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Darcy Oman became the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond’s first full-time staff member in 1985, serving as president and CEO until her retirement in 2015. She will be remembered for her outstanding work ethic, her entrepreneurial spirit and her unwavering belief in the power of collective philanthropy to improve the quality of life in the Greater Richmond region.
Under Darcy’s leadership, the Community Foundation grew exponentially from 6 to 850 charitable funds and from $36,000 to $700 million in cumulative grants awarded, primarily to support local causes and organizations. She attracted the best and brightest Richmond leaders to the board, built the trust of donors and nonprofit partners, and became a master at taking calculated risks to move innovative ideas forward. She was responsive to the varied and changing interests of donors, encouraging both traditional and emerging approaches to giving. In the community, Darcy could bring the kind of focus and perspective that allowed diverse stakeholders to gain clarity on a complex issue and rally to a solution. Nationally, she used her voice and expertise to mentor colleagues in the field and promote the unique value of community foundations.
Over the course of her 30-year career with the Foundation, Darcy aligned people, ideas and resources to touch nearly every aspect of community life in the Richmond region – from arts and education to health and homelessness. In retirement, Darcy remained involved by serving on the boards of FeedMore and ImpactMakers, and volunteering as a reviewer for the Council on Foundation’s National Standards for Community Foundations.
To highlight Darcy’s legacy, here are a few of the long-term investments and forward-thinking initiatives cultivated under her leadership:
Darcy loved her community and dedicated her career to ensuring that today’s philanthropy would continue to create opportunities for future generations. She will be greatly missed.
There is no memorial service planned at this time. Per her family’s wishes, contributions may be made in her memory to the Darcy S. Oman Community Endowment.
Please click here to read Darcy's obituary.
The majority of grantmaking from The Community Foundation is done at the direction of donors who choose to partner with us on their philanthropy. We are privileged to work with hundreds of individuals, families and businesses who enjoy the opportunity to focus on how they want to make a difference, while we take care of the administrative details. Their collective generosity has resulted in $18 million in donor-directed grants for a variety of causes so far this year!
Our staff is always available to provide guidance as needed, with years of experience in matching donor interests with the good work happening throughout our region. While donor-directed grants often align with the Foundation’s focus areas, individuals may also recommend support for other interests like animal welfare, religious institutions or even organizations in other communities where they have ties. Whatever your passion, we can conduct research and help you achieve the greatest possible impact.
6 reasons to partner with TCF
Learn about giving options
We are halfway through the year and already we have accomplished so much together, all to create a stronger, healthier and more vibrant RVA. Through June 30th, The Community Foundation and its funding partners – including the Jenkins Foundation, Pauley Family Foundation and REB Foundation – awarded $6 million in competitive grants. These are grants provided through an application process to support initiatives that address important community issues and build the capacity of organizations and their leaders. Competitive grant programs are made possible by the generosity of past donors, the participation of donor advisors who wish to leverage greater impact and the leadership of several volunteer committees.
A generous $20M bequest will support nonprofits in Richmond and Mount Airy, NC.
James M. (“Jim”) Frye died in April 2015, leaving a philanthropic legacy to the communities he loved. The $20 million bequest to The Community FoundationServing Richmond and Central Virginia endows an unrestricted fund that will enhance local grantmaking, as well as restricted endowments that will provide ongoing support to over 30 eligible organizations in Richmond and Mt. Airy, NC. In addition to the bequest to The Community Foundation, his estate provided direct charitable bequests to a number of organizations.
At age 84, Jim looked back on a life of singular accomplishment. He rose from depression-era poverty in Mount Airy, North Carolina to become Director of Government Relations for Phillip Morris, one of the world's largest and most profitable public companies. After retirement in 1988, he served the company as a consultant for 19 more years, completing a remarkable 55 years of service. Jim and the many leaders who worked alongside him helped build the company into the leader in the tobacco industry.
Jim was known for his deep friendships, his good humor, and his integrity in business and in life. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 1953, gaining admission on a football scholarship. Then he joined his lifetime employer as a management trainee, earning an MBA from Richmond while working full-time. He served his country two years in the Army, including a year in Japan right after the Korean Conflict.
His potential for leadership was recognized in 1966 with a posting to the Brookings Institution as a Public Affairs Fellow, and there he served Congressman Gerald Ford, who would go on to be America's 38th President. That relationship would result in a lifelong friendship. The President's balanced and unselfish approach to problems influenced Jim in business and philanthropy.
