Funding Interests

The Cameron Foundation’s Board and staff periodically review the Foundation’s grant priorities and make adjustments to reflect what we have learned from past grants and to respond to new sources of information, such as the Foundation’s needs assessments, regarding emerging issues. As part of the most recent review that took place in June 2013, the Foundation has consolidated from seven to six funding categories and has clarified priorities within each of the areas, which are described below. The Foundation believes that these updates will help applicants gain a clearer understanding of the Foundation’s areas of interest. In turn, the Foundation will be better positioned to focus its grantmaking resources in more impactful ways for the benefit of the community.

Whereas previously civic affairs activities were funded through a stand-alone funding area, these endeavors will now be considered through the other funding areas, depending on the type of activity. For example, a proposal to fund civic engagement in a neighborhood revitalization effort will now be reviewed under the Community and Economic Development funding area.

Health Care
The Foundation supports programs that provide access to primary health services for the poor, uninsured, under-insured and underserved. This funding area also provides for capital improvements and technology advancements in healthcare. Our grantmaking strategy supports the following priorities:

  • Access to Health Services: The Foundation supports funding to improve access to primary health care services through community-based clinics and other health support service activities.
  • Behavioral Health: The Foundation supports improved access to community-based behavioral health services for children, youth and adults. Service models that demonstrate integration of primary health care and behavioral health services and promote community collaboration among providers are Foundation priorities in this program area.
  • Prevention Services/Health Education: The Foundation supports the integration of primary health care and health education with an emphasis on best practices in the field. Health education programs should demonstrate the ability to evaluate and measure indicators that demonstrate behavior change and improvement in health status outcomes.
  • Teenage Pregnancy Prevention: The Foundation supports evidence-based programs to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Programs should demonstrate the participant’s behavior change and increased knowledge, skills and abilities to make good choices that result in positive health status outcomes.

Human Services
The Foundation supports programs that provide basic human needs and promote the development of life skills in children, youth and adults in an effort to improve the quality of life for individuals and families in the service area. Our grantmaking strategy supports the following priorities:

  • Basic Human Needs: The Foundation supports organizations whose primary mission is to provide for the basic needs of residents living in the service area, through the funding of food pantries, emergency shelters, emergency assistance programs, and housing assistance programs. This includes implementation of strategies that promote access to fresh foods, nutrition and wellness initiatives in communities.
  • Family and Youth: The Foundation supports family-centered programs that focus on prevention of child abuse, violence and substance abuse. This priority also addresses afterschool and summer programming that provides enrichment activities with a focus on youth development, life skills, parental engagement, and improved access to wellness opportunities.
  • Senior Support Services: The Foundation supports programs that improve the quality of life for seniors by focusing on the provision of support services, life skills education, and wellness opportunities. Priority is given to programs that can demonstrate a change in the knowledge, skills and abilities of the participants.

Community & Economic Development
The Foundation supports a holistic approach to community and economic development including revitalization of distressed neighborhoods; increasing employment opportunities; and expanding the capacity of economic development agencies to successfully pursue local and regional economic development opportunities.

  • Revitalization of Distressed Neighborhoods: In communities of greatest need, the Foundation supports the implementation of neighborhood specific plans that include development of quality affordable housing which is architecturally appropriate, and improvements to green spaces, trails and landscaping essential to neighborhood renewal and healthy communities.
  • Workforce Development and Workforce Quality: The Foundation supports programs that address a holistic approach to job training, readiness and placement. Priority is placed on programs that help participants build skills related to growth industries that pay a living wage, with an emphasis on programs serving participants that have significant barriers to employment.
  • Regional Economic Development Capacity: The Foundation supports building the capacity of local and regional economic development agencies. The Foundation has a special interest in supporting organizations that utilize a coordinated approach with economic development partners and local governments which builds upon community assets to attract businesses and investment to Southside communities.

The Foundation supports funding for schools, organizations, and programs seeking to improve educational outcomes in ways that support success in school and life. The Foundation’s strategy in this funding area places priority on:

  • Early Childhood Education: The Foundation is particularly interested in evidence-based programs that advance early childhood development; importance is placed on efforts to improve access to and the quality of early childhood education for all children.
  • Improving the Quality of K-12 Education: The Foundation supports efforts that raise overall student performance as well as those that help to close achievement gaps in public schools. Proposals will be considered for programs and activities that are evidence-based, pilots, and/or take innovative approaches, including parental engagement.

Historic Preservation & Conservation
The Foundation recognizes that the unique history and unsurpassed historic architecture in the region are significant assets which contribute to the quality of life. Historic preservation has an important community development and conservation role by strengthening existing neighborhoods and conserving resources by recycling older buildings. The Foundation has a special interest in the following:

  • Significant Historic Buildings and Sites: The Foundation supports the preservation, restoration, and reconstruction of historic buildings and sites that are listed locally, on the Virginia Landmarks Register, or on the National Register of Historic Places either individually or as a contributing resource in an historic district. Priority is given to projects that are integral to larger community development efforts and can demonstrate broader community and economic benefits.
  • Sacred Landmarks: Historic religious buildings are community assets that help define local history, offer architectural significance, and provide vital space for community-serving programs. The Foundation has an interest in providing grants for the exterior preservation of sacred landmarks. Priority will be given to exterior preservation projects demonstrating urgent repair needs and to historic religious buildings listed locally, on the Virginia Landmarks Register, or on the National Register of Historic Places, either individually or as a contributing resource in a historic district. To apply for a Sacred Landmarks Grant, a separate application process is required. Learn More »
  • Conservation: The Foundation has an interest in open space preservation and protection of environmental quality, especially programs or projects that connect people to their natural environment.

Arts & Culture
Arts and culture are vital to the health and well-being of individuals and communities and also serve as a catalyst for community revitalization. Recognizing the importance of arts organizations, museums and other cultural venues, the Foundation has a special interest in the following:

  • Arts Education: The Foundation supports programs that incorporate arts and culture into education, with particular priority on programs that serve youth.
  • Reaching New Audiences: The Foundation has an interest in supporting innovative approaches of arts and cultural organizations to expand and diversify their audiences in order to achieve long-term sustainability.
  • Community Revitalization: The Foundation supports the catalytic role of arts and culture in community revitalization and economic development, especially creative efforts to make communities more attractive for residents, businesses, and visitors.