Impact Stories

Advancing Equity 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 $90 million in cumulative grants and scholarships. Here’s how we are putting philanthropy to work.

If you would like to contribute to an impact story please contact Tara Nadel, Vice President of Marketing and Events.
April 8, 2024
by Keith Brennan, Business Development Director, SEI Private Wealth Management

It’s not your imagination! More and more of your clients are investing in private markets instead of simply limiting their strategies to stocks listed on the exchanges. Indeed, the number of publicly-traded companies has declined significantly since the mid-1990s. Although many clients are investing in “alternative” vehicles to participate in private markets, a large portion of some clients’ wealth is represented by closely-held stock in businesses they’ve started or in which they are investors.

As trends in equity ownership have shifted toward private investment, trends in charitable giving have shifted, too, toward increased popularity of giving closely-held business interests to charitable organizations such as a donor-advised or other type of fund at the community foundation. Here are three factors to keep in mind as you counsel philanthropic clients who own shares in a closely-held business:

March 21, 2024
A Farm Less Ordinary growers, staff, and volunteers, pose for a picture in front of a red building. They are all wearing white or greytee shirts with A Farm Less Ordinary branding.
Every day, from Monday through Friday, between early February and late November of each year, you’ll find the growers of A Farm Less Ordinary (AFLO) at one of their two work sites in either Leesburg or Lovettsville, Virginia. On a warm Wednesday morning in March, founder and executive director Greg Masucci gives a tour of the full “life cycle” of their operation, from germinating seedlings, to planting crops, to harvesting mature vegetables.

A Farm Less Ordinary was awarded a Community Investment Fund Grant under the category for organizations serving individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities in 2022. Greg was also featured in one of the videos we shared at the 2022 Raise the Region gala. “We were able to keep some of the growers employed through the off-season with that grant,” Greg explained, “which is something you always worry about, having consistent, meaningful work. Especially for people with disabilities.” He talks through other challenges people with disabilities face in terms of accessible work. Greg mentions how the statistics suggest 65% of people on the autism spectrum don’t drive. In a place like Loudoun County with less transit access compared to Arlington or DC, this could mean not only being cut off from work, but from community itself.

March 13, 2024
A photo collage of recent BWGC grantees including Boolean Girl, Sustainability Matters, Black Girls Hack, and others. There is a 10 year anniversary logo in the top center of the image.
March is Women’s History Month, and this year marks the 10-year anniversary of launch of the Business Women’s Giving Circle (BWGC) at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. In that decade, the BWGC has invested more than $535,000 in grants, inspiring thousands of girls and young women to join the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields and connecting countless donors, changemakers, and constituents alike.

February 27, 2024
In 2023, the Community foundation awarded more than $7 million in grants and scholarships, including $1,038,812 in grants from our discretionary funds, and donor advised funds that the Community Foundation awarded to directly support our community. Forty-four organizations were awarded $763,969 in our Community Investment Funds (CIF) cycle. Organizations that receive this funding have proven that they work to support differing needs and address complex social issues across the region. This funding, and the work it enables, is built on two of the core pillars of the Community Foundation's strategic work: to build communitiy resilience, and to advance social and economic mobility for all of Northern Virginia's residents.

Here are just a few examples of how our 2023 CIF grantees are changing lives:

February 21, 2024
As more Americans report feeling lonely either all of the time or most of the time, there is a need to build greater community resilience as an antidote to the "loneliness epidemic." Our 2023 annual report clearly shows more strategic action towards the goal of community resilience, one of four pillars of our current strategic plan to help build a community that works for everyone. During this year, the Community Foundation became part of a national movement to help rebuild social trust and civic healing. Through this, we learned that the way back to unity is us. When we show up, do what we can, and hold hope, we become the cure.

February 12, 2024
On Friday, February 9 2024, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia hosted its 2024 Shape of the Region Conference in collaboration with 19 regional partners, which highlighted a key problem facing our region, and the whole country today: Americans’ belief that most people can be trusted declined 47 percent from 1984 through 2022, according to the General Social Survey. Only a quarter of Americans say that most people can be trusted as of 2022.

As keynote speaker David Brooks says, “America is fractured and living a quiet crisis of disconnection. We have lost our trust in each other and our institutions. Divided, we face uncertainty, social turmoil, and political gridlock. Yet, within every community lies an answer.” In Northern Virginia, our Insight Region® Senior Director Denise Bellows discussed the trends in national and local data, showing that all indicators of the Virginia Trust Index are down over the past several years. Only around a third of Northern Virginians consider their neighbors “trustworthy.” You can read the presentation here.

January 11, 2024
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia welcomes Renée Byng Yancey as its new President and CEO beginning January 29, 2024. This appointment follows an exhaustive nationwide search led by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, in consultation with Executive Search Firm Sterling Martin Associates.  Renée is the outgoing Chief External Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and is a long-term resident of Northern Virginia.

January 10, 2024
2023 Grantee Edu-Futuro
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s annual discretionary Community Investment Funds, Environment Fund, and Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts grant have opened as of January 10, 2024.

December 18, 2023
For 2024, the Business Women's Giving Circle at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded funding to these three incredible organizations making a difference in the lives of young women and girls in the region:

December 18, 2023
Loudoun Impact Fund 2023 Grantees
The Loudoun Impact Fund recently awarded $116,000 in grants to 15 nonprofit organizations serving Loudoun County, reaching a milestone of surpassing $1 million in grants distributed since 2014. This year’s grant awards were made possible through the generosity of 64 individuals and businesses that pooled charitable gifts.

The Loudoun Impact Fund brings together individuals and businesses interested in grantmaking administered through a joint effort of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. Grants from the Loudoun Impact Fund support services for at-risk youth, seniors, and people with disabilities in Loudoun County. Since 2014, the Loudoun Impact Fund has granted a cumulative $1,027,725.