Grant supports partnership to develop innovative, multidisciplinary and entrepreneurial approaches to honey bee sustainability

honeybee groupThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia recently made a grant of $25,000 to the George Mason University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Honey Bee Initiative.  The goal of the grant is to accelerate the program and work of leveraging George Mason University innovators, educators, student teams and community partners to address the critical issues facing the honey bee. 

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Fund to Support Plant NOVA Natives Campaign

Plant NoVA Natives Logo
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Northern Virginia Regional Commission announce the launch of the Plant NOVA Natives fund.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission operates a campaign knows as Plant NOVA Natives that addresses the loss and fragmentation of native plant cover.  The Plant NOVA Natives Fund, housed at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, is solely dedicated to supporting this campaign. The loss of native plant cover combined with the increased abundance of non-native, invasive plant species throughout the Northern Virginia has had a significant impact on the ecological integrity of the region.  As a result, water quality, air quality, wildlife habitat, and the historic natural character of the landscape have suffered.

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2017 Chairman's Awards Honor Recipients, Innovation Breakfast Focuses on Community Wealth Building

Ted Howard Innovation BreakfastTed Howard, President and Co-Founder, The Democracy CollaborativeThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia held an Innovation Breakfast Series event on May 11, 2017. The event was focused on, “Community Wealth Building – A New, Inclusive Systems Approach to Economic Development,” and featured speakers Ted Howard, President and Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative, and Yanique Redwood, President and CEO, Consumer Health Foundation. The goal of Community Wealth Building is to create inclusive, sustainable, and equitable models of economic success.

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Community Wealth Building – A New, Inclusive Systems Approach to Economic Development

Ted HowardTed Howard, President and Co-Founder, The Democracy CollaborativeThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia plans to hold its next Innovation Breakfast Series event on May 11. The event, titled, “Community Wealth Building – A New, Inclusive Systems Approach to Economic Development,” will be held from 8:00 – 10:30 am at Valo Park on 7950 Jones Branch Drive in McLean, Virginia. The Innovation Breakfast events are designed to engage the Northern Virginia community in a dialogue about new and innovative solutions to spur economic growth in our region. To register for this event please visit

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Community Investment Grants Awards over $282,000 to 29 Local Organizations

March 2016 Group Photo 2Cornerstones Pathways to Sustainable Employment Program Participants, January 2017The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced the winners of its 2017 Community Investment Grants today.  The largest and most competitive discretionary grant cycle managed by the Community Foundation and one of the largest pools of funds supporting broad-based giving in the Northern Virginia region, the grants fund organizations which provide support in critical areas of need throughout Northern Virginia.  These grants will further the organizations’ abilities to improve the health, education, and general wellbeing of neighbors, communities, and the entire region.  The total sum of grants made is $282,594.

The Community Foundation convened volunteer committees that consisted of area experts, donors, and Foundation board members to review the 162 applications submitted to the organization.  Applications were accepted in the following areas of need:  Child & Youth Development and Education; Health, Mental Health, and Aging; and Poverty Relief. Other Community Investment grants were announced for Military Personnel & Families, as well as the nonprofit organization FACETS.

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Anonymous Donor Challenges Community with $50,000 Matching Gift

LEAF Launch GroupPictured from left to right: Eileen Ellsworth, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia; Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Latinos & Society Program; Bernard Mustafa, CEO of PVBS and Community Foundation Board Member; Paty Funegra, CEO of La Cocina VA and co-founder of LEAF; Diana Katz, community advocate and co-founder of LEAF; Javier Palomarez, President of the US Hispanic Chamber of CommerceThe Community Foundation launched the Latino Engagement and Achievement Fund (LEAF) to promote and invest in the civic engagement, education, economic success, naturalization, health, leadership development, volunteerism, and advocacy of  the Latino community in the Metro DC region.  Inspired by a 2016 Aspen Institute Latinos & Society Program report titled “Unlocking Latino Civic Potential: 2016 and Beyond,” two visionary Northern Virginia leaders, Paty Funegra and Diana Katz, formed this committee advised fund at the Community Foundation to create a source of strategic, permanent funding that will strengthen and encourage the Latino community now and for generations to come.  Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director of the Latinos & Society Program at the Aspen Institute and author of the report stated, “I am confident that the Latino community and many more will benefit, because when you have a fully participatory and inclusive society, you have a stronger healthier community and democracy for all.”

