Community Recovery &

Catalyst Grants 2020

Funding Guidelines

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The Community Foundation was established on the ideals of interconnectedness, of neighbor helping neighbor and of valuing the lives of others. These connections, in a time of pandemic and social unrest, create risk but also opportunity. We must invest in one another, now more than ever, to pursue a healthy, just and equitable region for all of our residents.

The Community Recovery & Catalyst Grants are the Foundation's response to nonprofit needs in the wake of COVID-19 and the ongoing impact of systemic racism on our community. We are committed to supporting our nonprofits’ recovery from COVID-19, and hope that our current social context challenges the status quo and catalyzes initiatives that help build a more sustainable, accessible, and equitable region.

This grant track is made possible by the generous gifts of the Bama Works Fund, Dorothy Batten, UVA Community Health, and the Twice Is Nice fund.

Community Recovery & Catalyst Grants will be one-time, unrestricted awards of up to $50,000 to be used over the period of one year.

Our goal through this grant program is to support community organizations in response to COVID-19, especially as they support vulnerable communities and communities who have been disproportionally impacted by the pandemic as well as organizations who are working to address systemic racism in our region. Grant applications will fall into one of three categories depending on an organization’s needs:

  • Recover – these are funding requests to recover an organization’s capacity to meet its mission and return to how the organization was functioning prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Sustain – these are funding requests to sustain an organization’s capacity to meet its mission and continue its current level of operations and programming.

  • Build – these are funding requests to build on an organization’s capacity to meet its mission and/or start something new in response to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and/or ongoing systemic racism.

Applicants will have the opportunity to select which category they are applying under. Only one category can be selected for each proposal.

We strive for inclusivity and accessibility. If you are having difficulty imagining how your organizations’ work fits into these categories, our Programs Team staff is available to guide you through the process.

The Community Foundation will consider proposals affecting populations living in any geography within the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Orange and Nelson.

Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization, governmental or religious entity, or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization. Organizations may only submit one application, unless the organization is a public school. All eligible organizations are welcome to apply whether or not they have previously received funding from the Foundation.

Ineligible Funding Requests

The following requests are ineligible for funding:

  • Replenishing reserves

  • Funding endowments

  • Reimbursing expenses already accrued

  • Activities and initiatives that conflict with the state of Virginia’s public health recommendations and guidelines, including but not limited to large in-person gatherings.

The Community Recovery & Catalyst Grant Committee will use the following criteria when reviewing proposals:

  • Alignment – The proposal demonstrates an alignment with the timing and purpose of this grant program.

  • Capacity – The organization has the leadership, knowledge, partnerships, etc. to be successful.

  • Engagement & Equity – The organization recognizes the impact of sociocultural context, considers differences from a strengths-based (rather than deficit-based) perspective, and emphasizes equity and inclusiveness in its decision making.

  • Financial Stewardship – There is clear alignment between the proposed budget and the activities and goals outlined in the proposal.

  • Impact – The outcomes and expected impact of the organization and/or program are clearly outlined, as well as the methods for evaluation and measuring impact.

The Community Recovery & Catalyst Grant Committee will use the following criteria when reviewing proposals:

  1. The Foundation staff screen applications for initial eligibility.

  2. Eligible applications that meet the basic criteria are reviewed, summarized, and shared with the Community Recovery & Catalyst Grant Committee. This committee is composed of volunteer community members from throughout the region.

  3. The applications are reviewed by committee members and scored according to the Grant Criteria listed above.

  4. The Community Recovery & Catalyst Grant Committee finalize recommendations and select applications they feel best meet the goals of the grant track.

  5. Committee recommendations are approved by the Foundation Board of Directors, and distributions will be finalized by October 2020.

  6. Virtual Site Visits: All grant recipients will receive one virtual site visit over the course of the funding period.

  7. Final Report: A final report along with a final budget will be due in September 2021.

The Community Recovery & Catalyst Grant application window closed on August 14, 2020. If you have questions about your application, please send an email to The Grants Portfolio Committee is working on the review process and CACF staff will be reaching out if there are any questions. Decisions on Catchafire subscriptions can be expected by mid-September. Funding decisions can be expected by October 15.

You may click here to preview application questions. The deadline to apply is Friday, August 14, 2020 at 11:59pm EST.

Puede hacer clic aquí obtener una vista previa de las preguntas de la aplicación. La fecha límite para presentar la solicitud es el viernes 14 de agosto de 2020 a las 11:59 p.m. EST.

The Foundation recognizes the need for support to nonprofits beyond grant-making. We have an opportunity to partner with Catchafire, a web-based platform that offers applicants and grantees access to volunteer-based operational support and personalized customer service. You may find more information about Catchafire here.

Applicants can use the Community Recovery & Catalyst Grants application to just apply for the Catchafire pilot program OR to apply for both the Catchafire pilot program and a Recovery & Catalyst grant. There will be a space on the application to indicate your choice. For more information on how the Foundation’s Catchafire process works, click here.

We strongly encourage applicants to complete the application in a word processing application first, saving frequently, and then copy and pasting into the online application.

If you have an application that you have submitted to another funder that thoroughly describes your request, feel free to submit that application to us. There will be a place to do so on the online application.

The Foundation will review all applications and respond to applicants by October 15, 2020. If you have questions about your proposal, please email .

Watch a recording of our annual Grants Update meeting from July 15, 2020.