What is the JLB Beeson Community Fund?
In 2001, the JLB received a generous gift from philanthropist Lucille Stewart Beeson. She bequeathed “The Charity Fund of the Junior League of Birmingham 4.3% of the net income” from her residual trust. She requested that the JLB use the funds to expand its charitable reach enabling a greater impact in the Birmingham community.
Annually since 2002, the JLB Beeson Community Fund has granted somewhere between $210,000 – $403,000 to non-profits whose missions align with ours, and whose work in the community will make a lasting change.
What’s the difference between the JLB’s Community Research Process and The Beeson Community Fund?
JLB’s Community Research Process: The JLB is most widely known for our volunteer efforts. Our volunteers give over 50,000 hours of community service to the Birmingham non-profit community annually. Each year, organizations can request trained volunteers – along with funding – for specific projects through the JLB’s Community Research Process. A group of 20 JLB members collectively decide which projects the JLB will support in the coming year. The JLB allocates upwards of 450 volunteers and $400,000 in funds into our community placements through this process.
JLB’s Beeson Community Fund: This fund is grant making with no volunteer component. The committee is separate to the JLB’s Community Research Process. The Committee consists of 12 voting members, all are present and past JLB leaders – actives and sustainers – with a passion for and understanding of the Birmingham community.
Who can apply for a JLB Beeson Community Fund Grant?
The grant process is open to all 501(c)(3) organizations within the geographical community served by the JLB that further the mission of the JLB and our impact areas or promote systemic change within the community. The Beeson Committee may give preference to organizations that have previously been vetted by a committee of the JLB or have received or currently receive support from the JLB.
What is the average size of a grant request?
A grant request must be for at least $25,000, but the grant awarded may be for less than the requested amount. The Beeson Community Fund receives grants ranging from single year, $25,000 requests to much larger, multi-year requests. In 2014-15, roughly $403,000 was awarded to nine grantees from 18 applicants.
Can I apply for more than one grant?
There is nothing in the JLB Beeson Community Fund policies that prevents an organization from applying for more than one grant. However, an organization has yet to receive multiple grants in one year.
Can I re-apply for a grant I received in the past?
There is nothing in the JLB Beeson Community Fund policies that prevents an organization from re-applying for a grant that they were awarded in a prior year.
Can I apply for a multi-year grant?
Multi-year grants will be entertained, but must be fully distributed within three (3) years of grant approval.
If my organization receives a grant, when are funds available?
Grantees will be notified by January 31, 2017, with 75% of the funds available for immediate disbursement. The Beeson Committee will fund no more than seventy-five percent (75%) of the grant prior to a site visit by a member of the Beeson Committee and the receipt of documentation from the grantee evidencing expenditure of the allocated funds.
The remaining twenty-five percent (25%) of the grant amount will be retained until the Beeson Committee receives a report on the project.
Do I submit a progress report of any kind?
Yes. The JLB Beeson Community Fund requests a progress report and/or site visit to be completed no later than May 15, 2017. Agencies that do not submit a progress report by May 15, 2017 or a final report within a year of grant distribution will risk forfeiture of remaining funds granted to their project.