Catalytic Funding

Vision and innovation have helped define the Robins Foundation for generations. Moving forward, a key funding goal will be building bridges between that past and our future. That comes through Visionary Partnerships.

The Commitment:

Innovative Solutions & Catalytic Change

We’ll harness the power of our legacy and funding experience to seek out new solutions to old community challenges.  Our goal is to drive long-term transformational and positive change for Richmond’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Investment:

The Lora M. and E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. Community Innovation Grant (CIG) – OPENS AUGUST 1

This once-a-year opportunity funds a community project that celebrates the innovative, collaborative spirit of Greater Richmond with an award of up to $500,000 over the course of three years. Projects will address unmet community needs in our emerging neighborhoods and demonstrate an innovative approach to solving those needs, a record of strong leadership, and strategic collaboration with other community groups and interested parties. Grant proposals will be due by September 1.  For more information, click here‎.

The award process will encompass a grant application, site visit and presentations to Robins Foundation staff and board members.

Mini Grants (up to $20,000)

Mini grants are invitation only.  Organizations must meet with staff prior to being eligible. Grantees may receive a mini grant at any time, but no more than once per year, for small grants that strengthen a key capacity building or technology area of their organization (i.e. case development, staff coaching, marketing, board development, staff and/board strategic retreats, succession planning); bridge or transition funding due to mergers; or when other fast turn-around needs arise. Notification is immediate.

Strategic Partnerships

When an organization is ready for a specialized “deep dive” into business planning and organizational change, Robins Foundation funding provides multi-year support for organizational growth in critical operations areas: Governance, Management, Finance, Fundraising/Development (Relationship Building) and Program.

We are currently measuring and evaluating a pilot program for selected organizations at catalytic moments in their organizational development. The program provides long-term (three to five years) operating and capacity-building support that helps these organizations move to the next level. This is a by-invitation-only initiative and application process.

Our pilot class:

  • Communities In Schools of Richmond
  • Fit4Kids
  • James River Association
  • Partnership for Families

We believe that nonprofit organizations, in order to succeed, must be participating members of a strong community of leaders. We will use a number of tools to support leadership development, collaboration and the strengthening of resources “from the inside out” of an organization.

The Result:

Visionary Partnerships:

Funding innovation can bring a spirit of vitality and unlock boundless potential, and the Robins Foundation is committed to sharing our community leadership by spurring innovative ideas and encouraging risk taking. Our “innovation capital” can give our nonprofit partners the opportunity to experiment with new theories of change, new approaches that are either untested or have succeeded in other communities and could benefit Richmond.