Community Leadership

A Blueprint For Community Leadership

at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

The Blueprint for Community Leadership is the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s design strategy for our community leadership role.

As Northern Virginia’s economy has expanded over the years, so too have the levels of income inequality and racial wealth disparities. The pandemic further exposed and exacerbated these inequities, while the murder of George Floyd in May of 2020 made the call to address them ever more urgent.

Community leadership is a labor-intensive process. It is an entire suite of activities that helps the region define, and then act upon, the biggest challenges we face and the greatest opportunities we have. Community leadership means listening to and learning from community, raising awareness, analyzing and reporting on data, educating, convening, discussing, inspiring, and ultimately creating lasting change.

It is a proven strategy to elevate a whole community narrative for better, more impactful philanthropic investments.

The Blueprint for Community Leadership is informed by a rich organizational history spanning more than 40 years of partnership with the most critical nonprofits in the region. It is advised by our existing and expanding relationships with diverse community leaders who possess a deep understanding of what works and what doesn’t work in their spheres of influence. And it is fed by four foundational pillars that support our vision of a community that works for everyone.

Pillars of Community Leadership

Nothing fuels our passion for community leadership like the Community Foundation’s vision statement:

“Building a Community that Works for Everyone.”

It is an inspirational statement because it evokes a deep sense of connectedness, belonging, and place. It is also an aspirational statement because our community does not work for everyone, not by any means.

The Community Foundation has therefore identified four foundational pillars to guide our community leadership endeavors.

Inclusive Economic GrowthRacial Justice and EquitySocial and Economic MobilityCommunity Resilience
 

Community Leadership in Action

Insight Region

Insight Region
Insight Region™ is a research center at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia that analyzes local trends, convenes civic leaders, and promotes civic and social action that the Community Foundation in launching in 2020.
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Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund

Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund for Northern Virginia
The Community Foundation’s Afghan Relief and Resettlement Fund for Northern Virginia was established on September 1, 2021 to support Afghans fleeing their country who either pass through or are resettled here in Northern Virginia.
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Build Back Dream Forward

COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia
Build Back Dream Forward is an event and community investment initiative established to achieve economic mobility, promote racial justice and equity, and catalyze more inclusive systems of economic growth in Northern Virginia, particularly in local communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus and its fallouts.
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Conferences and Events

Conferences and Events
Our thought leadership events such as the Shape of the Region, Innovation Breakfasts, and Raise the Region Gala help bring together community, business and philanthropic leaders to discuss ideas, innovations and solutions ongoing economic and social challenges that we can address, evaluate, monitor, and anticipate.
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Discretionary Grantmaking

Discretionary Grantmaking
The Community Foundation runs discretionary grant cycles that support organizations in Northern Virginia in a variety of areas guided by research. These include child and youth development, poverty relief, mental health, aging, military personnel, education, the arts, the environment and innovation.
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Count the Region

Count the Region
Between January 2019 and October 2020, the Community Foundation engaged in Count the Region, a community leadership endeavor to get out the count for the 2020 Decennial Census. It was a cross-sector coalition building and awareness campaign to ensure that federal funding would be appropriately allocated to support the region’s infrastructure for the next ten years.
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Community Wealth Building

Community Wealth Building
In 2017, the Community Foundation introduced a Community Wealth Building initiative to encourage a systemic approach to more inclusive economic development throughout the region. This long-term community leadership initiative launched a Northern Virginia Anchor Collaborative that continues to work together on ways businesses, nonprofit organizations, and local governments can encourage a more equitable and inclusive prosperity for all Northern Virginia residents.
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Community Leadership Fund

Community Leadership Fund
As a community leader, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia works to build a community that works for everyone. The Community Leadership Fund makes possible our work to create accessible pathways to more inclusive economic growth, address systemic racism, promote social and economic mobility, and improve community resilience across our region.
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