In the news: Billionaire givers, QCDs, and celebrity inspiration

In the news: Billionaire givers, QCDs, and celebrity inspiration

This month, we’re offering three suggestions for deeper reading on current topics in charitable giving.

Bring out your inner academic with this blog post published by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, especially if you’re interested in the latest chatter and variety of opinions on so-called “billionaire philanthropy.”

If you’re contemplating charitable giving in your retirement years, read this Kiplinger article to brush up on the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), recently enhanced by late-2022 legislation. We totally understand that the first (and second, and third) time you read about QCDs, your eyes may glaze over, but the concept really is worth understanding. Contact the team at The Community Foundation. We are happy to break it down for you!

Finally, it can be reassuring to see high-profile individuals (Idris and Sabrina Dhowre Elba, for example) speaking up about their philanthropic values. In a world where so much needs to be done to improve lives and respect humanity, role models offer hope that philanthropy and community involvement can be important factors in progress.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. 

Community foundations: Unparalleled resources

Community foundations: Unparalleled resources for local giving with major impact 

As economic times get tough, more and more people are asking how they can make the biggest difference right in their own backyard. Indeed, local giving is a topic that has even made its way into the opinions of the mainstream media, causing many charitably-inclined people to pay more attention to the impact their dollars are having on the causes they love.

Sometimes the greatest needs really are right here at home. As donors explore charitable giving opportunities and receive requests for funding from charities near and far, it can be helpful to read first-hand accounts of why other philanthropists have been so inspired by uncovering local needs that they simply were not aware of.

Over the years, researchers have consistently validated the important emotional elements of giving to familiar and nearby organizations to foster the rewarding sense of connection that is such an important driver of repeat philanthropic behaviors. Today’s donors want to be able to actually see the results of charitable investments.

Here are three suggestions for anyone who wants to get started on a “give local” journey.

First, scan the local news. Many people are very accustomed to scrolling the news feeds on phones and catching the national and international headlines. Local news can be hard to find, but those outlets do still exist! In particular, many television stations’ websites include a local news tab. Spend five minutes scrolling through the local news for three days in a row, and you might be surprised at how much you learn about your own community. Make a mental note of issues that raise your eyebrows or make you ask yourself “I hope someone is doing something about that.”

Second, with this research in hand, run a few quick Google searches with the key words you’ve identified, along with the terms “nonprofit,” “charity,” and the name of your town or city. Sometimes these searches will illuminate organizations you might have heard of or even be involved with already. At the very least, you will begin to frame your own description of the local causes you care about.

Third, reach out to the team at The Community Foundation. The Community Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our region, and that is possible through the work of nonprofit organizations and people like you who support them. The Community Foundation team will know which nonprofits are addressing the issues you’d like to learn more about and can provide advice about how your charitable dollar can make the greatest possible difference.

The Community Foundation is unparalleled in its ability to be flexible and responsive, providing outstanding, personal service designed around your needs while at the same time working closely with legal, tax, and wealth advisors to ensure that you are maximizing the financial elements of your charitable giving plan.

We look forward to working with you to make as big a difference as possible in the causes you love and make our community an even better place for everyone.

Great Community Give 2023 Nonprofit Registration Opens Today!

Great Community Give 2023 Nonprofit Registration

Will Launch on National Philanthropy Day

Great Community Give (GCG) is back for its sixth year! The GCG Planning Team will open registration for interested nonprofits on National Philanthropy Day, November 15th.

Returning and newly participating nonprofit agencies can sign up for GCG 2023 at Registration will remain open until February 15, 2023. Eligibility requirements include having IRS 501(c)(3) tax status and located in and serving Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.

Great Community Give is an initiative hosted by The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (TCFHR), raising millions for area nonprofits since its beginning in 2018. The annual, sunrise to sunset, giving day event champions local causes by inspiring charitable giving to Harrisonburg-Rockingham nonprofit organizations. In April 2022, over 7,000 donors raised $1,727,289 for 125 organizations, bringing the initiative’s overall grand total to $5,117,703.

Nonprofits have big plans for this upcoming GCG, including Valley Associates for Independent Living. According to their Executive Director, Gayl Brunk, GCG 2023 donations will support the recently acquired, nationally ranked, Cardinals Wheelchair Basketball Team.

