Community Foundation’s Nanni speaks to Shelby County businesses

President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham spoke at the Aug. 27 Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce luncheon held at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. (Reporter Photo / Jon Goering)

President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham spoke at the Aug. 27 Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce luncheon held at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. (Reporter Photo / Jon Goering)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Since 1959, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has supported communities in Shelby, Blount, Jefferson, St. Cloud and Walker counties through working with businesses and donors, funding grants and leveraging donations.

President and CEO Christopher Nanni explained the Community Foundation’s operations and impact, and encouraged Shelby County participation during an Aug. 27 Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena.

“You, citizens, donors… can make the difference, ad we can help you achieve that dream,” Nanni said. “We receive gifts… then we invest them and grow those asset. We invest in the community for change.”

The Community Foundation currently manages 450 grant making funds ranging from $15,000 to $22 million, and has a total of more than $190 million in assets. The money is used to fund projects and organizations in four areas: education, leading health lives, sustainable and livable communities and economic stability, Nanni explained.

The Community Foundation has worked to fund a variety of projects, including the restoration of Lyric Theater and the Birmingham Lights project in Downtown Birmingham, the Holy Family Cristo Rey school and the community food bank in Blount and Walker counties.

Since 1995, the Community Foundation has given 922 grants amounting to nearly $7 million to Shelby County, Nanni said. These grants have gone to many organizations across the county, including the University of Montevallo, the D.A.Y Program, the Community of Hope Health Clinic and the Montevallo Development Cooperative District.

“It’s really about you all as community members and potential donors,” Nanni said. “We’re the resource that can make that happen.”

“We want to make sure people are aware of (the Community Foundation),” Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce CEO Kirk Mancer explained, noting the GSCCC’s more than 30 nonprofit members. Additionally, municipalities can benefit Community Foundation grants, Mancer said.

“The Chamber is involved in quality of life issues,” Mancer said. “We want to help maintain and improve the existing quality of life.”