News & Event
While current law disallows QCD gifts to be used to establish or add to a Donor Advised Fund, there are several other fund types that will allow you to support your community, a field of interest or a specific nonprofit.
A donor used her Qualified Charitable Distribution to establish a designated fund for three of her favorite nonprofits, ensuring that her giving continued annually during her lifetime and in perpetuity. By creating a designated fund, she could discontinue her annual gift to each of these organizations, knowing that it was replaced by an annual grant from her designated fund.
Now in its fifth year, the Ujima Legacy Fund has harnessed the generosity of its 40 members to award two grants of $20,000 each to Higher Achievement and Mega Mentors. Created with the goal to increase the philanthropic impact of African American men in the Greater Richmond region, the Ujima Legacy Fund focuses its grant program on organizations working to empower youth through education-related programs. Cumulative grantmaking now totals $168,000 to 8 area nonprofits.
Higher Achievement closes the opportunity gap for underserved students through intensive after-school and summer programs that provide expanded learning, mentorship and opportunity. Scholars begin as rising 5th and 6th graders and remain in the program through 8th grade. Support from the Ujima Legacy Fund will allow Higher Achievement to grow in response to increased demand and high retention by scaling programming at the newest of their four sites – Binford and Wilder Middle Schools. It means that next school year more than 300 scholars will realize gains equivalent to an extra 48 days of learning in math and an extra 30 days in reading; and most importantly, they will be on track for college with the character, confidence and skills to succeed.
Mega Mentors was created in 2009 when then superintendent Dr. Marcus Newsome asked African American community leaders to be role models for students in Chesterfield County. While intentional about working with African American students, the volunteer-run program is designed to improve academic performance, increase graduation rates and reduce disciplinary issues for all middle and high school students who are underserved or disenfranchised. This year, 150 volunteer mentors work with 500 middle and high school students in 7 schools. Grant funding will support a part-time coordinator to help grow the program to serve more schools and students, provide greater consistency and build stronger partnerships and collaborations.
In 2013, Ujima Legacy Fund launched to make philanthropy engaging and accessible for African American men in the Richmond region. Ujima is named after the third day of Kwanzaa and means collective work and responsibility. One of three giving circles created in partnership with The Community Foundation, Ujima members pool contributions of $1,100 each to generate greater community impact. Together, they select at least one local nonprofit organization annually that they feel best demonstrates the ability to empower youth through education-related initiatives, with emphasis on underserved youth.
Learn more about collective giving networks
(RICHMOND, VA)…Members of the Ujima Legacy Fund – a giving circle created by and for African American men – announced two new grants of $20,000 each to Richmond Cycling Corps and Excel To Excellence. They honored the recipients at a celebration at the Richmond Cycling Corps Bike Park on June 2, 2016.
The grant to Richmond Cycling Corps will provide employment opportunities for youth who participate in this unique program that uses the bicycle as a tool to help youth in public
housing break free from systemic poverty. While the program has proudly produced the only two inner-city youth cycling teams in the nation, it also offers its youth participants a good dose of tough love. Central to its mission, Richmond Cycling Corps provides a range of case management services to help these young people navigate life and learn personal accountability. This year, with support from Ujima Legacy Fund, 6 young people will be offered summer jobs as assistant coaches, bike patrol members and maintenance staff for a large scale community garden project.
The grant to Excel to Excellence will allow the program to expand from two to four schools in 2016, reaching an additional 60 students. Developed by Richmond native and former NFL player Michael Robinson, Team Excel is an ongoing academic program that encourages youth to excel in the classroom throughout the school year. The program uses a “reverse” fantasy football concept in which students are coached by professional athletes and community mentors. Each week, youth participants receive individual and team scores based on their grades, attendance and community service. Aimed at bridging the achievement gap in Henrico County, Team Excel is designed to help students increase their classroom performance, learn life skills and explore career opportunities.
“Richmond Cycling Corps and Team Excel represent two inspiring examples of what can happen when you believe and invest in the potential of young people,” said Immanuel Sutherland, leadership team member, of Ujima Legacy Fund. “The members of the Ujima Legacy Fund are proud to make a collective investment that will help these organizations continue to grow and innovate and to provide young people from our communities with life-changing opportunities that will help them achieve in school and in life.”
