Central Alabama Community Foundation

The Central Alabama Community Foundation is a nonprofit philanthropic foundation created by and for the people of central Alabama.  Individuals and corporate donors make gifts and bequests of any size for the betterment of our community.  Through our grants program, the Foundation addresses a wide variety of needs and opportunities, supporting programs and projects in education, human services, health, cultural arts, and other civic concerns.

Curbing the Violence Focus Grant

President Burton Ward announced at a press conference Wednesday, Sept. 23 that Common Ground Montgomery (CGM) would receive a $100,000 “Curbing the Violence” focus grant for their organization’s “Life on Life” mentoring program. CGM also won $50,000 from CACF in 2014 for the same program.

Common Ground Montgomery works with youth in the Washington Park and Gibbs Village communities in Montgomery by providing mentors and after school activities. CGM places long-term mentors with at-risk youth in hopes for a greater chance at personal success.

According the CGM’s grant application, recent studies have indicated that in the 36108 zip code of the city of Montgomery, nearly 31% of fourth graders will drop out of high school before receiving their high school diplomas. Children who end up dropping out of school risk the tragedy of ending up dead, in jail or in poverty.

CGM identified the number one risk factor being children from a single parent home hence validating the great need for mentors. Since its inception 9 years ago, CGM staff has witnessed an increase in high school graduation, college, military or technical career preparation, and negative generational patterns being broken.

In 2015-2016, CGM hopes to be able to use the grant money from CACF to match 40 mentors and mentees in addition to other program expenses such as marketing, development and recruiting interns for its summer program.

“The focus grant committee felt Common Ground's core mission of investing in urban youth speaks quite directly to the goal of this grant of the Central Alabama Community Foundation - reducing violence in the local communities. More specifically, Common Ground's mentoring program and its focus on the youth address both symptoms and root causes of the violence in our community.  Further, the Common Ground program is well designed, well managed, will provide meaningful data back to the community, encourages involvement from a variety of people and is just the type of nonprofit the CACF wants to encourage,” said Shannon G. Speir, CACF Vice-Chairman and Focus Grant Committee member.