Three activities result in $1 million deployed for COVID-19 recovery and more than $2 million raised for future deployment 


ATLANTA – The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s GoATL Fund provides flexible, cost-effective impact capital to support our region’s nonprofits and social enterprises. This month, it announces three positive moves forward for the community: two are investments that directly further metro Atlanta’s recovery from the pandemic, the third is a new $2 million capital commitment to GoATL from a local foundation to support future investments in the community.

“Having launched the GoATL Fund with $10 million in seed funding from the Community Foundation, our investments across the region are now showing returns through sustainable social impacts” said Mark Crosswell, managing director for social impact strategy, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “While we’re aggressively deploying funds, new commitments are rolling in from our investors as they seek new ways to make a difference in the community. Foundations and individual donors are thinking about how they use all capital, not just grantmaking, for social good.”

While 2020 presented new challenges across the region, the GoATL Fund moved to assist investment partners by providing select payment deferrals and shifting committed capital to COVID-19 relief; holding webinars to share learnings on relief efforts and recovery strategies for other foundations, investors and nonprofits; and deploying new capital to address existing gaps and exacerbated needs in the community.

To that end, the GoATL Fund recently closed a $250,000 investment in LiftFund, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), to enable it to provide 0% interest loans primarily to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)-owned micro-businesses throughout the Atlanta metro area. To mitigate risk and offset costs, grant capital from philanthropic partners will support LiftFund in making this innovative investment for Georgia’s underserved microbusinesses.

“Since 2016, LiftFund has invested over $2 million across Georgia, serving more than 100 businesses,” said Stephaney Bolden, senior business development officer at LiftFund. “While the pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges for entrepreneurs, this new loan product will help them weather the storm and prepare for recovery.” 

To support affordable housing efforts, the GoATL Fund closed a $750,000 investment in the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) to finance its affordable single-family rental housing efforts in South DeKalb, an area hit hard by the last recession’s foreclosure crisis and now disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

“Since receiving our first GoATL investment in 2018, we’ve more than doubled our single-family production throughout the region,” said John O’Callaghan, president and CEO at ANDP. “GoATL’s investment helps us leverage more capital, achieving exponentially more impact along the way.” 

The first impact investment fund of its kind in the southeast, the GoATL Fund has committed more than $10 million to date to help finance 400 affordable housing units, small business growth that created over 120 jobs, and new slots at local schools that will serve 650 students at capacity. More recent investments support early childhood facilities, non-traditional transitions into the workforce, transit-friendly affordable housing and STEAM education, all of which are located in Atlanta’s low-income communities.

Unlike traditional philanthropy that gives grants to nonprofits, GoATL’s investments provide loans that are expected to be paid back over time, thus recycling capital for reinvestment in new projects. The loans also allow nonprofits and social-purpose for profits to leverage additional funding from the Community Foundation and other sources. On a global scale, impact investing of all types now represents nearly $17 trillion invested for social good.

To leverage the Community Foundation’s original $10 million investment in GoATL, donors of the Foundation have since committed nearly $4 million to grow the Fund by 40% since inception, including the recently received $2 million investment. “The GoATL fund offers us an accessible and streamlined way to make our first impact investments across a variety of areas within our mission, and will help us grow our own investment program by keeping us apprised of what is happening locally,” said Roswell Satterwhite at the William Josef Foundation, GoATL’s most recent investor. “Its investment structure makes it straightforward to achieve balance in both financial returns and socially meaningful outcomes.”

With a robust pipeline of opportunities valued between $6-8 million, the GoATL Fund is actively seeking even more capital in 2021 in order to continue investing in interventions to support greater racial equity, close Atlanta’s wealth gap and scale sustainable solutions in education, food access, healthcare and housing.


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About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Since 1951, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been leading and inspiring philanthropy to increase the vitality of our region and the well-being of all residents. With 70 years serving the metropolitan Atlanta region and a robust team of experts, the Community Foundation expands its philanthropic reach and impact by providing quality services to donors and bold, innovative community leadership. The Community Foundation is a top-20 community foundation among 750 nationally, with approximately $1.2 billion in current assets, and is Georgia’s second largest foundation. 

