Our Story

Improve the quality of life in our community through philanthropy

Our Visual Timeline


Love this community? We do, too.

That’s why our vision is to make our great community even better, and our mission is to improve the quality of life in our community through philanthropy. We achieve our vision and mission by focusing on three strategies:

  • Encourage strategic generosity

  • Support local nonprofits

  • Pioneer innovative solutions

Our Story

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 (now Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville) was incorporated in October of 2008 and received its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service on September 3, 2009.

In its first decade serving this community, the Community Foundation has raised well over $32 million dollars of charitable assets and has distributed, on behalf of our donors, over $17,000,000 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.

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 NAVIGATE Nonprofit Network Conference (formerly NPUHuntsville). 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. 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 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, the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® which establishes legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere, requiring detailed documentation of policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration to provide quality assurance to donors and legal and financial advisors. Shortly after, in early 2018, the Community Foundation earned the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency - the highest level of recognition obtainable - which showcases key metrics to report progress against their missions in quantitative terms. The following year, nonprofit evaluator Charity Navigator awarded the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville a coveted 4-star rating for financial health and commitment to transparency.

The Community Foundation works hard to make generosity simple. We believe that this community has the resources to address our most pressing problems. And philanthropy is a powerful tool to create positive change. Philanthropy not only allows donors to find more purpose in their lives and businesses, but also gives individuals and organizations the tools to make a difference. You see, generosity is simply investing in a dream.

So ask yourself: What would you like to accomplish in your community, in the country, across the world? What values would you like to reflect in yourself, your family, your business? We can help.

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