Anonymous Donor Challenges Community with $50,000 Matching Gift

LEAF Launch GroupPictured from left to right: Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia; Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Latinos & Society Program; Bernard Mustafa, CEO of PVBS and Community Foundation Board Member; Paty Funegra, CEO of La Cocina VA and co-founder of LEAF; Diana Katz, community advocate and co-founder of LEAF; Javier Palomarez, President of the US Hispanic Chamber of CommerceThe Community Foundation launched the Latino Engagement and Achievement Fund (LEAF) to promote and invest in the civic engagement, education, economic success, naturalization, health, leadership development, volunteerism, and advocacy of  the Latino community in the Metro DC region.  Inspired by a 2016 Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program report titled “Unlocking Latino Civic Potential: 2016 and Beyond,” two visionary Northern Virginia leaders, Paty Funegra and Diana Katz, formed this committee advised fund at the Community Foundation to create a source of strategic, permanent funding that will strengthen and encourage the Latino community now and for generations to come.  Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director of the Latinos & Society Program at the Aspen Institute and author of the report stated, “I am confident that the Latino community and many more will benefit, because when you have a fully participatory and inclusive society, you have a stronger healthier community and democracy for all.”

Inspired by the launch event, an anonymous donor has challenged the community to contribute with a matching gift. Every dollar donated to this campaign will be doubled up to $50,000.  If the community meets this challenge, the fund’s current asset base of $100,000 will be doubled for a sum of $200,000 before the inaugural grant cycle begins in the fall.  All donors who contribute by September 1, 2017 will be invited to join LEAF’s Founding Ambassadors. Members of this group will have the opportunity to participate in the inaugural year’s grants committee, attend the grantee celebration event, and more.  Donors who contribute $1,000 or more to invest in LEAF’s work will become members of the LEAF Impact Circle, which includes, among other benefits, recognition in the Community Foundation’s annual report and on its website.  Please visit or contact Kelly Blanks, Chief Philanthropy Officer, directly at for more information and to support this Fund.

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2015-16 Annual Report

CFNV 1516 ARCoverThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia released its 2015-2016 Annual Report, “A Year of Seeding Innovation,” highlighting the many ways the Community Foundation has worked to seed innovation throughout the community in the past year by investing in some of the most important initiatives, nonprofits, schools and ideas that have the potential to transform the region.

In 2016, the Community Foundation built a $500,000 endowment for its Innovation Fund with the help of a generous donor who offered a $250,000 matching gift, creating a permanent source of “venture philanthropy” for Northern Virginia.  Grants from the Innovation Fund helped launch new CyberPatriot clubs in Fairfax County middle schools, expanding the Community Foundation’s support of cybersecurity programs in the region; supported the NoVa Mini Maker Faire for the third year in a row; and launched a new civic engagement program for middle schoolers in Prince William County schools that taught its student participants how to become effective citizen advocates with local elected officials.

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Community Foundation Announces New Our Children Fund

deb matthewsDeborah G. MatthewsThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announces the launch of the Our Children Fund, devoted to supporting the approximately 260 children in the Fairfax County foster care system.  The Our Children Fund was established by Deborah G. Matthews, a trust and estate attorney devoted to supporting foster children.

“The Our Children Fund is focused on the needs of foster children which are immediate and present every single day.  It’s important that foster children not be treated as our forgotten children. They are in the foster care system because they are victims, they’ve done nothing wrong.  The Our Children Fund will help normalize expenses and experiences for foster children,” said Ms. Matthews.

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Winter 2017 Edition Celebrates Corporate Philanthropy

GB2017WinterCoverThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia released its fifth issue of GOOD BUSINESS magazine, a bi-annual publication that features stories of local businesses that play a key role in the community through philanthropy and volunteerism.

The Winter 2017 issue of GOOD BUSINESS features companies that apply their corporate social responsibility strategies when deciding how to give back. The feature article highlights Canvas and how it uses an innovative program called “Ante Up” to engage its employees in volunteerism. The article “Community Stewardship as a Core Competency” discusses Access National Bank’s trifecta of offering trusted advice, dedicated volunteerism and thought leadership. Also featured are articles on QMT Windchimes and how it is making a huge difference for families in Manassas Park in a partnership with the Community Foundation and the Capital Area Food Bank; Odin, Feldmen, & Pittleman, J. R. Goodtimes, Inc., and The Boeing Company. 

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Gives $10,000 Grant to Chesapeake Conservancy for Tech-Savvy Program

Arlington Comparison2

The Future Fund announced the winner of its 2017 grant cycle today, awarding $10,000 to Chesapeake Conservancy to establish Northern Virginia as a tech-savvy conservation innovation hub.  This is the sixth grant cycle of the Future Fund, the Community Foundation’s giving circle for young professionals, and brings total grants to $233,000.

As the Future Fund has continued to grow, and its members become increasingly aware of the issues impacting the greater metropolitan region, the group discovered new ways to contribute to the community and sought out environmentally focused groups and projects for the 2017 grant cycle.

