The Woodruff Foundation has provided significant support to the Georgia Cities Foundation (GCF) for more than 20 years. In 2000, the Woodruff Foundation provided a challenge grant of $9 million for GCF. Challenge grants help non-profit organizations raise even more money by matching contributions from other groups, and the Woodruff Foundation’s challenge grants were matched by the state of Georgia for years.
These key early funds, given in GCF’s second year of existence, helped establish a revolving loan fund that has provided more than $31 million in loans to Georgia cities for downtown revitalization projects. These loans have yielded 323 new businesses, more than 2,100 new jobs and $181 million in private investment in downtown districts across the state. They’ve helped create event spaces, brewpubs, hotels and more. The Woodruff Foundation’s financial commitment put in place the funding and the credibility for others to invest, and has resulted in downtown revitalization, private investment, job creation and quality of life improvements in cities and downtowns of all sizes across the state.