At the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, we believe that generosity has the power to change lives, change our community, and even change the future. That’s why our mission is to mobilize generosity to improve quality of life in our community.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines mobilize as a verb meaning to bring (resources) into use in order to achieve a particular goal. Mobilize is an active, not passive, word. It suggests forward movement and progress. We believe that our unique role is to make our community better for all who live here through the power and purpose of generosity. That’s why we make it easy for donors to be generous however that looks for them. Many times that looks like bringing likeminded donors together to solve a problem or to make a difference; these are donors who share a passion and a purpose and who can amplify their generosity by giving together.
So, what does mobilizing generosity look like in the work of the Community Foundation? Here are six recent examples that show what mobilizing generosity can look like for our community:
- In the summer of 2014, Torch Technologies made a significant lead donation to create the new Catalyst Endowment (now known as the Compass Endowment). They recognized that the Greater Huntsville area needed a permanent pool of community capital to provide grants to nonprofit organizations who are building a better future for our community. CFD Research followed with a significant donation, and the Compass Endowment was up and running. Since that time, over 75 donors have joined their generosity together to provide grants totaling over $300,000 to help “map the future” of our community, while building an endowment of nearly $1 million.
- Amy and Kaitlynn Roark had a dream to create a giving circle where emerging philanthropists could pool their donations to make a bigger impact than any of them could make on their own. With their vision and the donations of other likeminded donors, give256 was born. Give256 reminds us that generosity doesn’t have just one price tag. For $25.60 a month, donors can be a force for good in our community. Since 2017, there have been over 100 members of give256, and these donors have granted out over $70,000.
- A group of passionate women was inspired to create a legacy of love for other women and their families in our community, and the Women’s Philanthropy Society was created in the fall of 2017. Since then, nearly 150 members have granted $325,000 to support women and their families in the areas of safety, security, and stability; health and wellness; education; and economic opportunity.
- In March of 2020 after the first case of COVID was diagnosed in the State of Alabama, the Community Foundation sprang into action, activating the Emergency Relief Fund and soliciting donations from our community and grant applications from local nonprofit organizations at the same time. Over the course of the next several months, more than 550 individual, family, and corporate donors gave nearly $900,000 to support 52 local nonprofit organizations who were on the front lines addressing basic needs and health and wellness issues in our community.
- When the events of the summer of 2020 exposed deep racial equity gaps in our country, the Community Foundation stepped up to do what we do best . . . that is to mobilize generosity. Over sixty Founding Donors created a new Racial Equity Fund designed to close equity gaps based on race in the categories of economic opportunity, education, health and wellness, and neighborhoods and community. Since that time, over 75 donors, who believe that common good is common ground, have granted over $275,000 to support this important work.
- In late 2020, a donor with a passion for community and connection provided a significant lead gift to create the new John Hunt Skatepark Fund. Since that time, over 60 donors have contributed more than $2.2 million to bring the exciting new Get-A-Way Skatepark to John Hunt Park.
Our mission to mobilize generosity takes so many different forms because our donors are so wonderfully unique. When donors live out their passion and purpose in community, great things can happen.
Together, we are improving the quality of life in the Greater Huntsville community through the power of generosity. Together, we are here for good.