Initative Moves Into Phase II

2cwb 1CWB Working GroupSince May 2017 when the topic of Community Wealth Building, a systems approach to economic development, was introduced at our Innovation Breakfast Series event, the Community Foundation has been working with a robust team of community leaders to determine the best way to implement Community Wealth Building in our region.

In recent months, the team has completed Phase I of the project by selecting South Fairfax County as a focus geography, and low income youth and young adults, ages 16-24 as a focus population. The team also identified priority challenges and gaps in the system connecting young people entering careers with the supports to help them qualify for jobs and with opportunities that offer wealth-building features.

cwb 1CWB Working GroupIn order to make potential interventions more concrete, the group made recommendations from Phase I research. These included shorter-term steps to build on existing career pathways supports and longer-term initiatives to create business ownership opportunities by starting up social enterprises and promoting conversion of existing businesses to employee ownership.

The next phase of work prioritizes direct engagement with young job seekers, service providers and employers. Direct feedback from clients and stakeholders will allow us to test our understanding of the system. we are working to improve, and likely result in refinements to our initial ideas.

democracycollaborative CMYK H2 lowres trans vvThe Community Foundation's relationships with business, nonprofit and governmental networks places it in an ideal position to facilitate community wealth building thereby giving Northern Virginia’s economically disadvantaged residents opportunities to attain financial success and economic stability.

For more information about Phase II of our Community Wealth Building work or to get involved on the volunteer team, please contact Sari Raskin,

Thought Leadership Approach to Community Economic Development

The Innovation Breakfast Series launched in 2015 and we have held five events to-date. In chronological order, the events included:
The next Innovation Breakfast Series event is, "Changing the Frame on Green Energy" and is scheduled for May 10. Click here to register for this event.

Innovation Breakfast Series events have welcomed more than 800 attendees thus far. Each breakfast event draws attendees from all sectors of the Northern Virginia region, including government and elected officials, business leaders, and nonprofit/foundation leaders.

The Innovation Breakfast Series are typically scheduled on a Thursday from 8 - 10 am. All event participants are encouraged to engage with us on social media before, during, and after an event on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

If you would like to learn more about the Innovation Breakfast Series or have a suggestion for an event, please contact please contact Tara Nadel at 703-879-7637, or

Award Winners

The Loudoun Impact Fund, a joint initiative of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, awarded a total of $106,500 in grants to 12 charities serving Loudoun County through the generosity of almost 50 individuals and businesses that pooled charitable gifts. Loudoun Impact Fund members decided 2017 grantmaking would address youth, disabled, and elderly charitable needs.

The 2017 winning organizations are as follows:

Loudoun County Stroke Comeback Center - $7,000
In partnership with ARC/Paxton Campus, serving stroke and brain trauma survivors with after-insurance care and therapy.

INMED - $10,000
To support a nine-month after-school program for at-risk youth.

Children’s Science Center - $5,000
STEM partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools for low-income youth.

A Place To Be - $10,000
Therapeutic day programs for individuals with special needs and disabilities.

Loudoun Hunger Relief - $10,000
In partnership with Healthworks, providing low-income elders with on-site fresh foods and vegetables.

Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter (LAWS) Child Advocacy Center - $15,000
To support added staffing for abused youth services.

Loudoun Education Foundation - $5,000
To help staff its Backpack Coalition providing food to low-income youth.

Loudoun Literacy - $10,000 
School-based literacy program for low-income children and families.

Fenwick Foundation - $5,000
To launch a dental-care program for elder residents in two Medicaid based nursing/rehab centers in Loudoun County.

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers - $12,000
To support its financial management, transportation and volunteer-based services for elders

Women Giving Back - $10,000
Providing clothing and supplies for low-income children.

All Ages Read Together - $7,500
For low-income early childhood reading programs.

Award Winners

The Business Women’s Giving Circle awarded $53,000 in 2017 to five nonprofit organizations and schools that provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Leadership and Entrepreneurship programs to girls and young women in Northern Virginia. To-date the BWGC has awarded $178,000 in grants. 

FOCUS 2016 Group2017 Grantee: GMU FOCUS GroupGeorge Mason University Foundation – FOCUS Academy: $20,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
The grant will help with the establishment of a new residential FOCUS (Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM) Academy on the George Mason University campus for high school students using the educational framework of the successful FOCUS (day) camp for middle school students. 

