Instruments of Hope Unity Fund

Building unity and a greater sense of trust and shared fates are the central goals of the Instruments of Hope Unity Fund, a Field of Interest fund of the Community Foundation that seeks to develop a sustainable and permanent model for fostering civil discourse and action toward addressing the most complex challenges facing the greater Birmingham area.

Donate Now


Engaging Diverse Communities RFP Opportunity

While our community has made great strides in a number of different areas, stark inequities persist.  We believe the continued advancement of our region is contingent on greater unity and collaboration, and that neither of those can be achieved without addressing racial disparities, and more specifically their underlying causes – the interconnected systems, practices, policies, relationships and mindsets that created these inequities and allow them to persist.

The Instruments of Hope Unity Fund is seeking organizations working on answering these questions. Through the Engaging Diverse Communities RFP, organizations will have the opportunity to share their theory of change and how incorporating focused work on Narrative Change or Building Diverse Coalitions can amplify the impact of their work.

The RFP opens March 5th with applications due by Friday, March 26th at midnight. For proposals invited to move forward, site visits will be scheduled in April and grant awards will be announced at end of May 2021.

Engaging Diverse Communities RFP

Click here to access the Community Foundation’s Grant Portal to submit an RFP.

Vision and Mission

The Instruments of Hope Unity Fund, established by founding donors Gail and Jeffrey Bayer, will support projects and programs that have the aim of strengthening unity by various means, including:

  • Fostering mutual understanding and respect
  • Promoting inclusive participation in public life
  • Reducing prejudice
  • Minimizing barriers to communication and cooperation across differences
  • Cultivating a sense of shared fates and futures
  • Advancing justice and peace


Building unity and a sense of shared fates: these are the central tenets of the Instruments of Hope Unity Fund and what founding donors, Gail and Jeffrey Bayer, believe are the key cultural shifts that must occur to allow all people to thrive in the Birmingham region.

In response to the increasing divisiveness of the country, Gail and Jeffrey chaired the effort to bring Violins of Hope to Birmingham in April 2018. The unifying effect of Violins of Hope inspired Gail and Jeffrey to think about creating a more lasting effort to cultivate a greater sense of unity within our community. With the guidance of the Aspen Institute, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham and community members, they decided to seed a field of interest fund at the Community Foundation that will provide a sustainable resource for fostering civil discourse and action toward addressing the most complex challenges facing the greater Birmingham area.

Gail and Jeffrey believe that Birmingham, particularly the city’s younger generation, is ready for change and recognize that for Birmingham to thrive and grow, all must thrive. Their goal for the Instruments of Hope Unity Fund is to foster the mutual understanding and respect needed for inclusive growth.