Personality: Dr. Pamela J. Royal

Spotlight on board chair of the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond

4/2/2020, 6 p.m.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the work of the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond and the ...

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, the work of the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond and the chair of its Board of Governors, Dr. Pamela J. Royal, goes on.

Founded in 1968, the foundation offers expertise to help nonprofits and donors collaborate in ways that do the most good for the Richmond community, match volunteers with organizations that need their help and build the ability of nonprofits to better serve the public.

“Our goal is to identify the most pressing human needs and weave them together with art and cultural vibrancy to strengthen our region,” Dr. Royal says.

The foundation’s latest initiative: The Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, activated in March and operated in partnership with the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia.

The fund initially is aimed at helping organizations offering crisis response services supporting the physical and emotional well-being of Richmond’s vulnerable populations, including the elderly, immigrants, the homeless, children and people with limited English language skills.

To date, the fund has raised $3.7 million from a variety of individuals, foundations and businesses and given out $750,000 in early grants, with a flexibility that allows it to react and adapt as needs change and other local, state and national resources and responses fill in the gaps these nonprofits seek to address.

The foundation also is helping match volunteers with organizations providing essential services throughout Richmond, while offering online training for nonprofits struggling to continue their work as further restrictions and guidelines change how they can safely operate.

For Dr. Royal, a Richmond native who assumed the role of board chair in 2019, this kind of large, specialized outreach is key to the foundation’s appeal and power.

“Our boldness as an organization excites me,” Dr. Royal says. “We are stepping out and scaling up the work we are doing to create meaningful change in a collaborative way. We are also holding ourselves and our partners more accountable.”

Dr. Royal, who joined the Board of Governors in 2011, balances her time with the foundation with additional volunteer service on several other nonprofit boards.

As a medical doctor, she also has her own dermatology practice as the owner and president of Royal Dermatology for 30 years.

Community service remains her dedicated interest, something Dr. Royal ascribes to an upbringing by her parents, Dr. Frank S. and Pamela C. Royal, who impressed upon their children the importance of community and civic responsibility. Now playing a major role in helping Richmond nonprofits service the community, Dr. Royal says it has proven to be a truly fulfilling experience.

“I enjoy the opportunity to serve and advocate for others,” Dr. Royal says, “and find that I am enriched in the process.”

Meet a strong community advocate and this week’s Personality, Dr. Pamela J. Royal:

Occupation: Physician and president and founder of Royal Dermatology.

No. 1 volunteer position: Chair of the Board of Gov- ernors of the Community Foundation for a Greater Richmond.

Other community service: I also serve on the nonprofit boards of Bon Secours Rich- mond Mercy Health System, Venture Richmond and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.