Summit Grants Improve Not-for-Profits

This blog focuses on philanthropy’s role in strengthening not-for-profit organizations in Northeast Alabama by assisting them in building capacity. An article was written by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) of the University of Pennsylvania, a university-based center with a singular focus on philanthropy for social impact in partnership with Fidelity Charitable. The article stated, “Research has demonstrated that capacity-building grants can improve nonprofit leadership, programs, organization, revenue, and community engagement.” The report noted the areas that would produce the most significant organizational and community impact are strategic planning, board development, management, staff training, public relations, marketing and fundraising, technology upgrades and implementation, facilities, and physical infrastructure.

Our Summit Grant opportunity aligns with this cutting-edge research focusing on community leadership development, training, and organizational technology advancement.

On May 31, 2023, CFNEA hosted an in-person leadership gathering of the 2022 grant recipients for the Summit grant opportunity. In attendance were leaders from Presbyterian Home for Children, YMCA of Calhoun County, Calhoun Cleburne Habitat for Humanity, St. Michael’s Medical Clinic, Extended Family, and Family Success Center, who all gave outstanding presentations about the impact of the Summit grant and the organizational capacity enhancement of their organizations because of the grant. In attendance were also current grant applicants who heard firsthand areas of impact that could benefit their organizations.

Testimonials from grantees - 

Calhoun Cleburne Habitat for Humanity, “Because of the Summit grant. In February, we launched our Raise the Roof capital campaign, and in less than four months, we raised almost $40,000; 60% of our staff now donate monthly, and about 26% of our donors are new of those new donors, 50% donate monthly”.

YMCA of Calhoun County, “We streamlined the process of creating electronic files for all new hires. We have reduced paper usage. We eliminated the time necessary to create new hire packets. Provides ongoing training for all employees who do not have reliable internet service”.

Presbyterian Home for Children, “Staff can now track gifts more efficiently, ensure thank-you letters have been sent to our donors promptly, generate reports on the gifts quickly and easily, and so much more. Lastly, DonorPerfect Premier provides a mobile app that provides staff with easy, on-the-go access to locating specific donors, viewing and updating donors’ records, viewing donors’ giving history, etc. We can even look up nearby donors on the mobile app according to our location if we have some free time and want to stop by and thank them for their support!”.

St. Michael’s Medical Clinic, “Before receiving the Summit Grant, we knew how much money we spent on medications but had no way of tracking them.  The grant allowed us to fully transition to Phoenix EHS for this department, and now we can track how the medications are being distributed. We still have more areas of operation to transition. It streamlined our pharmacy operations!”.

Family Success Center, “We expanded our services across the board, including telehealth services for our mental health programming. Telehealth services allow us to reach clients needing assistance in remote locations”.

Extended Family, “By providing us with updated accounting software, a custom app, a computer that works at warp speed, and a Website that is easy to update – the Summit Grant immensely improved how we can deliver our programs and services. This Grant impacted us now and will continue to impact Extended Family’s work for years to come”.


Back Row: (L-R) Carl Martin, Fred Smith, Jerry Clemons, Laure Clemons, Katie Bohannon, Doug Marshall, Jessica Smith, Brooke Lowery, Nanette Mudiam, Brooke Trainer.

Middle Row: (L-R) Cyndi Buttermore, Summer Jennings

Front Row: (L-R) Jennifer Braxton,  Eileen Lee, Lakeitha Denson, Alinaa Lackey, Bethany Roberson, Robi Mobley,

Karen Fenn, Maggie Owens, Jennifer S. Maddox