Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder has a competitive grantmaking process that funds local organizations in the fields of education, health, community, and financial security. Grants are awarded twice per year in the counties of Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount and Walker.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health, community, financial security

IP TAKE: Unlike some community funders, CFGB has a very active competitive grantmaking process that grant seekers can apply for. Pitch a collaborative effort, but discuss it with the staff first. 

PROFILE: The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham (CFGB) was founded by several prominent community leaders and philanthropists in 1959 as a permanent charitable endowment. There are more than 450 grantmaking funds at this community foundation, which range in size between $339,000 and $20 million. At the end of a recent year, CFGB’s assets topped $221 million. CFGB is the oldest and largest community foundation in Alabama.  It seeks “to be a vehicle to ignite passion for transformational change.”

The foundation makes grants to nonprofits in the Birmingham area from its Community and Field of Interest Funds, which makes up about one-third of the funder’s endowment. It awards grants twice per year in the counties of Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount and Walker.

The foundation awards competitive grants in the following program areas:

  • Education for children – early learning for the birth to eight demographic, or high school with a focus on college and career readiness

  • Health of all people – improved nutrition and physical activity or healthcare access for vulnerable populations

  • Sustainable and vibrant communities – green space, natural environment, Birmingham city center, and arts and culture

  • Economic security for individuals and families – housing stability, public policy for low-income residents, and direct services for low-income residents.

The first two of the above topics are featured in the first yearly grantmaking cycle, and the remaining two in the second grantmaking cycle. Interested grant seekers should check out the following links to learn more about applying for a grant with CFGB.

Grants are made for periods of one to three years. Grant cycle one typically is open in January/February and grant cycle two in August. Per the guidelines, emerging organizations with revenue of less than $25,000 are limited to seed grant requests of no more than $5,000. This is a funder that encourages collaborations among nonprofits, but collaborative requests should be discussed with Senior Program Officer Gus Heard-Hughes before sending a proposal at or 205-327-3817.

Program support, capital projects, and operating expenses are often funded. You can view a list of recently funded grants and learn what areas CFGB supports on their Recent Grants page.

In addition to these grants, CFGB also supports initiatives through Field of Interest grants and scholarships, at different times of the year. Foundation initiatives have included a Payday Loan Rescue Project, Woodlawn Innovation Network, and Central Six Workforce Development Council.

General questions can be directed to the staff at 205-327-3800 or Grantseekers can also sign up for the foundation’s E-Newsletter to keep up with current happenings.


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