Nonprofit Leadership Cohort Leads to Cross-Sector Collaboration

Last year, The Community Foundation launched our Nonprofit Leadership Cohort, an initiative to connect nonprofit leaders and build a stronger sector. 

We began this work by inviting 20 nonprofit executives to join a six month strategic planning effort to determine the scope and need of our nonprofit community. 

During a time of videos calls and isolation, we focused on effective and efficient collaboration. As a result, several cross-sector partnerships emerged. 

One partnership led to a program that received a competitive grant by the foundation’s Fredericksburg Savings Charitable Fund.

The Rappahannock Area Office on Youth (RAOY) provides:

  • Mandated services (court ordered requirements)
  • Prevention programs (designed to reduce the possibility of future court involvement)
  • Residential services (a 12-bed community-based residential facility serving youth ages 12-17)

The mission of RAOY is to provide programs that promote healthy and responsible behavior in youth and young adults, encourage positive development, and to support families.

Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR), a grassroots conservation organization, works to educate everyone about the river and to advocate for actions and policies that will protect and restore the Rappahannock River.

ROAY and FOR created a joint program for students during spring break and provided hands-on educational experiential programs throughout the week. Their goal: have at-risk students learn about the Rappahannock River, its top pollutants and how to help preserve and protect the river. FOR designed a week filled with educational and conservation activities along portions of the Rappahannock River.

From understanding how to test water quality, to designing storm drain filters that reduce runoff and erosion, and building floating wetlands, students became experts on the impact of conservation efforts on the Rappahannock River.

“The students had such a great attitude and willingness to learn throughout the entire week. We loved getting to know each of them and exploring our river together,” Lindsay Anderson, FOR Environmental Educator.

Interested in supporting our nonprofit leadership work? Contact or make a gift online here.