effective philanthropy blog
Star Power LR3rd - 5th grade girls at Loch Lomond Elementary School participating in Girls on the Run of NOVAGirls on the Run of Northern Virginia received an $8,500 grant in 2018 from the Child & Youth Develompent Fund through the Community Investment Funds grant cycle.  This fund supports porgrams that help children and youth obtain the education, support, services and opportunities they need to thrive.  The grant helped Girls on the Run NOVA expand into an economically disadvantaged school.  They shared the following inspirational story to show how this grant helped at-risk youth establish healthy habits and raise their self-esteem.

When Lauren Daly came on as a new teacher at Loch Lomond Elementary School she became a part of a special community. At this Prince William County Public School, 84% of students are considered economically disadvantaged, and nearly 67% are English language learners. The school strives to be a place where students know they are cared for and leave as lifelong learners. However, this can be challenging as poverty and disconnection can exacerbate the common stresses that come with growing up. Lauren sought out a program that could increase healthy habits and raise self-esteem to help students succeed. Soon she held the first Girls on the Run practice as Coach Lauren.

Fast forward to the present and the Girls on the Run team at Loch Lomond is about to complete their second season. This team of sixteen 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade girls are becoming stronger, healthier, and more confident as individuals, but also as a team connected to each other and their coaches.

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Brayan 2 LRBrayan, a client of Second StorySecond Story received a $10,000 grant in 2018 from the Poverty Relief Fund through the Community Investment Funds grant cycle.  This grant provided housing and shelter assistance to homeless youth in our region.  Second Story shared the following testimonial to show how this grant helped one of their clients, Brayan.

Brayan had always been fascinated with invention. As a child in Guatemala he would make his own toys with things around his house. When he got older he learned about Nikola Tesla and became intent on creating his own Tesla coil, so he took apart his brother’s computer to come up with the right materials. “I couldn’t get all the materials I needed so I couldn’t do it, but I wanted to — even if I had to destroy the computer,” he laughs. Tinkering with how things work was Brayan’s refuge, but life at home was difficult. He grew used to threats and feeling unsafe, but when he was 16 things got worse. He contacted the police and even got his case to court but nothing happened. “I suffered from depression almost every day,” he remembers. “I didn’t want to do anything but sleep and be at home. I decided to come here.”

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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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