Message from CEO Sherrie Armstrong
Dear Friends,

Happy summer! It’s that time of year when warmer weather and longer days bring vacations, cookouts and fun with friends and family. At the Community Foundation, it is also a time to check in with you as our most important partners in building a stronger Richmond region.

We have had a fantastic year so far further aligning our internal operations and external strategies to our updated mission and values, calling for a bolder and more inclusive approach to problem solving for our community. To give you a sense of what we’ve been up to, I’d like to share a few highlights of the year to date, and a few things we are excited about in the months to come.
3 Reasons to Celebrate
Strong Financial Position The Community Foundation’s 2018 Audited Financial Statement is now posted on our website. We are proud of our strong financial position and continued stewardship of the community’s charitable resources.

Investment in our Community – We recently concluded our annual competitive grant cycle, which resulted in just over $3 million awarded to 83 organizations working to create greater equity and opportunity in the arts, education, health and economic mobility. When combined with $18.5 million awarded from donor funds and supporting organizations so far this year, we can honestly say that “together, we do more good.” More grant details are coming soon.

Expanded Networks – Increasingly, we are building deeper connections with donors through learning, giving and volunteer opportunities aligned to your interests. We are also working with SisterFund and Ujima Legacy Fund to produce a Giving Black study, collaborating with peer funders when our collective resources can have the greatest impact, and developing strategies with cross-sector leaders around issues like affordable housing and transportation. By leveraging these relationships, we can accelerate the kind of change that will bring greater opportunity for all residents of our region.
Areas of Focus through Year End
Efficiencies for your Philanthropy
In seeking ways to enhance your giving experience, we recently began electronic payments to vendors and grantees, thereby reducing staff time and ensuring quicker receipt of funds. In the coming months, we will begin a comprehensive technology assessment to inform a multi-year plan to update our systems and meet the evolving needs of the community and our donors. As part of this process, we may reach out to learn more about what you like and what you feel can be improved.

Summer/Fall Events
Later this month, we hope you will join us for our next On Tap event focusing on a new approach to coordinating early childhood services for families in high-poverty areas, with details noted below. We have also been working on several donor events to round out our offerings. They include casual coffee chats throughout the summer, a multi-session learning experience (known as Giving Together Insights) on afterschool programming, and a book discussion. Please join us as your schedule allows and provide feedback on what is most meaningful to you.
With several dates to choose from, we invite you to our new space in Scott's Addition to share ideas about how we can better serve the community and to ask your burning questions.

On Tap: Empowering Young Families - July 25th at 4:30 pm

The work of Smart Beginnings and its network of early childhood providers proves that focusing on the beginning of a child’s life is essential to breaking the cycle of multi-generational poverty for families. With upwards of 80% of parents working, the network serves to ensure quality child care services that include robust school readiness services, work/life support for parents and investment in a future talented workforce.

Join us to explore a new family coaching model developed to assist families with young children in Richmond’s East End, supported by a grant from the Kellogg Foundation. Gaining insights from a similar effort in Southside Virginia, the goal is to improve complex and intersecting systems in order to better and more efficiently serve the families that depend on them. The program is already experiencing success, and you don’t have to take our word for it. You will hear directly from a parent, the Community Liaison who serves as her champion and the Project Coordinator who can share lessons learned from both urban and rural settings.   

In closing, let me say thank you for your generous philanthropy and for allowing the Community Foundation to be your partner. Please take advantage of our learning opportunities in the months to come and enjoy the rest of your summer.