Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a grant?
  1. Nonprofits that are headquartered in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair or Walker counties.  If based outside of these counties, then the organization must demonstrate that a majority of customers /beneficiaries are located in these counties.
  2. Are classified as a 501 (c)(3) public charity in good standing.
    Note: Churches that meet the requirements of IRC section 501(c)(3) are automatically considered tax exempt and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of tax-exempt status from the IRS. Further, governmental entities are generally eligible to receive a distribution of funds from CFGB, but proof of the applying organization’s status as a government entity should be provided.
When is the next Grant Cycle?

The Community Foundation offers two grant application opportunities each year. The 2019 Cycle 1 grant application process  will open January 18, 2019 with a Brief Proposal deadline of February 15, 2019.

Please note, the Community Foundation has an interest in proposals across all seven results that address issues of aging and reference the findings of our EngAge report on aging-related needs in the Greater Birmingham area. Click here for more information about our EngAge report.

What are the Grant Cycles?

To drive positive community change through smart, effective grantmaking, we continue to refine our focus and set priorities for the grants we make from our Community Funds. These priorities have evolved or time and now reflect four Results most important tour community’s well-being:

Grant Cycle 1 (Opens January 18, 2019; Brief Proposal deadline February 15, 2019)

  1. Children are successful along the educational pipeline

Applications for this Result should focus on one of the following strategies:

  • Increase early learning opportunities from birth through fifth grade
  • Increase career and college readiness
  1. People can lead healthy lives

Applications for this Result should focus on one of the following strategies:

  • Improve nutrition and healthy food access and increase physical activity
  • Improve access to care for vulnerable populations

Grant Cycle 2 (Opens July 19, 2019; Brief Proposal deadline August 16, 2019)

  1. Communities are sustainable, livable and vibrant

Applications for this Result should focus on one of the following strategies:

  • Expand and improve public green space
  • Improve the natural environment
  • Further develop vibrant city center for Birmingham
  • Expand access to arts and cultural opportunities
  1. Individuals and families are economically secure

Applications for this Result should focus on one of the following strategies:

  • Improve housing stability
  • Increase public policy changes that positively impact low income individuals and families
  • Increase direct services that positively impact low income individuals and families
How can I apply?
  1. Review the Competitive Grantmaking Guidelines.
  2. Visit our Results Framework page to determine which Grant Cycle your proposal will address.
  3. Review Accessing Our Grant Application Center
  4. Register your nonprofit organization and submit your Brief Proposal through our Grant Application Center. Please be advised that we can only accept proposals through our on-line Grant Application Center.

If you would like to review the brief proposal form questions before submitting an online proposal, please contact Katie Dean at

What happens after I submit my brief proposal application?

Applications are formally acknowledged via email. You will be notified by a member of the Program Staff whether your brief proposal moves forward or not, this can take three to four weeks. If your application moves forward you will be requested to submit a more in-depth proposal.

What if I miss the deadline?

Due to the large volume of applications received by the Foundation, we regret that we cannot accept late applications. The Grant Application Center will only allow submissions through the deadline, applications saved In Progress will not be processed.

What if I have an urgent project?

In rare instances, the Foundation will expedite processing for a project that has an urgent need and that is closely aligned with the Foundation’s strategic goals. Please contact a member of our Program Staff to discuss your circumstances before submitting an urgent request.

Still Have Questions?

The Program staff welcomes your questions. You can find a full staff contact list here. For help regarding the Grant Application Center navigation, please view the Accessing Our Grant Application Center page.

Grantee Media Guidelines