Holiday Gala Cancelled, Donors Still Contribute Thousands of Dollars
For the last 19 years, generous local leaders have gathered in downtown Fredericksburg for The Community Foundation’s Ring in the Holidays party. The event raises money for the foundation’s mission to advocate for the vitality and well-being of the Rappahannock River region. Known as the “holiday season opener,” the party often hosts more than 500 guests and routinely sells out.
But this year is very different.
“When the pandemic crisis started, we knew we had to re-think our biggest fundraiser,” said Teri McNally, Executive Director. “Because of the uncertainty, our board of governors passed an organizational budget in May that zeroed out the operating support we would normally hope to receive from generous sponsors. This meant seriously tightening the belt with our plans for the year ahead - at a time when our community needs the support of our donors more than ever!”
But this summer, foundation staff had video meetings with several signature level donors from 2019 and were amazed to learn they had no intention to decrease their support even though Ring in the Holidays was cancelled. With the help Lead level donors sPower, Mary Jane O’Neill, Access Eye, Cooper Financial Group of Raymond James, John Cowan and Anne Nuckols, the Gemini 3 Group and the Nicky Seay Charitable Fund, the foundation decided to reach out to other past supporters and invite them to “answer the call.”
To date, 59 businesses, individuals and families have offered their support – amounting to almost 75 percent of the sponsorships for last year’s party.
“We have always enjoyed the support of our region’s most thoughtful and caring people, but we didn’t know whether they would be willing or able to support our mission this year. We have been blown away!” said Fund Development Associate, Emma Miller-Richards
“It feels wonderful to know that people feel good giving to and through The Community Foundation. We are committed to using these gifts as efficiently and as effectively as possible to help our region in this very challenging year and for years to come.”
The money raised this year allows The Community Foundation to support our region in several essential ways.
The foundation's Community Relief Fund has distributed more than $448,000 in coronavirus pandemic rapid response and recovery grants to area nonprofits. The foundation is currently reviewing 34 grant applications from area nonprofits in a second phase of grantmaking to encourage pandemic crisis recovery.
A new fund was established in June 2020 to advance racial equity in our region. The foundation intends to become a platform for dialogue to identify issues, analyze their impact and provide resources to address their resolution. Starting with people of color, it is establishing a regional advisory council to guide us in the coming years and help ensure the foundation’s mission reaches everyone in our region.
The Community Foundation manages 41 scholarship funds from application, to citizen review to award and student celebration. It will award a total of $150,000 to graduating seniors again this spring.
Altogether, the foundation stewards 171 named charitable funds on behalf of our generous community and collectively distributes more than $2 million in grants efficiently and effectively.
“Our community is generous. is not just a tagline we use for our work,” said Communications Director, Lisa Biever. “It's true. Our region and its nonprofits are still facing serious challenges. But this support will make a significant difference. It gives us a lot of hope.”
For people who want to get involved and support area nonprofits, The Community Foundation recommends:
- Supporting regional pandemic response and recovery through the Community Relief Fund.
Give online at www.cfrrr.org/donations/the-community-relief-fund
Or mail a check to The Community Foundation, the Community Relief Fund at PO BOX 208, Fredericksburg, VA 22404.
- Giving through any other fund or initiative at the foundation that fits your priorities and passion.
About The Community Foundation
For more than 20 years, people who give through The Community Foundation have made a significant positive impact by establishing over 170 funds that collectively give over $2 million annually to local nonprofits, churches and schools.
The Community Foundation promotes greater philanthropy by addressing the challenges faced by donors in a responsible and knowledgeable manner. We distinguish ourselves from other local charities by providing efficient and effective services to build a collection of permanent funds.
The Community Foundation offers a spectrum of services for individuals, organizations and businesses that are eager to achieve great results with their charitable actions.
For more information call 540 373-9292, email email@example.com or visit www.cfrrr.org.
Our Operations Continue Uninterrupted
The Community Foundation is observing normal business operations while practicing social distancing.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the foundation's office suite is temporarily closed to the public. We are happy to schedule a phone call or remote meeting.
Please reach our staff by phone or email. 540 373-9292 or firstname.lastname@example.org