Jim knew that both organizations and community needs change over time. This made him reluctant to set aside significant capital for a cause unless he could be assured that the organization would be monitored and his committed funds managed professionally. Jim learned of The Community Foundation in 1997 and, true to his creed, investigated it. He crafted a careful plan to give nearly all of his savings to charitable causes after the death of he and his wife, Virginia Nash Frye. In the meantime, he gave generously and always anonymously each year. His plan included meaningful capital gifts to selected charities including St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (his church), Virginia Home for Boys and Girls (board member for 15 years) and others in Mount Airy.
The balance of his estate was gifted to The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia to fund endowments for ongoing support of his chosen causes, but with 25% reserved to address community needs as identified by the Foundation. Of particular importance to Jim Frye was the duty of the Foundation to monitor the organizations selected and to move endowment support to other organizations if they failed to perform effectively or if the need served dwindled.
Always a very private person, Jim requested toward the end of his life that the details of his plan be publicized after his death. This was not for his aggrandizement ("After all I won't be around," Jim said with typical wry humor) but to encourage others to give.
Frye’s philanthropy was influenced by his life experience – growing up during the Depression when basic things were scarce; mentors during his life who coached and encouraged his talent and leadership; the loss of loved ones due to health considerations; and, his faith. His legacy of philanthropy is captured in the themes of helping children, promoting the dignity and well-being of less fortunate persons, supporting health and expressing faith through community outreach. Jim’s wife of 47 years, ‘Lucky’ as she was known to her close friends, died in 2010. In addition to his charitable gifts, Jim Frye left meaningful bequests to his and Lucky's extended family members and a few close friends.
During the time Jim worked with Philip Morris, the company was making its first charitable grants. Today, the company’s philanthropic legacy spans 50+ years, setting a corporate culture of giving and community engagement by company leaders and employees. Jim was fully invested in Philip Morris, and contributed significantly to the company’s strong performance during his career. In his eulogy to Frye, long-time friend Bill Leidinger exclaimed that “Jim just didn’t work for Philip Morris. Jim was Philip Morris! He was Philip Morris personified.”
Friends report that Frye never sold a share of Philip Morris and he would acquire the stock whenever he could. The Philip Morris Companies (now Altria) investment story has been an amazing one in its own right. A $360 investment in just 10 Altria shares in 1970 would have grown to more than $500,000 today, with reinvested dividends. But it was Frye’s investment acumen and discipline that Jim brought to actively managing his own money in retirement that proved to be brilliant and produced the wealth that enabled his philanthropy.
Jim’s loyalty to Altria, his entrepreneurial spirit and his compassion for others translated into millions for the communities he loved and will now benefit countless people through this bequest to The Community Foundation.
Organizations benefiting from Frye’s Estate are as follows:
Learn more about establishing a fund at The Community Foundation.
Richmond, VA: The Community Foundation is pleased to announce the following individuals as the 2015 recipients of the Stettinius Awards for Nonprofit Leadership – Ryan Ripperton, Avi Hopkins and Mary Dunne Stewart. Now in its 11th year, the awards program seeks to recognize outstanding professionals who provide effective organizational leadership within the charitable sector. After reviewing nominations of many exceptional candidates, the selection committee chose these three individuals to receive $10,000 grants each to pursue professional development activities of their own design.
Since 1992, U-Turn Sports has successfully connected youth from Richmond, VA’s inner-city and suburban neighborhoods for high-performance athletic development, team competition, fellowship events and bible-based guidance. During his 9 years as Executive Director, Avi was an integral part of this mission, growing the organization to benefit over 2,000 Richmond area youth and expanding its physical space into a 150,000 sq. ft. facility. If Avi takes on his next challenge within Richmond’s nonprofit sector, he will have the opportunity to use his Stettinius Award to participate in the Nonprofit Capacity Conference and attend Stanford University’s Nonprofit Management Institute.
Ryan has served in the nonprofit sector for over 17 years. In his current role as Executive Director of SPARC, he and his team embody their mission of inspiring young people in the Richmond community to reach their full potential through quality training in the performing arts. Over the past 5 years, Ryan has pioneered the implementation LIVE ART, a program that provides arts training and a performance opportunity for children, many with development challenges who don’t otherwise have an opportunity to perform. Ryan will use his award to attend the national conference of Independent Sector in Washington D.C. this year. Additionally, he will attend a SCORRE Conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado and the National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference (NGCAE) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Under Mary’s leadership, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids serves the community as a best practice program focused in childhood obesity prevention. Under her leadership, Fit4Kids has grown from a startup with a plan, to an effective non-profit that serves 4,000 children per year. With her award, Mary plans to participate in the Leadership Quest offered through Leadership Metro Richmond. In 2016, she will attend the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leadership (EPNL) at Stanford University, which includes lectures, discussions and exercises led by Stanford MBA faculty. Mary believes these opportunities will transform her leadership skills and positively impact the productivity for Fit4Kids.
