Marcus Foundation Gift Launches the GivingPoint Institute

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Atlanta-based nonprofit receives founding sponsorship to launch social entrepreneur training program.

GivingPoint, an Atlanta-based youth development organization focused on equipping and motivating students to create positive change in their community, has partnered with The Marcus Foundation to launch the GivingPoint Institute in August 2013.

The $75,000 lead gift from The Marcus Foundation will be instrumental in helping to fund the GivingPoint Institute in its inaugural year, with a goal to support 15 to 20 students as they create and implement their own individual community projects.

“The GivingPoint Institute is going to provide powerful resources to some of Atlanta's brightest young social entrepreneurs, and having The Marcus Foundation's support will truly make a difference,” said GivingPoint’s Chairman and Founder, Derek Smith. “These talented students have already done so much for our community - I'm excited that we have a program that helps them connect with mentors, gain support and grow their ideas to create real positive change, right here in Atlanta."

The cohort of Atlanta-based students, ranging from 14 to 22 years old, were selected from GivingPoint’s 7,000 student participants using a set of criteria which are tracked through the organization’s philanthropic social network. Students accepted to the GivingPoint Institute are extremely active young civic leaders who have volunteered a minimum 100 hours, created their own social project, exhibited a passion for community service and participated in GivingPoint’s social awareness education program. These exceptional students are focusing their volunteer efforts on a wide range of issues like bridging generational gaps between youth and the elderly, supporting teen mothers, education equality, civil liberties in North Korea, and the environment.

“We are excited to support the launch of the GivingPoint Institute because this is a program that equips and supports young people in their entrepreneurial efforts,” said Bernie Marcus of The Marcus Foundation. “These students are working together to create meaningful change; to improve not only their own lives but the lives of others. They represent the future of our great city and we are eager to see what they will accomplish through the GivingPoint Institute.”

The program will span 12 months and include monthly workshops designed to help students understand what it takes to launch and sustain a community program or nonprofit. The workshops will focus on six key areas including: business planning, finance, public relations, marketing, fund raising and investor relations. In each workshop, students will engage with mentors from the Atlanta business community who have been recruited by GivingPoint to guide and support students throughout the program. Early GivingPoint Institute organizational partners include Cacti Asset Management, The Coca Cola Company, Goldman Sachs, GolinHarris, Hypepotamus, New Kent Capital and Warrick Dunn Charities.

Throughout the program, students will build business and leadership skills, gain insights into creating and launching a community project and compete for funding all culminating with a $10,000 grant award to be given to one student in the spring of 2014. Students will have the opportunity to raise anywhere from $1,000 to $10,500 to advance their cause. These funds directly support the student’s community project and align with their social passion.

"We are excited to see what these students achieve,” said Smith. “We've learned that so many of them have dreams of creating positive change. They simply need the tools and the guidance to make it a reality.”

About GivingPoint: GivingPoint is a youth development 501(c)3 nonprofit that inspires a passion for learning and service through cutting edge technology resources, virtual educational modules, and hands-on volunteer opportunities. GivingPoint was created to help youth discover their unique passion, fuel their spark, elevate their ideas and share their stories to create a better, more connected and socially responsible world. Today, over 7,000 youth, nonprofits and donors are leveraging GivingPoint's resources to create a more than $2M charitable impact. For more information on launching your giving legacy or to join our network of over 400 nonprofit partners, call 770.688.4324 or email Miranda Bryen at Miranda(at)mygivingpoint(dot)org.

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Miranda Bryen
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