Inspired by the launch event, an anonymous donor has challenged the community to contribute with a matching gift. Every dollar donated to this campaign will be doubled up to $50,000.  If the community meets this challenge, the fund’s current asset base of $100,000 will be doubled for a sum of $200,000 before the inaugural grant cycle begins in the fall.  All donors who contribute by September 1, 2017 will be invited to join LEAF’s Founding Ambassadors. Members of this group will have the opportunity to participate in the inaugural year’s grants committee, attend the grantee celebration event, and more.  Donors who contribute $1,000 or more to invest in LEAF’s work will become members of the LEAF Impact Circle, which includes, among other benefits, recognition in the Community Foundation’s annual report and on its website.  Please visit or contact Kelly Blanks, Chief Philanthropy Officer, directly at for more information and to support this Fund.

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2015-16 Annual Report

CFNV 1516 ARCoverThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia released its 2015-2016 Annual Report, “A Year of Seeding Innovation,” highlighting the many ways the Community Foundation has worked to seed innovation throughout the community in the past year by investing in some of the most important initiatives, nonprofits, schools and ideas that have the potential to transform the region.

In 2016, the Community Foundation built a $500,000 endowment for its Innovation Fund with the help of a generous donor who offered a $250,000 matching gift, creating a permanent source of “venture philanthropy” for Northern Virginia.  Grants from the Innovation Fund helped launch new CyberPatriot clubs in Fairfax County middle schools, expanding the Community Foundation’s support of cybersecurity programs in the region; supported the NoVa Mini Maker Faire for the third year in a row; and launched a new civic engagement program for middle schoolers in Prince William County schools that taught its student participants how to become effective citizen advocates with local elected officials.

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Community Foundation Announces New Our Children Fund

deb matthewsDeborah G. MatthewsThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announces the launch of the Our Children Fund, devoted to supporting the approximately 260 children in the Fairfax County foster care system.  The Our Children Fund was established by Deborah G. Matthews, a trust and estate attorney devoted to supporting foster children.

“The Our Children Fund is focused on the needs of foster children which are immediate and present every single day.  It’s important that foster children not be treated as our forgotten children. They are in the foster care system because they are victims, they’ve done nothing wrong.  The Our Children Fund will help normalize expenses and experiences for foster children,” said Ms. Matthews.

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Winter 2017 Edition Celebrates Corporate Philanthropy

GB2017WinterCoverThe Community Foundation for Northern Virginia released its fifth issue of GOOD BUSINESS magazine, a bi-annual publication that features stories of local businesses that play a key role in the community through philanthropy and volunteerism.

The Winter 2017 issue of GOOD BUSINESS features companies that apply their corporate social responsibility strategies when deciding how to give back. The feature article highlights Canvas and how it uses an innovative program called “Ante Up” to engage its employees in volunteerism. The article “Community Stewardship as a Core Competency” discusses Access National Bank’s trifecta of offering trusted advice, dedicated volunteerism and thought leadership. Also featured are articles on QMT Windchimes and how it is making a huge difference for families in Manassas Park in a partnership with the Community Foundation and the Capital Area Food Bank; Odin, Feldmen, & Pittleman, J. R. Goodtimes, Inc., and The Boeing Company. 

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Gives $10,000 Grant to Chesapeake Conservancy for Tech-Savvy Program

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The Future Fund announced the winner of its 2017 grant cycle today, awarding $10,000 to Chesapeake Conservancy to establish Northern Virginia as a tech-savvy conservation innovation hub.  This is the sixth grant cycle of the Future Fund, the Community Foundation’s giving circle for young professionals, and brings total grants to $233,000.

As the Future Fund has continued to grow, and its members become increasingly aware of the issues impacting the greater metropolitan region, the group discovered new ways to contribute to the community and sought out environmentally focused groups and projects for the 2017 grant cycle.

“The current grantmaking year proved to be a great year of new ideas for the Future Fund. For the first time since the inception of the Future Fund, we expanded outside of our five core focus areas to include other spheres of need within the Northern Virginia community,” stated Matt Paddock, Co-Chair of the Future Fund. “The result of this transition was passionate involvement by our membership in the grants process. …The selection of the environment was great for the organization as it is an area which many of our young professionals are deeply interested in, especially with regard to the environmental issues we see close to where we live and work.” 

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