Initiative for Effective Nonprofits

Purpose of the Initiative

The purpose of the Initiative for Effective Nonprofits is to strengthen the relationships, governance and management of nonprofit organizations so that the organizations will be more effective in developing, implementing and sustaining strategies, systems and programs to meet important needs within the community.


The Initiative is a collaborative effort of community organizations, foundations and individuals within the Thomas Jefferson Planning District which includes Charlottesville and the Counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson.


Focus Areas:

  • Mission and Strategic Thinking
  • Strategic Relationships
  • Governance and Leadership

The Initiative is especially interested in collaborative applications from organizations working together on strategies, systems or programs to significantly benefit residents in the community. 

Applicant qualifications:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that have been in existence for at least two years and have been serving residents in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District.
  • Organizations providing human or health services will receive priority.
  • A grant recipient may apply for an additional grant once the Initiative-funded project has been completed and all grant requirements have been met satisfactorily.
  • Unsuccessful applicants may reapply after seeking feedback from the Initiative Project Manager. 

Funding not available for the following:          

  • Staff salaries or functions.
  • General operating support.
  • Debt reduction.
  • Computer hardware or software or other equipment or furnishings.
  • Rent or other occupancy or facility expenses.
  • Financial audits.
  • Tuition.
  • Fees and other costs of attending seminars, workshops or conferences.
  • Accreditation processes.
  • Capital campaigns or campaign consultants.
  • Recurring staff or board training expenses.
  • Promotion of particular denominations, faiths or political agendas. However, projects of faith-based organizations that serve the general community are not precluded from consideration.
  • Individual elementary, secondary or post-secondary schools.
  • Organizations that do not provide direct services.
  • Fees or costs for projects which have begun or are under contract. 

 To obtain information on the Initiative, please contact:

    Cathy Train, Project Manager

    Initiative for Effective Nonprofits

    434.972.1701 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 Application and Reporting Requirements

*Note - The application process is now closed.  The information and materials provided via the links below are for reference only.


Step 1: Application

Download the application.


The application narrative should be clear and concise with detailed project outcomes. The application must include requested supporting documents. Materials that have not been requested will not be considered.


The applicant is encouraged to seek proposals from more than one consultant to compare services, costs and intended outcomes before submitting an application. A consultant may not be a board or staff member of the applicant.


Applications must be received NO LATER THAN Wednesday, December 7 at 3pm.  One copy of the application should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The original application and 10 copies should be delivered to:

   Lisa Frazier

   Initiative for Effective Nonprofits

   806 East High Street, Charlottesville, VA 22901


Step 2: Evaluation

The application will be reviewed by a committee of sponsors and community representatives and communication will be made based on that review. The Initiative may request additional information or schedule a meeting to discuss the proposed project. The application will be considered without regard to other funding requests to sponsors.


Step 3: Notification

If the application is approved, the Initiative will notify the designated contact for the applicant.


Step 4: Grant

The Initiative may award a grant up to $12,000 for a collaborative application from more than one organization and a grant up to $4,000 for a single organization. Cash and in-kind support of at least 25% is strongly encouraged.


50% of the grant will be disbursed at the start of the project and the balance will be paid upon receipt and approval of the final report.


Funds are restricted to the purposes set forth in the approved project. The grant recipient must notify the Initiative of any change in personnel of the grant recipient or consultant that may affect the project and any significant change in the scope or schedule of work. Any such change is subject to approval by the Initiative and unused funds must be returned.


Step 5. Reporting

A final report is due to the Initiative 30 days after project completion.


The Initiative may request that the grant recipient share with other organizations what the grant recipient has learned. If so, the Initiative will facilitate sharing in a manner that protects confidential or sensitive information.