Black Belt Community Foundation

A civic marketplace built on trust

Founded 20 years ago, the Black Belt Community Foundation (BBCF) demonstrates the value of established civic hubs with strong local relationships. Led by their motto “taking what we have to make what we need,” the Alabama-based foundation builds a civic marketplace by supporting programs that meet residents’ needs, including grassroots civic engagement, local leadership development, community and economic development, the arts, K-college education, and health and wellness.

The foundation bolsters local efforts through regranting and capacity building, and works with partners and residents to find solutions whenever a need arises in the community, whether that’s wastewater improvements, emergency storm shelters, the Census count or better access to banking or fresh food. It recently conducted over 33,000 health equity surveys with residents across a 12-county region to advocate for health, outreach, promotion and education, and runs a Head Start program across four counties. BBCF emphasizes the importance of social trust, noting “social trust is a form of capital for us.”

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Photos courtesy of Black Belt Community Foundation