Impact Stories

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

Learn about our impact in the local community and beyond. In 2020 the Community Foundation awarded more than $13 million in grants and scholarships and now reports $82.5 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.
June 17, 2021

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia today announced Catherine Schott Murray, Esq., has been elected to serve as its new board chair beginning July 1, 2021. Schott Murray previously served as vice chairman of the board and succeeds Bernard Mustafa, who served as chair since 2019.

June 17, 2021

Dear Members of the Board, Community Foundation Staff, and Friends,

As I make my exit as the Board Chair (2019-2021), I would like to thank each of you for your incredible service. Through our collective efforts, we are helping to build a more inclusive Northern Virginia community that works for everyone.

June 17, 2021

A college education gets more expensive every year. Tuitions have skyrocketed in the past decade forcing students to take on more borrowing debt to finance their higher education dreams. Here at Community Foundation one of the many scholarships available to help offset the rising cost of college is the Northern Virginia First Responders Scholarship Fund.

The fund benefits first responders and dependents of active first responders in the Northern Virginia area. Scholarship recipients receive up to $20,000 in funds spread over four years. The fund was established by Aaron Kinworthy. We asked Aaron to share some thoughts on why it’s important to create higher learning opportunities through this scholarship.

June 16, 2021

Earlier this month, Donya Momenian joined the staff at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia as the 2021 summer research and marketing intern. It’s always exciting to see new faces bring fresh energy and ideas into our work! Donya is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech University with a Bachelor’s in Economic Science. We asked Donya if she would share a little bit about herself.


Why did you want to intern with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia?

June 14, 2021

Exploring the broader context of Northern Virginia's exceptional rates of economic mobility

by Elizabeth Hughes, Senior Director of Insight RegionTM

In May 2021, Insight Region released its second brief in the Inclusive Prosperity series, Spreading the Wealth, which found that 19 percent of lower-income children who grew up in the region in the 1980’s and 1990’s were earning in the top quintile for household income as adults, the highest rate of economic mobility across the 50 most populous metro areas in the US. The region also produced the highest rates for Black children (10 percent) and Hispanic children (15 percent) in lower-income families. Compared to the broader DC metro area of which Northern Virginia is a part, these rates were also substantially higher—overall, 11 percent of children raised in poorer families in the DC metro area attained wealth as adults, dropping down to the 15th highest rate among metros; 6 percent of Black children (4th highest) and 13 percent of Hispanic children (2nd highest) raised in poorer families made it to the top quintile.

Our May 2021 brief went on to estimate the current level of opportunity across Northern Virginia’s 500+ census tracts, based on seven factors that research has shown influence mobility. But we had to wonder—how did Northern Virginia’s opportunity factors compare to those in the broader DMV?

June 1, 2021

Local journalism plays a very critical role in our communities. It helps to shape our communities’ stories, which impacts our economy, education, health, homes, jobs transportation, and more by providing relevant content that connects us to each other as we address issues affecting the community.  

In an effort to support local journalism the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is excited to announce it has made a $12,500 grant through its Build Back – Dream Forward initiative to InsideNoVA to hire a reporter solely dedicated to writing stories that elevate voices within our community that are often underrepresented.

May 11, 2021

by Elizabeth Hughes, Senior Director of Insight RegionTM

Our region is a great place to raise a child, and now, Insight Region has produced one more data point to prove it.

Our next brief in the Inclusive Prosperity series—Spreading the Wealth —explores economic mobility, the likelihood that a child raised in a lower-income family will make it to the top quintile for income as an adult. The brief relies on data from Opportunity Insights, a think tank of out Harvard that has quantified rates of economic mobility for every census tract in the country. And their data show that of the region’s kids who grew up at or near poverty in the 1990s, approximately one in five achieved economic mobility, the highest rate of any metro area in the country.* Northern Virginia also had the highest rates of mobility among Black and Hispanic children; ten percent of Black children raised here in a lower-income family achieved economic mobility, four times higher than the national average.

May 11, 2021

Thirty years ago, children growing up in a lower-income family in Northern Virginia enjoyed the highest rate of economic mobility in the country; 19 percent were earning in the top quintile for household income as adults, the highest rate of economic mobility across the 50 most populous metro areas. This near universal “prosperity bump” extended across racial-ethnic groups. If history is any indication, that story will remain unchanged.

April 28, 2021

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, a trusted leader in philanthropy in the region announced today it has awarded $548,450 in grants through its Community Investment Funds (CIF),  Environment Fundand the Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts to 39 local nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation conducts several discretionary grant cycles each year that help meet critical needs and seed innovative solutions to complex social problems across the region.

April 28, 2021

Investments to nurture the emotional well-being the Northern Virginia community


The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is committed to investing in nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting the emotional health and well-being of all members of the Northern Virginia Community. The following organizations are recipients of annual grants through the Community Investment Funds process, a highly competitive cycle that responds to need throughout the region.

Since 2007, the Community Foundation has awarded more than $300,000 to support mental health across the region.