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About Us

The Athens Area Community Foundation works to help passionate donors create dynamic legacies, foster strategic philanthropy, and shape effective responses to community needs through collaboration.

A woman reads a book to a young boy
Our history is rooted in the trusted leadership and focus of community members committed to mobilizing resources for the greater good. Established in 2008, we have more than a decade of remarkable development and growth. With more than $12 million in assets under our umbrella, we are focused on expanding our ability to serve as a public grantmaking foundation partnering with donors, nonprofits, and institutions to grow, preserve, and share philanthropic assets.

What is a Community Foundation?

Our Mision

Our Mission

The Athens Area Community Foundation helps passionate donors leave permanent legacies, serves as a well-informed grantmaker, and shapes effective responses to community needs through collaboration. As a public grantmaking foundation we partner with donors, nonprofits, and community institutions to build, distribute and preserve philanthropic assets that will enhance quality of life in the Athens area for generations to come.

Our Vision

Our Vision

We envision a community with sufficient philanthropic resources, harnessed to enhance civic engagement, a vibrant regional economy, a nimble workforce, effective schools, affordable housing, accessible healthcare, efficient public transportation, supportive services for the most vulnerable, strong cultural amenities, and environmental sustainability.

Our Service Area

Our Service Area

While our donors may make grants to qualified charities anywhere in the country, the vast majority of the Athens Area Community Foundation’s grantmaking stays within our six county community that includes Athens-Clarke, Oconee, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, and Oglethorpe.

Our History

Two hundred years after the incorporation of Athens, in the mid-2000s, a group of passionate Athenians formed a coalition of community members to address poverty-related issues in Athens-Clarke County.

The coalition, Partners for a Prosperous Athens (PPA), consisted of hundreds of Athenians from diverse neighborhoods, disciplines, age groups, and social spheres. The roots of the Athens Area Community Foundation began to grow during the initiative, and the concerted efforts of the individuals involved in PPA gave nourishment to those roots until they stood alone as a young tree of community philanthropy.

By the end of 2006, the PPA had been renamed OneAthens and was focused on 11 key  community initiatives. One of those 11 initiatives became the OneAthens Community Foundation (later named the Athens Area Community Foundation).

Unlike the other 10 initiatives, though, the community foundation was not implemented by an existing institution. Instead, Judge Steve Jones, a very well respected and connected community leader, became chair of the board and Delene Porter, an experienced nonprofit leader, became the first CEO. At that time, the foundation operated out of the Fanning Institute at UGA.

Under Steve and Delene’s leadership, the Athens Area Community Foundation put down roots and was officially established in 2008. Today, we celebrate over a decade of remarkable development and growth, including $12+ million in assets under our umbrella. We are proud to serve Barrow, Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, and Oglethorpe counties.

What’s our focus after all these years? Expanding our ability to serve as a public grantmaking foundation by partnering with donors, nonprofits, and institutions to grow, preserve, and share philanthropic assets.

Or as we like to put it, helping you create a dynamic legacy.

Become a Donor

The Athens Area Community Foundation is a public grantmaking foundation that builds community by encouraging long term giving through funds created by caring donors.

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