Community Foundation grants help save area non-profits

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:58 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - The Community Foundation of the New River Valley awarded a record-setting amount in grants to nonprofits this year.

For many, this made the difference between staying open or shutting down.

“We were able to fund a lot of organizations we’ve never funded before,” says Ashley Ege, the foundation’s Director of Communications & Outreach.

After vetting more than 100 applications this fall, more than $184,000 was distributed to 56 area nonprofits for operational support through its Responsive Grant Program, a $30k jump since last year.

This comes after giving out emergency responsive COVID-19 grants for those enduring hardships in 2020.

“A lot of organizations reached out to us to let us know that money actually kept them afloat,” adds Ege. “It was before any of the PPE loans came out or any of the cares act stuff got approved.”

The largest individual grants given out by the foundation amounted to $4,000, given to organizations like Valley Interfaith Child Care Center, and for them, even a little can go a long way.

The center supports low-income working parents with infants and toddlers. Director Judy Shelor says in the past 17 years of the community foundation’s support, this year was the most vital.

“Not only was our capacity cut in half, but our revenue was, so without that extra money from our donors and from the community foundation, we might not have been able to stay open last year,” says Shelor.

Right now, the center has 25 children enrolled with a capacity for 70, but other classrooms cannot be opened until they have additional staffing.

“We’re operating on a waiting list because we don’t have enough staff right now to support the need,” says Shelor.

The foundation’s grant, combined with money from the American Rescue Plan, will help VICCC continue its work, and raise wages for staff in the coming months.

For more information on VICCC, click here.

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