More then 50 families and individuals contributed Community Catalyst Funds as part of the 50th anniversary of the Community Foundation. These new resources served as philanthropic venture capital to launch Prize2theFuture in January 2011 as an on-line idea contest and continue as a resource for future transformational investments.
The first Community Catalyst Fund investment was the idea contest, which focused creative minds on transformational possibilities for one city block in downtown Birmingham. Almost 3,000 contestants from 39 countries submitted ideas to make our city center cooler and more vibrant.
The winning idea was announced in May 2011, was One Birmingham Place: An Eight-Part Celebration of Community and Social Reengagement, that incorporated many of the consistent themes identified by judges in what became a true community workshop:
- A multi-use facility that brings people together, featuring indoor and outdoor elements
- Environmentally friendly, LEED designed, sustainable, with material reuse
- Very high tech using light and sound
- Focus on food, with restaurants, cafes and markets)
- Focus on railroad, including many tributes to the Terminal Station
Teams recognized for their top 10 ideas all had connections to the Birmingham region, another way that the process captured what people in our community think is important.
In phase 2 of Prize2theFuture, the Community Foundation partnered with the City of Birmingham in seeking a development team to bring the site to life. That phase was completed in December 2012 with approval of the sale of the site to Alabama Power Company in what has evolved to include potential beyond the single block.
You can be part of the next investment from Community Catalyst Funds, contributed by visionary donors who believe in the power of philanthropy to drive positive change. Contact Erin Stephenson to find out more.