Our Guiding Principles


Founders E. Claiborne Robins, Sr. and his wife Lora M. Robins were compassionate, empathetic and accessible leaders who valued integrity, ethical practices and generosity. As thoughtful philanthropists and visionaries, they used their wealth to improve the quality of life for the Richmond community. Robins Foundation highly values their legacy and seeks to honor their example through our philanthropic work.

We have a strong interest in investing in programs that enrich whole families — and whole neighborhoods. We are particularly interested in children and their academic opportunities and success. We 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.

We will build upon our founders’ vision of improving quality of life and nurturing a greater, stronger Richmond for all. To do this it is important for us to understand the current state of education in Richmond and how it impacts the region as a whole. Gaining a deeper understanding of the aspirations of the community we serve has given us the means to craft a vision that we believe is true to their hopes and values.

Robins Foundation is dedicated to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all. Robins Foundation does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation or military — in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of Board members and grantees, and provision of services from vendors. The Foundation is committed to the work and partnerships that make Richmond a vibrant community in which to live, work and raise a family, where all its citizens have abundant opportunities to thrive. Any derogatory statements or actions made by individuals are in no way reflective of or supported by the Foundation.

Community involvement

The Foundation has long been considered a community funder and has shifted to be a community partner. To better align with our mission statement and values, Robins Foundation has committed to continue to collaborate and engage with others working to accomplish the same goals. By creating a shared narrative among our community partners, we can all better understand each other’s missions and organizational strengths . Our vision is for community building and working to create a stronger Greater Richmond region for all of us.

Claiborne Robins, Sr. believed in giving back to his community, and was tirelessly involved in the transformation of this community for the better. To continue that legacy of engaged leadership, the board developed a new strategic plan in 2014. Part of the plan addressed a need for increased staffing and required recruiting highly qualified experts who were up to the challenge of bringing the board’s guiding principles to life. Look for more information on our board and staff throughout these pages!