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Remembering former President & CEO Darcy Oman

In Memoriam

Darcy Oman

Darcy S. Oman
President & CEO 1985-2015


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:

  • Launching a donor advised fund program that quickly grew to become the most popular form of giving at the Foundation;
  • Collaborating with the R.E.B. Foundation to develop long-standing awards programs to recognize area public school teachers and principals;
  • Securing Richmond as one of 23 national sites chosen to participate in a matching program with the National Community AIDS partnership;
  • Encouraging rural philanthropy with the creation of three regional affiliate foundations in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula;
  • Embracing nonprofit capacity building and civic engagement as an important part of the Foundation’s grantmaking and leadership work;
  • Advocating at the national level to preserve supporting organizations, donor advised funds and the charitable deduction;
  • Creating the 2009 Safety Net Fund as a way for the Foundation and the community to assist those most affected by the economic downturn; and
  • Partnering with passionate volunteers to launch three giving circles that give individuals an opportunity to discover the rewards of giving and learning together.

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.



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