RVF’s Annual Donor Appeal to Nelson County

Please use the arrows at the bottom left to view subsequent pages.

It’s that time of year again! RVF’s annual fund drive has begun and we are in need of your support more than ever. Read our Donor Appeal Letter below to find out why you should support the organization that in turn supports the Rockfish Valley and the greater Nelson community.

Please click HERE to download the document and/or to be able to click the links.

2021 RVF Fund Drive Letter pdf

Fundraising Overview


The product of the Rockfish Valley Foundation is the experience of its three major resources which are the Rockfish River Trail System, Spruce Creek Park and the Natural History Center. In addition, we are all about education. Our efforts lead to a goal of environmental literacy. RVF has been pursuing this since 2005. Its resources are enjoyed by tens of thousands of people.  RVF’s education focuses on the natural environment, culture and history. It has been impactful. Its kite festival, Earth Day events, Old wintergreen Day and many other programs and events are an asset for the community.


RVF undertakes its fundraising in several ways. It runs a community fund drive each year beginning in October.  The 2019-2020 goal was $45,000 and has been reached. That was an increase from $40,000 the year before and around $25,000 4 years ago.  It included donations from over 250 people. 20% of the donors contributed over 80% of the funds. We have some wonderful major donors but our budget is growing and we now depend more and more on new donors and donors growing their support.  We are a revenue driven organization which means we do not spend anything that we don’t have. We do not have an endowment. We do not have a line of credit. We spend what we take in. Each year we create a budget to determine what we can do for the trails, Spruce Creek Park, The Natural History Center, education, programs and special events.  That budget process begins in June and must be complete by the time the fund drive begins. There are significant costs to running the fund drive. We also use it as a means to acquaint the community of the work done by RVF and last year notified over 3,000 households in Nelson.  

RVF has a finance committee and a volunteer trustee who serves as a treasurer.  We use Rogers and Associates to file our revenue and expenses with QuickBooks.  


The other source of funding is grants. We must seek grants for some staff payroll and major projects. That is a challenge. We are limited to part time staff as we do not have adequate grants funds.  Local community foundations have been very supportive of RVF. They have included Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, BAMA Works Fund, Community Foundation of Central Blue Ridge, Rivanna Garden Club, Emmanuel Episcopal Church Foundation, Schaeneman Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Restoration fund and a number of others. As we grow and our work is better known, we plan to apply to more regional and national funding sources. 


Rockfish Valley Foundation is a public foundation recognized under Internal Revenue Code section 501c3 and as such is permitted to receive donations. A copy of the 501(c)3 is available upon request. Please visit our Donation Links page. 

Current Funding Needs for 2024

We are revenue driven.  We don’t do anything without funds in the bank. We are very conservative but it limits much we could do. Between April 2020 and the fund drive which starts in the fall, RVF must continue an active fundraising with the community and foundations. We have made great progress in our operations and fundraising over the last several years.  We propose a major step forward in 2021.

Staff Hours – Program Director. We hired our first staff member to concentrate on education, programs and events on January 13, 2020.  We think her work will prove a great success. Much has been accomplished. Our education committee is tasked with the important mentoring and directing. The 2020 budget is a deficit budget of $5000.  That budget only allows us to pay our Program Director for 20 hours per week. We were just given a grant that was earmarked for infrastructure for a dog park which is being considered. We got that grant redirected with the encouragement of the foundation donor to add 10 hours per week to certain areas of the job description of the Program Director.    We would like to budget 30 hours in 2021. That means we have to raise nearly $35,000 compared to $25,000 for 2020. Fundraising must continue as the money must be in hand.

Staff position – Administrative Assistant. We are interviewing for a part time office help.  The task list is created as a job description and while it requires transition and education, RVF knows it will take more than the 6 hours per week we plan to begin with.  This role is one that is badly needed to free up the chairman and others from certain repetitive duties to concentrate on the mission of RVF. Our relationship with Rogers and Co., accountants,works when we do our part in a timely and efficient manner.  As we consider the 2021 budget we know we need this to expand to more than 10 hours a week. Funding that would be very helpful for the second half of 2020. We have no funds to allocate. Fundraising must continue. A budget item of nearly $7800.00 would be added for 2021.

Staff position – Educator. To  follow up to ENLIT implementation.  We have funding to undertake the environmental literacy content grant ENLIT that creates much for our trails, park and natural history center.  We have the funds for it from VA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation and the funds for staff to make it happen through CACF and BAMA Works Foundation grants.  When that is done we will have created opportunity for everything from weekly environmental camps to discovery nature games. We will want to have more guided discoveries and more programs.  Our Program Director will need staff to follow up and more time to manage our volunteers. We want the 2021 budget to include funding for this. The minimum would be $15,000. This will also impact planning for the 2022 budget. 

RVF knows that its strategic plan is of great value to the Nelson community and beyond.  The large increase in the last year of visitation to all three of our resources demonstrates that.  We are honored to have a role in making Nelson a better place to live and work. Thank you to over 250 individuals who have helped in this 2020 funding. Please continue to support our efforts and become involved not only as a donor but as a volunteer.

Peter A.Agelsto III, chairman

For the RVF Board of Trustees