Employee generosity leads to ‘new idea in giving’

UAB’s Benevolent Fund will award a Community Impact Grant worth up to $50,000 to a community nonprofit.

BFWattsUAB President Ray Watts speaks at the Benevolent Fund campaign celebration. It was announced at the reception that the Benevolent Fund has created the Community Impact Grant worth up to $50,000.The UAB Benevolent Fund, the UAB employee-supported charitable campaign, wants to make a bigger impact on the community by creating the Community Impact Grant initiative.

The inaugural grant of up to $50,000 will be awarded to a nonprofit group or coalition to help fund an initiative that will affect education, health or economic security. Interested nonprofit groups that operate in the Greater Birmingham area must submit a brief proposal that supports one of three goals:

  • Children achieving educational success
  • People leading healthy, active lives
  • Families becoming economically secure

“For 30 years the Benevolent Fund has enabled UAB employees to meet the most urgent needs of our fellow employees and others throughout our community,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “The Community Impact Grant initiative is an exciting way for us to address serious challenges in health, education and economic security, and dramatically change lives for the better.”

Brief proposals will be accepted through 5 p.m. Aug. 22, and the Benevolent Fund Committee will select applicants to complete full proposals Aug. 27. To be eligible, applicants must provide 50 percent matching funds — of which at least 25 percent must be cash. Learn more about the grant application requirements and timeline online.

UAB employees will select the grant winner. Finalists will present their grant requests to employees Dec. 10, and employees will vote at the event.

“For some time, the Benevolent Fund has wanted to supplement the programs we already offer with this new idea in giving,” said program manager Lisa Higginbotham. “The Benevolent Fund has been very blessed to have an increase in pledges for the coming year. This seemed like the perfect time to introduce such a grant to our community and further engage our UAB employees.”

Brief proposals will be accepted through 5 p.m. Aug. 22, and the Benevolent Fund Committee will select applicants to complete full proposals Aug. 27. To be eligible, applicants must provide 50 percent matching funds — of which at least 25 percent must be cash. Learn more about the grant application requirements and timeline online.

This year the Benevolent Fund celebrates its 30th year of service; it was founded in 1984 by UAB employees and former President S. Richardson Hill, M.D. The fund has awarded nearly $28 million to local health and human-service agencies that provide a safety net for the community, including health care screenings, nutritious meals, affordable homeownership, job training, assistance with utility bills and medical research.

“The Benevolent Fund recognizes the importance of building our community,” Higginbotham said. “Our framework of giving supports more than 120 local nonprofits and our Employee Emergency Assistance Program.”

During the past 30 years, approximately 3,500 employees have received more than $3.5 million in direct financial assistance through the EEAP. Higginbotham says the majority of employees were unable to work and were without income because of medical reasons; they received assistance to maintain health insurance and pay medical bills, rent, utilities or other necessities. The program also assists employees who experience loss through fire, flood and tornadoes.

“We embrace our role as one of the ways UAB serves our community,” Higginbotham said. “We are pleased to be able to offer what we believe will be a tool for positive change. By calling for innovative proposals and allowing our employees to decide which program to fund, we hope to increase awareness of issues facing our community, as well as the ways we can work together to overcome these challenges.”

Service to Community

 
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