Community Foundation Announces First Grants From Its $1 Million COVID-19 Relief Fund

The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham on Friday announced the first round of grants through its COVID-19 Relief Fund and new grants through its Catalyst Fund.

The foundation has committed to make more than $1 million in grants through the Relief Fund to nonprofit groups so they can address the immediate and basic needs of economically vulnerable populations in the five-county Birmingham area affected by COVID-19.

In its announcement Friday, officials with the foundation said its philanthropic partners, businesses and individuals responded quickly to its call for help. Grants include:

  • Alabama Kidney Foundation for transportation to dialysis for high medical needs patients ($5,000)
  • East Lake Initiative for food, rent assistance, utility assistance for impacted families ($15,000)
  • Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA) to support the emergency fund for basic needs and provide technology adaptations to help provide services ($25,000)
  • Impact Family Counseling to support mental health services to children and families and provide remote access to clients ($20,000)
  • The Ministry at Green Springs to provide delivery and drive-through food distribution to clients ($10,000)
  • Safehouse for Shelby County to facilitate remote work and support safety and health measures in its domestic violence shelter ($5,000)
  • Space One Eleven to provide technology assistance to move art classes for low-income children to online access ($5,000).

The foundation also provided a grant to help the Birmingham Business Resource Center provide navigation support to nonprofits that are applying for funding through the Payroll Protection Program of the CARES Act. Nonprofits can call 205-250-6380, ext. 6611, to access the hot line for questions and support.

Organizations interested in grants can apply on the foundation’s website. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through the end of May, after which the foundation will reevaluate community needs, according to the statement. Grants will be made regularly throughout the outbreak and recovery so the group can move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs.

Donations to the fund also can be made on that website.

Catalyst Fund Grants

The foundation announced three grants through its Catalyst Fund to support critical needs related to the COVID-19 crisis:

  • The Women’s Fund of Birmingham for a challenge grant to its Rapid Operating and Relief for Women Fund to help at-risk child care centers serving essential workers in the region ($100,000)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham to provide child care for medical and other essential health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis ($50,000)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham for COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research ($50,000).

The Catalyst Fund is a special pool of money designated for transformational projects in the region. Recent projects supported include the pilot program for Birmingham On-Demand microtransit, Together We Prosper, regional cooperation efforts and Birmingham Lights, the light art installations in the downtown underpasses.