IMG 5197 12017 Grantee: Girls in G.E.A.R. ProgramHillsboro Charter Academy: $13,000

Serving Loudoun County
Funding will continue to support Girls in G.E.A.R. (Guiding Engineering, Aerospace, and Robotics), an exploratory STEAM leadership program where 4th/5th grade girls are facilitators to all students (K-5), including implementing new Boys & BOTS STEAM workshops using engineering, aerospace and robotics for hands on lessons and real world application.

SOHO 22017 Grantee: Space of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO) Program ParticipantsSpace of Her Own, Inc. (SOHO): $10,000
Serving Alexandria and Arlington 
Funding will enhance and evaluate mentoring programs by providing fun and engaging STEM projects to 36 vulnerable 5th grade girls and STEM-related activities for 80 middle school-aged girls and mentors.

wesley housing2017 Grantee: Wesley Housing STEM Program ParticipantsWesley Housing Development Corporation: $5,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
Funding will support at-risk elementary and middle school girls with a STEM-focused summer fashion design program that teaches in-demand creative, technical, and professional skills needed for their futures.

Year Up – National Capital Region: $5,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
The grant will support service delivery of Year Up’s research-validated, career training program, specifically in the specialty tracks of Information Technology and Software Development to young women, ages 18-24.

Fund Mission

EnvironFund Logo RGB SmallThe mission of the Environment Fund is to protect, restore and improve the natural environment of Northern Virginia, thereby enhancing the health and quality of life of its citizens and the economy of the region.

Fund Goals

  • Support and encourage collaboration among nonprofits, businesses, governments, educational institutions and private philanthropic donors to promote actions that will have a beneficial effect on the health of the natural environment and local economy.
  • Support public awareness and public education about protecting the natural environment and the impact of public and private actions on the natural environment.
  • Support the efforts of citizen engagement that helps improve and protect the natural environment.
Donate to the Environment Fund

Creating Positive Change in Northern Virginia through Engaged and Collective Philanthropy


The mission of The Giving Circle of HOPE is to create positive change in Northern Virginia through engaged and collective philanthropy. Founded in January 2004, the Giving Circle of HOPE has invested more than a million dollars in the Northern Virginia community.

The Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH), a component fund of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, is a volunteer-led and member-managed giving circle that awards project and capacity building grants to local nonprofit organizations with budgets under $2 million. The GCH consolidates donations and awards grants to improve the lives of low-income, disadvantaged and under-served people and families in Northern Virginia. The GCH grant process includes a written application. Each year, the GCH funds a variety of well-vetted local organizations whose programs encourage job creation, help build strong families, and assist community members in need. 

In addition to grant making, the Giving Circle of HOPE organizes an annual fundraiser and two ongoing service programs:
  • Empty Bowls, a community fundraiser for hunger relief
  • Kids’ Club, enrichment for homeless children
Since its inception in 2004, the Giving Circle of HOPE has awarded over $1,000,000 through its grant program, Empty Bowls fundraiser and other smaller fundraisers.

Upcoming Events

Empty Bowls Fundraiser
April 20
5:30 - 8 pm
Floris United Methodist Church
13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon
Register Today

Learn More

Please click here to visit the Giving Circle of HOPE web site or go to

2015 Winners

SPARK - Prince William County Public Schools-25,000- Serving Prince William County- This Challenge grant helped launch a new Cyber Security Program at Potomac High School in Prince William County Public Schools

Northern Virginia Maker Faire - $5000 - Serving all of Northern Virginia -The Innovation Fund is a founding partner and continuing sponsor of Northern Virginia’s Mini maker  Faire, which brings together inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and DIY’ers from across the region to create  new inventions, tools, and gadgets.

Three Birds Foundation -$5,000- Serving all of Northern Virginia-  This Grant made possible by COX Communications,  supported Three Birds Foundation’s capacity to develop renewable energy initiatives that engage and inspire students in Northern Virginia public schools, this creating a culture of curiosity and environmental stewardship;


2016 Winners

Spark - Prince Williams County’s education Foundation-$23,000- To support a new civic engagement Program for 150 8th grade students across Prince William County designed to teach students how their local, state ad federal governments work; to give them an understanding of how to change public policy; and to offer hands on experience researching and debating current issues in the community.

Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools - $25,000 - To launch ten cyberpatriot afterschool cybersecurity clubs in ten middle schools in Fairfax County giving students earlier exposure to cyber security skills and training.

NoVa Minimaker Faire - $5,000 - To promote and spur innovation and creativity for the 3000+ attendees at the annual NoVa Mini Maker Faire held In Reston each March.

Grants Awarded in 2017

Grants of more than $282,000 were issued to 29 Local Organizations and nonprofits in 2017.

Child, Youth Development & Education

Casa Cirilagua program children
All Ages Read Together (AART), $8,500
Serving Fairfax County
Funding will support a class where students acquire early literacy, cognitive, social, fine motor, and other skills essential for success.

Arlington Food Assistance Center, $10,000
Serving Arlington County
Funding will help provide 72 low-income Arlington children access to an educational summer and after-school program that provides structured age-appropriate experiences to support healthy eating, and cooking and gardening skills. 

Casa Chirilagua, $10,000
Serving Alexandria
The grant will support the staffing for both the Kids Club and Summer Kids Club programs.
H.A.C.A.N. Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect, $10,000     
Fairfax County                             
This grant will strengthen HACAN’s organizational capabilities, as well as the capacity to ensure that its programs can be sustained and expanded, including initiating new programs to further its mission. 
Liberty's Promise, $10,000      
Serving All of Northern Virginia
Grant funds will support at least 200 low-income, immigrant youth in Northern Virginia, helping them learn about opportunities for success through our after-school programs of civic engagement, Civics and Citizenship and CE-BELL.

*National Inventors Hall of Fame, $10,000
Serving Prince William County                  
The grant will offset participation costs for 45 or more underserved youth in Prince William County to participate in Camp Invention.

*The House, Inc.. $10,000        
Serving Prince William County
This grant will support 350 disadvantaged youth enrolled in the Center’s EmpowerMEnt® initiative, offered through the Center’s after-school program.

The Literacy Lab, $10,000         
Serving Alexandria      
Funding will support 10 tutors, six at the K-3 level and four at the pre-K level as well as help provide bilingual family engagement materials.

The Reading Connection, Inc., $10,000
Serving All of Northern Virginia                
Grant funds will be used for general operations. In addition to on-going literacy programming for at-risk families, TRC currently is involved in capacity-building efforts and growth-plan implementation to meet the needs of more at-risk kids in Northern Virginia.

**Workhouse Arts Foundation, Inc., $5,000
Serving Fairfax County                               
Funding will support the Workhouse Arts Center’s 2017-2018 Need-Based Tuition Assistance Program, enabling up to 120 students ages 5 to 17 from low-income families to participate in weekly arts education classes and camps that take place during spring, summer and winter breaks.

**Young Playwrights’ Theater, $5,000  
Serving Arlington County           
This grant will strengthen the In-School Playwriting Program in Arlington schools and help expand it into Alexandria City.

Health, Mental Health and Aging

Jan. 2017 Makayla JacksonCornerstones Pathways to Sustainable Employment Program ParticipantsArlington Retirement Housing Corporation, $10,000        
All of Northern Virginia                             
The grant will support the delivery of critical around-the-clock, personalized assisted-living care and other supportive services to 39 of Culpepper Garden’s lowest-income residents.

Loudoun Child Advocacy Center (CAC) / Citizens for Social Justice LAWS, $10,000      
Serving Loudoun County           
The funding will support the Loudoun CAC's Victim Advocate position who is responsible for minimizing trauma to the child and family members during their immediate crisis.

Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, $10,000      
Serving Arlington County                           
The grant will help cover the activities and engagement programs that are not generally covered by insurance such as a family therapy program and recreation activities.

*Project Mend-A-House, $10,000          
Serving Prince William County                  
Funding will support the expansion of the home repair program and increase PMAH's ability to meet the growing aging-in-place needs of extremely-low to low income senior clients, veterans and people with disabilities. PMAH is matching all funds received by the Community Foundation.

Senior Services of Alexandria, $10,000  
Serving Alexandria
The grant will convert an internship position to full-time staff and increase another 25 hour part-time position to full-time staff and propel SSA to a new level of service to Alexandria's senior community.

