effective philanthropy blog
Bruce and Jean WymanBruce and Jean WymanWe recently sat down with Bruce and Jean Wyman, who and are actively involved with the Community Foundation, as well as having a Donor Advised Fund with the Community Foundation. They are both members of the Giving Circle of HOPE, and focus their grant making locally.


Can you tell us about your experience with the Community Foundation? How did you get involved to create your fund?

We created our fund at the Community Foundation in order to allow for ease of making annual donations.  Initially, we researched several other funds but felt most comfortable with the Community Foundation.  The staff was warm and showed interest in how they could help us meet and expand our philanthropic goals. 

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Josh Stillman HeadshotJosh StillmanBy
Joshua D. Stillman, CFP®

What are the greatest needs in Northern Virginia and how can we meet them?

This thought-provoking question was recently posed at a dinner hosted by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The question resonated with me – how can I help? However, it immediately prompted another personal question in need of answering first: Should I?

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40th board coffee 1Former Board Members Reunite to Celebrate 40th AnniversaryRecently, former Community Foundation Board members and staff reunited to reminsce about the 40 year history of the Foundation. 

Back when Tysons Corner was nothing but parking lots and the Metro’s silver line was a plan that had not yet come to fruition, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia was born.


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101714 1027photo credit Donnie Biggs/FCPSAli Culhane, Get2Green Program Specialist and Donna Volkmann, Get2Green Resource Teacher, talk about the Get2Green Program

Tell us about the Get2Green program. 

Get2Green is the division-wide sustainability program for Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS).  It was formed in 2010 by a group of principals who were passionate about environmental education and sustainability.  Since then, Get2Green has expanded to engage the majority of schools in FCPS with a goal to expand access to hands-on environmental programs to all FCPS students.  The program now has two dedicated staff members and works to engage students across Fairfax County in hands-on environmental learning with the ultimate goal of FCPS students graduating as global citizens and good stewards of our environment.

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050918 394Krysta PearceKrysta Pearce talks about her time and work with The Community Foundation.

How long have you worked at the Foundation?

I started in October 2016 and served as the Manager of Grants and Scholarships until the end of May 2018. I recently completed my masters degree in Social Work and will leave the Foundation to pursue a position utilizing my degree.

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Melinda website photoMelinda MerkThis interview is with Melinda Merk, Partner at SageTrust Law Group, new Community Foundation Board Member, Business Women's Giving Circle (BWGC) member, and active philanthropist.

Melinda has a background in providing holistic multi-generational income and wealth transfer tax planning advice and estaate and trust services to high net worth individuals, families, and business owners.
  • How does your work tie into your decision to join the Community Foundation board?

With the recent changes under the new tax law, donor advised funds and community foundations have become an even more important charitable giving and family legacy tool.  Establishing a fund with The Community Foundation provides access to local resources for charitable giving and ensures that the donated funds will benefit the local community.  Becoming a member of the Board was a natural next step to supporting and promoting the efforts and contributions of The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia.

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mehranMehran HaqWe recently sat down with Mehran Haq, owner of SKYHAQ Agency, to talk about his experience in film and his work with The Community Foundation.

Can you provide us with an overview of your background and your business, SKYHAQ Agency?

Filming was a passion of mine ever since I was 9 years old. Growing up I had a very entrepreneurial spirit and took my passion and turned it into a business when I was 21. From there, we expanded and added creative services which is when SKYHAQ AGENCY was born. My main goal with any campaign is to always stand out and develop a deep experience with our client's consumers. Our motto is: Engagement Over Advertisement.

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picture 1369 1426262676Abigail Golden-VazquezAuthor: Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program

Latinos comprise one in four students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade and, as such, they will have a direct and lasting impact on the nation’s democracy and prosperity. This is why it’s absolutely necessary to foster a culture of civic participation among Latino students inside and outside of school. Research shows that exposure to civic engagement at an early age can create lasting habits of civic participation throughout a person’s life. Edu-Futuro is an organization that seeks to engage Latino youth in civic activity for a better American future, a vision that aligns with the goals of its newest grantor, the Latino Engagement and Achievement Fund (LEAF).

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Janey Cheryl head shot close upJaney Cheryl This interview is with Cheryl Janey, Community Foundation Board member, BWGC member, Gala sponsor, and Community Foundation Diversity Task Force member

You are a Diversity Task Force member. What is this role and how have you been involved? 

The Diversity Task Force originated under the leadership of the last Board chair, Paul Leslie. It began as a result of a conversation where we discussed the need for the Community Foundation to better reflect the changing make up of Northern Virginia —and to focus on doing so at the board level, the staff level, the donor level, and so on. Paul took the important step to create a Diversity Committee as a subcommittee of the board.  The results have been incredible with new board members, new funds, honorees, all because we chose to take a hard look at ourselves and respond to local need. I could not be prouder to have been a part of this effort and realize that sometimes having the ‘tough conversation’ really does result in change!

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Opportunity Index Logo SmallThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia launched the Opportunity Index web site and associated report in February 2018. 

Tell us about the Opportunity Index. 

The Opportunity Index for Northern Virginia is an interactive dashboard to serve as a data resource for community knowledge and strategic philanthropic giving, and to help grow philanthropy for our most economically disadvantaged populations. 

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