Making an Impact

The Community Foundation funds a broad array of organizations and projects through annual and multiyear grants. Here are just a few examples of ways that our nonprofit partners are making significant impacts in the region.

Enriching communities

Enriching Communities grants support a vibrant mix of services and activities. Examples from 2017 include:

An Integrated Care Model

Since 1992, the Charlottesville Free Clinic has provided medical care to low-income, underserved community members who would otherwise not have access to care. An Enriching Communities grant supports the clinic’s expansion of its integrated care program, which solves one of the largest gaps in health care — weaving together primary care visits with mental health services. This innovative program includes bilingual, culturally sensitive caregivers who connect patients with volunteer counselors and psychiatrists.


Charlottesville Free Clinic

Photo by Derrick Waller

Gaining a Historical Perspective

To understand our world today, it’s critical to also understand our past. An oral history project conducted by the Louisa County Historical Society called Hearts Ready to Listen explores the legacy of slavery, racial segregation in the 20th century and the tensions that are currently reemerging. The historical society is partnering with the NAACP and local black churches, with a goal of fostering empathy in building relationships. An Enriching Communities grant funds interviews of hundreds of individuals who lived in Louisa County during the 1950s and 1960s.


Louisa County Historical Society

Photo by Derrick Waller



Enriching Communities partners: 54

Total funds awarded: $448,317

Strengthening Systems partners: 7
Total funds awarded: $1,896,255

Shaping Futures partners: 1

Total funds awarded: $500,000

The Power of Art

At Lafayette School and Treatment Center in Fluvanna County, art therapy is changing the lives of children and adolescents who are working to overcome emotional and behavioral challenges. Through art therapy, Lafayette students are able to express themselves positively through visual arts, music and performing arts. Art therapy groups provide opportunities for creativity, expressing feelings, developing social skills, and building self-esteem. An Enriching Communities grant provided funding for art supplies, projector and digital art tools.


Lafayette School

Photo by Kori Price

Financing Fresh Starts

For many who are returning from prison, court-imposed debt presents a formidable barrier to finding a job and reentering the community. Until court fees, costs and fines are paid, returning citizens cannot obtain a driver’s license or access government benefits. The Fountain Fund was established to support opportunities for formerly incarcerated citizens by investing in their independent financial success with low-interest loans that help them repay court costs or purchase job-related clothing and equipment, or that provide startup funding for small businesses. An Enriching Communities grant funded compliance, regulatory and administrative costs, allowing the Fountain Fund to provide more loans, financial education and community support.

Fountain Fund

Photo by Kori Price

Strengthening Systems 

Strengthening Systems grants address barriers and inefficiencies that keep community members from benefiting from available programs and activities. Seven grants are under way.

New Strategies to End Hunger

Like many rural areas across the country, Louisa County is home to many families who have difficulty securing enough food to put on the table. In many cases, the food is not reaching  households that can use it. To better understand this issue, a Strengthening Systems grant funded a survey conducted by Louisa County Resource Council and the University of Virginia’s Center for Survey Research. The first of its type in the nation, the study has collected data about the extent of food insecurity and has increased understanding of barriers preventing effective food distribution. As a result, new strategies are being developed that will significantly reduce food insecurity in Louisa County.

Helping the Imprisoned and

Recently Released

According to a study by the Charlottesville-
Albemarle Evidence-Based Decision Making Policy Team, nearly a quarter of inmates at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail may have a serious mental illness. This grant improves the coordination of mental health services provided to inmates transitioning from jail back into the community. 

Creating Opportunity
Through Collaboration

Middle-skill careers are well paying and on the rise, but they require significant training and certification. This grant helps Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center and Piedmont Virginia Community

College work together to create a 
cybersecurity career pathway.

Job Seekers

More than 5,600 families in Charlottesville and Albemarle live in poverty. This grant allows Charlottesville Works Initiative to expand staffing and programs so it can provide more assistance to adults seeking to obtain and retain sustainable-wage jobs.


Louisa County Food Bank

Photo by Derrick Waller

Planning Housing 

Aging Charlottesville public housing
is rapidly deteriorating and needs to be rebuilt. This grant brings organizations and citizens together, creating resident-led engagement that advances redevelopment efforts.

Building Biking and
Walking Trails

The puzzle pieces to create a regional bike and pedestrian trail network in Charlottesville and Albemarle already exist — they just need to be connected. This grant supports work by Piedmont Environmental Council and Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission to complete plans and execute a community engagement campaign.

Partnering for Better
Mental Health

Many local residents struggle to find mental health services, largely due to the need for a coordinated system of care. This grant supports a partnership between UVA Health System’s emergency department and Partner for Mental Health, which creates a system of patient-care coordination to reduce mental health crises.

shaping futures

Shaping Futures grants support targeted solutions to transform community trends. One grant is currently under way.

Addressing Racial Disparities
in Birth Outcomes

Racial disparity in birth outcomes is one of the area’s most urgent health problems. With additional funding from Sentara Martha
Jefferson Hospital, this grant supports a
collective of doulas of color who are achieving dramatic success in improving the birth outcomes experienced by African-American mothers and babies.


Photo by Peggy Harrison