ServiceSource, $10,000
Serving Fairfax County                               
This funding will supplement the cost of offering clinical services to the 290 individuals served in their Day Support Programs at their Springfield and Chantilly sites. These clinical services include Physical Therapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT).

Poverty Relief

lacocinaPoverty Relief Grantee: La Cocina VA College Access Fairfax, $10,000               
Serving Fairfax County                               
The grant fund Financial Aid Champions who each serve in several schools and handle the FAFSA applications that may need more attention than just one session per student.

Computer CORE, $10,000         
Serving Arlington County           
Funding will help expand CORE's 6-week Career Advancement Program to Arlington County.  This project is in partnership with Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) and the classes will be in six of APAH's residential communities. 

Cornerstones, Inc., $10,000
Serving Fairfax County                               
The grant will be used to staff the Pathways to Sustainable Employment program.

Friends of Guest House, Inc., $10,000   
Serving all of Northern Virginia
The grant will support organizational growth in the areas of residential aftercare and outreach programs.

Friends of Loudoun Mental Health, $10,000                        
Serving Loudoun County           
Grant funds will be used for housing subsidies for Loudoun County residents disabled by mental illness who meet the criteria for our A Place To Call Home program. 

Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services, $10,000
Serving Fairfax County
The grant will assist families and individuals living in Good Shepherd’s housing who are at-risk of losing their homes because of large medical expenses through the Medical Crisis Financial Assistance Program.

La Cocina VA, $10,000               
Serving Alexandria/All of Northern Virginia           
Funding will support La Cocina VA’s general operating expenses and support its Culinary Career Readiness and Job Placement for FY 2017.

*Northern Virginia Family Service, $10,000         
Serving Prince William County                  
This grant will support SERVE’s Emergency Assistance Program where homeless and at-risk families receive assessment and service delivery related to their immediate needs.

OAR of Fairfax, $10,000            
Serving Fairfax County                               
Grant funds will provide job training and employment readiness services to unemployed individuals with limited job prospects that have recently released from incarceration.

*Transitional Housing BARN, $10,000    
Serving Prince William County                  
Funds will be allocated for general operating support and direct services expenses including case management salaries and financial assistance for families.

Military Personnel & Their Families

Serving Together, Mental Health Association of Montgomery County, $17,500
Serving all of Northern Virginia
A grant to continue service coordination and navigation assistance for veterans and military personnel and families in Northern Virginia.  

Additional Grants Awarded through the Community Investment Fund Process

FACETS, $6,570
Serving Fairfax County
This annual grant is made possible by the Huntsman Endowment Fund and supports FACETS’ operating budget to help parents, their children and individuals who suffer the effects of poverty in Fairfax County.

* Denotes grants made at the Community Foundation’s recommendation from the Haymarket Donor Advised Fund.
** Denotes grants made at the Community Foundation’s recommendation from the Hanlon Donor Advised Fund.

Award Winners

The Loudoun Impact Fund, a joint initiative of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, awarded a total of $96,725 in 2016 to ten charities dedicated to programs benefitting youth and elderly in Loudoun County. The organizations received grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000. This was the largest pool of funding distributed to date. Since its inception in 2012, it has granted $261,725 to support critical needs in Loudoun County.

The 2016 winning organizations are as follows:

INMED - $10,000
To support its Sterling based Opportunity Center for low income kids

National Center for Children and Families - $7,500
To apply toward coats, glasses, shoes, and other personal needs for kids with unmet needs identified through the Loudoun County Public School system

A Place To Be - $15,000
To support its program for those with disabilities and participating in theatrical art therapy

Loudoun Habitat for Humanity - $5,000
To support a low-income eldercare home repair and maintenance program

Loudoun Youth - $8,500
To support its Loudoun Leadership summer program

Loudoun Education Foundation - $10,225
To help staff its Backpack Coalition program

All Ages Read Together - $12,000
To help seed a new preschool reading program in Sterling

Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers - $12,000
General support toward its eldercare programs offering transportation, financial management, and food delivery

Loudoun Interfaith Relief - $10,000
To support a partnership with Healthworks to offer onsite food for low-income elders

LAWS - $6,500
To support its Child Advocacy Center aiding children victimized by sexual or domestic assault