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.
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.

December 15, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Business Women's Giving Circle (BWGC) today announced the winners of its annual grant cycle. A total of $60,000 in grants has been awarded to five local nonprofit organizations and schools that provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Mentorship programs to girls and young women in Northern Virginia. To date, BWGC has awarded more than $400,000 in grants that have impacted the lives of over 3,000 girls and young women in the region.

November 17, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a host of new challenges to early childhood education and daycare services nationwide and across our region. Today the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, in partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and PNC Foundation announced a $200,000 Build Back – Dream Forward COVID-19 Response Fund grant to support infant and toddler childcare and early childhood education programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 29, 2020
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched Build Back – Dream Forward – a post-COVID-19 Growth Initiative. Its purpose is to achieve social and economic equity, promote racial justice and equity, and catalyze more inclusive systems of economic growth in Northern Virginia, particularly in local communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus and its fallouts.

October 27, 2020
Food insecurity impacts millions of people in the United States, and yet over 40% of fresh produce in our country goes to waste. The USDA defines food insecurity as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of a lack of money and other resources. In Prince William County, Virginia over 6% of adults and 12% of children are food insecure. Local nonprofit Action in Community Through Service of Prince William (ACTS), is on the frontline of providing much-needed food to those in desperate need.