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Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Invests More Than $18 Million in Building Sustainable and Inclusive Communities

In the spirit of creating a world where sustainable and inclusive communities thrive, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation recently approved more than $18 million in grants. These grants are strategically allocated across three of the foundation’s key giving areas: Democracy, Environment and Youth Development. 


With a commitment to fostering a more representative and functional democracy, the foundation granted $3.6 million to Unite America. This grant aims to support the nonpartisan Unite America network in its efforts to bring positive change to the political landscape in Georgia, Montana and beyond. Additionally, a grant of $1.35 million was made to Future Caucus, formerly known as the Millennial Action Project, to promote cross-partisan collaboration among state legislators. This funding will particularly aid in uniting young, elected leaders who strive to bridge the partisan divide to effectively serve their constituents. 


Recognizing the urgent need to increase deployment of clean electricity, the foundation committed $6.1 million to the Clean Grid Initiative. This effort aims to provide a collaborative philanthropic approach to expand transmission infrastructure in the United States. Furthering our environmental commitment, $2.5 million has been designated for the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) to support its Clean Energy Program. The focus is on increasing clean energy deployment in the Southeast. Another $600,000 is allocated to the Southeast Sustainability Directors Network to support program expansion, focusing on North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. This initiative empowers local governments to advocate for clean energy and access federal clean energy and sustainability funding. 

Youth Development 

In efforts to empower young people and provide them with alternative pathways, the foundation granted $3 million to Morris Brown College. This funding supports the one-year Hospitality Certificate program, designed to equip youth with skills necessary for employment while connecting them to job opportunities. Notably, the grant includes the digitization of the program, expanding its reach beyond Morris Brown’s current geographic bounds, particularly targeting rural areas in Georgia.  

Additionally, Montana State University received a $919,000 grant to develop and pilot a new one-year Hospitality Management Certificate program. This initiative supports young people entering the hospitality and leisure industry, with a focus on rural and Indigenous communities. The program will be offered both in-person and online, ensuring accessibility for a diverse range of individuals. 

 “These grants represent key steps in advancing work in youth development, democracy and climate change – all contributing to a world where sustainable and inclusive communities thrive,” said Fay Twersky, president, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “We’re proud to support these remarkable organizations working to connect youth to opportunity, legislators across the partisan divide and communities to clean energy.” 

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