effective philanthropy blog
Ken pic 3x5 300 dpiPlease read below a personal message from Ken Hunstman, Community Foundation board member and chair of the Community Investment Funds grant cycle for many years.  With his guidance, we awarded more than $250,000 to 29 nonprofits in 2018 through these grants.

As part of the Community Foundation’s response to its creed of “Growing philanthropy to respond to critical need and seed innovation in the region,” the Community Investment Funds seek to find those organizations in our communities that are addressing critical needs and give them a boost.

The Community Foundation has been making these annual grants for many years now, and has helped numerous organizations start new programs, extend existing programs, reach more people, provide more in-depth services, or help them help others in a myriad of ways.  See the 2018 grantees for example.

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Ross Roberts 1993bStephen S. Roberts and Dr. Sue Goetz Ross, pictured in 1993Stephen Roberts, a donor advisor for the Sue Goetz Ross and Stephen S. Roberts Music Fund, recently made a legacy gift to help launch the Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts.  We asked him to share some thoughts on how this new fund helps honor his wife's legacy.

Why did you choose to help the Community Foundation establish the Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts?

I am honored to be able to assist in the launch of the Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The arts (in our case singing classical music) brought me and my late wife Dr. Sue Goetz Ross together and then gave us many years of pleasure and enrichment together. The arts are an essential part of the life of any community, bringing it both beauty and identity and giving it its human spirit. Although the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has not until now had a fund specifically dedicated to the arts, it has a track record of effective management of funds in other areas, with access to leading professionals in the region and a staff skilled in fund management. I can therefore think of no better way to support the arts in Northern Virginia over the long term than to help launch a new fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia dedicated to the arts.

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Mike Sanderson PhotoMike Sanderson, a client of the Easterseals Veteran Staffing Network ProgramThe Easterseals Veterans Staffing Network received a $10,000 grant in 2018 from the Military Personnel & Their Families Fund through the Community Investment Funds grant cycle. This grant supported programs that coordinate services between the government and nonprofit providers to better serve military personnel and their families in the Northern Virginia region.  Easterseals Veterans Staffing Network shared the following testimonial from Veteran Mike Sanderson to show the impact of this support in their community.

“Two years ago, my life went from bad to worse when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Since then, I lost my job, and we were in the process of losing our house. I spent six years in the US Marine Corps, and had never faced anything like this. I spent six months looking for employment only to have the door shut in my face every time. During this time I worked with a lot of unscrupulous recruiters and hiring managers who just strung me along. Needless to say, my wife and I were getting to the point of desperation, then I met Angie Gresh, of Easterseals Veteran Staffing Network.

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Kelly Blanks, Chief Philanthropy Officer
Developing a charitable plan that takes into account your client's financial and charitable needs is no small task. As a professional advisor, the opportunity you have to help your clients achieve their philanthropic goals is both a privilege and a challenge. We want to be a resource for you as well as a philanthropic partner for your clients.

If any of your clients are considering year end charitable giving, please keep the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia in mind. We're here for you.

Their tax deductible gift can start a donor advised fund or scholarship fund in their name. 

Or, it could benefit one of these existing Community Investment Funds and help the Community Foundation respond to critical needs in the community:

               The Child and Youth Development / Education Fund
               The Poverty Relief Fund
               The Health, Mental Health and Aging Fund
               The Military Personnel and their Families Fund
               Healthy Kids

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Catherine Schott MurrayCatherine Schott MurrayWe recently sat down with Catherine Schott Murray of Odin, Feldman & Pittleman. Catherine is a Community Foundation Board member, member of the Raise the Region Gala committee, and member of the Business Women's Giving Circle.


What does it mean to you to be involved as a member of the Raise the Region Gala Committee?

Being a member of the Raise the Region Gala Committee allows me to promote a wonderful organization to current friends of the Community Foundation and new friends of the Community Foundation. The Gala is such a great event where the energy in the room is tremendous and contagious. I think everyone walks away feeling invigorated that people care about each other and are willing to support an organization that will grow philanthropy.  

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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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