June 4, 2021

A New Home

A Place to Call Our Own

What is it that makes a community grow?

It’s certainly not brick and mortar — it’s what brick and mortar make possible. A school building matters because of the learning that takes place within four walls that keep children safe and lets them focus. A clinic’s building matters because of the healing that takes place on site. A neighborhood football stadium, because it brings people together.

Bricks and mortar are means to a much greater end. Helping all Chattanoogans have the opportunity to grow, heal, thrive, and prosper.

The Community Foundation was created to foster generosity in the Chattanooga area, by creating a public charity built to respond to local needs. In recent years, we have had unprecedented growth of funds, increasing demand for donor services that help fundholders discover their philanthrophic purpose — and increasing need in local nonprofits and neighborhoods.

In order to step even deeper into this work, after decades of renting, we believe it is time for the Foundation to move into a permanent home.

Why make this move?

It will enable us to respond to community needs like never before:

  • Offering a more welcoming, yet private space for the 400 students we annually help to find a college or university that best meets their needs.
  • Creating a new Philanthropy Center and family meeting room, where donors can engage, as individuals and groups, in meaningful discussions about the values that inspire their giving and the impact they hope to see in the community.
  • Building a table for Professional Advisors to come together with donors, to create meaningful planned gifts — especially in light of the fact that $9.2 billion of local wealth will transfer from one generation to another in the next ten years.
  • Providing space for nonprofits to host board meetings, retreats and community gatherings, free of charge.

The right building, in the right place

We have found a building that has key benefits, to the Foundation’s work:

  • It is easily accessible from any part of the city.
  • It has enough square footage not only to allow our staff and services to grow, not for us but for the people we serve.
  • Its interior presents an opportunity to work with a group of artists from all corners of the city to create interior murals, so when any Chattanoogan walks through the front doors, they will immediately know that this is a place they belong.

The financial case

And finally, this makes good financial sense.  Our goal is to pay off the mortgage on the building within ten years.  After the mortgage is paid off in 2029, we will begin utilizing the monies that were previously allocated for lease payments to support important work in the community.  We estimate that the Foundation will save almost $1.5 million in the ten year period between 2029 and 2039 by owning the building.  The savings will continue for as long as we own the building.

To date, the community has stepped behind the Foundation in a show of support for this initiative as evidenced by commitments from donors totaling $525,000, over half of our $700,000 goal. A permanent home for CFGC would not be possible without the generous support of our donors and board members. If you have not contributed to the campaign and wish to, please contact Marisa Ogles, VP of Donor Services.