Daniel Foundation Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports educational, health, humanitarian, and cultural activities in Birmingham and throughout Alabama.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts & culture, community needs, education & youth, health

IP TAKE: This foundation’s support is quite broad, as long as it serves the residents of Alabama. There has been a big push for education support at all levels lately though, which makes this a key Southeast funder to know.

PROFILE: The Daniel Foundation was established by R. Hugh Daniel with a mission to improve the lives of people in Alabama. Daniel found success when he opened the Daniel Construction company of Alabama in the 1930s. Birmingham became Daniel’s adopted hometown (he grew up in Georgia and South Carolina), and he was actively involved in the Birmingham community, serving as a director of the Birmingham Committee of 100, Chamber of Commerce, Baptist Hospitals Foundation, Birmingham Museum of Art, and other local organizations. In 1978, a private foundation was created in South Carolina, but half of the assets were used to create The Daniel Foundation of Alabama. It seeks to “strengthen communities within Alabama and improve the quality of life for citizens from all regions of Alabama” by supporting “effective organizations that are focused on building a healthy and well-educated population, living in a vibrant community.”

The foundation’s current priority funding areas are arts and culture, community needs, education and youth, and health. It supports arts and culture groups with capital needs and prefers to fund organizations it has already worked with. Projects that preserve green space, increase access to nature, and support historic preservation are also considered for these grants. A significant part of the foundation’s community needs grants are focused on local veterans, of which Alabama has about 400,000, about eight percent of the population. Otherwise, these grants go towards programs for job training, entrepreneurship, community revitalization, and leadership training.

The Daniel Foundation supports education and youth development causes for the pre-K to grade 12 demographic, often supporting public libraries, preschools, public school advocacy, youth mentoring, summer learning, and career and college readiness. Within the realm of higher education, it makes grants to colleges and universities in Alabama. The foundation is also very interested in addressing Alabama's very high obesity rates and low rank in overall healthiness, compared to other states. Foundation health grants support cost-effective prevention, healthy eating, and exercise. It also occasionally considers requests for medical research and mental health.   

New grant seekers can learn about past grantees in each funding category at the bottom of each priority area page. Many past grants have been between $10,000 and $250,000.

To apply for a grant, grant seekers will first need to submit a letter of intent, and there are typically three grant cycles per year. Letters of intent can be emailed to intent@df-al.com. Multi-year grants are typically only awarded to groups that have worked with the funder before, and startup organizations are considered by invitation only. Grant seekers must operate in Alabama and serve residents of the state to be considered for a Daniel Foundation grant.

General questions can be directed to the four-member, Birmingham-based staff at 205-874-3523 or individually via email.


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