About the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s GoATL Fund

Launched in 2018, the GoATL Fund provides innovative and flexible capital designed to scale and sustain social solutions of critical importance to our community. Started with an initial allocation of $10 million from the Community Foundation, the GoATL Fund is now open to receive new capital from the Community Foundation’s donor community. For more information, visit: GoATL Fund, or connect with the Foundation via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contact: Elyse Hammett, [email protected]

Nonpartisan effort to scale solutions by bringing Georgians together to crowdsolve for climate progress


The end of 2020 marked the launch of a long-term, multi-stakeholder climate initiative in Georgia – one designed to bring business and industry, municipal leadership, NGOs and others together to accelerate climate solutions in Georgia. Inspired by the global framework of Project Drawdown, the Drawdown Georgia team has identified 20 high impact solutions based on Georgia’s unique economic, natural and social resources that – when scaled – will put Georgia on an accelerated path to a low carbon future.

“If we get this right, we believe we can take carbon emissions in Georgia from about 125 megatons to 79 megatons by 2030 – a reduction by at least one-third in just ten years,” said John A. Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and a founder of Drawdown Georgia. “And importantly, Beyond Carbon, there are economic and social benefits as well as public health and environmental gains. We’ve done the work to visualize it all, and now we invite everyone working on climate solutions in Georgia to join us in bringing these climate solutions home.” A megaton of carbon is defined as 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.

Drawdown Georgia’s 20-solution framework is focused on five sectors where the biggest impacts exist, and where the greatest potential to scale solutions is evident: TransportationElectricityFood & AgricultureBuildings & Materials, and Land SinksA full list of solutions is here.

The research was led by Nobel Laureate and energy/climate expert Marilyn Brown from Georgia Tech. “Our research effort has created a model that is available to all; by localizing it and applying it to other states and regions, partners across the country can collectively accelerate change in ways that are most impactful, beneficial and equitable.”

To accelerate solutions requires bringing everyone together, so Drawdown Georgia has created a crowdsolving community where people, projects and progress can come together to provide full visibility into solutions, and to provide a platform where people can connect to share ideas, challenges and progress towards drawdown.




About Drawdown Georgia

Informed by Project Drawdown, the world’s leading resource for climate solutions, Drawdown Georgia is the first state-centered effort to crowdsolve for climate change. The goal is to catalyze and scale 20 high impact solutions so Georgia can do its part to advance Drawdown — that point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.

The Drawdown Georgia roadmap was vetted by an expert team of Georgia-based academics, climate scientists, and researchers led by Georgia Institute of Technology, in partnership with Emory University, Georgia State University and the University of Georgia. Drawdown Georgia estimates that the state’s current carbon footprint is 125 megatons, with the potential to cut Georgia’s carbon impact by about 35% in ten years, to 79 megatons.

The solutions are based on five focus areas with the best potential to create the most change in Georgia: Electricity, Transportation, Buildings & Materials, Food & Agriculture, and Land Sinks. Currently funded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Drawdown Georgia is bringing climate solutions home. Visit our home page.

By: Ed Thomas, Co-Founder and CEO of 412 Technology


In 2020 alone, it seemed like half of California was on fire, there have been so many hurricanes that we’ve run out of names, and the year is on pace to match 2016 as the hottest on record.

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to help fight climate change, where should you begin?

First, you can—and should—lobby all levels of our government for science-backed climate policy, and you should demand that the corporations you buy from become better stewards of our common resources.

But what should you do personally? Personal behavioral changes—such as biking more instead of driving, or eating less meat—can have a huge impact on climate change. But as anyone who’s tried dieting knows, behavioral changes are hard to do and harder to sustain.

Fortunately for us, there are at least three simple actions anyone can do to fight climate change:


Invest In an ESG Portfolio

If you have a stock portfolio, you should consider adding an ESG requirement. ESG (environmental, social & governance) investing, also known as ‘sustainable investing’, seeks to invest in companies that take the impact of their business into account in addition to the return they provide investors.

Getting started in ESG investing can be as simple as investing in ESG index funds instead of their non-ESG equivalents, opting for an ESG mix at with your existing roboadvisor, using an ESG-specific roboadvisor or picking a financial advisor who specializes in ESG investments. However you go about it, your investments will be increasing the value of companies that are socially responsible, enabling them to access capital more easily and expand their impact.

