Alliance History


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    1992

     


    Founded as the Grant Information Center in 1992 to bring national funding to Memphis to leverage local giving. Lucia Gilliland, Governor Ned McWherter’s Representative in West TN, founded the Center, along with Gid Smith, President of the Community Foundation and Harry Shaw, President of United Way. Initial services included training, grant writing and research (through a pool of grant writers). Seed funding was provided by the Plough Foundation, United Way Venture Fund, and the Memphis Rotary Club. The City of Memphis, Division of Housing and Community Development, contracted with GIC to provide a Grant Writing Assistance Fund to help subsidize the hiring of grant writers for federal proposals.

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    1998

    Changed name to The Grant Center

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    1999

    The Day Foundation provided support for a capacity building fund, which began GC’s evolution into capacity building.

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    2000

    The Day Foundation provided support to hire a Washington Representative to track legislation and proposed regulations impacting nonprofits, as well as help nonprofits seek earmarks. This began our advocacy work.

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    2003

    The Alliance started the Program for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE), a three-year whole systems approach to capacity building, with the first cohort of seven participating organizations. Seed money was provided by remaining funds from the Day Foundation and a $50,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation. (Pictured: The 2009 Graduating Class)

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    2004

    An anonymous donor awarded the Center a $500,000 challenge grant for PNE with the condition that we raise an additional $500,000. We were successful in raising the funds. We broadened our training program to include topics on nonprofit management.

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    2005

    In 2005, we adopted a new mission of strengthening nonprofits and began to offer management consulting. We held our first Annual Conference.

  • 2006

    Our name changed from The Grant Center to The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence to better encompass all aspects of our mission and the first PNE cohort graduated.

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  • 2009

    We began doing our first research on the Mid-South sector with publication of Downstream and In Demand, which highlighted the impact of the recession on nonprofits.

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    2013


    In 2013, the Alliance was rebranded and developed key messaging around effective leadership and the importance of nonprofit within our community.

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    2015

    The Alliance restructured to focus on three core areas of operational excellence: financial sustainability, human capital and impact.