Overcoming Persistent Poverty

Persistent poverty isn’t just a problem for people or families—it’s a problem that affects us all, and it is within our power to change it. As we identify the enduring barriers that stand between people and economic success, we are able to work together to break them down. By building systems that are more equitable and that honor human dignity and potential, we can move toward a world where everyone can realize economic security, experience social mobility, and well-being—a truly Greater Birmingham region.

What We Believe

Persistent poverty affects everyone in our community and is an issue that we have a shared responsibility to address. But these facts about poverty are just statistics, yardsticks that help measure where are today without a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals and families in our community who are living at or below the poverty threshold. Overcoming poverty requires addressing a diverse range of issues within systems: equity, educational attainment, job creation, income inequality, housing, food security, public transit, healthcare, childcare and asset building.

The Impact We Seek

In our grant-making within this priority area, we are interested in supporting organizations working in creative, innovative & sustainable ways to implement effective strategies that help us dismantle the systems that perpetuate persistent poverty. Specifically, we are looking to support work that:

  1. Reduces the number of children and individuals living in inter-generational poverty by identifying and addressing obstacles to prosperity

  2. Builds systems of support to meet the basic needs of those in crisis with a wide array of holistic safety net services

  3. Utilizes advocacy & public policy reform to break down societal barriers that result in the disproportionately high cost of poverty experienced by impacted families and individuals

What We Will Measure

As we embark on this new strategic framework, the Foundation will be looking at a wide range of metrics to see where and how the work of our grantees is moving the needle. In some cases, we will look at broad measures that no one organization or project alone can change, such as Children Living in Poverty or Public Benefits Utilization. In other cases, we will get more granular in our focus with measures such as, Change in the # of Preschool Enrollments, or Change in the # of Workers Moving to Jobs with Living Wages.

As a grantee, your task is to think about the impact of your work within the broader context of the impact we are seeking, as stated above, and to use your project evaluation and metrics to tell us how your results contribute both specifically and overall in two ways:

  1. To the achievement of the stated impact within the chosen priority area, in this case, Overcoming Persistent Poverty, and

  2. To the achievement of our overall vision for the region of a just, prosperous, unified region where every person is empowered to reach their full potential.