Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham dedicating $1 million toward COVID-19 grants

In June 2019, the Community Foundation’s Instruments of Hope Unity Fund held a productive and ground-breaking discussion about race and religion at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church. Photo credit: D. Jerome Smedley

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham announced it is making available grants to organizations providing critical services and economic assistance in the Birmingham region. 

More than $1 million from the Foundation’s competitive grantmaking funds will be dedicated toward COVID-19 initiatives, according to a statement released on Wednesday. 

Responding Quickly

The Foundation is opening up a process to quickly fund rapid response grants of up to $25,000. The grants will support organizations that focus on resiliency in communities by addressing the immediate and basic needs of economically vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19. 

The first phase of the funding will prioritize grant applicants that directly address immediate basic needs related to the crisis and disproportionately impacted populations.

Here are some of the needs the Foundation will seek to address:

·        Job and income loss

·        Ensuring the supply of and access to food

·        Access to housing needs

·        Access to medical care

·        Needs around child care, transportation and other supportive services

·        Needs around mental health

·        Needs around education for children

·        Other critical services that have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis

Supporting Area Nonprofits

Christopher Nanni, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham

The Community Foundation is also offering nonprofit adaptation grants to organizations whose operations have been adversely impacted by COVID-19. 

These grants will assist  organizations  in adapting their operations  to  avoid or mitigate disruptions in their service delivery.

“When a crisis like this strikes, our nonprofits are on the front lines with other first responders,” said Christopher Nanni, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. “We believe in providing funding to ensure that these organizations are best positioned to help our communities in moments of critical need, and that’s why we’re announcing the opening of this grants process today to make sure our nonprofits have the resources they need to respond.”

Organizations can apply on the Community Foundation’s website at cfbham.org

Applications for these grants will be accepted on a rolling basis through the end of May, after which the Foundation will reevaluate community needs. Grants will be made regularly throughout the outbreak and recovery phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs in subsequent funding phases.

Emergency Response Fund

Birmingham, Alabama Skyline
Birmingham, Alabama skyline. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

In addition to reallocated funds, the Community Foundation has opened the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to provide additional resources. 

“We have been overwhelmed at the support we’ve received from generous donors and corporations so far,” said Nanni. “Their generosity is giving us the additional financial resources to help even more people through this crisis.

To learn more about these Emergency Response Grants or make a donation to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund visit www.cfbham.org/covid-19-response-fund.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.