Community Emergency Response Fund

Williamsburg Community Foundation

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Grant amount: Unspecified amount

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: General Operating Expense

Location of project: Counties in Virginia: James City County, Williamsburg city, York County

Location of residency: Counties in Virginia: James City County, Williamsburg city, York County

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About this funder:



Foundation Mission

The Williamsburg Community Foundation connects people who care with causes that matter in our community…forever.

We pursue this mission by:

  • Building permanent, flexible endowment funds that respond to emerging and changing community needs;
  • Providing effective stewardship of charitable funds;
  • Advising donors with varied interests to help them achieve their philanthropic goals; and
  • Serving as a resource, catalyst and coordinator for charitable activities.

Grantmaking Vision

  • The Foundation’s grant-making activity supports a diverse range of philanthropic purposes including the arts, civic affairs, community development, conservation, cultural activities, education, historic preservation, social services and other fields that benefit citizens in Williamsburg, James City County and York County.
The Foundation will give special attention to projects that have a broad community benefit, that will enrich or enhance the lives of residents and/or that demonstrate the potential benefits of an innovative program to the community at-large.

Community Emergency Response Fund

Working with community leaders, the Williamsburg Community Foundation has created a Community Emergency Response Fund to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the greater Williamsburg area. City of Williamsburg Vice Mayor Douglas G. “Doug” Pons and Councilman Benming “Benny” Zhang have personally pledged $10,000 to seed the Community Emergency Response Fund. The Williamsburg Community Foundation has also committed $10,000 to the effort, thanks to the Genevieve K. Meder Trust, which was created to assist local people in natural disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This Community Emergency Response Fund will provide flexible grants to nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to our community’s most vulnerable citizens and support basic needs. This includes our service area of the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and upper York County.  

The goal is to provide local nonprofits with the support they will use to help those residents most in need due to the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19. This could include seniors, children, those with health conditions, and those who work in tourism and hospitality. These grants will help those nonprofit organizations that directly assist residents who are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and who may be in need of food, shelter, utilities and housing, or healthcare. 

More information about grants criteria and distribution will be released in the coming weeks. Williamsburg Community Foundation will be communicating with local nonprofits, the Williamsburg Health Foundation, and local government agencies to ensure that grants from this fund reach targeted populations most effected by COVID-19. Grants from this fund will not be provided to individuals, as individuals may seek assistance directly from agencies that receive grant funds.  

The Foundation is waiving its normal administrative fee, so that all funds received can be used to directly support our local nonprofit organizations In the future, if funds raised through the Community Emergency Response Fund are no longer needed for COVID-19 Pandemic relief, remaining funds will be reserved for future local disaster relief efforts.  

If you have questions about this fund, please contact Nancy Sullivan at ncsullivan [at] or call 757-259-1660. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The Foundation will make grants to organizations within its service area:
    • that are qualified as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(3); by the Internal Revenue Service and to private operating foundations,
    • government entities for public purposes
    • or under certain circumstances religious organizations.
  • If the IRS does not currently recognize the applicant organization as a qualified tax-exempt organization in one of the three categories above, then the applicant must use a fiscal agent. 


  • The Foundation will not make grants for:
    • unspecified use of funds.
    • retroactive funding for any project expenses incurred before the Foundation’s decision date
    • multi-year grants or commitments
    • religious purposes (but may be made to religious organizations for projects with a broad-based, inclusive community benefit)
    • political or partisan purposes
    • individuals
    • a program or activity that engages in discrimination that would otherwise be prohibited by law.