The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is pleased to announce the call for applications for its 2020 Responsive Grant Program for regional nonprofits. The program responds to ongoing or emergent community needs as recognized by the area nonprofits serving those needs directly. Any registered 501c(3) organization or unit of local government, such as a school of library, serving the NRV is eligible to apply.

The CFNRV recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic presents significant challenges for NRV organizations, and that flexibility is essential to meeting organizational needs at this time. As such, the 2020 Responsive Grant Program will only offer general operating support grants of up to $4,000 to be used at the grantee’s discretion. This change is prompted in part by the significant number of applications received to the CFNRV’s COVID-19 Response Grant Program, which awarded $76,250 to 39 organizations between April and June. Any organization that meets the criteria for funding through the Responsive Grant Program is encouraged to apply regardless of receiving COVID-19 funding.  Program details and a link to apply online are available at cfnrv.org/grants.

The CFNRV’s annual Responsive Grant Program traditionally provides both programmatic and operating support, but CFNRV executive director Jessica Wirgau knew changes were needed in 2020 to better respond to the pandemic. “We know from the overwhelming number of applications we received to our COVID-19 Response Grants and our regular listening sessions that the nonprofit community is facing challenges never seen before, and that flexibility is absolutely essential as they continue to innovate to serve their clients. The NRV’s nonprofits have gone above and beyond to meet our community’s needs during the pandemic, and we know they will use the money where it will have the greatest, positive impact.”

Responsive Grants are made from the CFNRV’s numerous endowed funds created by individuals, businesses, and families. Donors with endowed funds at the CFNRV use the responsive grant program to give to the issues they care about and learn about diverse needs in our region. In addition to these funds, the CFNRV is introducing a new feature to its grant-making in 2020: the online grant catalog. The catalog will make it easier for the CFNRV’s endowed fund holders to support grants, and it will allow the public to learn about and contribute to applications. Wirgau noted, “We’ve received calls from so many individuals and civic groups in the last few months wanting to know how they can support community organizations during the pandemic. Opening up our grant application process to the public so they can see the amazing work nonprofits do and easily support that work just makes sense.” Additional details about the online grant catalog will be available in late summer.  Anyone interested in creating an endowed fund at the CFNRV, can reach out to Jessica at 540-381-8999 or jessicawirgau@cfnrv.org.