News & Event
The Division of Community Engagement will approach its work on two complementary tracks. One subset of the team will lead and manage the competitive grant programs of the Foundation, while also evaluating and delivering service offerings designed to build the capacity of the nonprofit sector. The other subset of the team is poised to take on a community relations role by fostering relationships with community partners, representing the Foundation in the development and execution of regional initiatives and personalized response to donor inquiries in their areas of interest.
Chief Community Engagement Officer
What energizes you about the work ahead?
“The Community Engagement team has incredible insight into the needs of our region and I am thrilled to join them in creating sustainable change for the health of our community. I am committed to working with my colleagues within and outside of the Foundation to understand the root causes of our region’s challenges and to engage in collaborative approaches to improve lives, one person at a time.”
Community Engagement Officer
Grantmaking & Capacity
What are you passionate about?
"I'm passionate about mental health issues. I've seen how mental illnesses can destroy not only the life of the person suffering with the Mental disorder, but also the family members. I believe this is an area where the Community Engagement team have an opportunity to strengthen our community."
VP, Community Engagement
Leadership & Outreach
"Driven by a commitment to social justice, I have focused my career on creating pathways for people to overcome barriers and build better lives for themselves. The Community Foundation allows me to continue this journey. I look forward to supporting and cultivating cross-sector coalitions that are doing great things to move this community forward."
Community Engagement Officer
Leadership & Outreach
What energizes you about the work ahead?
"Our team has an opportunity to help strengthen established relationships with community partners and encourage honest discussions about how the Richmond community can continue to grow. Listening, learning and talking about vision and strategy is crucial, along with a shared understanding of how each partner can help accomplish the vision. I look forward to being a part of it."
Richmond, VA: The Community Foundation is pleased to announce the following individuals as the 2015 recipients of the Stettinius Awards for Nonprofit Leadership – Ryan Ripperton, Avi Hopkins and Mary Dunne Stewart. Now in its 11th year, the awards program seeks to recognize outstanding professionals who provide effective organizational leadership within the charitable sector. After reviewing nominations of many exceptional candidates, the selection committee chose these three individuals to receive $10,000 grants each to pursue professional development activities of their own design.
Since 1992, U-Turn Sports has successfully connected youth from Richmond, VA’s inner-city and suburban neighborhoods for high-performance athletic development, team competition, fellowship events and bible-based guidance. During his 9 years as Executive Director, Avi was an integral part of this mission, growing the organization to benefit over 2,000 Richmond area youth and expanding its physical space into a 150,000 sq. ft. facility. If Avi takes on his next challenge within Richmond’s nonprofit sector, he will have the opportunity to use his Stettinius Award to participate in the Nonprofit Capacity Conference and attend Stanford University’s Nonprofit Management Institute.
Ryan has served in the nonprofit sector for over 17 years. In his current role as Executive Director of SPARC, he and his team embody their mission of inspiring young people in the Richmond community to reach their full potential through quality training in the performing arts. Over the past 5 years, Ryan has pioneered the implementation LIVE ART, a program that provides arts training and a performance opportunity for children, many with development challenges who don’t otherwise have an opportunity to perform. Ryan will use his award to attend the national conference of Independent Sector in Washington D.C. this year. Additionally, he will attend a SCORRE Conference in Beaver Creek, Colorado and the National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference (NGCAE) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Under Mary’s leadership, Greater Richmond Fit4Kids serves the community as a best practice program focused in childhood obesity prevention. Under her leadership, Fit4Kids has grown from a startup with a plan, to an effective non-profit that serves 4,000 children per year. With her award, Mary plans to participate in the Leadership Quest offered through Leadership Metro Richmond. In 2016, she will attend the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leadership (EPNL) at Stanford University, which includes lectures, discussions and exercises led by Stanford MBA faculty. Mary believes these opportunities will transform her leadership skills and positively impact the productivity for Fit4Kids.
The Stettinius Fund for Nonprofit Leadership was established by Cadmus Communications Corporation to honor Wallace Stettinius’ retirement from the Cadmus Board of Directors. An active board volunteer throughout his business career, Stettinius expanded his scope of volunteer work in his “first” retirement to become a trusted advisor, teacher and mentor to many area nonprofits. Stettinius is a former chairman of The Community Foundation, serving on its board from 1986 - 1995. Since inception, the awards program has supported professional development for 33 rising leaders in the field. The deadline for 2016 nominations will be announced in January.
Learn more about how to apply for the Stettinius Award for Nonprofit Leadership.
