James River Association

More than one-third of all Virginians rely on the James River and its tributaries for water, commerce and recreation. After generations of nurturing its people, the James River needs nurturing itself. More »

Sports Backers

The Sports Backers produce and support nationally recognized quality sporting events and programs that motivate locals and visitors alike to be more active. More »

Better Housing Coalition

AMAZING things happen when you revitalize a neighborhood. Crime and blight decrease, investment increases and community pride swells. The Better Housing Coalition, a non-profit community development corporation, transforms communities through high-quality, eco-friendly affordable housing. More »


Robins Foundation Celebrates Lewis T. Booker



Last month, the Robins Foundation family got a little smaller.  We mourn the loss of longtime board member Lewis Thomas Booker (1929-2015) who died at his home April 5 surrounded by his beloved family.

Lewis enjoyed tremendous professional and personal respect from those who knew him across the globe. He was a special man, gifted in courtesy, kindness and humility.  He was a husband, father, grandfather, lawyer, Army man, Sunday school teacher and community advocate.

We knew Lewis for a brief moment in time- and were lucky to see and feel the passion of his convictions for the good of, and in, this community. He was a caring tutor in governance, logic and process as well as a faithful friend and fine example of servant leader. Another board member shared recently, “Nothing can truly capture the spirit of our Lewis.”   He was a dear and wonderful man, tough as nails yet quick with a smile and warm wishes. He was first to offer assistance and guidance.  It is almost impossible to describe and honor his legacy of service over many decades to this community, this country, and this foundation.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch opined about Lewis’ accomplishments at length and pointed out one of his finest moments came during his tenure on the Richmond School Board when he resisted the efforts to close public school to avoid busing and de-segregation. Schools in cities all around Richmond closed but Lewis and others provided the leadership to keep children in schools and learning despite the politics around them. Lewis was principled, faithful and certain.

Read about Lewis here:



So many have shared their thanks for Lewis in eloquent eulogies of gratitude and tribute.  The consistency of message has been astounding: Lewis Booker was a giant among men and it was a privilege to know and be known by him.  All of it resonated our board and staff: his generosity of spirit, his deep faith, his compulsion to make a difference and his inspirational integrity. He gave of himself selflessly and simply to our work. He often left voice mail messages at all hours of the day and night when he thought of something staff might find helpful- a journal article to read, a Richmonder to connect with, an organization to research.

We will remember the twinkle in his eye, the sly laugh when he made a joke and oh- so- quick wit.  We will remember with fondness his gentle and probing questions, lessons on service and activism,  and his ability to outwork us, every day and every time.

We will remember Lewis.

Grant Opportunity Coming Soon!

The Robins Foundation has a strong interest in investing in programs that enrich the whole family (and whole neighborhoods) in order to alter intergenerational poverty in greater Richmond’s emerging neighborhoods.

Robins Foundation will support organizations and projects for children ages 0-18, and their parents/caregivers to ensure children are prepared for kindergarten, are engaged in school, thrive academically, and graduate on time with the necessary skills and opportunities for success.

To be eligible for consideration for our next Focus Area Grant cycle please be sure of the following:

1. Your proposal is in alignment with one of the Focus Areas: Thriving People or Dynamic Community; even if you are applying for Strong Nonprofits, you must demonstrate how building your capacity will impact another focus area.

2. You have met with a Program Officer to discuss your project PRIOR to submitting a grant application.

3. Your proposal will improve the life of residents  within the Greater Richmond area. This includes:  the city of Richmond, the Tri-Cities, and the surrounding counties: Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico,   New Kent, Powhatan and Prince George.

4.  Your organization is NOT already under review for a grant.

Our next  cycle, September 2015 Focus Area grants will open in May and close on June 1.

To discuss your request, please contact:

Chris Chin – Director, Community Partnerships

Robert Dortch – Director, Community Innovation

For an inquiry regarding the submission process and/or registration with SmartSimple, please contact us by email: info@robinsfdn.org

Guidelines can be found on the “What We Fund” page.  A link to the SmartSimple login page is available on our website under “How to Apply”.