Impact Stories

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

Learn about our impact on the local community and beyond. Since its inception in 1978, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $85 million in cumulative grants and scholarships and now reports $80 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.
September 18, 2023

The 2023 Champions for Accountability Badge, awarded in partnership between the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, recognizes more than 40 employers willing to collect, share, and act on data about the diversity of their leadership. To receive the badge, an organization must operate in Virginia, Maryland, and/ or Washington DC; collect demographic data on board members and/or c-suite members and executives; and have completed the application by 31 August, 2023. By accepting their badges, the Champions commit to the following action:  

August 28, 2023
On August 29, 2023 The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Insight Region® Center for Community Research released Getting By: How Northern Virginians Respond When There is Less to Go Around. In 2021, one in five families (20 percent) in Northern Virginia did not earn enough money to meet their basic needs for shelter, food, medical care, and other essentials. An additional nine percent could not cover these basic needs, and pay for childcare. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia published this report which includes perspectives from real Northern Virginians collated by InsideNOVA and Northern Virginia Family Services.

August 25, 2023
2022 Healthy Kids Grantee Ponte Hyper

Healthy Kids Grants are awarded each year to individual public schools in Northern Virginia that implement a program or strategy to encourage better nutrition/ more physical activity, or better mental health among their student body during the school year. In its thirteenth year, the 2023 grants review committee has awarded $28,535 to fourteen school programs.  Healthy Kids Grants are made possible by the Avalon Charitable Fund, the Chin Family Charitable Fund, the Minton Family Charitable Fund, and the JOY Charitable Fund, all of which are component funds at the Community Foundation.

August 15, 2023
Often, philanthropy and the nonprofit sector at large may lose sight of just how much even small, incremental investment can make a meaningful change in people’s lives. The real impact of a couple of hundred dollars on some people can be literally life changing.

Karen Lipsey and Christie Worrell became lifelong friends through their children’s friendship, and over the past few years launched the Level the Field Fund, which they moved to the Community Foundation in April 2023. This fund helps Black college seniors graduate college by paying off the relatively small account balances that may be left when commencement season arrives. In the most stark terms, the Level the Field Fund embodies the spirit of large impact with small investment: most of the awards it gives college students are a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. These gifts enable a student to get their degree and set their lives in positive motion. Level the Field’s goal is to help as many deserving students as possible graduate.

July 19, 2023
Corporate responsibility plays a major role in the life of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, and indeed all nonprofits. A civil society functions best when the nonprofit sector, the government sector, and the business sector work together in tandem to advance the well-being of the people whose lives they touch. For 45 years, CFNOVA has supported and invested in the regionprimarily through philanthropy and convenings. Our mission to advance equity hinges at those intersections of the three sectors. Most people in this country, in the regular course of their daily activities, will come into contact or collaboration with a nonprofit, a government service, or a major corporation. This relationship, which we can call corporate responsibility, can exist in the form of operational initiatives, strategic transformation, or donations, and sponsorships.

June 26, 2023
There is a need in Northern Virginia for more professionals entering the Life Sciences field. One major barrier to fulfilling this need is the limited workplace experience for graduate students preparing to enter the Life Sciences field. Another challenge contributing to this lack of Life Science professionals is the availability of trained instructors who are familiar with advanced life science concepts and techniques who have mastered college-level life-sciences material that is specially formatted for students in secondary school. The Future Kings have developed an innovative approach that is designed to help solve these challenges. The innovation combines college-level course material specially designed for secondary students with an internship for the graduate students that includes both teaching adolescents and working in a professional lab.

June 21, 2023
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded nearly $500,000 in scholarships to 142 students pursuing higher education. The Community Foundation’s scholarship funds are leaving positive legacies across the region and beyond. More than 50 volunteers reviewed more than 400 scholarship applications for these funds this year. In total, the Community Foundation manages 13 scholarships and administers the funds for 21 others that support Northern Virginia students. These awards range from $1,500 to greater than $6,000.

June 15, 2023
The William J. Foreman Memorial scholarship was launched in 2007 by Louise and Mark Foreman, to honor the memory of their son Will Foreman, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident on February 24, 2006. Will had a generous heart, a loving spirit, and was drawn to helping those less fortunate than himself. He had faced personal adversity during his high school years, but successfully overcame it to graduate and begin college studies in computer science. In those seventeen years, the scholarship has awarded $100,000 to 57 students who, like Will, have overcome adversity. The Community Foundation spoke with Louise Foreman, who offered some thoughts on this remarkable and incredible achievement.

June 15, 2023
“It’s such a poignant moment when a student tells me ‘Oh, I’ve never seen a worm before,’” says Tammy Schwab, the Manager, Education & Outreach, Resource Management Division at the Fairfax County Park Authority. “Being a better steward of the environment takes that kind of spark, where a child or even one of their parents notices the bugs and the birds for the first time.” The Fairfax County Park Authority hopes to bring more of those moments across Northern Virginia, as they will use the 2023 Environment Fund Grant awarded to the Fairfax County Park Foundation to fund a Mobile Nature Center, which will be able to provide programs like this to neighborhoods across Fairfax County.

June 14, 2023
Charitable giving can be nebulous and intimidating, but the millions of small donations made by regular people each day towards causes they care about prove that many give in spite of whatever fears or reservations they may have. In the past few years, people have become fairly familiar with things like a gofundme or a Facebook fundraiser, where people very quickly come together to support a cause or individual in need. But family giving doesn’t always have to look like this. I recently spoke to Marcy Mager and Mimi and Truman Deliee, who launched a family fund in 2022.

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