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Cobb Community Collaborative's Members Share and Care, and Residents Benefit

By Pamela Sosnowski

If one non-profit can benefit a community, then imagine what can happen when several non-profits share their ideas and resources. For over 35 years that's what the Cobb Community Collaborative (CCC) of Marietta has been doing on a regular basis. The CCC's membership includes non-profits, local government, local businesses, associations and citizens who meet regularly to serve the needs of Cobb County to improve its standard of living for its residents.

The CCC started in 1979 as a group called the Cobb Community Council, comprised of local non-profit organizations meeting informally on a monthly basis to address the needs of the local community and coordinate their resources. Says Karen Carter, Executive Director, "The founding organizations recognized the importance of collaboration to share resources, expertise, and to secure additional funding which would increase the collective impact within the county."

In 1997, the CCC was incorporated and received non-profit status as a 501(c)3 organization. Since its formal formation, the CCC has helped launched programs for after school activities, alcohol and drug abuse prevention, literacy, food panties, and much more. Several councils within the CCC focus their efforts on education, children and families, the homeless, and more.

The CCC's membership gives various types of philanthropic and service organizations the opportunity to share and pool their resources. "The structure provides networking opportunities through our General Membership meetings (entire membership population) and Council and Committee meetings (specific organizations based on services provided)," explains Carter. "Opportunities for building and strengthening of an organization's infrastructure and sustainability are offered through low cost workshops facilitated by professional community partners."

Since 1998, the CCC has awarded over $19 million to non-profit organizations that serve Cobb's community through the Cobb County Non-Profit Grant. "Additionally, the Cobb Community Collaborative partners with the local housing authority, Cobb County Court Systems, local school systems and post-secondary educational facilities to act as a liaison and referral resource," says Carter.

The CCC's initiatives have strengthened the local community and attracted businesses and residents to the area. "Cobb County has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade," says Carter. "We continue to see major corporations either expanding or relocating to Cobb, creating necessary jobs. We are blessed to have county leaders with forethought, imagination, and drive to ensure Cobb remains a premier place to live, work, and play."

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