Alabama Power Foundation

OVERVIEW: This corporate funder awards grants in the areas of STEM programs, workforce development, conservation education, and early childhood education in Alabama. Arts are culture, health are human services, and community life programs are also supported statewide.

FUNDING AREAS: STEM programs, workforce development, conservation education, and early childhood education.  

IP TAKE: There are many funding programs to wrap your head around with this corporate funder, so take some time getting to know them. The staff is very accessible and welcomes contact, so make use of those resources to get connected to this power company.

PROFILE: The Alabama Power Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Alabama Power Company, an electric company headquartered in Birmingham. This corporate foundation was established in 1989 and has given out over $180 million in grants in Alabama since then. The foundation was created with funds donated by Alabama Power shareholders and additional donations.

This is a funder concerned with improving education through STEM programs, workforce development, conservation education, and early childhood education. Alabama Power Foundation grants have helped create over 90 education programs. Overall, there are five areas of focus here: education, arts and culture, environment, health and human services, and community life. The biggest issues have been poverty and education.

One of the foundation’s programs is called Elevate: it has awarded at least seven of these grants to Alabama nonprofits. In the past, these awards have been composed of $10,000 and challenge grants of $5,000. The grant packages also include workshops to help nonprofits grow and expand their impacts. Elevate has an annual conference for nonprofits to network as well. Kim Redding is your best point of contact for this program, at 205-257-4245 or kfthrift@southernco.com.

Another program is the Stewards grant program, which awards conservation education grants to schools in Alabama. Curriculum grants have been awarded for these yearly grants. Brighter Minds is the funder’s education program, and Kim Redding is your contact here, at 205-257-4245 or kfthrift@southernco.com. The pre-K demographic is of particular interest to this foundation, which $10,000 grants to First Class Pre-K classrooms, for materials.

Through its Power to Play program, the Alabama Power Foundation has awarded grants to high school arts and athletics programs. It started with just athletics and in 2016 expanded to include the arts. Good Roots is a foundation program that provides up to $1,000 per grant to plant trees around the state. In a past year, the foundation gave out 38 of these grants, totaling over $32,000. Peggy Burnett is the contact person for this program, at 205-257-2357 or peburnett@southernco.com.

Other past grants have gone to groups like Girls Inc., Alabama State University, Montgomery Habitat for Humanity, Alabama Ballet, and the Freshwater Land Trust. Each year, this foundation supports more than 700 community organizations. A full list of grantee partners can be viewed here. Over 20,000 grants and scholarships have been awarded thus far. See the Foundation Grant page to learn more about current focus areas, restrictions, application instructions, and deadlines. In the past, deadlines have fallen in February, April, August, and October. General grantseeker questions should be directed to Alisa Summerville at 205-257-4722 or atsummer@southernco.com.

In addition to grantmaking, this power company encourages its employees and retirees to put in volunteer hours to make Alabama a better place to live. It’s ABC Trust Fund has also paid energy bills for more than 100,000 households over the past 11 years. You can learn more about this foundation and its affiliated company in the Power of Good Magazine, reading its blog, or by signing up for its quarterly newsletter.

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