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 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.
Date and place of birth: April 16 in Richmond.
Current residence: Richmond.
Education: Bachelor’s of science in biology, Hampton University; medical degree, Eastern Virginia Medical School; and dermatology residency, Howard University Hospital.
Family: Married to Richmond Circuit Court Judge C.N. Jenkins Jr. for 34 years. We have four adult children.
The Community Foundation is: An advocate for philanthropy and service in Greater Richmond, with a legacy of helping people give back with passion and purpose. Our goal is to identify the most pressing human needs and weave them together with art and cultural vibrancy to strengthen our region.
Why I am excited about the Community Foundation: Our boldness as an organization excites me. 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.
Services the foundation provides: We provide philanthropic leadership and expertise that brings donors and nonprofits together to do more good for our community. We guide philanthropists in their giving, build the capacity of nonprofits to serve our community and we match volunteers with organizations that need their help.
How the Community Foundation is responding to the coronavirus crisis: In March, we activated the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund (www.cfrichmond.org/covid19-fund), in partnership with the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, to provide support to organizations serving individuals and families most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To date, we have raised $3.7 million from individuals, foundations and businesses and awarded $750,000 in early grants. We also are supporting volunteer matching for organizations providing essential services and offering online training for nonprofits seeking creative ways to continue their work during this difficult time.
Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund is: Initially focused on providing rapid support to organizations providing crisis response services and those working with vulnerable populations such as children and youths, seniors, individuals experiencing homelessness, public housing residents and immigrants and community members with limited English language proficiency. The fund is designed to be flexible as needs change over time and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels.
How nonprofits can apply for funding: In order to move funds quickly, we do not have a formal application process at this time. Organizations may share their needs via a simple form on our website and requests will be considered on a rolling basis. www.cfrichmond.org/NonprofitFAQ
How contributions to the Foundation are accepted: We are proud that United Way has joined in matching new contributions made on its website up to $100,000 www.yourunited-way.org/covidfund/. Checks can be sent to the Community Foundation (memo: COVID response) at 3409 Moore St., Richmond,VA23230. For individuals or businesses who wish to make larger gifts, including gifts of securities or other assets, please contact Molly Bittner at email@example.com.
What motivated me to get involved in community service: My parents emphasized the importance of community and civic responsibility. I enjoy the opportunity to serve and advocate for others and find that I am enriched in the process.
How I start the day: With a positive attitude and think- ing of the most strategic way to complete everything that I need to do.
Perfect day for me is: Waking up healthy and getting it all done.
If I had more time, I would: Commit to learning to play golf.
A quote that I am inspired by: “To thine own self be true.” — William Shakespeare
Best late-night snack: Vanilla ice cream.
Outlook at start of day: “Can-do” attitude fueled by love of family always in my heart.
Best thing my parents ever taught me: My parents demonstrated and taught me the importance of love, loyalty, faithfulness and service to others.
Person who influenced me the most: My parents because of their love and commitment to each other, our family and their community.
What I’m reading now: No books at the moment. My reading time is consumed with educating myself regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the health care industry to ensure that I safely serve my patients, employees and the community.
The one thing that I’ve learned in life is: Discipline serves me well.
My next goal: On a very personal level, I am excited to create the wedding that my daughter has envisioned.