This week marks one year since I joined The Community Foundation and what a fast-paced and exciting year it has been. As I meet with donors, nonprofits partners and business leaders, I am continually struck by the ways in which our community is evolving. Our work is increasingly influenced by changing demographics, advances in technology, innovations in philanthropy and so much more. What this signals for the Foundation is a need to become as dynamic as the community we serve. To that end, we are deep in planning mode, assessing our current offerings and exploring new opportunities for the future. Our goal is to be the most effective leader and partner we can be in moving this community forward.
One of our top priorities is to prepare nonprofits to lead and serve in an ever-changing environment, thereby ensuring donors' charitable dollars work harder. For 20 years, the Foundation has led or supported initiatives designed to help organizations pursue their missions with greater efficiency and strategic focus. In 2006, we facilitated the creation of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence (PNE) as a one-stop resource center focused on supporting strong and effective nonprofits and advancing a vibrant civic engagement network.
Over the past year, The Community Foundation and the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence engaged in a strategic conversation to explore how PNE could best operate from a position of strength as it planned for future sustainability and success. Together, we have determined that the best way to fulfill our shared goals for strengthening the sector is to restructure. On August 1, the capacity building programs of the former PNE will merge into TCF. HandsOn Greater Richmond will remain a separate organization focused on volunteer engagement and continue its strategic alignment with the Foundation.
This transition allows us to reimagine nonprofit capacity building in the context of our changing landscape. Programs focused on nonprofit leadership development, customized technical assistance, and online tools and information will be scaled to complement other available resources and market demand. HandsOn Greater Richmond will continue to develop meaningful volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, teams and corporate groups in the region. Our staff teams will work with community partners through the end of the year to complete a redesign of both capacity building and civic engagement offerings.
We are excited about the opportunities that this new, reimagined work can provide for community. We are leveraging our strengths in a way that will create more efficiency, effectiveness and better use of financial resources, which is something we all strive for across the nonprofit sector. Thank you for your support and patience during this season of change. We look forward to your continued interest, support and partnership.
Each year, a portion of The Community Foundation’s grantmaking is awarded through a competitive process, in which local organizations apply for funding for programs and operations. We invite submissions in partnership with The Jenkins Foundation, one of TCF’s six partner foundations, which focuses its grant program on improving health care in the region. The process is guided by a framework in which the Foundation identifies nonprofit partners that are effectively, and many times collaboratively, working to lift up Richmond as a place where all of its residents can thrive.
As part of this collective vision for our community, our grants align with four priority areas – Cultural Vibrancy, Economic Prosperity, Educational Success and Health & Wellness – that we believe are the cornerstones to a healthy, vibrant community.
We are pleased to announce our latest grant awards, totaling just over $2 million, to the following organizations:
Goal: to ensure that community members have access to and an appreciation for arts and cultural opportunities.
$25,000 to provide programming and operational support for projects to restore and enhance Richmond's urban green spaces.
$25,000 to facilitate the strategic planning process.
$120,000 to support awareness of the rich arts and cultural offerings in the Richmond region.
$30,000 to fund community-led Big Tent festivals.
School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community
$40,000 to advance performing arts education outreach programs.
Virginia Repertory Theatre
$30,000 to support work with TRG Arts.
Goal: to ensure that the region’s resources are sustainable and its residents are economically stable and secure.
$50,000 to support the CARITAS Shelter and Case Management Program.
Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, Inc.
$50,000 to support Business Development integration and Customer Service certification training.
Greater Richmond Bar Foundation
$25,000 to expand the Pro Bono Clearinghouse program.
$150,000 (over 3 years) to support the convening and coordinating of 30+ public and nonprofit homeless service providers.
Housing Families First
$30,000 to provide families and single women experiencing homelessness with permanent housing and stabilization services.
Junior Achievement of Central Virginia
$50,000 to support programming to tenth-grade students and sponsor of the Philanthropy Center at Junior Achievement Finance Park.
Neighborhood Resource Center
$35,000 to support NRC Works as well as youth development programs for individuals and families in Greater Fulton.
Sacred Heart Center
$40,000 to build organizational infrastructure to grow and serve the Latino population in Greater Richmond.
Virginia Supportive Housing
$50,000 to support permanent supportive housing services to ensure formerly homeless individuals remain stably housed.
Goal: to ensure children enter school ready to learn and receive effective academic and social support throughout their educational experience.
Armstrong Priorities Freshman Academy
$30,000 to support the Third Pilot Year of the Armstrong Priorities Freshman Academy.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond
$50,000 to support ongoing core programs to over 400 youth daily at four Clubs in the City of Richmond.
$50,000 to support quality early child care and education.
Communities In Schools of Richmond, Inc.
$100,000 to support coordination services for students in Richmond Public Schools.
