Impact Stories

Growing Philanthropy, Responding to Need and Seeding Innovation in Northern Virginia

Learn about our impact on the local community and beyond. During the past 2 years the Community Foundation awarded $20 million in grants and scholarships and now reports $96 million in managed philanthropic assets. Here’s how we are putting philanthropy to work.

If you would like to contribute to an impact story please contact Alex Carey, Manager of Communications and Events.
June 9, 2022
The Community Foundation has long supported organizations that allow our elderly residents in Northern Virginia to live with dignity. The region is home to more than 280,000 seniors, around 80 percent of whom live in a condo or house they own. These aging homeowners tend to have higher rates of disability (about a quarter of whom have a significant cognitive or physical impairment), and are at a higher risk of poverty- about 10 percent are living below 200% of the federal poverty line. Since 2011, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $225,000 to help older adults throughout Northern Virginia stay in their homes.

June 8, 2022
Virginia Dyeedit
Virginia Carder Dye (1913-1982)

Cameron Randolph Dye (1908-1994)

The Virginia and Cameron and Virginia Dye Fund was created by a $500,000 bequest to the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to establish a scholarship fund. Its purpose is to provide scholarships to deserving students graduating form Arlington public schools and serve as a memorial to Virginia and Cameron Dye.

Cameron Randolph Dye was born and raised in the Cherrydale area of Arlington, Virginia. His immediate family consisted of his mother, father, and sister. Cameron’s father was a DC police officer and his mother spent her lifetime as a loving wife and mother.  Cameron frequently reminisced about his childhood and the many individuals who worked with him at Old Dominion Bank, then First Virginia Bank. His childhood was a very happy one. He loved his parents deeply and respected them greatly. As a young boy he had a paper route and delivered newspapers daily. Additionally, he demonstrated at an early age that he would be a very industrious person by shoveling show, cutting grass and performing odd jobs for neighbors.

May 25, 2022
A Dari-Speaking case worker for Neighborhood Health helps refugees navigate care at the doctor's

“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” -Khaled Hosseini 

Hosseini’s quote captures the experience of many refugees. Some come from areas experiencing natural disasters. Some, from starvation. Many, from war. Of those refugees who do make it to safety experience a different kind of waiting- be it for international intervention, a wait for safety, or waiting for the long process of acclimation and integration to be completed. Unfortunately, there are few if any remedies for satiating the unease and adjustments a refugee feels when she leaves her home country for a new place altogether. But, there are many ways to support these people as they adjust to new lives in a new place. 

May 10, 2022
by Cheryl W. Langston, CFP®
If you’re interested in presenting or writing on an applicable or innovative topic to be featured to our network, please fill out the form here. 

In the Northern Virginia area, we come across many successful professionals who have significant philanthropic desires. As financial professionals, it is important that we understand different charitable gifting options to explore with the client as part of their financial or estate plans. I recently had a client who inquired about establishing a private foundation, which is one of the more complicated charitable gifting strategies.

May 4, 2022
In honor of Earth Day 2022, the Community Foundation announced that the fifth annual Environment Fund grant of $30,000 has been awarded to Sustainability Matters, an organization that supports environmental awareness and programming in the Northern Virginia area. Another $15,000 will go to the Prince William Environmental Excellence Foundation.

May 4, 2022
Our country was founded on the principle of freedom of speech, and a fair, free press. Current events around the world emphasize the importance of this tenet. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia understands the power of the media to inform and elevate issues of importance, and that is why it has made a three-year commitment to InsideNova, providing support towards a dedicated position to report on underserved communities in Fairfax County, focusing on issues like housing, transportation, and so on. To date, the Community Foundation has awarded $27,500.

April 27, 2022
2022 Grantee Tenants and Workers United staff and clients pose with certificates in front of a mural in Fairfax County, VA
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded $613,725 in grants to 50 local organizations through its 2022 Community Investment Funds (CIF), Environment Fund, and Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts, helping respond to need and seed innovative solutions to complex social problems across the region.

As the Community Foundation’s core grants program, funds are invested in organizations serving the northern virginia community in the areas of Aging, Arts, Child and Youth Development, Education, Environment, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Mental Health, Military Personnel and Families, and Safety Net to Support Basic Needs. This represents the largest ever discretionary grants cycle in the Community Foundation’s history.

March 21, 2022
Retirement + Charity

by Lauren A. Jenkins, Partner at Offit Kurman, P.A.

The pandemic era is sometimes referred to as “The Great Resignation” because of the large number of people who have exited the workforce in the last couple of years. Some are referring to this period as the Great Retirement, considering that, as Goldman Sachs estimated, more than half of the people leaving the workforce were over the age of 55.

While certainly the shrinking workforce can present unique challenges for the economy, there may be a silver lining for charitable giving. More retirement means more money in motion, from 401(k)s rolling over into IRAs, to retirees being motivated to ensure that their financial and estate plans are in good shape. In any case, there’s opportunity and the ability to fund a client’s charitable priorities.

March 14, 2022
2022 Shape of the Region
The 2022 Shape of the Region Conference, and the incredible, impactful conversations we shared, simply would not have happened without the continued support of our partners and sponsors. Together, we’ve laid a foundation that will continue to serve as an enduring platform to ensure that everyone in our region has access to decent and quality mental health care. Please be sure to check out their websites, as well as these resources they shared during the conference.

To set the stage, here is a video recommended by NAMI Northern Virginia.

What is the best way to ease someone's pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities.

March 1, 2022
The Community Foundation Awards More Than $10,000 through the Kaiser Permanente Northern Virginia Social Health Impact Fund
Northern Virginia as a region is not a monolith- the communities we serve range from the inner suburbs and edge cities of the Nation's Capital, to the rural shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and everywhere inbetween. Recently, the Community Foundation awarded two organizations from two very different parts of the region, two separate grants totalling more than $10,000. Though distance may separate them, they are two organizations driven by their mission and values- to fulfill a critical need for those most vulnerable.