“The current grantmaking year proved to be a great year of new ideas for the Future Fund. For the first time since the inception of the Future Fund, we expanded outside of our five core focus areas to include other spheres of need within the Northern Virginia community,” stated Matt Paddock, Co-Chair of the Future Fund. “The result of this transition was passionate involvement by our membership in the grants process. …The selection of the environment was great for the organization as it is an area which many of our young professionals are deeply interested in, especially with regard to the environmental issues we see close to where we live and work.” 

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Supporting Critical Needs in Northern Virginia

lacocina2016 Grantee: La Cocina VA

Our 2017 Community Investment Funds grant cycle is now open and accepting applications!

The Community Investment Funds are the signature grant cycle managed by the Community Foundation in which funds are invested in organizations serving the Northern Virginia community.  This year, will be funding application in three of our areas of focus this year: Child, Youth Development & Education; Health, Mental Health & Aging; and Poverty Relief.  Click each link to read about the specific priority.

In 2016, we awarded more than $380,000 to 36 organizations meeting critical needs in our region through this process.

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Focused on Community Involvement, Featuring Recognized Local Leaders

Young Pro PhilanthropistsNorthern Virginia Magazine Article featuring Thomas (top middle), and Simmons (bottom right)

The Future Fund announced the first in an ongoing educational series, The Giving Back Seminars, featuring local leaders discussing and sharing experiences on volunteerism, young professional engagement and community involvement. The inaugural seminar, “Carry Your Passion into Your Career,” will take place on Thursday, February 9, 2017 at Georgetown University Law Center, from 6 pm to 8 pm. The event is free and includes networking, and a panel discussion featuring three notable leaders from the Washington, DC metropolitan region, Rich LaFleur, Charles Thomas, Jr., and Julie Simmons.  Registration is available at

These leaders have been recognized at the local and national levels for their community involvement and contributions. Rich LaFleur, partner-in-charge of Industries and Markets and former managing partner for the Mid-Atlantic region at Grant Thornton, brings community experience volunteering for NoVA Chamber of Commerce, and is a Trustee to Fairfax County Public Schools. Charles Thomas, Jr. is a Program Manager at Altamira Technologies, a Life Skills Instructor and current Chairman of OAR Fairfax. He is also a winner of the 2015 Northern Virginia Leadership Award for Individual Involvement. Julie Simmons, Founder and Managing Director at Human Capital Strategic Consulting, serves as a Member of the Board of Directors of NoVA Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Board of Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

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Five Organizations Awarded Grants for STEAM Education, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Programs

2017 grantee - SHINE For Girls B2016 Grantee: SHINE For GirlsThe Business Women's Giving Circle (BWGC), comprised of accomplished women who are community leaders drawn together by a passion to empower girls and young women through collective philanthropy, announced the winners of the third annual grant cycle today.

A total of $45,000 has been awarded to five organizations providing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math), Leadership and Entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia, making total awards granted to date $125,000.  In addition, the group added $1,000 to its endowment for future giving.  The group invites all women interested in learning more about being a member to join them for the Grantee Celebration on January 31st at Refraction in Reston, VA.

“Collaborating with the women of the BWGC to review and analyze such impressive programs as were presented in the 2016 grant applications has, once again, been awe-inspiring, humbling and so gratifying,” said Autumn McCullogh, Attorney at McCandlish & Lillard and co-chair of the Grants Committee.  “I am honored to have been a part of this process and am so excited to see the impact this year’s grantees will have in our community.”

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Passes $1 million raised and given in Northern Virginia over 12 years

gchfounders4Founders of the Giving Circle of HOPE celebrating the $1 Million Milestone MarkThe Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH) celebrated a major milestone earlier this month – more than $1 million raised and granted to support critical needs in Northern Virginia.  GCH members have voted for its 2016 grantees.

The recipients are:
  • Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Advocating for Abused/Neglected Youth
  • Friends of Guest House for Workforce Development Project Pilot
  • Josh Anderson Foundation for Our Minds Matter: Website Development
  • La Cocina Virginia for Free Bilingual Culinary Job Training, Placement & Food Assistance
  • NAMI Nova for Peer Support of Youth and Adults Living with Mental Health Conditions
  • OAR Arlington for Employment Assistance for Individuals Returning Home After Incarceration
  • The Reading Connection for Growing Fairfax Readers
  • Women Giving Back for Women Giving Back Transportation Project

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2016 grant cycle to mark $1 million raised and given in Northern Virginia

the big giveThe Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH), a component fund of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, is celebrating a major milestone this year – more than $1 million raised and granted to support critical needs in Northern Virginia.  Its members will vote for the 2016 grantees at a special event to celebrate the momentous occasion on Thursday, November 17th.

This event will bring GCH from its beginnings in 2004 to today to having provided more than a million dollars in grant funding to small nonprofits in the Northern Virginia area – a million dollar milestone.

“This milestone proves the power of collective giving because we reached it with many individuals giving as little as one dollar a day or volunteering for one event a year,” said founding member Linda Strup.  “Reaching this $1M milestone is exciting, but I am even prouder of the lives we have changed, both within the Giving Circle of HOPE and in the greater community.”

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