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 seven years later, the Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County has already raised over $19,000,000 of charitable assets and has distributed, on behalf of our donors, over $7,500,000 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 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.
What is a community foundation?
A community foundation is a collection of charitable funds established by individuals, families, and organizations. Through a community foundation, donors are able to maximize charitable gifts during their lifetimes and to provide perpetual gifts through endowments. The funds established by donors provide grants for thousands of diverse charitable organizations.
In legal terms, a community foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) publicly supported foundation governed by its own board of directors and created to serve a specific geographical area. The first community foundation was created in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. Today, there are approximately 750 community foundations in the United States with assets of more than $48 billion.
A community foundation typically serves its community in three ways. It:
raises funds for charitable purposes,
makes grants to nonprofit organizations, and
acts as a catalyst to improve the quality of life in its community.
Click here to visit the Community Foundation's website.