Impact Stories

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

Learn about our impact on the local community and beyond. During the past 2 years the Community Foundation awarded $20 million in grants and scholarships and now reports $96 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.
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.

Update: In Early 2022, InsideNoVA was awarded a second grant, which will also go towards staffing a reporter dedicated to writing stories that uplift underrepresented persons in Northern Virginia. A third and final grant will be given next year.

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 health and well-being of 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 $940,000 to support mental health across the region.

April 28, 2021

Support for the needs of adults over the age of 65 in Northern Virginia


The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is committed to investing in nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting the needs of our aging neighbors. Guided by the Community Foundation’s 2014 report, the Community Foundation continues to invest in organizations that help the growing number of older adults age in place. 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.

April 27, 2021

People of color have been hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic but remain hesitant when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccine. A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. are less likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine than any other racial or ethnic group.

Efforts are underway to educate both communities across the nation and locally about vaccine safety. Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), a Community Foundation for Northern Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund grantee will host a series of town hall meetings beginning Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. for organizations, local businesses, clients, and citizens in an effort to clear up misinformation about the vaccine and address vaccination hesitancy among communities of color.

April 22, 2021

Congratulations to our Board Chairman Bernard Mustafa who has been named Loudoun Cares 2021 Outstanding Veteran Volunteer for his work on Community Foundation’s Count the Region Census Initiative. The award recognizes a military veteran whose volunteering has made a significant contribution to the Loudoun County, Virginia community.

April 8, 2021

Giving together can unite your family across generations, geographic areas, and life situations. No matter the age of your children, integrating philanthropy into your family is a great opportunity to pass on healthy attitudes about money matters and helping others.

Our Family Giving Program allows each member of your family to achieve both their personal and charitable goals through philanthropy. You can get the whole family involved in creating a legacy of giving, specific to your charitable intent, that will be woven into the fabric of Northern Virginia for years to come.

Charles Grymes and Catherine Ring have a donor-established fund with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia through our Family Giving Program.  We recently asked them to share some thoughts on how this fund helps them build a legacy of giving for their entire family.