Amanda Bomfim, Program Officer at TCFHR is committed to making the 6th year a success. “Our team wants to be bold in our support of the nonprofits. Our GCG 2023 goals are to raise $2 million and to reach 8,000 donors. I am motivated to reach more community members in the sixth GCG especially since it will be easier to give. Donors may now contribute to their favorite organizations using the mobile payment service, Venmo.”

Great Community Give will be on the third Wednesday of April on April 19, 2023, 6:30am to 8:00pm. For questions about Great Community Give, contact TCFHR at 540-432-3863.

Funding Addresses Local Needs

The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s annual competitive Fall grant cycle came to a close on November 17 with excited Board approval. This cycle’s grants total $78,934 to 14 local nonprofit organizations. The monies distributed will go to H-R nonprofits addressing needs in:

·         Animal welfare (Still Meadows Enrichment Center & Camp, Cat’s Cradle, Anicira, Wildlife Center of VA) made by Hildred Neff Memorial Fund
·         Arts & culture (Northeast Neighborhood Association, Arts Council of the Valley, OASIS Fine Art & Craft) made by Valley Arts & Culture Fund and Mary Spitzer Etter Endowed Fund
·         Healthcare (Adagio House, Family Life Resource Center, JMU Suitcase Clinic, Kingsway Prison and Family Outreach) made by Alvin Baird Endowed Fund
·         Housing (Central Valley Habitat for Humanity) made by Janet Sohn Endowed Fund
·         Greatest benefit to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (Plains Area Daycare Center, Village to Village) made by The Community Endowment Fund

Grant distributions come from funds held at TCFHR and determined by a grants committee. Funds established at The Community Foundation are a result of collaboration between generous, community-centered individuals and TCFHR. For more information on how to contribute to funds held at The Community Foundation or how to establish a fund yourself, call 540-432-3863 or email Ann Siciliano [email protected]. The Community Foundation has enjoyed a solid record of success and, through continued partnership and collaboration, they aspire to establish and manage more charitable funds that will serve this community today and in perpetuity.

Read more about Community Foundation 2021 competitive grant awards.

Alvin Baird Grant Opportunity for HR Nonprofits Serving Unmet Healthcare Needs

The Alvin V. Baird, Jr. Program Endowment Fund was established in 2005 to support the mission of The Free Clinic in Harrisonburg, Virginia. During its many years of serving this community, the clinic’s mission was to provide volunteer outpatient health services to the uninsured in a manner that promoted dignity, wholeness, and the coordination of services. With the closure of The Free Clinic in 2020, the board of The Community Foundation approved an annual competitive grant process for this endowed fund to continue to support the mission of the former Free Clinic, by distributing grants to nonprofit organizations addressing the unmet healthcare needs in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County community .

A competitive application process has been created for this permanently endowed fund. It will benefit nonprofit organizations serving the unmet healthcare needs for uninsured and low income individuals in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County community each year. CLICK HERE TO APPLY. Applications are due by 5:00PM on November 8, 2021. Current annual grant funding from this endowment exceeds $42,000. Funding will be distributed by December 2021.


Organizations must be tax-exempt public charities under IRS Section 501(c)3 or other nonprofit status. Organizations must be physically located in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County, and the project or program to be funded must serve the local area. Schools are not eligible to apply. Please call TCFHR if you have questions regarding eligibility before applying. Grants are made without regard to factors of gender, race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.

Recipients of grant funding will be required to provide reporting to TCFHR program staff on the use of grant funds for the project featured in the grant application.



ENL Offers Strategic Planning Workshops for Nonprofits


Part 1: Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EST

Part 2: Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 12:00PM EST

Add to Calendar


Stewart Room, Massanetta Springs Camp and Conference Center 

712 Massanetta Springs Road
Harrisonburg, VA 22801 


Amanda Bomfim
The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County
[email protected]

Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership, a program at The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County 



She led the strategic plan process for TCF which was so valuable that we wanted other nonprofit organizations to benefit from her leadership in this area. Strategic Planning is something that we’re asked about a lot and we are delighted be bring Jennifer to lead this workshop on strategic planning.” – Revlan Hill, Executive Director of The Community Foundation

Part 1: Strategic Planning 101 – October 20th, 9a-12p

Strategic planning is an integral part of any non-profit, ensuring that resources are focused on those activities that best support the organization’s purpose. Creating a strategic plan, however, can be challenging – especially if your knowledge and experience is limited. During Part I of this workshop, we will discuss the foundational components of an effective strategic plan – mission, vision and value statements – as well as the process for creating purposeful goals and objectives. To end our time together, you will begin applying your new knowledge by creating your own personal mission statement.

