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.
February 3, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted education in so many ways, forcing most school districts in Northern Virginia to adopt a virtual format to deliver instruction. But some officials across the region have expressed concern over how the switch to online learning could increase learning challenges for underprivileged students in the region.

In response to this challenging time, a group of longtime area educators got together last summer to form EduTutorVA, a new education nonprofit working to connect tutors with K-12 students at risk of falling behind in their classes during this pandemic. The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is supporting the program through its new EduTutorVA Fiscal Sponsorship Fund.

January 25, 2021

by Elizabeth Hughes, Senior Director of Insight RegionTM

Insight Region recently released its first research brief, Unequal Burden, which highlighted the state of housing affordability in Northern Virginia. The brief and the release event that we held on January 13th (watch here) have generated a lot of questions about how we move forward as a region.

In this post, I am joined by my colleague Michelle Krocker (MK) from the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance to begin to answer some of those questions. Please check back as we continue to update this page with more responses.

January 21, 2021


As the coronavirus crisis unfolded across our region, food banks had to expand their services to address not only the increase in the demand for food aid, but also healthcare, housing assistance, and other services.

Today, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced it has awarded $100,000 in grants to four organizations in a new round of funding through its Build Back – Dream Forward COVID-19 Response initiative. The grant recipients include ALIVE!, Arlington Free Clinic, Capital Area Food Bank, and The House, Inc. Each organization received a grant of $25,000 that will be used to support creative and innovative solutions for food access and distribution to residents in Northern Virginia.

January 19, 2021

If you’re a high school senior or current college student looking for funds to help cover the cost of college, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is accepting applications for college scholarships for the 2021 – 2022 school year. Eligible students include high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students in Northern Virginia.

Community Foundation manages twelve scholarships and administers the funds for 18 other scholarships that support Northern Virginia students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees.

January 13, 2021

by Elizabeth Hughes, Senior Director of Insight RegionTM

Northern Virginia is one of the country’s most expensive places to live, but also one of its most affordable.

Now, I know how that sounds. But look at the data—in 2019, Loudoun County had the fourth highest median housing cost among all counties and independent cities in the country, followed by Fairfax (#8), Arlington (#10), Prince William (#24), and Alexandria (#26). The same year, 72% of households had housing costs that were considered “affordable” by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and just 11% were considered severely burdened by housing costs, a rate well below the national average (14%) and other tech hubs.

January 13, 2021


A new report by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia finds that 67% of Northern Virginians with low incomes (less than $50,000 per year for a family of four) are “severely burdened” by the cost of housing, spending over half of their income on rent, mortgage, taxes, fees, and basic utilities. Individuals and families with moderate incomes ($50,000 to $100,000 for a family of four) fare slightly better, but still over half (59 percent) cannot afford their homes and 19% spend over half of their income on housing.

January 7, 2021

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, a trusted leader in philanthropy in the region announced today the opening of the 2021 grant cycles for its Community Investment Funds (CIF), The Environment Fund, and The Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts. 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.

December 17, 2020

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Our Children Fund recently awarded $3,804.19 to support the Operation Warm Coat campaign that has provided hundreds of coats this year to foster care children in Fairfax County, Virginia. Social workers, foster families, and children in foster care all expressed sincere gratitude after receiving the coats.

December 15, 2020


In Northern Virginia, like much of the nation, Black-owned businesses are being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. One report found 41% of Black-owned businesses have been forced to close due to COVID-19 compared to just 17% of white-owned businesses. All of this while Black-owned businesses face long-term, racial disparities that severely restrict business ownership, growth, and access to investment capital.

December 15, 2020

This month, the Loudoun Impact Fund awarded $100,000 in grants to 12 nonprofit organizations serving Loudoun County. Grant awards were made possible through the generosity of approximately 50 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.

Participants make a gift of $1,000 per individual or $5,000 per business to join the giving circle. Members review proposals submitted from local nonprofits and decide together which charities to grant. More than $287,000 in grant requests were received from 28 organizations, highlighting significant community needs this year in light of COVID-19.