Our most-asked nonprofit questions

How can the Hampton Roads Community Foundation help my organization?

Consider the Community Foundation your advocate and colleague when it comes to improving life in Hampton Roads. We offer grants, of course, but also a lot more:

Are all nonprofits eligible to apply for grants?

Nonprofits that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Service code are eligible to apply for grant funding. Applicants should have a focus on helping improve life in southeastern Virginia.

What is the geographic area your foundation serves?

We concentrate our competitive grantmaking in southeastern Virginia, primarily in the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach as well as Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Accomack and Northampton counties on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Can my nonprofit apply online for a grant?

Yes. Our grantmaking process is entirely online, which streamlines the process for both you and for our staff. After you have studied our grant guidelines and deadlines you can set up login information and start your grant application. You can save your applications and work on it over time. Click here to get started. 

What are the deadlines for applications?

Deadlines vary depending on the grant program to which you are applying. Read your chosen program's guidelines carefully and note the specific deadline day. Remember that the final time to hit the submission button is 5 p.m. on that day. We do not accept late applications.

Should I contact someone in your office before submitting a proposal?

Definitely. It is to your organization's advantage to discuss your proposal with a program officer before submitting it. You can make an appointment or just visit us on our monthly Drop-in Day, usually the first Thursday of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. You also may want to attend one of our free training sessions focused on various aspects of applying for a grant.

What are the criteria for selecting grantees and when do I hear if we won a grant?

Our criteria are clearly stated in our grant  guidelines. We look for strong nonprofits with projects and programs working in our focus areas to strengthen our community now and beyond the funding period. Be sure to read grant guidelines closely, talk with a program officer before applying and submit your grant on time.

We have quarterly board meetings when grant applications are reviewed. A program officer will call you afterwards to let you know if your proposal was funded or not. You will also receive an official letter in the mail.

How do you time grant payments?

Payment schedules are determined on a case-by-case basis. Please note in your grant proposal if your project has specific payment timing needs.

Can we count on your grant policies remaining the same?

Our grant policies are reviewed annually and may change just as community needs change. Grant guidelines are always posted on our website. Upcoming grant opportunities and any guideline changes are publicized in the monthly Grant Seekers Gazette e-newsletter for nonprofits. Make sure to subscribe to this helpful electronic publication.

Will you introduce me to your fundholders?

Our fundholders entrust us to act as a "middleman" for their grantmaking. We never give anyone a fundholder's contact information without his or her expressed permission.

On the other hand, we are always introducing our donors fundholders to organizations doing great work on behalf of Hampton Roads. We may ask if we can visit your site, invite you to speak at an event or invite you to events.

How can my nonprofit start an endowment at the community foundation?

With a minimum charitable gift of $25,000 a nonprofit organization can create a permanent endowment that will be invested and managed by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. We have administered nonprofit endowments since 1991 and currently work with more than 45 of them that provide the opportunity for annual grant distributions to sponsoring nonprofits while the rest of their endowment grows. Learn more.