Grant Requests Aim High

Thank you to all 2022-2023 grant seekers!UVA grant seekers, thank you! The Trust received 96 Letters of Inquiry (LOI) requesting over $12 million in our annual grant cycle. Sixty-eight of these requests, valued at over $8.7 million, have moved forward to the full proposal stage.

Submissions cover wide variety of topics, including research and interventions around barriers to equity; community engagement efforts and pipeline programs; mental health post-Covid; sustainability; and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Our Proposals Committee has started reviewing the proposals in advance of the final round, which is an in-person pitch. The Trustees will look to grant $1.45 million this year across all funding cycles.

If you missed the annual cycle deadline, Flash Funding applications will open December 15 for the January 2023 flash cycle. Flash Funding grants are capped at $10,000 and focus on short-term projects or immediate use opportunities, often for student organizations. Flash Funding runs in the spring semester, and grants are made on a month-to-month basis as long as funds are available. Visit our Grant Seekers page for more information.

As always, we are available to answer any funding questions or meet to discuss your potential project. Contact our Director of Grants, Amy Bonner, for more information.

Rotunda Planetarium Public Nights

Constellations projected onto the inside of the Rotunda dome

In the summer of 1818, Thomas Jefferson envisioned a painted planetarium, spanning the Rotunda’s dome. “It is proposed to be painted sky-blue and spangled with gilt stars in their position and magnitude copied exactly,” he wrote.

Fast-forward to 2019, and three UVA doctoral students worked to bring Jefferson’s vision to life. They received a Trust grant to purchase the equipment to “open the ceiling to the stars” and host an exhibition on the Rotunda Library’s early years.

Now, we are thrilled to share that Rotunda Planetarium public nights are re-launching! View the constellations and stars in the Rotunda Dome Room Friday, November 25, or Saturday, November 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Rotunda website.

Looking Ahead

Students and faculty working on the Cavalair Project, which aims to conduct research to allow smarter approaches to HVAC system usage

President Dwight Eisenhower once remarked that “plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” While that may be a little heavy-handed, planning is indeed a valuable process. It is a chance to share ideas, discuss, debate, and decide.

The Jefferson Trust recently completed a strategic plan and, even more than any new operation or activity, is setting a new long-term goal. Trustees set an ambitious target of doubling the endowment to $100 million, which will provide $4 million in annual grant funding and the opportunity to make a single grant of $1 million.

“This is an ambitious goal for the Jefferson Trust and one that lives up to a principle of the strategic plan — to maximize the Trust’s value,” says Governance Committee Chair Nick Melton. “We see enormous potential for donors to build a legacy in the Trust and for the Trust to amplify these gift and time commitments to have a lasting impact on and beyond Grounds.”

The goal is also an acknowledgement that we have heard the University community’s call for more support, and we are making this promise to provide it.

When the Trust was formed in 2006, its founders dreamed of a day when the Trust could award $1 million in a single year. Having eclipsed that mark in 2020, this new grantmaking level will make a larger impact across Grounds and see more great ideas come to fruition.

Grants in the News

Ashley Hosbach with some of the pandemic-related children’s books she’s collected in the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the country. Photo by Erin Edgerton

Our grantees have been busy this fall! Their hard work and efforts have drawn attention from UVA and Charlottesville news outlets. Check out the articles below:

Peer Financial Counseling was established to offer students free, one-on-one advice from a trained peer counselor on everything about money, including student loans, personal credit, budgeting. Read more about the program, a 2018 grant recipient, in this UVA Today article.

COVID-19 Pandemic Education and Support: Children’s Book Collection received a flash grant in 2021 to build a catalog of children’s books addressing loss, trauma, and anxiety due to the pandemic. Learn more about their work in this UVA Today feature.

The Holsinger Studio Portrait Project exhibit launched in September and is on display in the Main Gallery of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library until June 2023. The project has been featured in multiple publications since its release: The Daily Progress, UVA LibraryNBC29UVA Today,  C-ville Weekly, and Cavalier Daily. Community engagement opportunities and events are being planned.

High-school students explored public policy and leadership through the Policy Leadership Advocacy by Youth (PLAY) Program’s week-long summer workshop. Read more about the student’s and their experiences in this Batten School article.