Windows on Company Giving


“Intergraph partnered with the Botanical Gardens to create the Garden of Hope in an effort to support cancer patients and their families, ” says Ed Porter, formerly executive vice president of human resources at Intergraph, now chief human resources officer for Hegaxon, Intergraph’s parent company. “The Garden’s intent is to provide a serene place of hope for patients and families to find a bit of respite from the rigors of the fight against this relentless disease.”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, which means we are entering the season of giving. But for numerous businesses throughout Alabama — both large and small — that Christmas spirit exists all year long. From multi-million dollar foundations to direct donations to volunteer programs, businesses in Alabama are no Scrooge when it comes to philanthropy. Here is a quick look at 10 Alabama companies that keep on giving after the Christmas lights come down.

Intergraph Corp.


Like many companies, Intergraph has given to a variety of causes over the years through grants and direct donations. But the software development and services company truly established roots in northern Alabama with the creation of the Garden of Hope at the Huntsville Botanical Garden.

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Founded by Intergraph in 2006, the Garden of Hope is a secluded area where cancer patients and their families can plant and maintain their own colorful gardens, providing a therapeutic benefit during treatment. The garden is divided into three areas representing strength, courage and faith. Thoughts and prayers can be written on stones and displayed in the garden for all to see. 

Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama LLC


There are almost as many pieces to Hyundai’s charitable giving program as there are parts to a car. Since 2002, Hyundai Motor Co. and HMMA have given more than $8.5 million to the Montgomery community through donations and sponsorships of various causes.

The company has donated to such organizations as the United Way and the Montgomery Area Food Bank; sponsored school clean-up days; provided students with free backpacks filled with school supplies, and supported causes ranging from pediatric cancer research to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Project. In 2004, HMMA was recognized by Montgomery’s Business in the Arts Awards for the company’s longtime support of local arts. 

The Westervelt Co.


The Westervelt Co.’s charitable focus is as homegrown as its products. This land resource and lumber manufacturing company supports nearly 20 organizations, mostly in the Tuscaloosa area. They include the Hale County Family Resource Center, the Kentuck Museum and Arts Center, the Moundville Community Learning Center, the Druid City Hospital Foundation Ball, Theater Tuscaloosa and West Alabama AIDS Outreach.

The Westervelt Co. also is responsible for a large art collection that is on display at the Tuscaloosa Museum of Art. Approximately 1, 000 works of fine and decorative arts were amassed for the company over several decades, and in 2011 they were transferred to the new Tuscaloosa Museum so they could be shared with the community. 

Balch and Bingham LLP 


The law firm has worked with Banks Middle School in Birmingham since 1991 as part of the Partners in Education program. Company officials say this program, which begins each year with a Teacher Appreciation luncheon, allows everyone in the firm to participate and make a personal contribution.

The firm has established committees in the areas of financial assistance, enrichment, incentives, donations and special projects. The committees work with school officials regarding their specific needs each year and then match those needs with the firm’s resources. Over the years the firm has established field trips, a mentoring program, a career day and an annual art contest.

BBVA Compass 


With total annual giving of nearly $5 million, the BBVA Compass Foundation is one of the top charitable entities in the state. The foundation provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations, with a goal of meeting specific needs in the various communities where the bank has offices.

The foundation provides priority consideration to nonprofits working in the areas of community development (including financial literacy), education, health and human services, arts and culture, environment and natural resources, and diversity and inclusion. In recent years, the foundation has supported 50 nonprofit community partners in the Birmingham region alone.

COLSA Corp. 


Each year, the employees with this technology services and solutions company pick new charitable causes to support. As a result, the company has assisted a wide range of organizations devoted to education, health, culture and civic causes. Company officials say the goal is to make a positive impact on both individuals and communities.

Supported causes over the years have included the American Cancer Society, the State Veterans Home, the Foster Children’s Alliance, United Cerebral Palsy, the Huntsville Downtown Rescue Mission and Meals on Wheels. In 2008, COLSA was named the Volunteer Corporation of the Year by the Volunteer Center of Madison County for the company’s work to help veterans.

Hibbett Sports Inc. 


Appropriately enough, this sporting goods retailer focuses much of its philanthropic efforts in the areas of health and exercise. In addition to raising money for the American Heart Association, Hibbett works with the organization to sponsor the annual Birmingham Heart Walk, as well as the Lifestyle Change Award.

Hibbett also collaborates with WIAT-42 in Birmingham on the One Team at a Time program, which supports local youth sports organizations. Each week, a different youth sports team receives a $1, 000 Hibbett gift card to be used to purchase equipment and supplies.

Caddell Construction Co. Inc. 


Caddell Construction is proof that smaller companies can still have a big charitable impact. Caddell sends out teams of employees each year to do work for a variety of community action programs, including Meals on Wheels and Rebuilding America, which provides home repairs and energy-efficient upgrades to low-income homeowners.

Caddell focuses much of its charitable efforts toward U.S. service members, as a way of saying “thank you” for the nearly $4 billion in work the company has done building facilities for the military. The company has built and donated war memorial monuments, sponsored special events on military bases and given to military-related charities.

Protective Life Corp. 


Protective began a five-year program this year to commit $23 million to community projects and organizations, in conjunction with its new parent, Tokyo-based Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Early funding has been designated to the Alabama Drug Discovery Program, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the new Negro Southern League Museum and the Birmingham Museum of Art.

In 2014, the Protective Life Foundation awarded nearly $4 million in donations and grants to a total of 247 organizations. Among those who received funding were the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the McWane Science Center, the Birmingham Zoo, Railroad Park, the United Way of Central Alabama and the Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

Vulcan Materials Co. 


The Vulcan Materials Co. Foundation topped $4 million in charitable giving last year, one of the highest totals among state companies. The foundation is involved in numerous adopt-a-school programs, scholarship funding and community events, as well as partnerships with land conservancies and establishing and maintaining wildlife habitats.

For the past 12 years, Vulcan Materials has held an annual “Make a Break Thru for CF” sporting clays tournament. The tournament has raised a total of more than $1.5 million for cystic fibrosis research. The company also supports programs that provide vocational training and employment opportunities for disabled young adults.

Cary Estes and Tyler Brown are freelance contributors to Business Alabama. Estes is based in Birmingham. Brown is based in Huntsville.

Text by Cary Estes • Photos by Tyler Brown

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