BCF inspires and motivates the community
For more than a decade, the Birmingham Change Fund (BCF) has been a philanthropic driving force in our community. In 2003, a group of young professionals in their 20s pooled their money together to make strategic impact in Birmingham. Early in their career, these individuals leveraged their excess cash in order to transform lives and create sustainable communities by focusing on financial empowerment, health care, and education.
With around 20 members, BCF has garnered more than $100,000 in its eleven-year history and has granted $50,000. BCF exemplifies the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” BCF promotes that at its roots, philanthropy is love of mankind. BCF inspires others to give collectively and strategically in order to make the greatest impact. This is seen in BCF’s theory of change which includes not only financial contributions to worthy organizations but also donating time, talents, and resources. In BCF, the giving begins first with its members and radiates to the outer edges of our community, touching lives for generations to come.
2005 Grant Award (1st grant presentation)
BCF enhances the quality of life in Alabama and Nationally
BCF is a flagship giving circle and is a nationally recognized model of giving. It is lifted up as a prototype of how ordinary individuals can change their communities using collective philanthropy. Additionally, BCF is a noted resource in the area of non-traditional philanthropy and has shared its story at conferences and in communities of across the country.
Locally, BCF members have served on grantee organizations’ boards to aid in capacity building. Through a partnership with the Children’s Hospital Foundation, BCF has invested funds in AIDS research and Sickle Cell Disease research for children. BCF has also sponsored and presented at several seminars including the annual Financial Discovery Forum, the AG Gaston Economic Development Summit to youth. In addition, BCF brought a national philanthropy conference to Birmingham that focused on attendees leveraging their collective gifts to impact their respective communities.
More than 200 individuals from around the nation joined more than 50 community leaders here in Birmingham. Nationally, by sharing the message of love for all humankind, BCF has helped start giving circles in other cities including Atlanta, Denver, and Phoenix. Nationally, BCF members have also served on panels including the Council of Foundations Conference for Community Foundations and the Community Investment Network Conference.
In 2011, a 3-year award of $30,000 was granted to the McWane Science Center and W.J. Christian School for the Science Education Partnership. With a proven matrix of positive impact, our grant dollars yielded increased standardized test scores and students that were more interested in science. These results are a win-win victory for our students and highlight the power of collective philanthropy and its impact in our communities for years to come. BCF makes long-term investments to continuously make Birmingham the best place to live.
Founded in 2014
Raised over $100,000
Granted over $50,000
One of two founding circles of the Community Investment Network
Provided a multi-year grant award of $30,000 to McWane Science Center & W.J. Christian School
Outstanding Charitable Organization
–Recognized at the 2015 National Philanthropy Day awards by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
1. Teacher Training Workshops
2. Classroom Outreach Programs
3. McWane-based science labs and programs
4. School-based science resource center at W. J. Christian School
Impact by Numbers
Over 47 field trips
15 outreach sessions
State standard test score increase from 41% exceeding standards to 65%
W.J. Christian took home multiple awards at the 2013 district science fair
55% of students indicated strong interest in pursuing a career in some field related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
94% of students indicated that they like learning science