Part 2: Strategic Planning 102 – November 3rd, 9a-12p

Developing a strategic plan can be time-consuming, but the benefits are immeasurable. During this session, we will use a randomly drawn, attending nonprofit to practice creating a mission, vision and value statement. We will also participate in a traditional brainstorming session as we develop both short-term and long-term strategic goals for the chosen organization. ALL organizations will walk away with a replicable process for a strategic plan that you can begin with your own organization the moment you step back into your office. 

NOTE: An organization will be randomly chosen to be the prime example for Part 2. This organization will leave Part 2 with specific takeaways. The organization will be notified before the session with enough time to prepare. Jennifer will extend one-on-one attention to the chosen organization during the session as well. 

Organizations may bring up to three participants (staff, volunteers, board members, etc.)

Requirements: Organizations may attend Part 1 on October 20th and not Part 2 on November 3rd. Organizations can NOT attend Part 2 without attending Part 1. Attendance to Part 1 is a prerequisite for Part 2.

REGISTER BY: October 19th, 2021


1 participant: Part 1 ONLY: $30 / BOTH Parts: $60

2 participants: Part 1 ONLY: $50 / BOTH Parts: $100

3 participants: Part 1 ONLY: $60 / BOTH Parts: $120

Use credit card/PayPal online or mail a check payable to
The Community Foundation, PO Box 1068, Harrisonburg, VA 22803.
Include “ENL Training” on the memo line

Giving Back Guide – Grant Opportunity for HR Nonprofits

The Community Foundation partners with the Daily News-Record to publish the Giving Back booklet detailing nonprofit projects. This booklet will feature a summary of your project and will include a project description, basic financial information from your organization’s 990, and other needs of your organization. The Giving Back publication will be included in a November edition of the DN-R with a circulation of over 15,000 readers. An organization may apply to be included in the Giving Back publication each calendar year. The deadline to be included is October 1, 2021.

Funding decisions are made by individual private donors, private foundations, and civic organizations. In November of each year, applications are considered for funding from the Community Endowment and the Valley Arts & Culture Fund. Currently grant funding from these endowments ranges from $800 to over $8,000.


Organizations must be tax-exempt public charities under IRS Section 501(c)3 or other nonprofit status. Organizations must be physically located in Harrisonburg or Rockingham County, and the project or program to be funded must serve the local area. Religious organizations are welcome to apply if the project will significantly aid the broader community. Schools are not eligible to apply. Please call TCFHR if you have questions regarding eligibility before applying. Grants are made without regard to factors of gender, race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.


Little Swiss Fund Grant Opportunity for Highland County Nonprofits

The 2021 Little Swiss Fund grant application is now available!


In 2018, The Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County received a $10 million gift from an anonymous donor with instructions for the gift to benefit nonprofit organizations in Highland County, Virginia. The gift established a permanently endowed fund called The Little Swiss Fund, whose monies are annually invested and distributed to benefit Highland County nonprofit agencies with 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status. This year’s grants will provide approximately $334,821 to charitable organizations. All grants will be awarded in late November 2021.



Organizations must be tax-exempt public charities under IRS Section 501(c)3 or other nonprofit status. Organizations must be physically located in Highland County, VA, and the project or program to be funded must serve the Highland County area. Religious organizations are welcome to apply. Nonprofit organizations must have annual revenues in excess of $25,000 to be eligible. Local clubs (civic and otherwise), and recreational facilities are NOT eligible to apply.

If you have any questions about your organization’s eligibility to apply, please contact TCFHR ([email protected] or 540-432-3863) before you begin the application. Grants are made without regard to factors of gender, race, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.


Applications are due November 1, 2021 at 5:00PM.   2021 APPLICATION

Hildred Neff Memorial Fund – Grant Application Now Closed

The 2021 Hildred Neff Memorial Fund grant application is now closed.

Hildred Neff was born in and lived in Rockingham County her whole life. She loved animals and was especially fond of cats. She left her estate to create an endowed fund to benefit agencies that provide for the needs of both domestic and wild animals. Grant awards can range from $1,000 to over $20,000. Grants are awarded through a competitive process, and funding decisions are made by a grants committee. Grant award(s) are distributed by October 31, 2021.