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Community Impact Grants at the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of the Greater Richmond region.

Our Community Impact grants support nonprofits whose strategies and outcomes align with our four focus areas: community vibrancy, economic prosperity, educational success, and health and wellness.

We have an online application process for any nonprofit seeking program or operating support.

  • If you were unable to attend one of our information sessions for the 2022 grant process, we strongly encourage you to access the following meeting materials for more detailed instructions on how to apply.
    > View recorded session
    > Download presentation slides
  • The Letter of Introduction process opens December 1, 2021 and the deadline is January 31, 2022. View the Letter of Introduction template
  • The Full Application process will be available by invitation only. Applications open February 21, 2022 and the deadline is March 21, 2022 at 5 p.m.  
  • Final grant decisions are made and communicated in June.

See recent Community Impact grants

Our Philosophy

The Community Foundation’s funds can create greater impact in the community by targeting a focused set of persistent, regional challenges.

For fifty years, the Community Foundation’s philanthropic presence in the Richmond Region has supported nonprofit organizations in making our community a better place for all residents to call home. Despite broad-based community investments, there exists today two realities in our community:

  • RVA, a place where economic development is driving revitalization of neighborhoods, a stronger arts and cultural presence, national awards for quality of life, and an overall optimistic view of our region’s future.

    And…
  • Richmond, a place where low-wealth families are locked in cycles of poverty, access to jobs and essential services is limited, schools are in disrepair and do not meet students’ academic needs, and a lack of hope has led to spiraling violence in neighborhoods. To create lasting impact, the Community Foundation will focus its resources on the persistent challenges that keep all residents from benefiting from the positive growth in our region.

The Community Foundation’s grantmaking will focus on activities that are most directly tied to increasing opportunity for low-wealth residents. We will approach our grantmaking decisions through a priority of requirements that include access and equity for all residents — with a particular focus on racial equity, high quality programming, capacity building, and collaboration with public, private, and other nonprofit partners. 

Focus Areas

Click each focus area below to see the broad framework guiding our decisions:

Community Vibrancy Economic Prosperity  |  Educational Success  |  Health & Wellness

High Impact Areas

Narrowed from the focus areas above, the following strategies have been identified as those that have the greatest potential to create opportunity for low-income residents.

Affordable Housing  |   Early Childhood Education  |  Workforce Development

Our Grant Process

Eligibility

  • Letters of Introduction are accepted from 501(c)(3) charitable organizations located in the Community Foundation's service area, which includes: the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, as well as the counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Powhatan.
  • Community Impact grant applicants are required to maintain a Guidestar Gold profile. We suggest making these updates at least two weeks prior to the Full Application deadline. For more information on creating or updating your organization's profile, please visit Guidestar's Nonprofit Profile page.
  • All prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to request a meeting with a Community Engagement officer before starting an application.

Grant Priorities

We focus on four areas of community life that are most likely to produce positive and lasting change in the Greater Richmond region.

We work closely with our funding partners and grantees to advance these goals:

Grant Amount

Grants typically range from $10,000 to $50,000. Occasionally, we will identify a limited number of projects to receive grants in excess of the current guidelines.

How to Apply

Please complete ALL of the following steps prior to submitting an LOI: 

 

    Step 1 - Watch the video below, which is a recording of the 2022 Information Session for Nonprofits and provides detailed instructions for each phase of the process. You may also download the slide deck covered during the session.


    Step 2 - Request a meeting with a Program Officer

     

    This is an opportunity to establish a relationship with the Community Foundation, share details of your work, and brainstorm ideas for a potential grant request. This conversation will be considered along with your Letter of Introduction. 

Step 3 - Register/Login in the online grant system.
First-time applicants will be prompted to create an account. If you have applied in the past, use your existing login.

Step 4 - Submit a Letter of Introduction.
We strongly recommend you first download the Letter of Introduction template for a preview of the fields you will need to complete through our online grants management portal. Refer to aforementioned video and slide deck for detailed instructions.

Step 5 - Submit a Full Application (Invitation Only)
Similar to the LOI, we strongly recommend you first download the full application template for a preview of the fields you will need to complete online. Please note that it contains all three versions of the application – Operating, Program, and Policy/Advocacy - for reference purposes only. If you’re invited into the Community Impact process, our team will tell you which version of the application to complete.

If you are invited to submit a Full Application, the form will be accessible in the online grant system. You have the option to use the following document to complete your Full Application: Project Budget Form [XLS]

Report Back

Submit final report.

Grantees must submit a final report by 5 pm on the last working day in July in the year following your award. You will also use the online grants system to submit your report. Results should align with the outcomes described in your original Full Application.

Access Online System