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The Community Foundation awards $6M to increase access and opportunity for residents across the Richmond region


JULY 25, 2023 — The Community Foundation is pleased to announce the culmination of its largest annual grant program, Community Impact Grants, with the distribution of $6 million to 150 organizations serving the Richmond region. Propelled by positive, long-term market returns and the ongoing generosity of donors who choose to enhance their impact through co-investment with the Foundation, this grant cycle represents a $2 million increase in support over last year and will help offset rising demand for nonprofit services and inflation costs. While these grants cover a range of program areas, they are intentionally focused on bolstering organizations and initiatives that are helping to close opportunity gaps and advance economic prosperity for all.

“Community Impact Grants are a signature part of the Foundation’s leadership agenda to create a region that is thriving and more dynamic for everyone, and our nonprofit partners are essential in reaching this goal. These grants represent more than just financial support. We believe shared success is built on strong relationships, a willingness to listen and co-create solutions together, and a long-term commitment to helping people overcome barriers and achieve their fullest potential.”

   ~ Conrad Garcia
Board member and Chair of the Community Impact Committee

 We are focused on people and place.

People are at the heart of our work at the Community Foundation. When investing grant dollars, we start by understanding where the greatest disparities exist. Due to systemic inequities, it is our Black and Brown communities that are disproportionately affected. We believe that no matter a person’s race, income or zip code, everyone should be able to participate in and benefit from the best our region has to offer. 

The people we support are typically working, raising families, and earning far less than the average median income for our region. They have goals to attain career credentials and buy their own homes, but systemic inequities have led to real challenges including access to transportation, mental and primary health care, and stable and affordable housing. Increasingly, our investments are made where these hardworking residents live to ensure they have access to trusted providers in their own communities. This hyper-local focus can help us understand what is occurring in key census tracts so we can build stronger systems of support that lead to better outcomes. 

Staff volunteered at the northside location of Shalom Farms, a recipient of a 2023 Community Impact grant. With the grant, Shalom Farms will be able to increase access and distribution of fresh and nourishing food for disenfranchised communities in the Richmond Region.

We invest in our community today, with an eye on the future.

We strongly believe the actions we take today must bring immediate relief to people and communities, while also laying the groundwork for economic mobility that will have lasting impact for families across generations. To meet people where they are, we have developed a more balanced grant portfolio in which we are investing in upstream strategies like policy-related advocacy and systems improvement to address root causes, while also supporting direct services that address community needs in real time.

For example, we have ramped up our investments in early childhood education to ensure that our youngest children start school healthy and ready to learn and their parents are prepared to nurture their success. Thrive Birth to Five provides comprehensive support for the region’s early childhood ecosystem including coordination of resources, quality measurement, training, and strategies for parent engagement, while other grant recipients complement this work through home visitation, maternal health services, and quality preschool and afterschool programs. 

 Similarly, the Community Foundation has made a long-term commitment to increase staffing at the Partnership for Housing Affordability, which serves as an anchor and lead advocate for affordable housing in the region. At the same time, we maintain support for nonprofits that are on the ground providing eviction prevention services, critical home repairs, and that develop or manage affordable rentals.

Counselors at the Autism Society of Central Virginia's annual summer camp engage students in sensory activities. With the grant, the Autism Society will be providing inclusive programming for children/youth with developmental disabilities.

We partner with others to leverage our collective strengths for good.

The Community Foundation can assess and respond to our region’s greatest needs and opportunities from a unique vantage point. Not only do we have a team dedicated to understanding the issues and the organizations that are addressing them, but also a diverse and ever-growing network of changemakers who partner with us to align efforts and resources for the greater good.

It is the combined generosity, leadership, and courage of our many partners that both fuel and amplify our strategic grantmaking. We are eager to share information and insights we have gained over many months of conversation, research and analysis. Let us know if you are interested in having a conversation to inform your own giving decisions or if we can connect you with leaders and organizations who share your interests. We hope you will reach out.