Friends Association for Children
$30,000 to provide operating support for childcare and youth development programs.
Higher Achievement Program, Inc.
$50,000 to support the growth of programming focused on expanded learning, caring role models, and high expectations for low-income 5th-8th grade children.
Partnership for the Future
$50,000 to support programming for low-income, college bound students as well as to support a strategic plan to evaluate program expansion.
The Literacy Lab
$30,000 to support 36 full-time tutors.
The Podium Foundation
$15,000 to support middle and high school academic-year writing programs.
$54,000 to support the Richmond Teacher Residency.
Virginia Mentoring Partnership
$25,000 to provide general operating support.
YWCA of Richmond
$50,000 to support the Sprout School.
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Goal: to ensure that Central Virginia residents are safe and healthy.
Access Now Jenkins
$40,000 to support access to donated specialty medical care for low-income, uninsured patients.
Better Housing Coalition Jenkins
$40,000 to support the Senior Coordinated Care program, which provides health and wellness supports to older adults.
Cameron K. Gallagher Foundation Jenkins
$15,000 to expand a prevention-based mental health program into additional high schools.
Chesterfield CASA Jenkins
$20,000 to support training and supervision for volunteers serving as court advocates for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
CHIP of Virginia
$30,000 to support the merger of CHIP of Virginia and Prevent Child Abuse Virginia.
The Daily Planet Jenkins
$50,000 to provide access to medical transportation for older adults, promoting health and wellness in underserved communities.
Family Lifeline Jenkins/TCF
$75,000 to support early childhood home visiting programs.
$100,000 to support Meals on Wheels and Senior Nutrition Programs.
Full Circle Grief Center Jenkins
$25,000 to support community-based bereavement support groups.
Gateway Homes Jenkins
$40,000 to provide training, counseling, and support for individuals with serious mental illness.
Greater Richmond SCAN Jenkins/TCF
$100,000 to support Trauma Informed Care services that provide weekly intensive treatment groups for families affected by abuse.
Henrico CASA Jenkins
$25,000 to support training and oversight of additional volunteers serving as court advocates for abused or neglected children.
Honoring Choices Jenkins
$35,000 to implement an electronic health record system.
Jewish Family Services Jenkins
$12,500 to implement an electronic health record system.
McShin Foundation Jenkins
$25,000 to provide residential and wraparound services to clients in substance abuse recovery.
Senior Connections Jenkins
$25,000 to support Family Navigators who help families navigate and access children's mental health resources.
Side by Side
$30,000 to support transgender youth by increasing access to mental health services.
St Joseph’s Villa Jenkins
$30,000 to develop patient and family-centered educational tools.
Virginia Dental Association Foundation Jenkins
$25,000 to support the Crisis Stabilization Unit, which serves youth experiencing mental health crises.
Virginia Treatment Center for Children Jenkins
$40,000 to support a Clinical Practice Manager position to oversee operations at the Children's Mental Health Resource Center.
Learn more about how to apply for a grant
Southern gentleman. Accomplished professional. Devoted volunteer and lifetime philanthropist. Buford Scott is all these things and more. With a blend of humility, compassion and business savvy, he is a powerful champion for organizations he holds dear. With some, his commitment goes back to the beginning, as it has with the Virginia Council for Economic Education (VCEE).
“Virginia is a national leader in economic and financial education, largely because of Buford,” says Dan Mortensen, Executive Director of VCEE. “For decades, he has advanced the cause by publicly and privately advocating for our mission and encouraging others to join him. People want to work with Buford because he makes his case on the merit of his own character and his genuine passion for what we do.”
Buford Scott’s commitment is grounded in the philosophy that economic education helps level the playing field for all students, regardless of their personal circumstances. In 1970, he joined other business and education leaders to establish VCEE to train and equip teachers who provide quality economic and financial literacy education to the state’s K-12 students.
Today, the model serves 2,000 teachers and reaches 200,000 students each year. In addition, Virginia is one of only three states that require a full year of education in economics and personal finance. Through a network of affiliated university-based centers, VCEE works to give students real-world financial skills that enable them to make better informed decisions.
VCEE recently established the S. Buford Scott Endowment for Economic Education in Virginia at The Community Foundation not only to expand the Council’s impact today, but also to ensure Buford’s vision of “financial literacy for all” reaches generations to come. As this permanent fund grows, Virginia will continue to benefit from a stronger workforce, more informed consumers, a more informed electorate and well-trained teachers.
“Buford delights in speaking with teachers, who are the direct beneficiaries of what VCEE does, and with students about the influence education has had on their lives. Buford wants them to succeed and so do we,” notes Mortensen.
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.
Click to learn about TCF's four strategic focus areas.
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