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.
FEBRUARY 3, 2021 — Despite a rich tradition of giving that spans generations, Black communities tend to be underrepresented in conversations about philanthropy. Through the Giving Black®: Greater Richmond initiative, the Community Foundation has partnered with the region’s African American giving circles, SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund, to change the narrative and uplift the power and influence of Black philanthropists.
The Giving Black® study, shepherded by researchers at New England Blacks in Philanthropy, launched in August 2019 as an opportunity to study the trends, capacity and impact of Black philanthropy in Greater Richmond. This study included the analysis of over 350 surveys completed by local Black philanthropists, in addition to numerous interviews and focus groups. In January 2021, the completed report was released during a special online event with 200 attendees from across the nation.
The event summarized several key takeaways from the report, including:
Ranking the most important social issues to Black people
Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents ranked economic equity as the most important social issue.
Do you volunteer your time?
Nearly all Black donor respondents reported volunteering their time.
In the past 12 months, how much did you give philanthropically?
One-quarter of Black donors’ reported donations were at least $5,000 or above.
Economic opportunity by income: Do you think Richmond is a place of economic opportunity for Black people?
Lowest-income Black donors are among the most positive on Richmond as a place of economic opportunity.
Watch: Giving Black® event video
“We implore you to take the findings of this study, and—in addition to working with us on collective strategies going forward—use this study to change the narrative,” said Veronica Fleming, co-founder of SisterFund and Giving Black® steering committee member. “Use this to speak the truth, to inform and direct everything that is done with your dollars within your peer circles, your neighborhoods, the funding community, your advocacy and public policy strategies, and in your churches.”
Read the Giving Black®: Greater Richmond report
NOVEMBER 3, 2021 — The Community Foundation, in partnership with the SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund giving circles, is pleased to announce the inaugural Giving Black RVA Legacy & Ingenuity Awards, which recognize distinguished leaders in local philanthropy. This year’s awards acknowledge two outstanding individuals whose dedication and innovations have been instrumental in strengthening grantmaking institutions and advancing philanthropy as a means of social change, especially for Black communities. The recipients of the 2021 Legacy & Ingenuity Awards are L. Robert Bolling and Veronica Fleming.
From left: Stephanie Glenn, Vice President of Diversity and Engagement with the Community Foundation; Veronica Fleming, Principal with Veronica Fleming Consulting; and L. Robert Bolling, Chief Executive Officer of ChildSavers
L. Robert Bolling - Chief Executive Officer, ChildSavers
Mr. Bolling was instrumental in connecting the Richmond region with the Giving Black® study, which analyzed the trends, impact and capacity of Black philanthropy in Greater Richmond. As an active member of Ujima Legacy Fund, Mr. Bolling served as co-chair of the study’s steering committee and led 30 community members in their roles on the project’s advisory council. He has also acted as a mentor and coach to Stephanie Glenn, Vice President of Diversity and Engagement at the Community Foundation, as she directed the study.
“I wanted Richmond, my home community, to be a space where we recognize that Black folks do in fact give, and our giving is purely collective. We think about ourselves in light of who we are and who we are connected to,” Mr. Bolling said. “I am touched by the fact that we were the third city to focus on Black giving in this way, and I was equally impressed that 600 people came forward to give us some insight on how Black people give. Black giving in its collective form is the giving of time and talent, as well as the giving of our treasure, and Black giving is central to the uplift of our community, but also the uplift of all communities.”
Veronica Fleming – Principal, Veronica Fleming Consulting
Ms. Fleming is a co-founder of SisterFund, known for uniting 75+ civic-minded African American women’s ideas and actions through philanthropy and collective giving. Her long-standing commitment to the wellbeing of Richmond has been demonstrated through numerous leadership roles she has held for some of our region’s excellent nonprofit organizations impacting children and communities of color. Ms. Fleming also lent her passion and expertise to serving as the Giving Black steering committee co-chair alongside Mr. Bolling and as a mentor to Ms. Glenn. Her calming spirit and great intellect have been influential in developing strategies to reshape the current relationship between philanthropy and the Black community, and in developing new connections to strengthen the power of Black philanthropy in our region.
“To receive an award for anything that I think is my obligation and duty is truly amazing,” Ms. Fleming said. “This report was a labor of love. It felt essential to complete this work and share this inspiring story of the legacy of Black giving to this community.”
“This work and this investment must be sustained over time to have any meaningful impact,” Ms. Fleming added. “We must continue building upon the momentum of the study to strengthen Black donor networks, promote the leadership of young black philanthropists, and build resources to enhance the capacity of Black givers to increase their knowledge about building philanthropic wealth and economic equity. We need to amplify Black-led organizations who are deeply addressing the needs of our community, support Black churches as major institutions for Black philanthropy, and invest in programs that teach young people how to shape public policy.”
These awards were first announced during the third annual Black Philanthropy Month Celebration, held each year by the Community Foundation, SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund on the last Thursday in August. This event highlights the breadth and depth of Black giving in Greater Richmond through storytelling, education and giving initiatives. The next recipients of the Legacy & Ingenuity Awards will be announced in August 2022. To join the mailing list for future Black Philanthropy Month events, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday is a national day of service — and a time to re-commit to serving each other and our communities. The MLK Day of Service calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. It empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.
Over the MLK weekend, the Community Foundation and its partners want to harness the power of individual and collective action through a series of events celebrating MLK Day. In 2020, the convergence of a global pandemic and a movement towards racial justice highlighted both selfless acts and shared humanity, but also deep divisions and disparities. In 2021, MLK Day takes on greater importance as we seek to move forward with intention and resiliency. Sign up to participate in the following activities and make this “a day on, not a day off” for you, your friends and family. More details and registration can be found on our MLK Day webpage.
Tuesday, January 12th, 1:00 pm
Education is a key step in the fight to end racism. Anneliese A. Singh, Ph.D., LPC, author, professor and Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development at Tulane University, will help raise our race-consciousness by challenging stereotypes, reframing the history of racism and its impact on our lives, and share why healing from racism is an integral part of dismantling it. Click here to register.
Sunday, January 17th, 2:00 pm
Hear from the storytellers in “Heard,” a documentary about five people who grew up in Richmond’s public housing communities. Breakout sessions will explore the importance of sharing stories and listening to people with firsthand experience before taking civic action. Prepare for this event by watching "Heard" at the VPM website and click here to register for the discussion and breakout sessions led by Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.
All weekend (Saturday – Monday)
Sign up to participate in on-site or virtual service projects with community organizations serving the region. All in-person projects will enforce safety protocols as recommended by the CDC. Register for a community service project here.
Join our social media campaign to encourage more of our community to participate in service this year. Fill out a "Pledge to Serve" template with an act or type of service you plan to complete in 2021. Share your commitment as well as a blank template on your social media channels, encouraging others to make their own pledge. Use hashtags #MLKDayRVA and #PledgeToServe and tag and follow us at @cfrichmondva.
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