This in turn encourages more companies to become responsible, helping mobilize additional capital to fighting climate change. If you’re interested in investing directly into companies at the forefront of the climate fight, resources exist to identify them too.


Invest In Climate Change Projects

If you’re ready to take the next step and invest directly in climate-change related projects, consider investing in the green bond market.

Expected to balloon to over $500B in 2021, the green bond market is a catch-all phrase for any public debt that’s been issued to support environmentally sustainable projects. From solar plants in Europe to energy retrofits of corporate campuses to the electrification of city vehicle fleets, almost every form of climate change project a company or municipal government could take exists for you to invest in.

The easiest way to get started in this market is to invest in green bonds through exchange traded funds that track this sector. This gives you access to a portfolio of different projects and a management team that knows how to identify the best investments. If you’re interested in investing in bond issuances directly, a financial advisor is the best starting point.


Purchase Carbon Offsets

If you want the biggest climate impact for your dollar, however, there’s a third option available: Simply pay a project sponsor to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Known as carbon offsetting, the concept is very simple: Buyers pay a project sponsor to take an action that removes a verified amount of carbon from the atmosphere, thus directly fighting climate change. Whether your interest is in planting new forests, enabling sustainable farming, conserving critical rainforest or supporting technical solutions, there are a myriad of projects available that have a carbon impact that you can support. As a bonus, many are sponsored by non-profits.

Want to neutralize your impact on the climate? Purchase enough in reduction from the offset market to equal the amount of carbon you generate. Want to go one step further and be part of the solution? Purchase more in offsets than you personally generate in carbon emissions, and you’re actively helping reverse climate change!

Multiple new platforms and services exist—including Arbor, my company’s platform—to make the carbon offset market simpler and easier for everyday consumers to navigate and use. Dollar for dollar, it’s the simplest way to maximize your climate impact.

We’re at an inflection point in the fight against climate change, and our choices over the next few years are likely to determine whether or not we have a recognizable world in the coming decades. Make 2021 the year when you join the solution by taking a few simple steps to help reverse climate change.




Ed Thomas is the co-founder and CEO of 412 Technology, a public benefits corporation focused on reversing climate change. Arbor, the company’s flagship product, enables users to fight climate change by eliminating the climate impact of specific actions through the carbon offset market. Learn more about Arbor and sign up for early access by visiting their website.

Profile Summary:

  • Entrepreneur Name: Jasmine Burton
  • Venture Name: Wish for WASH
  • Impact Focus Area(s): Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Global Health; Health Equity; Health Education
  • Business Stage (Ideation, Startup, Early, Later, Mature): Startup
  • Year Venture Established: 2014
  • Business Type: Our growing mission is to bring more diverse minds, talent, and innovation to the problems of global heath and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in our world through the lens of research, design and education because #everybodypoops
  • About: Wish for WASH Thinks, Inc is a USA-based, Georgia-filed and internationally-operating nonprofit organization with pending 501(3)c status. Its sister company Wish for WASH, LLC Holdings, houses the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)-related intellectual property and funding to carry out the work of Wish for WASH Thinks, Inc. Together, the two organizations are collectively referred to as the Wish for WASH Collective.
  • Model: We are increasing the pipeline of diverse representation in the WASH sector with a gender equity and meaningful youth engagement approach while also advocating, educating, and performing innovative WASH-related research in-line with design thinking.


The Issue

Social entrepreneurship is about solving problems. Tell us about the challenge you are focused on addressing and why it is critical that we make progress.

Over two billion people in the world today lack access to improved sanitation and over four billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation. People often resort to using unimproved pit latrines or holes in the ground that they share with their neighboring community members that are often overflowing, poorly maintained and or far from home. These unimproved pits are also susceptible to collapsing during inclement weather and can result in spreading the fecal waste into both the ground and surface water sources. Often times, people that live in densely populated communities without sanitation facilities resort to open defecation, which leads to a host of both mental and physical health problems. The lack of toilets in schools makes it incredibly challenging for young, pubescent girls to safely manage their menstruation; this frequently results in girls missing school during their period every month, which often time leads to them dropping out of school completely. Beyond toilets alone, work in the Sanitation Economy and in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector includes preventative global health work that is particularly important during this COVID-19 era.  The societal inequities such as access to clean water, hand-washing facilities and soap, and menstrual health products (evidenced by the Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemic movement) and public toilets has been highlighted as a result of the pandemic which further underscores the urgency for innovative and inclusive progress in the global WASH sector.


