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Conserve the Future Fund


The Conserve the Future Fund, a committee advised fund at the Community Foundation, is seeking grant applications from nonprofits working to improve our environment, conserve natural resources and enhance regional sustainability. 

This fund, formerly known as the ConseRVAtion Fund, was developed by a group of Community Foundation donors with a common interest in learning more about environmental issues and wishing to make a greater impact in the Richmond region. They are focused on a broad initiative to advance local conservation efforts through grantmaking. 

See the sections below to learn more about the current grant opportunity:

Grant Priorities

The Conserve the Future Fund will support projects and organizations with a focus on benefiting the environment, conserving natural resources and enhancing regional sustainability.  The focus is predominantly on supporting project-based efforts rather than annual operating budgets.

Areas of interest include: 

  • Renewable energy: solar, hydropower, wind and geothermal
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Reforestation, soil conservation and preservation of green spaces
  • Protecting wildlife habitats and supporting biodiversity with an emphasis on native plants that encourage pollinators, butterflies and birds
  • "Reduce, reuse, recycle" programs
  • Efforts contributing to cleaner air, water and soil
  • Education, research and/or job training to support environmentally conscious efforts

Including specific, quantifiable outcomes (i.e. greenhouse gas emission reductions, amount of plastic waste kept out of landfills, or stormwater run-off diversion from watershed) would be greatly appreciated in application review. Please include photographs and plans, as appropriate. 

Eligibility

Eligibility

Letters of  Introduction are accepted from 501(c)(3) charitable organizations located in the Community Foundation's service area, which includes: the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond, as well as the counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, and Powhatan.

Conserve the Future grant applicants are required to maintain a Guidestar Gold profile. We suggest making these updates at least two weeks prior to the Full Application deadline. For more information on creating or updating your organization's profile, please visit Guidestar's Nonprofit Profile page.

Grant Amounts

Grant amounts will typically range from $5,000 to $40,000

Past Grants

2021

Groundwork RVA – $40,000 to support new green infrastructure in the garden spaces of Sankofa Mini Farm and Trinity Family Life Center, including solar-powered rain capture systems, permeable pathways, and rain gardens

Richmond Community ToolBank – $5,000 to support the purchase of trees, promotional material, and community engagement activities for the 12,000 tree giveaway program of the Arbor Day 2021 celebration

Science Museum of Virginia Foundation – $20,000 to support the purchase of vegetation for the Stormwater Management Demonstration Bed at “The Green,” a new urban greenspace at the Science Museum of Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation – $10,000 to support the purchase of a replacement boat hull for the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Program (VOSRP)

Virginia Community Voice – $15,000 to support neighbor-led greening, recycling, and beautification projects in Richmond’s Southside

 

2020

Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay – $40,000 to support RiverWise Schools at John B. Cary Elementary School

Capital Region Land Conservancy – $26,000 to support increased access to parks and open space for underserved communities

Richmond Behavioral Health Foundation – $25,000 to support the RBHA North Campus Greenspace project

 

2019

CARITAS – $17,000 to support renovations of the CARITAS Center

National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) – $19,000 to support the RPS portion of the Throwing Solar Shade Program

project:HOMES – $21,000 to support solar panels for one of the homes in Carver neighborhood

Richmond Public Schools – $100,000 to support the salary and benefits for the Sustainability Associate; and to purchase and installation of energy monitoring kits

Viridiant$50,000 to support the relaunch of Richmond Region Energy Alliance (RREA)

 

TOTAL Grantmaking:  $388,000

Timeline

We will host information sessions (optional) on Tuesday, November 9 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Wednesday, November 10 at 11 a.m. These sessions will be virtual, and a recording will be posted after the sessions. Click here to register. 

  • The Letter of Introduction process opens December 1, 2021 and the deadline is January 31, 2022.
  • The Full Application process will be available by invitation only. Applications open February 21, 2022 and the deadline is March 21, 2022 at 5 p.m.
  • Final grant decisions are made and communicated in April

How to Apply

Step 1 - Register/Login in the online grant system
First-time applicants will be prompted to create an account. If you have applied in the past, use your existing login.

Step 2 - Submit a Letter of Introduction

Step 3 - Submit a Full Application (Invitation Only)
If you are invited to submit a Full Application, the form will be accessible in the online grant system. You have the option to use the following document to complete your proposal: Project Budget Form [XLS]

Report Back

Grantees must submit a final report May 30th the year following the grant award through the online grants system. Results should align with the outcomes described in your original Full Application.

The deadline to submit a Letter of Introduction is January 31, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. Please click below to submit through our online grants system.

Access online system