The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is pleased to announce the call for applications as part of the 2019 Responsive Grant Program for regional nonprofits. The program is tailored to make a positive impact in the community by responding to ongoing or emergent community needs as recognized by the area nonprofits serving those needs directly. Any registered 501c(3) organization or unit of government operating in the NRV in one of our eight areas of interest is eligible to apply for responsive grants. To prepare interested applicants, the Foundation will hold a Third Thursday event on July 18, 2019, at the Mockingbird Café’s Blue Room, where organizations can bring draft applications for peer review and receive feedback from Foundation staff.
The program offers two types of grant support: general operating support, which provides up to $3,000 for any purpose within the organization; and programmatic support, which provides up to $5,000 and must be used for the specific purposes stated in the grantee’s application. Last year the program provided more than $138,000 in grants to regional nonprofits. Past grants have helped organizations address significant unmet needs in the region. Examples include the NRV Agency on Aging’s $5,000, 2018 grant focused on supporting its Respite Care Program, which provides critical relief support to caregivers assisting high need seniors in the region. Program outcomes include keeping seniors in their homes and better quality of life for both caregivers and care recipients. The June Bug Center brought focus to a different aspect of care in 2018 – the organization pursued a $3,000 grant to provide financial support for after school care for economically disadvantaged K-12 students in Floyd County. The program emphasizes science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and contributes to lower recidivism rates; increased self-esteem; and development of creative thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills for children who would otherwise lack access to after school care.
Kim Thurlow, Director of Community Programs at CFNRV, hopes that regional nonprofits will take advantage of this opportunity to receive funding that enables them to sustain or expand their work. Thurlow said, “One of the best things about this program is that it helps organizations work through a low threshold grant application process to receive meaningful funding that supports their missions. Organizations that follow the application guidelines, read the FAQs, come to our July 18 preparation session, and submit on time have an excellent track record of receiving funding from the program. Many have found that the application and evaluation process sets them up to successfully pursue subsequent, larger Foundation or government grants.”
Executive Director of CFNRV, Jessica Wirgau, agrees with Thurlow and also sees the annual grant process as a way for individuals, businesses, and families to support organizations through funds at the Foundation. Wirgau said, “Donors with endowed funds at the CFNRV use this responsive grant program as a great way to give to issues they care about and learn about the many, diverse needs in our region. We have over 30 distinct endowments at the CFNRV making grants through this program, each with its own unique focus, and many donors to these funds are active in the process of reviewing projects and recommending grants. It’s proven to be a fun and gratifying way for the donors we serve to support their community.”