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Grantmaking Process

How the process works

Nonprofit organizations serving Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Blount or Walker counties are eligible to receive grant support from the Community Funds of the Community Foundation through a competitive process that includes two separate grant cycles.  In 2011, we combined our experience in making grants with input from the community to develop a Results Framework which guides our grant-making, convening and leadership today.

Application Process

The Community Foundation has two grantmaking cycles that focus on the following results from our Results Framework:

Cycle 1: Children are successful along the education pipeline
People can lead healthy lives

Cycle 2: Communities are sustainable, livable and vibrant
Individuals and families are economically secure

Please note, the Community Foundation has an interest in proposals across all four results that address issues of aging and reference the findings of our EngAge report on aging-related needs in the Greater Birmingham area. Click here to find out more about our EngAge report.

If interested in one of these areas, a nonprofit organization should first review the Upcoming Grant Deadlines and Grantmaking FAQ for details on when and how to apply.

Organizations can then register on the Foundations online Grant Application Center and submit a brief proposal at any time after the cycle’s opening date.

Following the review of the brief proposals, selected nonprofits are invited to submit a full proposal through our on-line application process.

Selection Process

The Foundation uses several criteria in selecting grant recipients within its competitive process. These include the fit between our programmatic goals and the programs offered by applicants, the experience and success of applicants in the areas of work for which they are seeking funding and the overall financial health of the organization.

Please note that CFGB does not make grants for general operating expenses, see our Competitive Grantmaking Guidelines for more details.

The Foundation’s staff and Grant Review and Evaluation Committee review grant proposals, perform site visits and meet with applicants. Proposals that are endorsed by the committee and staff are forwarded to the Foundation’s Board of Directors, which makes the final decision about which applications will receive funding.

Once a grant is awarded, our program staff works in partnership with the nonprofits to refine and agree on the final evaluation and reporting plan.

For more details on our grantmaking process go to:
Competitive Grantmaking Guidelines
Access the Grantmaking Application Center
Grantee Media Guidelines