For the better part of the past two years, the Robins Foundation has engaged in some comprehensive community assessment, a full-blown evaluation of the Richmond region – from the business community to nonprofits, from age-old challenges to emerging issues, from inner-city communities to the surrounding counties, and everything in between. Out of all that, we have discovered a community in motion, one that is constantly changing, and that’s a positive and healthy thing.
We also have grown to appreciate that the most effective and positive changes are those that come about when we as a community change together. Collaborative community growth forges dynamic synergy, fosters greater stakeholder engagement and lays the foundation for future success.
And so we have asked ourselves, “how can we help engender a greater sense of collaborative community growth within Greater Richmond?”
Building on a legacy of supporting the Greater Richmond community for more than a half century, Robins Foundation is moving to realign the focus of our leadership and harness the catalytic power of our resources to spur collaboration, inspire innovation and propel foundational change on the most important issues facing the region. As our corporate, government and philanthropic leaders work to establish community-wide priorities, baselines and measurements, Robins Foundation will assert more active, targeted and sustained leadership in promoting stakeholder collaboration, and tailoring our investments to meet community-driven goals.
Our vision for the Richmond region is as much aspirational as it is realistic. We see Richmond as a mosaic of vibrant communities, places where children have access to good schools, safe neighborhoods where families can grow and thrive, sectors where economic opportunity extends to young and old alike. We believe the legacy of the Robins family and the Robins Foundation is about more than financial support, or for that matter, more than a set of goals and focus areas. It starts with community, made stronger through conversation, engagement, partnership and leadership. These were hallmarks of the way Mr. and Mrs. Robins approached their community, and they are the trademarks of Robins Foundation in 2014 and beyond.
We seek to understand and serve the best interests of our neighbors in the Richmond community by listening, learning, engaging and supporting. As a result of our strategic planning process, beginning in 2015, our work will join four interrelated and often overlapping core goals:
Goal 1: Visionary Partnerships
Goal 2: Strong Nonprofits
Goal 3: Thriving People
Goal 4: Dynamic Community
As we continue to validate community-wide needs, gaps and measurements, we anticipate that the focus areas and structures prioritized under each of our four goals will clarify, shift and change, but the goals themselves will remain constant.
We want the flexibility to address a changing Richmond and the priorities of tomorrow’s families. Our new, online grants application system will launch in 2014, making it easier and more efficient for potential grantees to research our funding priorities and submit qualified and eligible proposals. We are moving to a more open, competitive process with four submission deadlines per year.
More details will follow on the “who what where when why and how” to access the grant application system. Look to this website for updates. Over the course of the next few months, we will begin to describe the goals and the grant-submission process in depth. We also will host information sessions with potential grantees and other interested parties.
Until next time….