Investing in Our Community Together

Report to the Community

Dear Donors, Partners, and Friends,

The Community Foundation has long been an active investor and philanthropic leader, working to drive transformational change in our region. But this endeavor would not be possible without the support of our donors and community partners who care about the greater Birmingham region and continuously invest their resources back into our community. Thanks to partners like you, the Foundation continues to grow in both gifts and grants, with more than $38 million in gifts and $25 million in grants in 2022.

In this year’s annual report, we are highlighting the stories of generous and passionate donors and the impact of their investments in our community. We are also featuring nonprofit partners and Foundation led initiatives addressing community need. While our region is diverse and our challenges vary, our shared goal remains that by working together we can create a more just, prosperous and unified region where everyone can reach their full potential.

Investing in Giving For Good

Together, Donor Gifts
Strengthen the Community

Gifts in 2022:
Grants in 2022:

* Unaudited as of December 31, 2022

Investing in Impact

Harnessing the Power of Grants to Fulfill Community Needs.

Foundation Directed Grants

Flexible Funds:
To support our five community priorities in competitive and proactive grantmaking

Field of Interest and Catalyst Funds:
To support Foundation priorities and initiatives

Donor Directed Grants

Grants in 2022:
Through Donor Advised Funds

Giving Together Grants:
Through their Donor Advised Funds, donors co-invest with the Foundation as part of our community grantmaking

Donors use their funds to
invest in the community

Through their Donor Advised Funds, donors granted more than $19 million to support a wide range of organizations, from family and social services to faith institutions and more.



* Unaudited as of December 31, 2022, will be updated on completion of audit.

Donor Stories

The next gen of
philanthropic leaders

Dallas native M’Kayl Lewis’s dedication to servant leadership has traveled with her from her hometown to her years at Birmingham-Southern and into life as a young professional in Birmingham. With her commitment to the Birmingham community and  supporting area nonprofits, M’Kayl Lewis represents the next generation of philanthropic leaders.

M’Kayl Lewis

Honoring a love
of the arts

To honor the memory of her late husband Bill’s passion for the arts, Jean Shanks established the Shanks Fund for Theatre and Performing Arts. Through this fund, Jean is working with the Community Foundation to support local theatre and enhance Birmingham’s cultural tapestry, ensuring access to the arts for all.

Jean Shanks


Bette and Elliot Bell’s approach to philanthropy is immersive and personal. Through their Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation, they not only support but also deeply engage with local initiatives. A recent tour of local homelessness organizations showcases their commitment to understanding the causes they care about.

Bette and Elliot Bell

Investing in the Future,
One Legacy at a Time

50 Years of Impact
Since 1959, individuals and families have partnered with the Community Foundation to leave enduring legacies, making a lasting impact beyond their lifetimes. The gifts from these generous donors make up our endowment that funds much of our grantmaking and ensures that we can address the evolving needs of the community, now and in the future.

One family has made a lasting impact on our community, not only through giving but also through service. In 1972, a $3 million bequest from the estate of Margaret Spain created the Frank and Margaret Spain Fund that has been the backbone of the Foundation’s grantmaking for 50 years. Their daughter, Peggy, served as the Foundation’s first executive director, growing the Foundation’s assets and capacity. Granddaughter Cameron Vowell has continued the tradition, serving as a board member, board chair, legacy donor and encouraging the next generation of philanthropists.


Laverne Ramsey

Celebrated as a vibrant Renaissance woman, LaVerne Davis Ramsey’s journey spanned the arts, travel and finance. Her legacy gift to the Community Foundation ensures her lifelong passion for health and community will benefit countless futures.

Laverne Ramsey

Richard Tucker

Although he was only briefly a Birmingham resident, Richard Tucker has dedicated half of his estate to the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. Reflecting a lifelong spirit of giving, his pledge embodies a transformative vision for the region.

Richard Tucker

Larry Thornton

From business endeavors to boardroom insights, Larry Thornton’s journey revolves around crafting a legacy of service. His commitment to the Community Foundation embodies his vision of fostering a flourishing, united community for generations to come.

Larry Thornton

Investing in Community Needs

Our Grants in Action

Our Priorities

At the Community Foundation, we work hand-in-hand with the communities that make the Greater Birmingham area home. Our mission is to ignite passion for transformational change, so we are dedicated to bringing people together and taking on big challenges. These five priorities were identified through feedback from stakeholders across the region, and guide us in our shared pursuit of a just, prosperous, and unified region where every person is empowered to reach their full potential.

Nurturing Thriving Communities

We believe that a community only thrives if every member has the opportunity to thrive.  Most residents want their communities to be diverse, accessible, safe, attractive, and engaged. By working together to ensure accessibility for all, uniting residents around shared goals and advocating for quality services we can help create a thriving community, where quality of life and the well-being of everyone is valued.

Discover how Grace Klein Community turned The World Games into a food rescue mission, using a grant from the Community Foundation.

Learn more →

Overcoming Persistent Poverty

As we identify the enduring barriers that stand between people and economic well-being, 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, mobility and well-being—a truly Greater Birmingham.

Did you know that a diaper can shape one’s economic future? See how Bundles of Hope is eliminating barriers by driving resources straight to those who need them.

Learn more →

Creating Economic Opportunity for All

Our region can’t reach its full potential without fostering the potential of all our neighbors. This means providing every individual, especially those who have been left on the economic sidelines, a strong chance for success. Through local solutions and investments, we can work together to create pathways to ensure that everyone can thrive.

Read how a Community Foundation grant to the CO.STARTERS program in Bessemer creates opportunities for new businesses to launch and succeed.

Learn more →

Driving Regional Cooperation

We recognize that as a region, our individual communities are interconnected and that we all share a common fate. That is why we are working to build bridges between communities to form lasting connections that can lead to lasting change. Whether bringing communities together to advance regional plans, or improve inefficient systems, our entire community benefits when we work side by side.

Discover how a grant from the Community Foundation helped power a regional effort to unify and enhance our vital green spaces.

Learn more →

Fostering Equity and Inclusion

Our community shares a belief that this should be a place where everyone, no matter their background or beliefs, feels they can truly belong and thrive. For that to happen we need to provide opportunities and devote resources to communities that have historically faced injustice or exclusion and create an environment where all feel welcomed, included, respected, and supported.

A grant to Shelby County Historical Society ensures equitable access for individuals to connect to their past.

Learn more →

Investing in Transformational Change

Focusing on long-term strategies to address the underlying issues facing our community

Mental Health Initiative

Prioritizing children’s well-being

Inspiration. Innovation. Collaboration. These are all words used to describe the Viking Health Clinic in Jasper City Schools. Launched at the beginning of the 2022 school year, the Clinic has provided primary and mental health care services to hundreds of students in Jasper schools.

The Community Foundation was an early investor in this effort to enhance mental health accessibility and reduce the stigma of mental health care in schools. Recognizing the potential, the Foundation hopes this model can be replicated across the state.


Small Business Impact Grant

Positioning underserved businesses for growth

In 2021, the Community Foundation awarded its largest single funding commitment ever – $1.5M for the Small Business Impact Grant Program, made possible by the Catalyst Funds. The funds were awarded to six mission-driven lenders with the goal of bolstering underserved businesses and entrepreneurs in the region.

In the first year of the grants these funds have enhanced the lenders’ ability to offer flexible capital and assistance and begin to level the playing field for business owners. The progress on these grants has been promising.


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