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Truist Foundation Inspire Awards registration now open

Register to secure a virtual seat, cast a vote for your favorite nonprofit to receive funding for its technology-based solution

Greg Olsen, an American football sportscaster and former NFL player, named host

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Truist Foundation today announced the opening of registration for its second Inspire Awards to be held on April 24 at the Knight Theater in Charlotte and online. The Inspire Awards is a pitch-style grant program celebrating nonprofits across the country that bring forward innovative solutions to support entrepreneurs from undercapitalized communities.

The live event will be hosted by Greg Olsen, an American football sportscaster and former NFL tight end. Olsen is a long-time supporter of philanthropic causes and the Charlotte community.

"I'm honored to be given the opportunity to host the Truist Foundation Inspire Awards this upcoming spring," said Olsen. "Celebrating new technology and ideas in support of small businesses making an impact in the local community is so important to me, and I look forward to welcoming people from across the country to make their voices heard and helping drive meaningful change for underserved entrepreneurs."

This event will be livestreamed so individuals nationwide can tune in and be inspired by the innovations of the finalists. Virtual attendees can participate by voting for the Audience Favorite Award, which earns the recipient a $75,000 grant.

"This is a unique opportunity to not only witness the power of innovation but to actively contribute to it. The audience's participation will help enable one nonprofit's tech-based solution and support small businesses by increasing the organization's total grant," said Truist Foundation President Lynette Bell. "The Truist Foundation Inspire Awards is an evening where inspiration meets action, and your registration is the first step."

The following organizations will present their cutting-edge solutions on April 24 and are eligible for the Audience Favorite Award:

  • ACT! Albany Community Together Inc., increasing and enhancing its training and technical assistance programs to empower small businesses in a 38-county region of southwest Georgia.
  • Aire Ventures Inc., partnering with Zirtue to support Opportunity Connect, a neighborhood initiative that aims to provide access to capital to small business owners in opportunity zones.
  • Carina, offering an easy-to-use, mobile-first child care platform, available in English and Spanish, which matches unionized Family Child Care Providers (FCCPs) with families needing child care.
  • Centro Community Partners, providing an AI-generated journey through a virtual hub of small business owner resources for low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs in underserved communities.
  • Immigrants Rising & Community Initiatives, employing a gamification learning hub to cater to individuals facing barriers to traditional employment who want to earn a sustainable income through small business ownership.
  • NCRC Community Development Fund, supporting an AI-based lending platform to make the loan application process more efficient and accessible to undercapitalized small businesses.
  • Start Small. Think Big. Inc., developing a dynamic web portal to improve services for small businesses from marginalized communities that will serve as a hub for onboarding, project management and analytic tools as well as legal, financial, sales and marketing administration.

Leading up to the Inspire Awards, Truist Foundation collaborated with Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to identify and invest in nonprofits leveraging technology as a proven pathway to resiliency and sustainability. To qualify, the Inspire Awards finalists submitted proposals with transformative ideas and completed a six-month wraparound support program to grow their concepts into fundable solutions.

During the event, finalists will present their ideas and grants will be announced. The top organization will receive a $250,000 grant to bring its solution to life. Second place will receive a $150,000 grant and runners-up each receive a $25,000 grant. The audience favorite will receive an additional $75,000 grant.

Register and witness the power of collective impact at

About Truist Foundation
Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation's (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. The foundation, an endowed private foundation established in 2020 whose operating budget is independent of Truist Financial Corporation, makes strategic investments in a wide variety of nonprofit organizations centered around two focus areas: building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses to ensure all communities have an equal opportunity to thrive. Embodying these focus areas are the foundation's leading initiatives — the Inspire Awards and Where It Starts. Learn more at

SOURCE Truist Foundation

For further information: Kristen Fraser,