The Stettinius Fund for Nonprofit Leadership was established by Cadmus Communications Corporation to honor Wallace Stettinius’ retirement from the Cadmus Board of Directors. An active board volunteer throughout his business career, Stettinius expanded his scope of volunteer work in his “first” retirement to become a trusted advisor, teacher and mentor to many area nonprofits. Stettinius is a former chairman of The Community Foundation, serving on its board from 1986 - 1995. Since inception, the awards program has supported professional development for 33 rising leaders in the field. The deadline for 2016 nominations will be announced in January.
Learn more about how to apply for the Stettinius Award for Nonprofit Leadership.
This week marks one year since I joined The Community Foundation and what a fast-paced and exciting year it has been. As I meet with donors, nonprofits partners and business leaders, I am continually struck by the ways in which our community is evolving. Our work is increasingly influenced by changing demographics, advances in technology, innovations in philanthropy and so much more. What this signals for the Foundation is a need to become as dynamic as the community we serve. To that end, we are deep in planning mode, assessing our current offerings and exploring new opportunities for the future. Our goal is to be the most effective leader and partner we can be in moving this community forward.
One of our top priorities is to prepare nonprofits to lead and serve in an ever-changing environment, thereby ensuring donors' charitable dollars work harder. For 20 years, the Foundation has led or supported initiatives designed to help organizations pursue their missions with greater efficiency and strategic focus. In 2006, we facilitated the creation of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE) as a one-stop resource center focused on supporting strong and effective nonprofits and advancing a vibrant civic engagement network.
Over the past year, The Community Foundation and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence engaged in a strategic conversation to explore how PNE could best operate from a position of strength as it planned for future sustainability and success. Together, we have determined that the best way to fulfill our shared goals for strengthening the sector is to restructure. On August 1, the capacity building programs of the former PNE will merge into TCF. HandsOn Greater Richmond will remain a separate organization focused on volunteer engagement and continue its strategic alignment with the Foundation.
This transition allows us to reimagine nonprofit capacity building in the context of our changing landscape. Programs focused on nonprofit leadership development, customized technical assistance, and online tools and information will be scaled to complement other available resources and market demand. HandsOn Greater Richmond will continue to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, teams and corporate groups in the region. Our staff teams will work with community partners through the end of the year to complete a redesign of both capacity building and civic engagement offerings.
We are excited about the opportunities that this new, reimagined work can provide for community. We are leveraging our strengths in a way that will create more efficiency, effectiveness and better use of financial resources, which is something we all strive for across the nonprofit sector. Thank you for your support and patience during this season of change. We look forward to your continued interest, support and partnership.
(RICHMOND, VA) – The Community Foundation and the R.E.B. Foundation recognize 30 outstanding public school teachers selected as finalists for the 2016 R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence. Considered among the best in their field, these exceptional instructors demonstrate a sincere passion for teaching while also serving as mentors, coaches and champions for their students. Selected from 102 nominations submitted by students, parents and colleagues, 17 winners and 13 finalists will receive cash grants totaling $185,850.
This year’s awards are bittersweet with the recent loss of the program’s benefactor, Rudy Bunzl. Together with his wife Esther, Rudy was a faithful champion for public education and believed that strong teachers are pivotal to its success. The R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence is among their most notable and continuous contributions in philanthropy, distributing $3.4 million in professional development grants to over 740 public school teachers since 1988.
“The Bunzls have touched countless lives through this unique program,” said Sherrie Armstrong, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “In a profession that is often under-recognized, their vision has made dreams come true. By gifting opportunities of a lifetime through travel or continued education, teachers return to the classroom with innovative ideas and a renewed sense of energy that inspires both their students and fellow educators.”
This year’s recipients will build on the lasting legacy of Rudy and Esther Bunzl. Connected by a desire to make their lessons relevant, all of the 2016 awardees will have a chance to collect real-life experiences, stories and artifacts to refuel their passion for teaching and enhance their ability to bring subject matter to life for their students.
