The Community Foundation of West Alabama

OVERVIEW: This funder supports a wide variety of issues in nine counties of Western Alabama. It accepts unsolicited applications, and grants are awarded twice per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, arts and humanities, children and youth, health and medicine, environment, recreation, elder care, social welfare

IP TAKE: This funder's grants are not large, but there are a lot of them, and they are very locally focused. Grantmaking has been increasing in recent years, and nearly any type of nonprofit should keep CFWA in mind for supplemental funding.

PROFILE: The Community Foundation of West Alabama (CFWA) was established in 1999 as an initiative of the Tuscaloosa Estate Planning Council. CFWA is headquartered in Northport, Alabama but has a P.O. Box in Tuscaloosa for its mailing address. CFWA has making over $1 million in grants per year. Recent financial information can be viewed here.

CFWA provides educational grants up to $500, with a November 1 deadline. New grant seekers can access the education grant application online.

The foundation’s other funding priorities include arts and humanities, children and youth, health and medicine, environment, recreation, elder care, and social welfare. There is a separate grant application for these issues. Only organizations in the following counties are eligible for these grants: Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Pickens, Lamar, Marengo, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa. For all of these issues, grants are up to $1,500 and are due October 1 and April 1.

The foundation does not typically fund general operating expenses or ongoing program expenses. However, it will support the early stages of local pilot projects. Grant applications should be mailed or hand-delivered to the foundation. Past grants can be viewed by year on the website.

The foundation's Pillars of West Alabama program recognizes individuals who have given back to their community. It also manages the Elois Zeanah Endowed Scholarship, which is open to college sophomores at four-year colleges in Alabama.

The foundation is administered by a board of local citizens, and there are typically about 18 directors at any given time. There are also three staff members at CFWA. Grant seekers can direct general questions to the staff at 205-366-0698 or That email will go to Glenn Taylor, who is the president and CEO of CFWA. He is the best point of contact for questions about the grant application process and also to whom you should address your grant application. Blog articles and Facebook posts can be viewed on the funder’s homepage.


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