The Community Foundation’s Giving Together program invites you to the grantmaking table to co-invest with the Community Impact Fund as part of our community grantmaking process. Through the Giving Together process, you learn about exciting and innovative funding opportunities and can support creative programs and start-up nonprofits that are meeting critical local needs.
For Elliot and Bette Bell, working with the Community Foundation has allowed them to give grants to a wide variety of local programs working on the causes they care about most – education, environmental awareness, and eliminating homelessness.
“Without the Community Foundation, our impact would be a lot smaller and a lot less diverse,” Elliot says. “Giving Together offers us an opportunity to see other ways to make gifts than what we’re used to.”
They’ve awarded grants to programs like Youth Towers – which helps young people who have aged out of the foster care system find safe and affordable housing (see story on page XX). They’ve created a fund to award Jefferson County teachers for excellent work.
They’ve given to the Jones Valley Teaching Farm and done site visits to see firsthand the work being done there. The Bells have learned about and donated to initiatives in support of Birmingham’s Hispanic community and LGBTQ residents, too.
“There are so many great programs that we’ve opened our eyes to,” Bette says, adding that this has been possible because the Community Foundation keeps its finger on the pulse of the local nonprofit ecosystem.
The Bells are most proud of the fact that they recently worked with the Community Foundation to create an endowment for Ruffner Mountain. It’s a special place for them. The couple met decades ago while volunteering at Ruffner Mountain and fell in love.
“We went for a walk in the wildflowers and he proposed six months later,” Bette remembers fondly.
The Bells have a vision of a better Birmingham and while they know systemic change is needed, they also know that their contributions can make a difference.
“It’s a slow and steady pace,” Bette says, “but having a team like the Community Foundation that’s on the same page, I know we’re moving in the right direction.”