For the Love of Huntsville

Pioneer innovative solutions to our community's most pressing problems

2020 compass society

The Compass Society is established for "the love of Huntsville." A society for the innovators and pioneers in this community, it serves as a catalyst for Huntsville's future by implementing visionary projects that will have a significant and sustainable impact on all eight areas of our community's quality of life.  We mobilize generosity to find innovative the solutions that guide our community to a bright future. Our future generations depend on those with a strategic vision for the future and the generosity to make a gift today.


The Compass Society will support current year grantmaking, as well as serve as a permanent source of funding to pioneer innovative solutions to our community's most pressing problems. Fifty percent of all donations will be deployed for current year grants, and fifty percent of all donations will be added to the Compass Endowment.  An endowment is a permanent, self-sustaining source of funding designed to preserve the principal of the fund while using a portion of the investment earning for annual grantmaking to provide a lasting legacy of support for our community.

2020 Grant Cycle

Compass Society grant applications will be accepted October 1 - 22, 2020. Grant request should range from $5,000 - $50,000 for a strategic project or initiative affecting quality of life in one of the following categories:

  • Basic needs
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health and wellness
  • Lifestyle
  • Neighborhoods and Community

Grant Application Notes:

  • Because of the extensive funding for COVID relief in 2020, there will be no additional funding available for the Emergency Relief category this year, but such funding will be available in years to come.
  • Funding will not be provided by the Compass Society for general operating support.
  • Grant requests can range from $5,000 - $50,000. Project should be scalable in the event full funding is not available.
  • Preference will be given for projects that are collaborative in nature; if other organizations are involved, a MOU or letter of support should be included with the application.
  • Preference will be given for projects that impact larger numbers of people.

Each project has the goal of "moving the needle" on measurable community indicators and is carefully monitored for measurable outcomes to ensure our investments are achieving a significant and sustainable impact on quality of life in our community.

Previous Compass Society Projects Include:


Standards for Excellence

Singing River Trail

Compass Society Members

$100,000 - $1,000,000

  • CFD Research Corporation

  • Mike and Patty Lowe

  • Jan Smith

  • Torch Technologies

$50,000 - $99,999

  • .

$25,000 - $49,999

  • George and Margaret Heeschen

  • Visually Handicapped Teacher Fund

$10,000 - $24,999

  • Shari Burnum

  • Bill and Beth Fleming

  • Butterfly Frog Fund

  • Sonrisa Fund

  • Triple E

$5,000 - $9,999

  • Jay and Valerie Chandler

  • Greenbriar Forest Fund

  • Armin Gierow

  • Sandra and John Moon Memorial Fund

  • Bob and Cindi Ludwig

$1,000 - $4,999

  • Joe and Pam Alexander

  • John and Candy Burnett

  • Jim and Dianne Reynolds

  • Bill and Brenda Roark

  • Chris Russell

  • Kathryn Strickland

  • Hunter and Nancy Vaughn

  • Kevin and Lori Webber

A Vital Need

The Community Foundation takes a holistic view of quality of life and seeks ways to make our great community even better. Grant funding is guided by the evaluation of community needs in the Vital Signs project of the Community Foundation. This report provides a check-up of key community indicators (or vital signs) to take a pulse on the health of our community and vitality of each quality of life category. This snapshot of the community can be viewed in the latest Vital Signs Quality of Life Report for Madison County, Alabama.

How It Works

  • Although all gifts are appreciated, donors who contribute at least $1,000 are invited to become members of the Compass Society. Donors of all Compass Society giving levels will be recognized on the Compass Society webpage.
  • You can give cash, appreciated stocks, real estate, or other assets. Click here for instructions on how to make a donation to the Compass Society.
  • 50% of your gift will be deployed in current year grantmaking. 50% of your gift will be added to the Compass Endowment. Each year, earnings from this fund are used to make grants addressing community needs. The principal of the fund will remain intact.
  • Your gift – and all future earnings from your gift and the gifts of others – will be a permanent source of community capital, helping to do good work forever.
  • You receive the full tax benefits associated with your gift in the year your gift is made.
  • Annually, the Compass Society Grants Committee will make grants decisions for the fund.

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