In 2013, The Ujima Legacy Fund was launched as a way to make philanthropy engaging and accessible for African American men in the Richmond region. Ujima is named after the third day of Kwanzaa and means collective work and responsibility. One of three giving circles created in partnership with The Community Foundation, Ujima members pool contributions of $1,100 each to generate greater community impact. Together, they select at least one local nonprofit organization annually that they feel best demonstrates the ability to empower youth through education-related initiatives, with a particular emphasis on underserved youth. Since inception, membership has grown to 43 men and has awarded a total of $128,000 to six organizations.
This volunteer led organization has increased fundraising and strategic efforts in recent years and are now awarding two $100,000 grants each year, investing a cumulative $1 million in five years.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be a grant recipient of Impact 100, and to work with the women that are part of the organization,” said Tanya Gonzalez representing 2016 grant recipient, the Sacred Heart Center. “A year ago, in an amazing act of solidarity, we received the infusion of funds to begin our immigration work. Because of the funding, we are now providing access to pro bono immigration legal services for families where there previously was none in Richmond. In addition to that, we have developed a deep partnership with the women of Impact 100, who are now engaged in the issue, willing to learn, and to be advocates for the families that we serve. That partnership extends far beyond the funding, and we are very grateful.”
Impact 100 Richmond isn’t just about writing the check and raising the grant funds. Throughout the giving season, the organization hosts member networking events, community learning opportunities and members are encouraged to get involved in the grant proposal process with the participating non-profits. “Most Impact 100 members join because they want to be a part of transforming Richmond’s community, said Impact 100 Chair, Jill Lemon. “Most of our members stay because they recognize a transformation in themselves. From day one to present, my membership experience has provided me with so much more than I could have expected for my financial investment. Education, camaraderie, connection, self-discovery, confidence and leadership skills are just a few of the unexpected benefits of being an Impact 100 member. Being a part of Impact 100 has transformed my perspective, my views and shifted my estimation of just how powerful a group of smart, committed women can be when given an opportunity to belong.”
Although Impact 100 Richmond is led by a member-volunteer Board, it relies on a partnership with the Community Foundation that provides administrative support and thought leadership. “Impact 100 is an inspiring example of what happens when passionate people unite for a common purpose,” said Sherrie Armstrong, CEO of the Community Foundation. “As a champion for collective philanthropy, the Community Foundation applauds these dedicated women for growing and sustaining a movement that allows nonprofits to dream big and creates a ripple effect of good throughout the region.”
In May 2018, Impact 100 Richmond concluded its ninth season, awarding two $100,000 grants to Conexus and ChildSavers for their work with juvenile vision care and mental health services, respectively. Following an 18-month strategic planning process, the Impact 100 leadership team will kick-off milestone Year 10 with a new membership structure and additional grant program. At the Big Give event, Incoming Chair, Carol Anne LaJoie, announced a new “Neighborhood Catalyst Grant” initiative aimed at awarding small increment “seed” funds to nonprofits who are actively supporting a neighborhood selected by the Impact 100 members.
Style Weekly recently recognized Michelle Nelson in its latest class of "Top 40 Under 40." Michelle is the Chief Financial Officer of The Community Foundation and a leader committed to the nonprofit sector. She brings personal and professional attributes that complement her knowledge and grounding in the finance work of community foundations.
In 2009, Michelle joined TCF as Controller and since has earned her position in senior leadership of the organization. She oversees important finance functions including audit, tax & regulatory filings, operational accounting and budget development.
She has served on the CARITAS Board of Directors since July 2009. In her time as Treasurer, she has been key in stabilizing a merged organization, putting CARITAS on firm ground with a positive trajectory.
"Michelle is one of a kind -- smart as a whip, steadfast, innovative and always thinking of ways to improve both the financial health as well as the visibility of the organization...and she does that with a calming demeanor that is very atypical of someone who crunches numbers all day! She always presents with a smile and a twinkle in her eye like she's keeping a great secret."
- Karen Stanley, Executive Director, CARITAS
Michelle also serves on the board of the Midlothian YMCA and is an active member of AICPA, VSCPA and FAOG, a national network of Financial Officers that serve in the field of community foundations.
