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Community Foundation Announces 2021 Community Impact Grants

JULY 27, 2021 — Made possible by donor established funds, the Community Foundation announces its 2021 Community Impact grant awards, totaling over $3.5 million to 111 organizations across the region.  Sixteen new organizations received funding this year.    

 grant charts by category and type

Community Impact grants are awarded through a competitive process and support local nonprofits whose strategies and outcomes align with the Foundation’s four focus areas: community vibrancy, economic prosperity, educational success, and health and wellness. Within these areas, the Community Foundation has adopted funding priorities in affordable housing, early childhood education and workforce development initiatives that will increase access and opportunity for low-income residents in Richmond. From cradle to career, the Community Foundation’s goal is to lift people out of poverty by bolstering opportunities for educational enrichment and wealth-building strategies that affect multiple generations.


“Our high impact areas are based on the Foundation’s understanding of how we can create a region where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.  We know that affordable housing provides the necessary, stable foundation for all other aspects of life, that education is the pipeline to a living wage job and the way that we can ensure adults have the skills and knowledge to choose a career or workforce pathway that’s going to meet their family’s needs,” explained Annette Cousins, Vice President of Community Engagement at the Foundation.  “This is the way that we create economic mobility in the region and how we meet the needs of residents and local businesses who need those skilled workers.”


Here are a few notable highlights from this years’ selection of grants:  


  • $1.6 million, or 42% of investments are devoted to the three High Impact areas, an 82% increase from $880k in 2019
  • 30% of grants focus on advocacy and systems-building to create long-term policy and systems change.  A portion of this work is focused on education of residents and helping them to amplify their voices as they advocate for what is needed in their communities
  • Support for our community as it reacts and recovers to the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism with an increase in funding for mental health services
  • 15 grants specifically focused on the Black community to allow for increased home ownership, support of Black-owned businesses, and accessibility to community-based healthcare
  • 13 grants that support community vibrancy and culture, particularly through programming with Title I Schools
  • Double the investment in affordable housing  since 2020. Grants will support wrap-around services and emergency home repairs to low-income renters, construction of new homes, and eviction prevention efforts through rental and legal assistance
  • Support for our growing Latino population with a focus on stable housing and jobs
  • Funding for the new Network2Work system that is a result of the Foundation’s multi-year investment in the Greater Richmond Workforce Coalition.
  • Increased support for Pre-K programs, home visiting services, and resources for early childhood educators, as well as investments in college and career readiness for youth 


“The staff at the Community Foundation understand what the core community needs are. They are researching, meeting with nonprofits, convening regional leaders, and pulling complex information together to help donors, funders and the community as a whole understand how we can direct resources and respond to the many challenges in our community.”


Victor Branch, Community Foundation Board Member & Community Impact Committee Chair



See all 2021 Community Impact Grants



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