Community Foundation’s #SummitGivesBack crowd-funding campaign raises over $126K for local nonprofits

Left to right: Stuart Obermann, Valerie Hampton, Program Director, Village of Promise; Rachel Ballard, Exec Director, Village of Promise; Angie Bush, EL SAIL Summer Program Director, Madison City Schools; Joe Alexander


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Oct. 24, 2017) — This September, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville hosted its ninth annual Summit on Philanthropy to inspire and educate community leaders on how philanthropy can improve the quality of life in our community. In addition to the Summit on Philanthropy event, this year the Community Foundation took a pro-active role to demonstrate how the general public can participate in philanthropy, allowing everyone in our community to contribute to five selected projects championed by local nonprofit organizations.

The selection process began in April when the 29 nonprofit partners of the Community Foundation who are also agency fundholders, were invited to submit proposals for a “collective impact” project that would benefit our community. Of the 10 proposals submitted, the Community Impact Committee selected six agencies to participate in #SummitGivesBack crowdfunding campaign. The participating projects were selected on the basis of their proposals, with preference given to those that encouraged collaboration, presented measurable outcomes, and demonstrated a significant positive impact on our community. The Community Foundation worked with Camisary, a local media specialist, to produce a two-minute project overview video for each of the semi-finalists. These videos were used throughout the month of July in a social media contest, which allowed the public to cast a vote each day for the project of their choice. The three videos that received the most votes joined two projects sponsored by the Community Foundation and moved on to the crowd-funding phase in August.

These five projects received funding from the general public through the #SummitGivesBack website,, and by mid-September had raised over $42,000 from hundreds of local donors. At the Summit on Philanthropy, these projects were showcased in a panel discussion to highlight their work. The audience, which included many of the Community Foundation’s fundholders, was given the opportunity to participate in funding the featured projects. When the crowdfunding campaign closed on September 30, 2017, the total amount raised for the projects was over $126,000.

The five projects receiving funding include:

  • CAP&GOWN Project – received $59,851.22
  • Grants to Green – Energy Alabama & Community Foundation – received $9,440.00
  • Splash! – Heart of the Valley YMCA – received $10,958.00
  • Good Seeds Grow Well – Huntsville Botanical Garden – received $11,529.15
  • Summer Adventures in Learning (SAIL) – The Schools Foundation & Community Foundation – received $35,537.85

Stuart Obermann, CEO of the Community Foundation, stated: “The #SummitGivesBack campaign was something of an experiment for us, utilizing a social media-based crowdfunding platform to raise money for local nonprofit projects. The results were impressive in terms of the amount of money raised and the large number of donors who participated. Gifts ranged from $5 to $5,000 and came from a wide variety of people across our community. This campaign allowed us to democratize philanthropy, making it accessible to everyone interested, and it was especially effective in reaching out to a younger demographic through the social media channels and video voting campaign. We are happy to see so many in our community stepping up to support these important projects that will have a very positive impact on the people living in the Greater Huntsville region.”


About the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville

Our Mission: Improving the quality of life in our community through philanthropy

The Community Foundation currently manages over $13 million in charitable assets in approximately 190 funds. These funds, including those administered by the board of the Community Foundation, make grants to charities that help improve the quality of life for everyone living in our community. Since 2009, over $9.5 million in grants has been distributed to nonprofit organizations in our community and elsewhere. The Community Foundation takes a holistic view of the community and considers all categories of charitable endeavors to be vital to that quality of life – from education, environment, basic needs, health and wellness, to lifestyle and emergency relief. The Community Foundation works with donors to help them achieve the maximum positive impact in the areas for which they are passionate.

For more information about the Community Foundation and our charitable services available to families, companies and nonprofit organizations, contact us at 256.535.2065 or or visit