Community Leadership

Impact Stories

Build Back — Dream Forward

The Community Foundation’s Build Back Dream Forward initiative and COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia are making an impact throughout the region. Read stories of how our community investments and events are addressing the disproportionate economic and health impacts of the virus on local communities of color, dismantling structural racism, and promoting racial justice and equity.
November 17, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a host of new challenges to early childhood education and daycare services nationwide and across our region. Today the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, in partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and PNC Foundation announced a $200,000 Build Back – Dream Forward COVID-19 Response Fund grant to support infant and toddler childcare and early childhood education programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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November 17, 2020
November 17, 2020 (Oakton, VA) – The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a host of new challenges to early childhood education and daycare services nationwide and across our region. Today the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, in partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and PNC Foundation announced a $200,000 Build Back – Dream Forward COVID-19 Response Fundgrant to support infant and toddler childcare and early childhood education programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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October 29, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched Build Back – Dream Forward – a post-COVID-19 Growth Initiative. Its purpose is to achieve social and economic equity, 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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October 27, 2020
Food insecurity impacts millions of people in the United States, and yet over 40% of fresh produce in our country goes to waste. The USDA defines food insecurity as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of a lack of money and other resources. In Prince William County, Virginia over 6% of adults and 12% of children are food insecure. Local nonprofit Action in Community Through Service of Prince William (ACTS), is on the frontline of providing much-needed food to those in desperate need.

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August 11, 2020
"I'm just really happy that I'm able to make a difference and want to show that Asian Americans are with health care workers and we want to unite," Sebastian Lu says

Sebastian Lu, a 17-year-old pianist in Fairfax, Virginia, who despite having his junior interrupted by COVID-19, decided not to sit on the sidelines, but was motivated to help others impacted by the pandemic by launching a GoFundMe campaign.

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July 20, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled back the curtain and exposed longstanding structural and systemic inequities that exist in communities of color across our nation. From the education system to the labor market, to housing, health, and economic stability the coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on African American and Latino communities.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia recently hosted a virtual Town Hall – Build Back – Dream Forward where local leaders representing business, education, economic development, and philanthropy gathered to raise awareness around the uneven playing field that pre-existed COVID-19 and potential paths forward for greater equity in our economic systems.

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June 30, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced today it has awarded $440,000 in its fifth round of COVID-19 Response Fund Grants to 22 local organizations providing relief and services to communities in the region disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

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June 3, 2020
For over 25 years, Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) has provided free, high-quality healthcare for low-income, uninsured adult Arlingtonians through the generosity of donors and volunteers. With the help of close to 500 volunteers, we deliver patient-centered, comprehensive, integrated healthcare to approximately 1,600 vulnerable residents each year.

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May 26, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is pleased to announce the Round 4 grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

So many individuals and families in our region continue to suffer terribly under the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus and its fallout. Applications for unemployment benefits are at an all-time high, and local human service nonprofits now report a 3-5 fold increase in demand for their services. Direct financial assistance to individuals and families hardest hit by the crisis remains a top priority for our COVID-19 Response Fund.

Each of the following Round 4 grantees have the experience, community reach, and infrastructure to deploy financial assistance to our most vulnerable families and individuals. The grants, which total $280,000, will provide direct cash payments, emergency loans, and direct payments of rent, utilities, and groceries to those who most need it, as more fully described below.

In addition, through the grant to CASA de Virginia, we have given special attention to the disproportionate impact of the virus on the Latinx and Hispanic communities in Northern Virginia. Most of our health districts now report COVID-19 cases disaggregated by race and ethnicity. In the Fairfax Health District alone, for example, their most recent data dashboard shows that Latinx and Hispanics constitute 16.8% of the total county population but 63.7% of the COVID-19 cases!

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April 24, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is pleased to announce the Round 3 grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

Organizations offering access to health care, mental health care, and dental health care for low income, uninsured and underinsured residents, and organizations offering direct services to victims of domestic violence which is soaring under stay at home orders across our region, were invited to apply. And while we originally estimated that approximately $350,000 would be awarded in Round 3, strong contributions to the COVID-19 Response Fund and a phenomenal demand for support has resulted in grants totaling $715,000 to the following 35 organizations on the front line of the pandemic.

