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Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund

It is times like this when philanthropy can lean into its leadership role and unite our community for the greater good. At the Community Foundation, we are responding to the uncertainty with proactive action and collaboration.

The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, activated by the Community Foundation and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, is providing rapid support to community organizations and public agencies that are meeting the needs of individuals and families most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The fund is designed to be flexible in focus as needs change over time, and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels.

As a community, we will get through this…together. It’s how we have overcome challenges of the past, and it’s how we will build resiliency for the future. Our goal is to do the most good for the most people in our region. We are working collaboratively to be sure we’re leveraging everyone’s generosity and expertise to meet as many needs as possible.

How the Fund Works

This fund was created with flexibility to support multiple phases of funding, focused on meeting acute response needs and recovery over the longer-term. The fund initially addressed emergency response strategies such as health services, shelter for the homeless, food access, and the procurement of procurement of food and safety supplies. However, as the region begins to reopen for business, the fund has expanded its scope to also address longer term recovery. In this category, requests will be considered for eviction prevention and rental assistance, employment support services, and assistance to public school systems that enable continuation of virtual learning and/or the safe return of students to the classroom.

An advisory committee consisting of representatives from the philanthropic, business and public sectors will review and distribute grants from the fund.

How to Apply

The fund's advisory committee remains committed to moving resources quickly by reviewing requests on a rolling basis. As the fund begins to transition from response to recovery, an online application process is required for new requests.

Eligibility is limited to 501c3 organizations and public entities based in or primarily serving the Central Virginia area as defined in the Grant FAQ. Priority will be given to organizations that are serving those most affected by the COVID pandemic and that have demonstrated an ability to deploy resources quickly, effectively and to scale their efforts.

If you are an individual seeking assistance, please visit 211 as a comprehensive source of locally curated social services. If you are a small business, you may wish to learn more about the Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program.

Organizations that wish to be considered for a grant in 2020 must submit an application by Friday, December 4th.


How to Give

The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund was created to collaboratively mobilize and organize as many resources as possible in times when our community needs it most. That time is now. As we learn more about the impact of the pandemic in our area, we know that many of our neighbors are struggling and they need our help. Join us to demonstrate that we are stronger together!

No administrative fees will be deducted from gifts to this fund, ensuring your full gift amount will directly support community organizations and initiatives.

  • Donate online – United Way is partnering with us to match up to $100,000 in donations made to the fund through their website.
  • Donate by check – Make checks payable to the Community Foundation and send to our secure lockbox at P.O. Box 76495, Baltimore, MD 21275-6495. Please note “Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund” in the memo line.
  • Donate securities or other assets, or make a recommendation from your donor advised fund – Please contact us here.


Other Ways to Help


  • Volunteer your time – HandsOn Greater Richmond is working closely with organizations providing essential services. Visit the website to learn how you can help through in-person or virtual volunteering.
  • Donate in-kind goods – The Incident Management Team for the Counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico and the City of Richmond is accepting donations from business, commercial and medical organizations.  


Founding Contributors

Thank you for your support

The COVID-19 Response Fund is the first activation of a regional emergency management and disaster response fund established through a partnership between the Community Foundation and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia. Launched with an initial gift from the Community Foundation in March 2020, the fund has grown in to $5.7 million with gifts from a cross-section of individuals, private foundations, corporations and other generous donors of the region. Many thanks to the following founding contributors that helped seed the fund:

Foundation and Community partners: The Cabell Foundation, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Humana Foundation, Jenkins Foundation, Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, Robins Foundation, Rotary Club of Richmond, United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg, VCU Health System

Business partners: Altria, Atlantic Union Bank, Bank of America, Capital One, CarMax Foundation, Dominion Energy, Facebook, Genworth, Markel, Wells Fargo

Local Government partners:  The Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia (representing 25 localities in Richmond and Central Virginia)

Media partner: NBC12

We will continue to post information about grants awarded and stories of how these funds are benefiting our community. We will also send periodic email updates, so stay tuned!

For general inquiries about the fund, please contact us by email or by phone at 804-330-7400.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact us here.