FAQs about the Lora M. & E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant

CHECK OUT THE 2016 CIG Infosession below.

Q: When is the grant accepting applications?

A: We will be accepting online applications for The Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant (CIG) from 9:01am August 1, 2016 through 5:00pm September 1, 2016. No late applications will be accepted.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: 501(c)(3) organizations recognized by the IRS and providing services to the Greater Richmond area are eligible to apply. At the start of the application, all applicants will be administered an eligibility quiz to determine further eligibility.  To save yourself time, PLEASE check our website and read the details we have provided.

Q: How do I apply for the grant?

A: You can only apply for the grant ONLINE! No EXCEPTIONS!

If you are not already registered within our online system, you must register first to access the application and apply. After successfully completing the eligibility quiz, you will then answer questions and upload requested documents. These are the only documents we will use as we review and consider your proposal.

The link is

Q: My organization has several different departments that seek funding.  Are all of our departments able to submit applications?

A: No. We are accepting one application per EIN/tax identification number. The first one submitted will be the proposal reviewed. Subsequent proposals will be rejected by the system. Our system is designed to acknowledge one application per 501(c)(3) organization.

Q: How much is the grant?

A: The grant amount is $500,000 which could be paid out over one, two or three years.  *NOTE: Our Board has agreed to consider up to $250,000 as an award to other finalists.

Q: How do you define an “emerging neighborhood”?

A:  We define “emerging neighborhoods” as communities with unmet need(s), underutilized assets and economic challenges, yet aspire to offer services and opportunities supporting the health, education, development and well-being of residents, families and organizations.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions about the grant?

A: Feel free to send us an email –   If you or your organization is new to the CIG process, your questions can be answered by Robins Foundation staff during one of our information sessions. The sessions are 45 minutes each. These sessions will be hosted at the Robins Foundation office and will include opportunities for Q and A.

Dates Times
 July 28th  3:00 pm
 August 2  10:00am

Note: Registration is required and is first come, first served. In order to register please rsvp to with your name, organization and time you’d like to attend. Please let us know your first and second choice of dates/times. Due to limited space, you are able to register up to (2) two people.

Q: Who can I contact if I still have questions about the grant after attending an Information Session?

A: The Robins Foundation staff will be available by phone or email to answer general questions about the CIG process and/or technical issues related to the online application system (SmartSimple). Because of the competitive nature of this grant opportunity, we will not answer questions or provide feedback on your innovation proposal or idea.

Q: How do I know if my proposal is applicable?

A: We are being intentionally vague and open with the criteria because our Board wants to see proposals that will truly make a difference in Greater Richmond. Ideally, your project should fulfill/address an unmet need in the community, have a wide depth of impact on the intended group, and focus on emerging neighborhoods. We are looking for new and innovative ideas that do not already exist in the greater Richmond region. Also, proposals with higher risk but have the potential to yield high positive outcomes are encouraged.



Q: What do I need to provide as a part of my application?

A: You will need to answer all questions that on the grant application.  In addition to your answers you will be required to upload several documents.  All documents must be submitted as pdf file format. Those documents are:

  • A copy of IRS determination letter
  • Project budget highlighting how you will spend the $500,000
  • Most recent Form 990*
  • A board list with officers
  • Organization budget
  • Audited financial statements*

*If the audited financial statements or form 990 do not include the most recent fiscal year then the applicant will also need to upload their internal financial statements.

Q: Once I’ve started the application, do I have to finish it in one sitting?

A: No.  Click the button, “Save Draft” and the work you have completed will be accessible the next time you log back in. Your saved application can be accessed under “Proposal Activities” on the menu bar.

Q: What if I am unable to apply by the deadline, will I have another opportunity to apply for a grant anytime soon?

A: Please see our website for additional funding opportunities and deadlines for other grant proposals.  For those that are unable to apply, checking our website will provide the most up to date opportunities.

Q: Once I’ve submitted my proposal, may I edit it if the deadline has not passed?

A: No. Once you have submitted your proposal online, that submission is considered final.  Please make sure you review your proposal prior to submitting.  The system allows you to save your work, exit and resume later.  You do not have to complete the application all at once.  Take your time!

Q: I went onto your grants management software link and I do not know what to do. Where is the grant application?

A: To see the application you must first register with our software.  Once you have done so and received your temporary password, log in.  Select “Available Opportunities” from the menu bar.  The innovation grant will be listed with a button that says, “Apply Now”.  Click on the “Apply Now” button to begin the application process.

Q: How do I resolve an issue with your grants management system?

A: If you run into difficulty while attempting to navigate or submit a proposal through our new online system, please contact us during regular business hours.  We can be reached at 804-523-1144 extension 5.



Q: What is the timeline for the grant selection process?

A: Applications will be accepted from August 1 until September 1.  Following the deadline, staff and Board will perform due diligence and narrow the pool of candidates. The recipient of the award will be announced in early December after the board meeting.

Q: I’d like more information about the selection process.  What does it entail?

A: This is an extremely competitive application and selection process. Until the final candidate is selected, the evaluation process will include several phases of telephone and in-person interviews, site visits and panel presentations. The winner of the 2016 Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant will be selected at the December 2016 Board meeting.

Q: If my proposal is selected for this grant, when will I be eligible for other funding opportunities?

A: The recipient of the Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant will be supported by this grant for up to three years.  The grantee (fiscal sponsor) will not be eligible for additional funding until after this grant has closed.

Q: If my proposal is NOT selected for this grant, when will I be eligible for other funding opportunities?

A: If your proposal is declined for the Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant, you will be eligible for the next grant cycle.  Since you will already be registered in our online system, you will receive an automated email about future grant opportunities as they become available.