Shortly after the start of the new century, a small group of community leaders saw a need in the Huntsville/Madison County region – a need for stable, permanent, financial support that would promote charitable giving and increase the capacity of local nonprofits to meet the growing region’s critical community needs. An advisory board was formed to explore the idea further and to attract the necessary funding to turn the Community Foundation from concept to reality. Founding Benefactors Joe and Pam Alexander stepped forward to provide a generous donation to launch this new Community Foundation, which not only provided needed operational support but also funded part-time staff. The Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County was incorporated in October of 2008 and received its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service on September 3, 2009.
Now, over nine years later, the Community Foundation has already raised over $25,000,000 of charitable assets and has distributed, on behalf of our donors, over $10,000,000 in grant funding to nonprofit organizations. Although our donors can donate to any 501(c)(3) organization in the United States, many have chosen to invest their grant dollars locally, with over 70% of all grants remaining in Madison County to meet community needs.
In recognition of the positive impact the Community Foundation has had on our community's Quality of Life, as well as its support of the local nonprofit community, the Community Foundation was awarded the 2016 Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Awards Nonprofit of the Year.
In April 2017, the Community Foundation changed its name to the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville to better reflect the growing nature of its business and to reflect the expanded region served.
Also in 2017, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville received accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere. The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. With over 500 community foundations already accredited nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors. Learn a little more about our work by reviewing our 2015-2016 Annual Report.
In early 2018, the Community Foundation earned the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency - the highest level of recognition - which showcases key metrics to report progress against their missions in quantitative terms.
The Community Foundation has become a valued resource for our nonprofit community through grantmaking, funds to provide financial stability, and networking and professional development opportunities at NonProfit University. In addition, the Community Foundation sponsors an annual Summit on Philanthropy to celebrate local philanthropists and provide an educational forum on smart and effective philanthropy.
The Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville improves the quality of life in our community through philanthropy.