GREENSBORO — The Future Fund awarded $50,000 in grants to 10 nonprofit organizations Tuesday night during its Live 10 event.
The coronavirus pandemic turned this year’s occasion from a live show at the Carolina Theatre to a livestreamed gathering on Facebook.
Online viewers participated in the event, created by young professionals organized under the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro.
Each of the 10 select nonprofits made three-minute pitches for a grant from the Future Fund endowment.
The organizations help with housing, homelessness, addiction recovery, theater, musical instruments and instruction, the Montagnard people, the LGBTQ population, academic development and those reentering the community after incarceration.
“We were thrilled with the success of the event,” said Jodee Ruppel, Future Fund 10 program coordinator.
“We had over 800 households tune in across Facebook and Vimeo, and we had almost 1,600 votes,” Ruppel said.
Anyone who watched the livestream could vote on which organization should receive the top $20,000 prize.
That prize went to Freedom House.
Freedom House provides a long-term, addiction-recovery program that rescues, restores and redeems the lives of women and their children in a Christ-centered, family environment.
Freedom House also received the $1,000 community award, for which people voted online in advance.
Youth Villages helps children and young people who face a wide range of emotional, mental and behavioral problems. They work to strengthen the child’s family and support systems.
Guilford Green advances equality and inclusion for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community through programming and philanthropy.
Coaches who helped finalists hone their pitches awarded a $3,000 grant to The Re-Entry Expert.
The Re-Entry Expert helps those who have been incarcerated become successful.
“We had so many comments on how professional the event was, how fun it was to watch with the whole family, and the kids could get involved, and how amazing the nonprofits were,” Ruppel said.
The Future Fund started 20 years ago to get young professionals involved in philanthropy and giving back to the city. Members pay $150 in annual dues.
During this year’s event, it had planned to award grants totaling $44,000.
But thanks to an anonymous donor, each organization that didn’t win a prize received $1,000.
Those organizations were Community Housing Solutions of Guilford, Community Theatre of Greensboro, Gant School of Music and Jazz, the Interactive Resource Center, the Montagnard Dega Association and Operation Xcel.
“So everyone walked away with something,” Ruppel said.
The Future Fund looks forward to having an in-person event next year, Ruppel said, “but keeping a virtual component so people from around the country can tune in and support.”