As donors, many are familiar with Guidestar and its goal to provide “fair, accurate, and objective information about foundations and nonprofits.” At The Community Foundation we use this resource on a regular basis to research possible grant recipients. Foundation Center is less known to donors, but an equally useful resource for those searching for grants and grant-making information. GuideStar and Foundation Center are in the process of integrating operations to become Candid – a resource to provide a “360-degree view of the work of social good—who’s doing what, where on the issues that matter to people around the world.”
The transition will occur over the next several years. The new name, Candid, is descriptive of the organizations’ desire to be transparent and “continue to earn our stakeholders’ trust in an information-wary world”. Both the GuideStar.org and FoundationCenter.org websites are available for the time being. There are links to both websites on the Candid.org as well. We will keep you posted as changes occur.
Impact Harrisonburg, a giving circle of young professionals, recently distributed annual grants to three local nonprofit organizations. The group used the Community Needs process of The Community Foundation to select nonprofit projects to consider. Local organizations selected by Impact members as grant recipients this year are Blue Ridge CASA, Blacks Run Forest Farm, and Way to Go. Read on for more information submitted by each organization, describing the project funded by the Impact grants.
Blue Ridge CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) FOR CHILDREN recruits, selects, trains and supervises volunteers to advocate for children who have been victims of abuse or neglect. The goal of CASA’s advocacy is to find safe, permanent and nurturing homes for abused and neglected children. CASA volunteers serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for the Juvenile and Domestic Court Judge, collecting information from all parties within a child’s life and compiling the information in a court report. CASA’s Court report is the most comprehensive report that the court will receive on the child’s case. Children with a CASA on their case are better represented, receive more services, and do better on a number of well-being indicators. ($500 Impact grant designated for the “CASA for Children” project)
Blacks Run Forest Farm is an edible park and neighborhood arboretum for agroforestry, watershed restoration, and community health. The organization grows healthy accessible food, cares for our soil and water, restores relationships between people and place, and cultivates abundant neighborhoods. Through a riparian orchard, forest garden, and nursery, the organization farms in the image of the forest. Blacks Run is one of Virginia’s most polluted streams and flows through a low-income neighborhood historically known as the Wasteland due to the impaired stream, corporate poultry factories, and substandard housing. The forest farm is committed to the health of Blacks Run and all those living in its watershed. Without current major funding, the organization is propagating its nursery, expanding its forest garden on Salvation Army’s property, planting the eroded stream bank, hosting workshops, and developing partnerships with local schools and universities to connect students to the trees and wildlife of the Blacks Run watershed. The organization aspires to expand its public tree park to nearly 3.5 acres along Blacks Run Stream by leasing land from Salvation Army, which sits along the proposed Northend Greenway, and the adjoining lots from Public Works and Parks and Recreation, whose advisory commission has unanimously supported this proposal. ($500 Impact grant designated for the “Planting Trees, Healing Water & Growing Community” project)
Way to Go empowers low-income working families to improve their quality of life by assisting them with their transportation needs. The organization keeps local families mobile and employed by helping them with a range of issues to maintain their family vehicle. If they do not have a vehicle, Way to Go has several programs that can help families obtain one. This particular project was proposed to support both the “maintain” and “obtain” objectives of the Way to Go program. Funds are requested for: repairs(including towing and inspections), car insurance, vehicle fees, gas, taxi trips, vehicle payments to prevent repossession, and for other urgent needs to keep a low-income working family’s vehicle operable that contribute to a decent quality of life. Clients seeking to obtain a vehicle can access the WorkCars program where Way to Go provides a down payment, guaranteed bank financing through F&M Bank, financial assistance with dealer and DMV fees, and vehicle insurance. The organization works closely with local automobile dealers to help clients obtain cars that are safe, affordable, dependable, and legal. ($7,100.64 Impact grant for “The Key to Self Sufficiency” project)
IMPACT Harrisonburg has been a giving circle for young professionals in their twenties, thirties, and forties. The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County created this component fund in 2014 to encourage philanthropy among young professionals with a focus on improving our community. Members made a charitable donation based on their age. Funds were pooled together and granted to a nonprofit(s) chosen by membership vote.
After four years, Impact will now move in a different direction, ceasing membership recruitment and distribution of annual grants. Impact members and other local young professionals are encouraged to participate in The Community Foundation’s annual Great Community Give (GCG) on April 17, 2019. GCG is a single day of giving to partnered local nonprofits to promote charitable giving in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Through the Great Community Give, young professionals can continue to have an impact on local nonprofits in our Harrisonburg and Rockingham County community!
The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County announced today receipt of national accreditation issued by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations®. This accreditation, signified by the Seal, indicates that the Community Foundation of H/R meets the highest standards for philanthropic excellence.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment for our community,” said Joe Paxton, Chair of the Board. “When people trust us with a charitable bequest, or set up a fund while they are living, they do so knowing that the Foundation meets the rigorous national standards for excellence in donor services, investment management, grantmaking and administration.”
The Foundation works diligently to protect the community’s assets, and to allow the donors to achieve their charitable goals. National Standards ensures donors, grantees and the community that the Foundation has policies in place for financial stability and longevity, affirming continued commitment to excellence. In short: the Foundation is a proven place for persons to give, and to make a difference.
The process of earning National Standards accreditation is arduous, requiring community foundations adopt and implement policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. The compliance documentation for TCFHR was reviewed by a community foundation expert, selected from a panel appointed by the Community Foundations National Standards Board. The Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations in Arlington, V.A.
“The National Standards accreditation says this house is in order” said Revlan Hill, Executive Director of The Community Foundation. “It is excellent validation of the work we do on behalf of our donors and this community.”
The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County was accredited by the Community Foundations National Standards Board in December 2018. Accreditation is valid for five years until December 2023.