2018 Collective Grants Program 

The Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH) grant applications closed on July 31, 2018.   

Focus Areas

The GCH will award grants of up to $7,000 to local non-profits in two mission areas:
  1. Health, Mental Health and Aging including: Crisis Services related to Abuse (e.g., Substance and Domestic Violence); Disabilities and Special Needs; Help the older population age in place and support older adults who are low income or vulnerable; Mental Health; and Dental, Medical and Pharmaceutical Services.
  2. Poverty Relief  including English Language Proficiency and Literacy for Adults and Children; Ex-Offender Re-Entry; Eviction and Foreclosure Assistance; Housing and Shelter; and Job Training and Workforce Development

Types of Grants

Applicants may submit a single application for either a CBE Grant or a Project Grant:
  1. CBE Grant. An activity that that improves and enhances a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself into the future.  Examples include, but are not limited to, developing a strategic plan, communication plan, IT strategy or plan; investments in technology; leadership succession planning; and a social media or marketing strategy.
  2. Project Grant. A stand-alone activity that is not linked to a program or if linked to a program, demonstrates how the goals objectives and outcomes support those of the program.

What is New and Different in the 2018 Collective Grants Program?

  1. GCH’s 2018 Application will be online and accessible at the link below on May 21. GCH and The Community Foundation will now share the same Organizational Profile.  If you have already established an Organizational Profile for The Community Foundation, you need only make any updates.  GCH’s 2018 Grant Application – other than sharing an Organizational Profile with The Community Foundation – remains totally separate.  
  2. Total Organization Financial Budget excluding in-kind services must be equal to or less than $1 million.
  3. Applicants must respond to new questions addressing how they differentiate themselves from other non-profits providing the same servicel and how their proposal supports the GCH’s goals: 1) Encourage community and volunteerism. 2) Encourage self-sufficiency.  3) Increase awareness of local needs.  4) Promote effective philanthropy and encourage effective partnerships.    


The GCH will consider grant applications that meet the following criteria:

Applicants must:
  • meet the Giving Circle’s mission to create positive change in Northern Virginia by directly benefiting people in need, where “need” refers to people who have low income, are disadvantaged or are under-served.
  • be a 501(c) (3) organizations providing charitable or educational services.  Local, state and federal government entities are not eligible to apply.
  • provide services in all of Northern Virginia or in Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties, or in the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church and Manassas/Manassas Park.
  • have a Total Organization Financial Budget excluding in-kind services equal to or less than $1 million.
  • Commit to submission of a Project Post Grant Evaluation or a CBE Post Grant Evaluation within 45 days of the conclusion of their grant period. Guidelines for this report will be included with your grant award.
In addition, applicants must:
  1. Only grant requests for Project or CBE efforts will be considered.
  2. Funding may be used to support, expand or enhance existing programs or to start new programs.
  3. Grant requests may be up to $7,000.  The Project or CBE budget may not exceed $70,000 and must be documented.
  4. Applicants who received a 2017 and a 2016 Collective Grant from the GCH are ineligible to apply in 2018.

Not Eligible for Funding

The GCH does not fund:
  • Grant requests that exceed $7,000
  • Organizations, projects or programs that promote a particular religious or political ideology
  • Capital improvements, endowments, or scholarship awards
  • Dinner galas, advertising, and other special fundraising event
  • General operating expenses of an organization
  • Intermediary funding agencies
  • Funding for direct payment for housing or food.
  • Organizations that have received a GCH grant for the previous two consecutive years
  • Previous GCH Grantees who have an outstanding interim or a final grant evaluation and it is not submitted with their 2018 application package.
  • Applications that are late or incomplete.

Giving Circle of HOPE Gives Preference to ...

Organizations that:
  • Utilize volunteers and leverage resources
  • Work with and through multiple sectors (nonprofit, government, corporations and individuals) to create more impact than they could on their own
  • Demonstrate willingness to raise funds independently and in a variety of ways
  • Have engaged & diverse boards (including members from the community, government, corporations & clients)
Projects that:
  • Do more than give resources to their clients; they provide them with new tools, techniques or skills
  • Have long-term impact on the population served
  • Are based on proven models of effectiveness and then innovate to create better applications of those models
  • Are creative, innovative and collaborative
Capacity Building Efforts that:
  • Improve and enhance their ability to achieve their mission and sustain themselves into the future
  • Strengthen their performance and impact on the community
  • Provide more or better services to their clients
  • Increase their visibility and outreach possibilities in the community

How to Apply

To apply for a GCH grant, click here to access the grants portal. You will be instructed to set up an organizational profile before applying. If your organization has applied in the past to The Community Foundation, you may use the organization profile already established.  Please do not set up a new profile unless you are sure your organization has not previously applied. 


If you have any questions, please contact GCH Grant Co-Chairs Sheila Morris and Donna Whitaker at grants@givingcircleofhope.org or 703-665-9334.