2020 GCA Founders Fund Proposals

GCA Founders Fund

The Founders Fund was established in 1936 in honor of the GCA’s first president, Elizabeth Price Martin. The first award, in 1936, was for $700. In the 83 years since its inception, it has grown to $30,000 for the finalist project and $10,000 for each of the two runners-up. Founders Fund grants recognize projects which support and advance the GCA purpose statement. 

Founders Fund respectfully asks that each member of every club take a moment to read, learn, and thoroughly review the three proposals. Over the next several months, each club will conduct a vote and select one of the projects as its official choice for finalist. Club presidents will record their club’s vote on the GCA website before the April 1 deadline, and the winning proposal will be announced at the GCA Annual Meeting in Asheville NC in May. The Founders Fund is the only GCA program that is chosen from votes cast by all GCA clubs and recorded by the presidents. 

These projects represent a significant commitment from their proposing clubs, as well as a significant contribution to their communities. They speak directly to the GCA purpose and are a tribute to the energy and dedication of club members determined to make their proposals a reality.


1. Permaculture Sanctuary

Promoting Trauma Resilience through Regenerative Gardening

Proposed by: Twin City Garden Club, Zone VII

Seconded by: The French Broad River Garden Club Foundation, Zone VII

Children who have experienced trauma deserve a sanctuary. TCGC’s budding permaculture food and sensory garden, co–created with Crossnore’s Miracle Grounds Farm, serves 450 children daily, including 45 resident foster children. Crossnore’s environment supports cutting-edge techniques to gain power over pain through education, art and soil therapy--restoring souls through soil. The Founders Fund grant would elevate our flourishing garden to a far-reaching food forest.

  View details in full proposal included in pdf  at the bottom of this page. 


2. Growing It Green in Paterson, NJ

Public School Rain Garden Project

Proposed by: Garden Club of Madison, Zone IV

Seconded by: Garden Club of Morristown, Zone IV

GC of Madison is sponsoring GSWA and Rutgers University to expand their transformational school rain garden program, established in Paterson, NJ in 2017. Through GSWA’s hands-on environmental education programming, students are re-connected to nature through the planning, design and building of rain gardens as a solution to local storm water runoff and water pollution issues. As students learn about the need to protect the lands and waters around them, a mindset of stewardship is created. 

Our club and Trailside partners stand shovel-ready to create this project.

View details in full proposal included in pdf  at the bottom of this page.


3. CheerMobile

What Cheer Flower Farm on the Rhode

Proposed by: Perennial Planters Garden Club, Zone II

Seconded by: Newport Garden Club, Zone II

Flowers matter. What Cheer Flower Farm has turned abandoned factory land into an urban oasis,

organically growing and giving away 30,000 flowers per year to hospitals, shelters, recovery centers,

at-risk youth and seniors. The CheerMobile van will carry our educational programming including

flower arranging and art classes to those who can’t travel to us. Plus, we’ll gather stems donated by

florists, weddings and events, so we can give away thousands more flowers year-round..

View details in full proposal included in pdf  at the bottom of this page. 

Please vote for your favorite project


Founders Fund 2020