out $2 million in grants.
This year, grants will be awarded based on the proposed projects’ viability, sustainability, community need and service to historically disadvantaged groups.
“The Gannett Foundation grants will support our readers’ top community-building ideas to help address local needs and ensure a vibrant, healthy community. We are committed to work in partnership to help our communities connect, act and thrive,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, Gannett Media president of news and Gannett Foundation vice president.