FF Members at GalaFuture Fund members Carrie Lake, Amy Takayama-Perez, Julie Simmons, Katy Moore, and Jessica Tadlock BeasleyIf you're like me, you probably have a trusted advisor who helps you navigate the often complicated landscape of financial investments and wealth management. These trusted advisors help us set goals, help us develop a plan to achieve those goals, and, ultimately, give us confidence that we're getting the best return on our investments.

And, again, if you’re anything like me, you don’t give nearly as much thought or effort into how you’re investing your philanthropic dollars. But what if I told you that I had found a trusted advisor to help me with my charitable giving? Well, actually, I don’t have just one trusted advisor – I have 130!

Through the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Future Fund, nearly 130 young professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s join together to pool their philanthropic dollars and to decide how to invest their resources in the community through a collaborative granting process.

This year, I had the privilege of co-chairing the Future Fund grants committee.  With the guidance of Eileen Ellsworth and her team of professionals at the Community Foundation, we decided to concentrate our collective philanthropic focus in 2014 on organizations supporting military veterans and their families.  After reviewing 23 applications and attending 5 site visits, our members voted to support two organizations with $20,000 grants.  This highly competitive process ensures that our charitable giving is having the greatest impact on community issues we care about most.

In the three years I’ve been involved with the Future Fund, I’ve turned $800 of my personal charitable contributions into over $150,000 in grants to the Northern Virginia Community. Talk about return on investment!

Want to learn more about the Future Fund? Please contact Jen McCollum at jen.mccollum@cfnova.org or join us for our next event on February 13th – a Happy Giving Hour at the Iris Lounge.