Hanover County Winners
LIST OF 2016 WINNERS
Sarah Anzelmo-Steele, Lucille Brown Middle School (RI)
$11,000 to explore the classic tale, Anne of Green Gables, including a visit to Poland where Anne played a significant role in the Polish Resistance.
Whitney Wells-Cornfield, John M. Grandy Elementary (HA)
$10,500 to explore the rich culture and landscape of New Zealand while capturing images of fractals for use in math and science lessons.
Mindy Dobrinski, Holman Middle School (HE)
$11,000 to explore the diverse climates, cuisines, and cultures of the four corners of the United States.
Alfonso J. Favale, Springfield Park Elementary (HE)
$8,000 to create a series of videos that compare and contrast the cultures, landscapes and ecologies of Alaska and Hawaii.
Tiffany Floyd, James H. Blackwell Elementary School (RI)
$12,000 to travel to Finland during the winter season.
Lisa Grossman, Maude Trevvett Elementary School (HE)
$8,000 to explore of the furthest corners of Virginia – from Williamsburg to the Eastern Shore, Northern Virginia to the Valley, the small towns of Southwestern Virginia and beyond.
Micheal Harvey, Chesterfield Career and Technical Center (CH)
$9,800 to learn about alternative and emerging energy sources through visits to various plants in the United States including the Hoover Dam, Copper Mountain Solar Facility and Kodiak Electrical Company’s wind turbines.
Terry Lautzenheiser, Chesterfield County Technical Center (CH)
$11,000 to study hybrid and heirloom breeding techniques and explore community-supported agriculture by touring community gardens, small farms and markets.
Lisa R. Mitchell, William Fox Elementary School (RI)
$12,000 to travel to Portugal and England to experience and research the food traditions of her ancestors through cooking classes and food workshops.
Robert Motrynczuk, Spring Run Elementary School (CH)
$11,000 to travel to Hawaii and New Zealand to study and experience the math and science of extreme sports by Heli-boarding, Kiteboarding, and Bungee Jumping.
Amy Petersen, Midlothian High School (CH)
$11,000 to journey to Southern France where she will participate in an immersion language course and tour ancient sites related to the Roman expansion in Gaul.
Richard (Paul) Rozecki, Atlee High School (HA)
$8,000 to attend the 2017 Spirit of America Visual Design Retreat and study Pyware and Pygraphics, which will help him design new and innovative band drills.
Tonya Sikkar, South Anna Elementary School (HA)
$11,000 to participate in the MOVE Program, an international program that focuses on movement as a way of life for individuals with disabilities.
Eugene Streett, Cosby High School (CH)
$11,000 to visit Rome, Istanbul and Jerusalem – three cities at the intersection of history and religion.
Kevin Trent, Patrick Henry High School (HA)
$10,800 to explore history and culture of South America by connecting with a former exchange student in Brazil and visiting the family of an Argentine friend in Argentina.
Sara Vogt, Glen Allen High School (HE)
$10,000 to participate in the High School Teacher Program at CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research, and to travel to Southeast Asia.
Kyla Zabala, Highland Springs High School (HE)
$10,000 to tour historical theatres to compare current and historical trends by focusing on the lives of several famous poets and playwrights.
All finalists not chosen for a professional development grant will receive a $750 unrestricted cash grant in recognition of their achievements in the classroom.
Learn more about the R.E.B. Awards for Teaching Excellence
The Community Foundation has reached a 10-year lease agreement to occupy 15,141 square feet at 3405 W. Moore Street. CBRE representatives Tom Vozenilek and Zach Roski of CBRE represented the Foundation in the deal with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer.
“We are excited for this next step in the Foundation’s history,” said Sherrie Armstrong, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “A move to Scott’s Addition gives us greater proximity to many of our nonprofit partners, and it places us in the center of the innovation and transformation that is happening in the City and across our region. That is what community philanthropy is all about.”
The move coincides with the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, marking decades of bringing people and organizations together to create lasting change in all areas of community life – from education and housing to health care and workforce development. A natural connector and convener, the Foundation will make its office accessible and open to nonprofits and community members. “We envision a space that will encourage shared learning, discussion and collaboration and spark new, innovative solutions for our region,” said Armstrong.
The Community Foundation is relocating from The Boulders office park in North Chesterfield, which has been its home for over 20 years. The new space in Scott’s Addition will be designed by Evolve.
3409 Moore Street
Richmond, VA 23230
P.O. Box 76495
Baltimore, MD 21275-6495
P: (804) 330-7400
F: (804) 330-5992
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