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Grant FAQ - COVID-Response

As our region copes with the ever-changing impact of the coronavirus, the Community Foundation is here for you. We have partnered with a large coalition of philanthropy, business and local government partners to launch the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, ensuring that resources will be available to help local nonprofit organizations and public agencies meeting the critical needs of our most vulnerable residents and neighbors.

We understand that this situation is rapidly changing and it is hard to predict the full impact for our region and beyond. That is why this fund is designed to be flexible as needs change over time, and to coordinate with other resources and responses at the local, state and national levels. Rest assured, we are working diligently to monitor needs, changes, and developments daily to ensure we are providing comprehensive support to our community.  

Please review the following Frequently Asked Questions to learn how your organization can share needs with us, how the fund will work, what impact the crisis will have on our current grant cycle and other details. While we are operating remotely, we are operating at full capacity and we are available if we can assist in any way. 

Grant applications are currently being considered by invitation only.

About the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund 

What does the fund support? 

Geographic Scope

Eligible organizations must provide services in Central Virginia, which for this initiative includes the cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg; the town of Ashland; and the immediate surrounding counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico and Powhatan. Aligned with the larger footprint of the Emergency Management Alliance, requests will also be considered for organizations serving Amelia, Brunswick, Caroline, Charles City, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Emporia, Essex, Fort AP Hill, Fort Lee, Greensville, King and Queen, King William, Louisa, New Kent, Price George and Sussex. 

Funding Priorities

Recognizing the dynamic nature of the situation and the potentially long-lasting impact of the pandemic on the region's residents, the fund is designed to remain flexible to changing needs. Early phase funding focused on response strategies to ensure the health and safety of our community. As the region began to reopen, the fund expanded its scope to include strategies that support longer term recovery.  

Consideration will be given to nonprofit organizations and public agencies working to achieve the following outcomes in two categories:

Emergency Requests

  • Filling gaps in availability of and access to healthcare; 
  • Ensuring essential services are provided to health care workers and first responders; 
  • Providing access to basic needs, particularly food; 
  • Providing access to safety equipment and/or cleaning or disinfecting supplies; and 
  • Providing access to shelter for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Recovery Requests

  • Providing eviction prevention counseling or rental assistance for unemployed residents and those living in poverty;
  • Providing programming that supports residents as they strive to return to work through job readiness, access and retention services - with priority for applicants providing services to individuals who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Providing assistance to local public school systems, or their associated educational foundations, in support of reopening plans. Focus will be on services including technology, transportation, teacher training and professional development that enable the continuation of virtual learning and/or the return of students to the classroom when appropriate; and
  • Supporting childcare operations that serve families of low to moderate income. Grants can support current operations or expansion of child-focused services. Our priority is the children of employees of essential businesses and COVID-related service providers.

Emphasis will be given to system coordination and delivery, in which the applicant has proven ability to execute scaled efforts addressing the needs of those most affected by the pandemic. Vulnerable populations may include first responders, front line personnel, children and their families, seniors, low income and dislocated low-income workers, immigrants, individuals with limited English language proficiency, other individuals adversely affected by the pandemic.

Grant applications are currently being considered by invitation only.

What does the fund NOT support? 

The fund is not able to support general assistance to organizations experiencing lost revenue during the COVID-19 disaster or activities for which costs are known to be reimbursable from other sources.

The fund does not support requests for individual assistance, business support, or business loans. 

Here are current resources for individuals: 

  • If you are an individual in need, please contact #211
  • Information for people experiencing homelessness: Homeless Crisis Line, 804-972-0813 
  • Healthcare for people experiencing homelessness: Daily Planet Health Services, 804-783-2505
  • Small businesses may find helpful information through ChamberRVA.

Is my organization eligible if we have not previously received funding from Community Foundation?


How can my organization apply for support?

Grant applications are currently being considered by invitation only.

If you would like to discuss your specific needs in more detail, please contact a Program Officer.

What is the minimum grant amount you will consider? 

We will consider requests of any amount, but we expect most grants to be between $10,000-$50,000.  

When will grants be awarded? 

Our goal is to process requests quickly and on a rolling basis.  

Can my organization apply more than once? 

Yes, please feel free to update us as your needs change.  

Impact of COVID-19 response on existing grant cycles 

My organization can no longer meet the outcomes proposed in our 2019 grant award because of changes to our operations and programs. What should I do? 

We know that many of the programs and activities proposed have changed in recent weeks and we will work with each organization to make modifications as needed.  

Can we re-purpose current grant support for another use, such as operations? 

Yes, we are open to modifying 2019 grants to support current needs, including converting restricted programmatic support to cover general operating expenses. Please contact your Program Officer to discuss this process, when you are able.  

My organization submitted a request in our 2020 Community Impact Grant application that is no longer our greatest need or relevant to our organization. Can I revise the descriptions of activities and outcomes submitted? 

Yes, we are open to changing and updating these grant requests. Please contact your Program Officer to discuss.  

Resources to help with other needs 

How can my organization update the Community Foundation’s donors on our needs? 

As always, our team works collaboratively to ensure cross-communication of needs with donors as appropriate. Meanwhile, we strongly encourage you to continue outreach to your supporters about the impact of COVID-19 on your programs and operations.

If you wish to discuss your needs in greater detail, please contact your Program Officer

Will the Community Foundation be offering any training programs? 

Yes, we are adjusting our offerings to highlight topics most relevant to the sector during this time, as well as virtual opportunities to provide an interactive environment. Please check here for upcoming capacity and training opportunities.  

How can we access volunteers?  

Our HandsOn team is working diligently with partners to identify ways for volunteers to support community needs, while also following guidance from the CDC and state and local officials. As appropriate, new opportunities will be added to the HandsOn website. You may contact our staff for assistance at  

Organizational Services & Resources