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The Community Relief Fund raises nearly $500,000 for area nonprofits

From The Community Foundation:

The region around Fredericksburg has seen a surge in charitable contributions to create a thriving, resilient and event stronger community during the COVID-19 crisis.

“The need is great,” said Teri McNally, The Community Foundation’s Executive Director, talking about the potential to make a difference for our community’s future, “but the response we are getting to the Community Relief Fund is incredible.”

The Community Foundation activated the Community Relief Fund in March when the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic in our region became clear. Immediately individuals, families and businesses began to make donations to support nonprofit organizations. In fewer than 8 weeks, the fund has grown to $449,425.

“I’m confident we can reach $500,000 in charitable gifts to help our communities,” said Community Foundation President Elect Michele Mansouri. “What a powerful message it would send to our region’s most vulnerable people if we reach $1,000,000!”

All of the money donated to the Community Relief Fund is currently being distributed to nonprofit organizations that provide human services and emergency assistance like food, shelter, transportation and financial support in our local area, as well as health/mental health and educational resources.

Grants are being electronically transferred to nonprofit bank accounts each week. So far, $180,25 has been awarded to 25 different nonprofits. Grant money is being used to purchase and distribute emergency food supplies, to provide COVID-19 prevention support to vulnerable citizens, to offer childcare to essential workers and first responders and to convert services like legal aid, mental health care and advocacy to telehealth/online access.

The Community Foundation is assessing urgent needs, identifying short-term gaps, and gathering information that will inform longer-term recovery efforts. Initial findings from the foundation’s Nonprofit Needs Assessment have been published to the foundation’s website with the support of the George Washington Regional Planning Commission. Over 76 percent of surveyed nonprofits indicated that they are not able to offer at least some of their core services as a result of COVID-19. Nonprofit support is needed by every segment of our community – children, seniors, veterans, those with disabilities or facing mental health challenges, and more.

One major gift to the fund was a donation of $100,000 from the Sunshine Lady Foundation. A representative told The Community Foundation, “We were motivated to make this donation on Doris Buffet’s behalf by our warm memories of her special Fredericksburg relationship and our trust in The Community Foundation leadership and goals.”

Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Foundation, Kaeser Compressors, sPower, Michele Mansouri/Access Eye, The Honeywell Charitable Fund, and Rennie and Richmond McDaniel have also made leadership gifts to the fund.

Gifts of any size add up to a huge impact for our region and its future!

Nonprofits can access the online application from The Community Foundation’s website:

Complete grant guidelines are available on the website as well:

Learn more about the Community Relief Fund and how it has been activated to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic on The Community Foundation’s 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 % of funds are distributed to community-based organizations in need.

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 P.O. Box 208, Fredericksburg, VA 22404.

Contact us with any questions.

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

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