Our Story

Improve the quality of life in our community through philanthropy

Our Visual Timeline

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2008
2009
  • Joe and Pam Alexander make initial donation to Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County
  • Receive our 501c3 letter of determination
  • Hires Lynne Berry as Executive Director
2010
  • Hosted first Summit on Philanthropy
2011
  • Received over $3 million from Dynetics employees through their ESOP transaction
2012
  • Created first corporate giving fund for Vector Wealth Strategies
2013
  • Launched NonProfit University to provide professional development for nonprofit leaders
  • Hired Stuart Obermann as CEO
2014
  • Launched Catalyst Endowment with a generous gift from Torch Technologies, the Torchbearer Sponsor
2015
  • Published first edition of Vital Signs
2016
  • Awarded the Chamber of Commerce's Nonprofit of the Year
2017
  • Awarded first grant from Catalyst Endowment for the SAIL program
  • Changed name to Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville
  • Received accreditation National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® 2018
2018
  • Received GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency
  • Launched Women’s Philanthropy Society
  • Moved to the current Park Plaza location
2019
  • Exceeded $30 million in donations and $15 million in grants
  • Received 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
  • Appointed Melissa Thompson as CEO
  • 2008
  • 2009
    • Joe and Pam Alexander make initial donation to Community Foundation of Huntsville/Madison County
    • Receive our 501c3 letter of determination
    • Hires Lynne Berry as Executive Director
  • 2010
    • Hosted first Summit on Philanthropy
  • 2011
    • Received over $3 million from Dynetics employees through their ESOP transaction
  • 2012
    • Created first corporate giving fund for Vector Wealth Strategies
  • 2013
    • Launched NonProfit University to provide professional development for nonprofit leaders
    • Hired Stuart Obermann as CEO
  • 2014
    • Launched Catalyst Endowment with a generous gift from Torch Technologies, the Torchbearer Sponsor
  • 2015
    • Published first edition of Vital Signs
  • 2016
    • Awarded the Chamber of Commerce's Nonprofit of the Year
  • 2017
    • Awarded first grant from Catalyst Endowment for the SAIL program
    • Changed name to Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville
    • Received accreditation National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® 2018
  • 2018
    • Received GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency
    • Launched Women’s Philanthropy Society
    • Moved to the current Park Plaza location
  • 2019
    • Exceeded $30 million in donations and $15 million in grants
    • Received 4-star rating from Charity Navigator
    • Appointed Melissa Thompson as CEO

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 key efforts:

  • 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.

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 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 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.


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