After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, many of the nonprofit agencies in the Mississippi area were homeless. The aftermath of the storm placed such strains on their limited staff and facilities—many were working out of portable buildings—that their own needs for adequate office space were put on the back burner. Anthony Topazi, President of MS Power Company and the Gulf Coast Business Council, had a vision and the drive to build a nonprofit center to house a majority of the nonprofit agencies along the Gulf Coast.
Because of the generosity and vision of several foundations, Mississippi now has the Knight Nonprofit Center. Knight Nonprofit Center is a national foundation with local roots. The organization chooses, as the Knight brothers chose, to seek opportunities that can transform communities and help them reach their highest potential. The Knight Nonprofit Center wants to ensure that each community's citizens get the information they need to thrive in a democracy.
Their facility is now home to thirteen agencies with room to spare. The agencies include but are not limited to United Way of South Mississippi, The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast, Gulf Coast Symphony, Mississippi Coast Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast Business Council, Gulf Coast Renaissance, American Federation of Teachers and Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
The Center believes nothing big happens without a big idea. In every project they fund, the idea comes first. Each time someone comes before them for a request, the group looks for the transformational potential. They look for the best opportunities to turn those ideas into action!