Your Journey

Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires connections and support from a wide array of stakeholders across the ecosystem to help successfully identify, start, and grow a social enterprise.

I am a design thinking, global health consulting, impact accelerating, and social enterprise founding hybrid-professional hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. I graduated with Highest Honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology’s (GT) School of Design with a BSc in Product Design. Prior to graduation, I founded Wish for WASH, a social impact collective intended to bring innovation to sanitation after my senior design team was the first all-female team to win the GT InVenture Prize Competition for our invention of the SafiChoo toilet. I have since led Wish for WASH in conducting iterative toilet innovation pilots and research in Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, Ethiopia and in the USA (Atlanta) all with a human-centered design and social inclusion lens. I continued to pursue my passion for equitable and sustainable sanitation as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar (sponsored by the Dunwoody, Georgia Club) and MSc in Public Health graduate student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Wish for WASH has demonstrated our commitment to our mission by creating a multiplier effect whereby we recruit, equip, train, empower and meaningfully engage 100+ people under the age of 30 (who are mostly undergraduate, graduate and alumni from Atlanta-based universities) to lead and empower other youth work in reaching ~170+ people directly with innovative sanitation pilots globally. We have reached 25,000+ people by participating in 110+ events and talks, producing 13 learning reports, facilitating 10+ workshops and being featured in 50+ press/media features over the past 6 years. According to an Impact Analysis conducted by a One Young World Consultant, Wish for WASH has a 1:3 Social Return on Investment ratio.

In 2019, I founded of the Hybrid Hype, a certified woman-owned global consulting firm, following a decade of conducting diverse independent consulting work with various impact organizations with scopes that span the United Nations’ 3rd, 5th and 6th Sustainable Development Goal targets. Some of examples of my work as the Founder and Principal of the Hybrid Hype include: supporting strategic health communications and data visualization projects at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) based in Atlanta; founding the world’s first Women in the Sanitation Economy accelerator program at the Toilet Board Coalition; and supporting the product and marketing strategy  for the disruptive gender equality startup Equilo.

Additionally, as of May 2020, I am the cofounder of Period Futures – an early-stage venture focused on sparking curiosity, conversation and commitment to designing positive period futures, and have been serving as the Equity and Inclusion Lead for the Atlanta Global Shapers Hub.

With 7+ years of various water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), global health, and social inclusion experiences across 10 countries in research, communications, and management roles within the public, private, and social enterprise sectors, I identify as a social impact designer and storyteller who seeks to couple design thinking and business acumen with evidence-based science to accelerate access to universal health and sanitation for all because #everybodypoops. As a native Atlantan, my serial social entrepreneur and hybrid-professional journey has been deeply rooted in my Georgia-based communities of support who continue to support, enable, challenge and inspire me for both my local and global endeavors.


Why Georgia’s Social Impact Ecosystem Matters

Being an entrepreneur is hard and it’s even more challenging when you are a social entrepreneur as your business model and / or structure doesn’t follow the same path as traditional start-ups.

Working in a sector where the supply chains, business models, sustainable funding and markets are nascent or developing is definitely challenging. However, in order to effectively, sustainably and holistically create a world that mitigates or even eliminates some of the global grand challenges of today, we need makers. We need creators, and people with vision who are resilient in the rollercoaster ride that is the Impact Economy. With degrees in Design and Public Health, I am acutely aware of the diverse lived and learnt talent that this city and state boasts. Beyond the booming Atlanta tech scene, the social impact ecosystem of Atlanta is rooted in institutions and movements that have had global influence. The multi-sectoral and innovative work that is happening in this state not only drives the economic development of Georgia, but it also catalyzes global movements and markets. While many people may doubt the prowess of south, we not only have something to say but we really know what it means to effectively operate at the intersection of money and meaning.


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