Impact 100 Richmond celebrated 10 years of collective giving to Richmond nonprofit initiatives by awarding its 15th $100,000 transformational grant and a new $25,000 place-based grant at its Big Give celebration on May 14th. The volunteer-driven, women’s philanthropy group has awarded over $1.525 million in transformational grants to 17 local nonprofits since its inception in 2009. Impact 100 Richmond is one of three Giving Circles supported by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.
Collective giving models have become very popular in recent years because pooling individual donations creates more impactful grant-making that can move the needle on local issues. Since 2009, Impact 100 Richmond has touched more than 1,000 members of all ages and from all walks of life.
Neighborhood Catalyst Grant
This year, Impact 100 launched a Neighborhood Catalyst Grant, a four-year investment in one local community. Members voted to award Greater Fulton $25,000 each year for four years to support organizations doing positive work within the neighborhood. With a focus on neighborhood-based interventions, these funds are intended to leverage the strong voices of women from the neighborhood to guide the community investment, while giving Impact 100 Richmond members a chance for deeper learning and community engagement.
Kara Zinchuck, a representative from the Greater Fulton Neighborhood Advisory Committee said, “Selecting recipients for the generous grant from Impact 100 was a reminder of how rewarding it can be to rekindle old dreams and adopt new ideas with our community. As with anything people really care about, there always seems to be elements of complexity, and topics that require us to become learners again, and conversations that need great sensitivity. However, because of this process, we anticipate not only new partnerships but the renewal of old collaborations in Greater Fulton. " This year, $13,500 will go towards trashcans, benches and dogwood trees for the Historic Fulton Memorial Park – a neighborhood park that memorializes the displacement of thousands of residents during the 1970 Fulton Urban Renewal Plan when more than 800 homes, businesses and churches were destroyed. The remaining $11,500 will go towards revitalization of the Greater Fulton commercial corridor to attract investors and new business development and a block party to celebrate new community branding.
During the Big Give event, members voted to award $100,000 to Virginia Repertory Theatre to create an innovative and educational theater production to prevent middle schoolers from becoming victims of human trafficking.
Through this grant, Virginia Repertory Theatre is poised to transform the approach to child trafficking prevention. With a proven track record, community relationships, and reputation in schools across the state, the organization expects to reach over 50,000 children a year with their message. If the program prevents even a few children from being trafficked, the results will be successful and immeasurable. This impact will extend beyond our community to help inform an advocacy and human trafficking prevention movement throughout our nation.
“Our goal from Day 1 has been to connect local women from all walks of life who want to make a profound difference in our community,” said Carol Anne Lajoie, 2018-19 Leadership Chair, Impact 100 Richmond. “We are a group of 191 volunteers — from educators and homemakers to small business owners and young women growing in our careers — who simply love our city and want to help local nonprofits dream big and create a ripple effect throughout Richmond.”
Scholarship applications offered through The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia are now open! The Foundation’s searchable database offers more than 60 scholarship opportunities for students living in the Central Virginia region. We’re sharing 5 tips to help jump-start your scholarship search:
2. Get Organized
Get out your calendar and mark the deadline dates of the scholarships on your list. Make sure letters of recommendation are requested early! Often the letters of recommendation play an integral role in the selection of award applicants – choose a teacher, faculty member or guidance counselor who knows you well. Scholarship committees want to get to know YOU, and a good letter of recommendation really helps!
3. Work smarter, not harder
Often scholarship applicants can “recycle” essays by tweaking a few sentences. There is no need to reinvent the wheel for every application. Scholarship committee members will not be reading your college applications, so consider recycling an essay if the scholarship application topic is similar. Additionally, make sure a teacher, parent or peer reviews your essay to check for spelling and grammatical mistakes.
4. Small awards add up
Don’t be discouraged by smaller award amounts – every scholarship helps! Guidance counselors are an invaluable resource to help identify scholarships that match your eligibility and financial need. Take advantage of the opportunities available and remember some scholarships can be renewed.
5. See the big picture
Scholarship committees take into consideration the entire application, reviewing community involvement, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc. If you meet all eligibility requirements for a specific scholarship but feel your test scores or GPA do not reflect your ability, for example, use your personal statement to explain and share more. The more you explain, the more committee members are able to get to know you and make the best decision for the scholarship award.
Ready to apply? Review our searchable database for 60+ scholarship opportunities.
The deadline for 2017 scholarship applications is 5:00 p.m., March 2, 2017.
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