Our Work

Pioneer innovative solutions to our community's most pressing problems

Catalyst Endowment Logo

Our mission is to improve the quality of life in our community through philanthropy. One of the key ways we acheive this mission is to pioneer innovative solutions to our community's most pressing problems. 

The Catalyst Endowment

Catalyst Endowment donors entrust the Community Foundation to implement strategic, visionary projects that will have a significant and sustainable impact on quality of life in our community. 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 positive impact.

Grant funding is determined by the evaluation of community needs in the Vital Signs project of the Community Foundation. This report identifies and prioritizes systemic challenges facing our region. When a focus area is determined, a project team is assembled from nonprofit agencies and possible local government agencies to collaboratively implement a strategic approach to combat the issue. Seed funding from the Catalyst Endowment will be leveraged with other public and/or private funding sources to meet project funding requirements.

Catalyst Endowment Projects Include:


Standards for Excellence

Singing River Trail

A Vital Need

The Community Foundation takes a holistic view of quality of life and seeks ways to make our great community even better. Vital Signs, spearheaded by the Community Foundation's Community Impact Committee, 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. 

What is an endowment fund?

An endowment fund is a permanent, self-sustaining source of funding. It is designed to preserve the principal of the fund while using a portion of the investment earning for annual grantmaking.

When you contribute to the Catalyst Endowment, your gift provide a permanent source of funding for visionary projects that address community needs over the long-term horizon as the needs of our community continue to grow and change.

How it works

  • You make an unrestricted gift to the Community Foundation’s Catalyst Endowment during your lifetime or through a bequest in your will.
  • You can give cash, appreciated stocks, real estate, or other assets. Click here for instructions on how to make a donation to the Catalyst Endowment.
  • Your gift will be part of the endowed Catalyst 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.

Our future generations depend on those with a strategic vision for the future and the generosity to make a gift today. At the heart of our work lies the Catatlyst Endowment, a fund for the innovators and pioneers in this community. A gift to an endowed fund, when co-invested with countless others, has exponential potential to impact our community in big ways. The Catalyst Endowment exists to combine the generosity of our donors with the strategic solutions posed by experts.

Catalyst Society Donors:

Chairman's Club | $100,000 - $1,000,000

  • CFD

    Trustee's Circle | $50,000 - $99,999

    • Lowe

      President's Club | $25,000 - $49,999

      • Heeschen

        Pinnacle Sponsors | $10,000 - $24,999

          Keystone Sponsors | $5,000 - $9,999

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