Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham
2100 First Avenue North, Suite 700
Birmingham AL 35203-4223
Type of foundation: Community
Types of grants: Project, capacity-building, seed
Description: The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham is the oldest and largest community foundation in Alabama. The Foundation includes 400 charitable funds. Notably, approximately one-third of its assets have been designated as unrestricted by donors. The Foundation utilizes a “results framework” to guide its competitive grantmaking. Specifically, it seeks to have measurable community impact in the following areas:
- Children are successful along the education pipeline. The Foundation seeks to increase quality learning opportunities for children from birth to age 8 and to decrease high school dropout. In 2009, after a series of community conversations, the Foundation invested $260,000 to create the Birmingham Education Foundation to support educational attainment in Birmingham city schools.
- Communities are sustainable, livable, vibrant. The Foundation supports projects to expand access to arts and culture, improve the environment, expand greenspace and develop a vibrant city center.
- Individuals and families are economically secure. The Foundation works to improve housing stability and increase public policy changes and direct services that positively impact low-income individuals and families.
- People can lead healthy lives. The Foundation focuses on improving nutrition and access to healthy food, as well as increasing opportunities for physical activity. The Foundation also supports efforts to improve access to care for vulnerable populations.
The Community Grants program awards Strategic Partner Grants (generally multi-year grants to organizations with a proven record of delivering programs and services relevant to the specific funding priority) and Seed and Capacity-Building Grants (generally smaller, one-time grants aimed at continued development of emerging or established organizations and programs).
- $100,000 over three years to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham to support the School-based initiative in Jefferson County through a High School Drop-out Prevention Specialist (2011).
- $100,000 to Birmingham Education Foundation for a pilot project on the dropout problem based on the What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide on Dropout Prevention from the Institute of Educational Sciences (2011).
- $75,000 over three years to Success by 6 of United Way of Central Alabama for the Blueprint for School Readiness and the work of Success by 6 to assure children are ready to learn, families are engaged, quality early learning is accessible and transition to kindergarten is smooth for children (2011).
- $75,000 over two years to UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences EatRight Program for the EatRight Nutrition Guidance System, in order to leverage partnerships in the private and public sectors and create a unique collaboration designed to help Alabamians make more informed food choices (2011).
- $25,000 to Jefferson County Schools Public Education Foundation for a summer program serving seventh and eighth graders with reading deficits and a history of school behavioral problems, in collaboration with Jefferson-Blount-St. Clair Mental Health Authority and Samford University. This is part of the Foundation’s dropout prevention work (2011).
Fit for public broadcasting: The Foundation has a clear interest in improving the quality of life in the Birmingham area. Areas of potential convergence with public broadcasting include the Foundation’s support for initiatives that promote vibrant community life, as well as the Foundation’s support for education initiatives. The Foundation has a specific interest both in early childhood education and in dropout prevention and may be a prospect for public media work in these areas, such as American Graduate.
Eligibility: Nonprofit organizations serving Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount or Walker counties are eligible to apply for competitive funds from the Foundation.
Deadline: The Foundation operates two grant cycles per year. Grant Cycle 1 (Winter) addresses the Foundation’s Education and Health Results. Grant Cycle 2 (Spring) addresses the Sustainable Communities and Economic Security Results. Deadlines can be found here.
How to apply: The Foundation runs two competitive grant cycles per year. A series of conference calls is scheduled prior to each cycle to review grant guidelines with interested applicants. Guidelines can be downloaded from this page. Applications are submitted online.
Giving range: Competitive grants range up to approximately $100,000.
Assets: $154 million (2010).
Total giving: $17.1 million (2010).
View 2010-11 Annual Report here.