Impact Stories

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

Learn about our impact in the local community and beyond. In 2019 the Community Foundation awarded more than $5.4 million in grants and scholarships and now reports $72 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 Marcus Wilson, Manager of Communications and Events.
July 30, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced today that it has awarded over $250,000 in scholarships to more than one hundred area students to support their higher education goals beginning this fall. This year’s awards went to students pursuing either undergraduate or graduate degrees in areas like STEM, medicine, health, and education, as well as students planning to attend Northern Virginia Community College.

July 20, 2020
Virtual Town Hall
The COVID-19 pandemic has pulled back the curtain and exposed longstanding structural and systemic inequities that exist in communities of color across our nation. From the education system to the labor market, to housing, health, and economic stability the coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on African American and Latino communities.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia recently hosted a virtual Town Hall – Build Back – Dream Forward where local leaders representing business, education, economic development, and philanthropy gathered to raise awareness around the uneven playing field that pre-existed COVID-19 and potential paths forward for greater equity in our economic systems.

June 30, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced today it has awarded $440,000 in its fifth round of COVID-19 Response Fund Grants to 22 local organizations providing relief and services to communities in the region disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, including vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

June 3, 2020
Arlington Free Clinic Triage
For over 25 years, Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) has provided free, high-quality healthcare for low-income, uninsured adult Arlingtonians through the generosity of donors and volunteers. With the help of close to 500 volunteers, we deliver patient-centered, comprehensive, integrated healthcare to approximately 1,600 vulnerable residents each year.

May 27, 2020
GCH Members
(Reston, VA) - For the 16th consecutive year, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia's Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH) evaluated and is awarding grants to eight nonprofits that are serving the needs of families in Northern Virginia. The GCH reviewed 31 grant requests and, through the power of collective giving, will award $56,000 this year--with over $1.25 million over its history--to further the aims of nonprofits working to improve the lives of those in our community.

May 26, 2020
Northern Virginia Family Service, Round Four COVID-19 Response Fund Grantee
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is pleased to announce the Round 4 grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

So many individuals and families in our region continue to suffer terribly under the health and economic impacts of the coronavirus and its fallout. Applications for unemployment benefits are at an all-time high, and local human service nonprofits now report a 3-5 fold increase in demand for their services. Direct financial assistance to individuals and families hardest hit by the crisis remains a top priority for our COVID-19 Response Fund.

Each of the following Round 4 grantees have the experience, community reach, and infrastructure to deploy financial assistance to our most vulnerable families and individuals. The grants, which total $280,000, will provide direct cash payments, emergency loans, and direct payments of rent, utilities, and groceries to those who most need it, as more fully described below.

In addition, through the grant to CASA de Virginia, we have given special attention to the disproportionate impact of the virus on the Latinx and Hispanic communities in Northern Virginia. Most of our health districts now report COVID-19 cases disaggregated by race and ethnicity. In the Fairfax Health District alone, for example, their most recent data dashboard shows that Latinx and Hispanics constitute 16.8% of the total county population but 63.7% of the COVID-19 cases!

May 22, 2020
Mental Health Graphic
Innovations in mental health are long overdue and the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn have brought this into even sharper focus. The very nature of mental health services makes technological interventions difficult, but innovation in the field, being driven by the public health crisis created by the virus, is now necessary.

April 24, 2020
Culmore Clinic, Round Three COVID-19 Response Fund Grantee
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is pleased to announce the Round 3 grantees from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Northern Virginia.

Organizations offering access to health care, mental health care, and dental health care for low income, uninsured and underinsured residents, and organizations offering direct services to victims of domestic violence which is soaring under stay at home orders across our region, were invited to apply. And while we originally estimated that approximately $350,000 would be awarded in Round 3, strong contributions to the COVID-19 Response Fund and a phenomenal demand for support has resulted in grants totaling $715,000 to the following 35 organizations on the front line of the pandemic.

April 22, 2020
Environment Fund and Earth Day
As the world observes the 50th anniversary of Earth Day today, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announces it has awarded two $25,000 Environment Fund grants to local organizations working to protect, restore, and improve the natural environment of Northern Virginia.

April 13, 2020
Eileen EllsworthEileen Ellsworth, President/CEO Community Foundation for Northern VirginiaDear donors, volunteers, grantees, and friends:

“Social distance” strikes me as such a mild, innocuous little phrase that doesn’t even hint at the 1 million small and large choices we are making to stay home, stay safe, and keep others safe as well. Turns out that successful social distancing is a puzzle that needs re-solving every day. And for those with school aged children or elderly parents who are also home and in need of care and attention, solving the daily puzzle is nothing short of heroic. This is the extraordinary role that we ordinary citizens have been asked to play in the COVID-19 pandemic.

But for just a moment, imagine this. On top of social distancing and the threat of the virus, you are laid off with little or no savings and your job is the only source of income that enables you to eat and pay rent. Imagine that you or a family member gets sick – with the virus or otherwise – and you don’t have heath insurance. Imagine you are elderly, homebound, and dependent upon the delivery of meals when the volunteer pool of delivery drivers disappears. Imagine having to shelter in place with an abusive spouse.

We all have a lot on our plate, but thousands of our neighbors have far more to bear in this moment.