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Area nonprofits can apply now for immediate relief grants from the Community Relief Fund

The Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region opened an online grant portal so nonprofits may apply for coronavirus pandemic crisis relief funding through the Community Relief Fund.

Foundation staff streamlined their traditional grant process to make it easy for nonprofit organizations to apply even as they hurry to deliver services while under the strain of coronavirus in our community. The foundation simplified its paperless grant process and pivoted to ACH grant payments to facilitate rapid grant processing and reduce physical interactions.

“We want nonprofits leaders to know that the foundation and our generous donors are here to support them. We understand that the coronavirus is dramatically effecting their operations and the needs in our community, said Ali Thomas, Program Officer. “Our goal is to offer the flexibility you need so you can meet the challenges you are facing.”

Grants will be awarded on a rolling weekly basis. The first applications may be submitted before noon on Monday, April 13. Submissions after that date will be reviewed the following week. Nonprofits may apply each week, but must take a break of one grant cycle once awarded a grant. Nonprofits can access the online application from The Community Foundation’s website:

Complete grant guidelines are available on the website as well:

The Community Foundation convened a crisis response committee to assess urgent needs, identify short-term gaps, and gather information that will inform longer-term recovery efforts. Grantmaking decisions are overseen by the committee, which consists of foundation staff and board members.

The first grants will be given to nonprofits organizations with deep roots in the community that provide human services and emergency assistance, as well as health/mental health and educational resources. Examples include food, shelter, transportation, living expenses and rent/utility assistance.

Nonprofits that serve vulnerable populations are also prioritized. These may include children out of school, families without childcare, people who have lost income due to the pandemic, people who are experiencing homelessness or rapid rehousing, people experiencing domestic violence or child abuse, individuals without paid sick leave or health insurance, non-English speaking residents and senior citizens.

“We think nonprofits will be sending applications for funding to directly support client needs. They may need help to cover costs of working with fewer staff or working remotely due to quarantine or social distancing,” said Casey Hu, Director of Donor Services. “We’re likely to see requests to provide mental health support for clients or staff. There is a lot of valuable work being done to organize or coordinate donations of food or in-kind goods to people disrupted by the virus.”

The foundation is actively collecting information directly from nonprofits about how coronavirus is affecting their organization and the mission they serve. All are encouraged to complete the foundation’s community needs assessment: The George Washington Regional Planning Commission has partnered with the foundation to evaluate results of the survey.

The initial priority is to address immediate needs. Additional funds will be released on a rolling basis, based on available funding through outbreak and recovery phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the current phase, nonprofits that provide direct support services to those effected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, Stafford and the City of Fredericksburg may apply.

The Community Relief Fund was established in October 2019 to prepare for any possible future disaster threat to our community. Learn more about the fund and how it has been activated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic on the foundations website:

Through the generous support of The Community Foundation’s Board of Governors, all Community Relief Fund administrative costs have been waived through June 30, 2020. This ensures that 100 percent of funds are distributed to community-based organizations in need.

The Community Foundation’s Board seeded the Community Relief Fund with $50,000 from the foundation’s board-directed, unrestricted Community Fund. Individuals, families and businesses have been making gifts and pledging support since the fund was announced.

The Community Foundation urges everyone to include regional nonprofits in your crisis response giving by making a donation to the Community Relief Fund or by giving to them directly.

Make a gift online at

Or mail a check to The Community Foundation/Community Relief Fund at PO BOX 208, Fredericksburg, VA 22404.

Contact us with any questions.

Visit or contact foundation staff at [email protected] for more information.

About The Community Foundation

 For more than 20 years, people who give through The Community Foundation have made a significant positive impact by establishing over 170 funds that collectively give over $1.5 million each year to local nonprofits, churches and schools.

The Community Foundation promotes greater philanthropy by addressing the challenges faced by donors in a responsible and knowledgeable manner. We distinguish ourselves from other local charities by providing efficient and effective services to build a collection of permanent funds.

The Community Foundation offers a spectrum of services for individuals, organizations and businesses that are eager to achieve great results with their charitable actions.

For more information call 540 373-9292, email [email protected] or visit

Our Operations Continue Uninterrupted

The Community Foundation will continue normal business operations while practicing social distancing.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the foundation’s offices are temporarily closed. We are working from home daily 9:00 – 5:00.

We can happily schedule a phone call or remote meeting.

Please reach our staff by phone or email.

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