Who’s That Fresh Face at the Community Foundation?

Community Foundation of Huntsville Executive Director, Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson, CEO/President, Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville

Whether at Thanksgiving or in the heat of the summer, anytime is a great time to reflect and give thanks for what we have and love. At The Scout Guide, we are particularly grateful that we so often find ourselves in awe of local individuals and their commitment to having a positive impact on our already-pretty-spectacular city.

We recently had the pleasure of meeting one of those driving forces, Melissa Thompson, the newly-appointed CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. Having served for six years as the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) following more than six years as the Vice-President of Operations, we know that Melissa is seriously community-minded and wanted to learn and share a little bit more about Melissa’s new role at the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville.

What is the most fulfilling part of your new role?

I love helping people be generous in a way that is meaningful to them … whether setting up a giving fund to support causes they care about or supporting a field of interest fund to focus on making a systemic difference in a particular area of our community’s quality of life.

How do you plan to achieve that vision? 

At the Community Foundation, we believe that this community has the resources to address our most pressing problems.  My job – my joy – is meeting with people to help them put their generosity plans into action.  Together, we can improve the quality of life in this community we all call “home.”

Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville

What part does the Community Foundation play in reaching these solutions?

The Community Foundation is working hard to make dreams for a brighter future for our community come true by making generosity simple. We know that philanthropy looks different to every donor. We are here to help guide individuals, families, and companies on their journey in giving… whatever that looks like for them.

What do you want people to know about philanthropy? 

Philanthropy is simply generosity driven by strategy.  This type of generosity is an investment in optimism … an investment in our dreams for future generations. We want to help bring these dreams to reality by helping those with a spirit of giving to more effectively and efficiently invest their resources in the community that we all love.

Melissa, is there anything else you want us to know?

I like to ask the people, “What is your dream for our community’s future?”  When we dream big, great things can happen.  After all, our community is one built on dreams … dreams of what the world might look like when we come together to accomplish a goal.  At our core, we are a community of dreamers, innovators, and pioneers.  Whether it involves putting a man on the moon, being on the cutting edge of technology to defend our country, or unlocking the mysteries that are bound within our DNA, we have proven that no challenge is too great when we work together to solve it.  We want to bring that same innovative spirit to our philanthropy too.  At the Community Foundation, we believe that the future is bright, when we go there together.

Ok, now down to the nitty gritty… what is on your desk right now?  

I have a favorite picture of me with the four ladies on our Community Foundation staff.  I love these ladies and value their friendship and the passion they bring to their work each day.

What do you never leave home without?  

My quarterly planner.  If it’s on the schedule, it gets done!

Bonus … will you share a fun fact about yourself that most people would be surprised to know? 

I was on a championship basketball team in high school!

Advice from the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville

Thank you Melissa for such an insightful chat! Wishing you a year that you can be thankful for!