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April 3, 2020
Today, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announces the grantees from Round 2 of the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

Mindful that the coronavirus will have a disproportionate impact on people with the least ability to meet it, the Community Foundation directed Round 2 funding to local organizations meeting basic needs and offering emergency financial assistance to our most vulnerable neighbors. A total of $360,000 has been awarded to the following 28 organizations who continue to man the front lines of the crisis.

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March 20, 2020

Supporting Immediate Emergency Needs

NVFS Round One GranteeRound One Grantee, Northern Virginia Family Service

Our entire community, across all sectors, has come together to respond to COVID-19 and its impacts in our region. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is glad to do its part, and is especially pleased to announce today the Round One Grants from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

Round One Grantees


Northern Virginia Family Services - $25,000
NVFS provides services to the elderly and others who fall into high risk/vulnerable health categories, low income families, those without adequate health insurance, families experiencing food insecurity, and the immigrant community. This grant will support services in Prince William, Fairfax, and Loudoun County, including support for NVFS’s Food Distribution Center that serves approximately 10,000 clients per year, their health access programs providing access to free or reduced cost prescription medication and health care for 6,600 clients per year (including those who become ill with COVID-19), and their housing programs in Fairfax and Prince William that will help subsidize rent and other basic expenses.

Loudoun Hunger Relief - $20,000
Loudoun Hunger Relief provides fresh groceries for low income and other vulnerable Loudoun residents. Currently they are providing up to 950 emergency food preparedness bags per day for Loudoun County Public School children, the elderly, and low income households. Their pantry provides emergency food assistance, including fresh produce, frozen meat, and dry goods. They currently report that demand is up 50% since the end of last week, while at the same time grocery store donations, which constitute 55% of the food they distribute, is down 44%.

ACTS of Prince William County - $20,000
ACTS of Prince William County provides a myriad of programs that address the needs of the elderly and low-income families in the county. Their Hunger Prevention Center has now expanded its hours of operation and its grocery delivery service to the home bound elderly and disabled to meet the increased demand, even while capacity to meet that demand drops. They also offer emergency financial payments to avoid utility disconnections and have expanded their Senior Link program, provides more than 1,200 check-in wellness calls per month to this same population.

Food for Others - $20,000
Food for Others, a very large provider of free emergency groceries in Northern Virginia, distributes food to more than 2,000 families per week, and has seen a sharp increase in the number of families requesting food, coupled with a steep decline in food donations. They also provide services to the elderly, low income families experiencing short term financial crises, food insecure residents, residents with limited English language proficiency, and families from immigrant communities and communities of color.

Cornerstones - $15,000
Cornerstones promotes self-sufficiency by providing support and advocacy for those in need of food, shelter, affordable housing, quality childcare, and other human services. Cornerstones works closely with government and community partners to provide critical supportive services safely.

We are especially thankful for Amazon’s philanthropic giving in our region. On Wednesday, they announced a $1 million gift to 4 local community foundations, including ours, to kickstart collaborative philanthropy and bolster front line services and safety net needs across the DMV. You can see their generosity in action reflected in these Round One Grants. On behalf of a grateful community, thank you!

We have also benefited from the advice and information flowing from our local health and elected officials, nonprofit leaders, and donors. It has all combined to help us improve our response and effectiveness in real time. Even so, like many of you in your businesses and organizations, we feel like we have built the plane while we are flying it. We are working remotely as a team yet staying in constant contact both with each other and with other community leaders to optimize service to our community.

Overall, it is important we stay as responsive to local needs as possible in a highly dynamic environment. The COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia has attracted over $400,000 to date, and we are currently thinking through the Round Two Grants. Please give generously if you can through your donor advised fund or directly to our COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

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March 18, 2020

The donation will kick-start COVID-19 response funds  to four local community foundations

CFNOVA DoctorsAmazon has donated $1 million total to kick-start collaborative emergency COVID-19 response funds that will immediately benefit four local community foundations across the Greater Washington region who are working to support vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted amid the coronavirus outbreak. ACT for Alexandria, Arlington Community Foundation, Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Greater Washington Community Foundation will each use these funds for grants to nonprofits addressing food insecurity, housing/shelter, and providing emergency financial assistance.

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