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Event Recap: Building Strong, Strategic, Sustainable Nonprofits.

Do you know that moment when you have a sense of a concept, but then someone comes along and clarifies it with a spot-on phrase or illustration? You think, “A-ha, if only I had thought of it this way.” Last week, many local nonprofits had that moment while listening to guest speaker Steve Zimmerman, co-author of Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, who shared insights into managing the sustainability of nonprofits.

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News from the Community: Local Foundation Award Updates

We caught up with the largest local foundations to get an update on their awards so far, this year!  See what initiatives are being funded and check out ConnectVA’s tools and resources for connecting with local grantmakers and information.

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News from the Community: New Local Platform Launched for Virtual Restaurant Fundraising

RVA has a new online platform to help nonprofits raise funds with the help of restaurants that goes beyond the traditional “Give Back Night”. Serving Up Change is a platform that allows community organizations to connect with restaurants to fund raise with a “Virtual Spirit Night”. Instead of requiring attendance on a specific date and time, Serving Up Change and its virtual fundraiser allows supporters to purchase eGift cards from their phones or website, to be used at any time. The nonprofit organization earns the percentage back (determined by each restaurant) as fundraising profit. Supporters can also make flat donations through the same fundraising page.

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News from the Community: TCF Announces Grant Awards

The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia (TCF) awarded over $2 Million to 47 local organizations through their community grant making program along with The Jenkins Foundation, a supporting foundation that focuses its grant program on improving health care in the region. Each year, a portion of The Community Foundation’s grant making is awarded through a competitive process, in which local organizations apply for funding for programs and operations. The process is guided by a framework in which the Foundation identifies nonprofit partners that are effectively, and many times collaboratively, working to lift up Richmond as a place where all of its residents can thrive.

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Call for Nominations: The Help Somebody Hall of Fame

THE INSPIRATION The inspiration behind the Help Somebody Hall of Fame is Thomas Cannon, a retired postal worker who gave away more than $150,000 over three decades, mostly in thousand-dollar checks, showing that small gestures can make a big impact. He gave to people who demonstrated remarkable courage or generosity, or who experienced a challenging time, often reading about them in the Richmond Times Dispatch.  According to a 2005 Richmond Times Dispatch article published shortly after his death, Thomas Cannon did not want to attach his name to any efforts to carry on his philanthropy.  “What he wanted in his honor and memory, he told the Times-Dispatch, was simple: ‘Help Somebody.’”

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Campaign Closeup: $5k for RVA

The Better Housing Coalition (BHC), a non-profit community development corporation, transforms communities through high-quality, eco-friendly affordable housing. They offer social services that help residents become more self-reliant, seek higher education and age in place. Their portfolio includes 16 residential communities – 8 for lower-income seniors – as well as 180 single-family homes for low- to moderate-income first-time buyers. BHC is known for the many collaborative partnerships they’ve created with financial and commercial organizations, public agencies, other non-profits, private individuals, grassroots community leaders, and builders and developers in order to scale and manage their mission of revitalizing the community.

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Campaign Closeup: Close The Gap

Over the course of four days – from September 26th to 29th – Shalom Farms held an online giving event called “Close the Gap”, with a goal of raising $20,000. The slogan for the campaign was “closing the healthy food gap, together” and Shalom conveyed that “all funds raised during the event will go to directly to our goal of providing over 400,000 servings of fresh produce along with nutrition resources, food-skills education and support to over 7,000 people. The Nutrition Distribution Network, Prescription Produce Plan, Youth Run Farm Stand, Healthy Corner Store Initiative and Community Mobile Market are all made possible by these donations.” They ended up surpassing the $20,000 goal and reached over $36,000 in donations from 182 gifts. We caught up with Shalom Farms, who gave us more insight into their campaign.

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Campaign Closeup: The Amazing Praise

On September 13th four local Christian nonprofits held The Amazing Praise – a 48-hour online giving event with a goal of raising $100k. Participants included Boaz & Ruth, Richmond Christian Leadership Initiative (RCLI), Sweet Monday and Youth Life Foundation of Richmond. The four organizations had individual goals based on their previous success in the Amazing Raise; RCLI - $55k, Youth Life Foundation - $20k, Sweet Monday - $12.5k and Boaz & Ruth - $12.5k. The online giving event ended up bringing in $55.5k.

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News from the Community: TCF Grant Announcement

In early October, The Community Foundation serving Richmond and Central Virginia announced the award of $877,500 to local nonprofits through their community grant making program and over $1M in support through TCF affiliated partners - the Jenkins Foundation, Medarva Foundation Fund and Sheltering Arms Fund . The community grants program is supported by unrestricted and field of interest funds created by donors who had the foresight to ensure that TCF would have the flexibility to meet the changing needs of the Greater Richmond region over time. Twice a year, TCF makes grants that advance our goals of cultural vibrancy, economic prosperity, educational success, and health and wellness. In addition, there are special funding opportunities that invite proposals at different times of year. Learn more about the community grant making process here – the next round of competitive grant applications are due November 7th.

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