Virginia Organizing

Real People. Real Change.

Charlottesville, VA   |


Virginia Organizing is a statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. As a non-partisan organization, Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have had traditionally little or no voice in our society. By building relationships with diverse individuals and groups throughout the state, Virginia Organizing strives to get them to work together, democratically and non-violently, for change.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Mr. Brian Johns

Main address

703 Concord Avenue

Charlottesville, VA 22903 USA

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Formerly known as

Virginia Organizing Project



NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Virginia Organizing

Diversity is at the core of everything we do. Virginia Organizing helps people who have never been active before, and who are directly affected by the issues, join with those who have already tackled community problems, regardless of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, occupation, geographic location,age or ability. Virginia Organizing holds workshops on dismantling racism, understanding the economy, community organizing and leadership development skills. Virginia Organizing has an ongoing internship program for young people who want to learn community organizing. We have a statewide e-mail action alert system, op-ed and letters to the editor distribution system and an on-line newsletter.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The overall purpose of Virginia Organizing is to create a strong grassroots force for long-term change which has a diverse base and includes people who have not been active before.

Our long-term goals are:

1. To create new local community organizations throughout the state that are diverse, multi-issue and working for long-term social change.

2. To assist in making existing community organizations stronger and connected with other local and statewide groups in Virginia.

3. To enhance the skill levels of local community leaders of all ages.

4. To help community leaders understand, analyze, and, if necessary, change public policies.

Our job is to help Virginians realize their true potential as citizens in a democracy, and the promise that ordinary people and their concerns really do matter. Our goal is to help people create durable power - non-partisan power - they can use to fashion a more fair, just Virginia.

Virginia Organizing uses an intentional method of building one-to-one relationships among people of diverse backgrounds, identifying issues of concern, providing training in research and leadership, and implementing strategies that break down traditional divisions as well as achieve concrete results.

Community organizing at Virginia Organizing emphasizes both the need to address current problems and also the long-term need to build leadership across Virginia. Each organizational move strives to contribute toward building more strategic capacity. As we increase our leader, staff, intern and volunteer resources, as well as develop even stronger working relationships with other groups, we are in a position to go deeper in many more concentrated geographic areas. This should result in much stronger local groups, and will enhance our presence at the state level even more.

For the past 25 years, Virginia Organizing has established a solid community organizing track record in Virginia. Virginia Organizing has provided assistance in the development of new local organizations addressing social and economic issues in communities across the state and has created a growing network of labor, human rights, faith, housing, environment, education and other non-profit groups to work together to achieve concrete improvements. In the process, Virginia Organizing has built a solid organizational infrastructure for strategic campaign planning, communications, grassroots leadership development and fundraising.

With 16 chapters across the Commonwealth, a staff of 17, and solid working relationships with a growing list of local, state and national groups, we are proud of the long list of accomplishments that can be found at

Virginia Organizing uses a process evaluation approach. We work together to define specific goals and objectives and maintain an on-going analysis of possible outcomes. Using this method, we are able to evaluate our progress on a continuing basis and make modifications to our plans to facilitate successful outcomes.

Virginia Organizing's evaluation process includes the Virginia Organizing State Governing Board, the Executive Committee and Virginia Organizing staff.

During the last weekend of April, the board, staff, chapter leaders and key allies get together to determine who has power in the state and what it will take to change the balance of power so that we can be more effective in getting the changes we want. We use this opportunity to determine which constituencies, campaigns and geographic areas need more organizing support. This process allows us to set specific change indicators that can be evaluated each year.

Virginia Organizing holds an annual retreat for all Board members and key personnel in November. Our organizational planning includes: fiscal needs, technological improvements, communication standards, leadership and staff development, power analyses, representation in governance, and on-going evaluation of the organization.

Local chapters and statewide campaign committees (Environmental Justice, Social Security, Immigration Reform) develop written strategy plans and revise them as needed.

In addition, each staff person does a monthly workplan and the organizing staff has weekly conference calls and monthly face-to-face meetings.

Responsibility for overall program evaluation rests with the Virginia Organizing State Governing Board, which sets evaluation criteria and expectations for program results. Final program reports document program outcomes. In addition, Virginia Organizing has a system for tracking (weekly) the activities and accomplishments of organizing and administrative work to provide measurable reports. We keep detailed records of media coverage, workshops, consultations, action alerts and other activities.

Virginia Organizing publishes an annual report in January and a mid-year report in July.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Virginia Organizing

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Virginia Organizing

Board of directors
as of 09/25/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Lily Hungarland

Professor, University of Richmond

Term: 2023 - 2024

Ladelle McWhorter

Professor, University of Richmond

Janice Johnson

Community Volunteer

Denise Smith

Community Volunteer

Sandra Cook

Community Volunteer

Duane Edwards

Community Volunteer

Emma Hale

Community Volunteer

Lily Hungarland

Community Volunteer

Ebony Guy

Community Volunteer

Barbara Harris

Community Volunteer

Tyran Green

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/25/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/20/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.