Seeks Community Input and Support to Benefit Northern Virginia Region

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has been presented with a rare opportunity.  An anonymous donor has challenged the community with a $250,000 matching gift to endow the Innovation Fund, a source of venture philanthropy at the Community Foundation that invests in inventiveness, creativity and new design.  The Community Foundation has partnered with Kiddar Capital, to launch a Granted! campaign that seeks community input on how to best deploy this philanthropic support now and into the future.

At the Community Foundation’s Chairman’s Breakfast this morning at Tegna Headquarters, the Community Foundation announced a 30-day public campaign to raise $30,000 and to collect “wishes” through the Granted! platform.  It has already secured $131,000 towards this match.  Visit for more information.

The Innovation Fund launched in 2013.  It uses a “Venture Philanthropy” model of grant making in which donors to the Innovation Fund, in partnership with Community Foundation board and staff, find investment opportunities in Northern Virginia that help diversify the local economy, level the playing field for disadvantaged youth, and promote grass roots innovation.

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Challenge grant of $25,000 matched by  the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia recently made a challenge grant of $25,000 to the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools, the philanthropic arm of the school system, to launch Cyber Patriot – an afterschool cybersecurity program - in FCPS middle schools.  Funding will support programs in ten middle schools in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years, with the goal of giving students earlier exposure to cybersecurity. FCPS is interested in encouraging more students to make room in their high school schedules for Cyber IT courses in order to gain exposure to these 21st Century Learning skills.

The Community Foundation’s Innovation Fund, a discretionary fund that invests in inventiveness, creativity and new design across Northern Virginia, issued this grant thanks to a gift from the Chin Family Charitable Fund, a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation that supports education, children’s health and children’s medical care.

The Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools secured the matching $25,000 to launch the program from a variety of sources, including the Fairfax Economic Forum, Apple Federal Credit Union and Oracle.

As Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said recently, one of the most important catalysts for long-term economic growth in Virginia will come from the burgeoning cybersecurity sector.  Enabling students to learn more about this growing field at an earlier age will assist workforce development efforts in the county and the state.

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2016 Community Investment Grant Cycle Awards Over $380,000 to 36 Local Nonprofits

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced the winners of its 2016 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 support 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 $380,418.

The Community Foundation convened volunteer committees that consisted of area experts, donors, and Foundation board members to review the 119 applications submitted to the organization.  Applications were accepted in the following areas of need:  Child and Youth Development and Education; Health, Mental Health and Aging; and Poverty Relief.

“Despite the region’s wealth, this Community Investment grants process always emphasizes the deep and profound need we see in Northern Virginia,” said Community Foundation Board Member, Ken Huntsman, 2016 Community Investment Fund Grants Committee Chair.  “We are fortunate to engage passionate and knowledgeable volunteers to help us review the applications.  This year’s grantees are all doing critical work with the neediest in our community.”

Grant winners are available here.  A full list of grantees is included in the press release below.

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2014-2015 Annual Report Released: A Year of Partnering for Greater Impact

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia released its 2014-2015 Annual Report, “A Year of Partnering for Greater Impact,” highlighting the many examples of how, when and to what effect the Community Foundation has developed partnerships in the past year that actually level the playing field for the region’s neediest, relieve the suffering caused by poverty, and advance the region through philanthropy.

In 2015, the Community Foundation partnered to develop venture philanthropy that launched the very first cyber security course of study in Prince William Public Schools.  It partnered with the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties to co-sponsor the Loudoun Impact Fund and grow its capacity to address the most critical needs of Loudoun County.  It partnered with members of its giving circles to invest in local women and girls and to engage the next generation of philanthropists, and it partnered with professional advisors to offer their clients the option of opening a philanthropic fund at the Community Foundation to forever benefit causes the client cares about most.

Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation, says “We do nothing alone at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  We have learned that the only way to further our mission of growing philanthropy to meet the most critical needs of the community is to partner with like minded donors, organizations and community members working towards the same goal.  The desire to partner for greater impact is embedded in our culture.”

During 2014-2015, the Community Foundation awarded over $4 million in total grants and over $590,000 from its discretionary funds to local nonprofits, schools and community based programs.  It awarded nearly $215,000 is scholarships to support 80 students from Northern Virginia, held 157 separate charitable funds for grant making, and reported $36.7 million in managed assets.

The report is available for download on the Community Foundation’s website.

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Community Foundation Releases Third Edition of Magazine

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia released the third edition of GOOD BUSINESS, a publication launched last year that celebrates the impact of corporate giving in Northern Virginia.  It features stories of local businesses that practice corporate social responsibility in ways that benefit the local community.   This bi-annual publication is designed to inform, inspire, and help spark a community dialogue on the future of corporate philanthropy in Northern Virginia.  The full publication can be downloaded from

Northern Virginia is home to a very diverse business community, ranging from small local companies to national institutions with a global reach.  These companies drive our region’s economy and make this a very compelling place to live and work.  Despite this rich economy and thriving corporate sector, there is great need in our region.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia partners with countless businesses in the region to help it fulfill its mission to grow philanthropy to meet the most critical needs of the community.  Stories in this edition include “Global Reach – Local Impact,” featuring Hilton Worldwide, “Mission and Team First,” featuring ITility, and “Leadership Through Community Commitment,” featuring Comstock.  Other featured businesses include KippsDeSanto & Co., Alvarez & Marsal, Knight Point Systems and The Falcon Lab.

“The generosity and support of the Northern Virginia business community to the social sector in our region makes me proud to live and work here,” said Paul Leslie, CEO of Dovel Technologies and Chairman of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Board of Directors. “The stories of the companies featured in GOOD BUSINESS are inspirational and serve as examples of the ways that our business practices can benefit the community while supporting our own initiatives.”

The Washington Business Journal is sharing this publication as an insert in its printed edition on January 22, 2016.

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Makes $23,000 Grant to Prince William County Public Schools

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has just awarded a grant of $23,000 to SPARK, the Education Foundation of Prince William County Public Schools, to support a new Civic Engagement Program for 150-200 eighth grade students across the county.  The program is designed to teach students how their local, state and 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.

This grant was made possible through the Haymarket Fund, a donor advised fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  This fund supports families and children with an emphasis on health, education, community development and improvement, and arts and culture.

The after-school program kicked off last week with a special program at George Mason University’s Science and Technology campus in Manassas.  Organized by Jeff Girvan, Supervisor of History and Social Sciences for Prince William County Public Schools, the students heard from Virginia Delegate Richard Anderson, enjoyed a reenactment by LeCount Holmes about the life of Frederick Douglass, and learned about a life of service from Colonel Richard Camp, USMC, Retired.

Their learning will continue with workshops and sessions in which they will identify a problem to study, gather information, examine solutions, develop a public policy, and create an action plan to influence the appropriate government or governmental agency to adopt the proposed policy.  In February, the students will take a field trip to Richmond for a tour of the state capital with Delegate Anderson.  The program will culminate in June with final presentations to government officials or agencies responsible for implementing the new policy.

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Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Giving Circle Supports Local Women’s Philanthropy

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Business Women’s Giving Circle announced the winners of its second annual grant cycle today.  A total of $40,000 has been awarded to three organizations providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), Leadership and Entrepreneurship programs to girls in Northern Virginia, making total awards granted to date $80,000.

This giving circle is comprised of women who are business owners, members of local chambers of commerce and community leaders serving on nonprofit boards of directors who are interested in joining with their peers to support programs and organizations in Northern Virginia that promote educational opportunities for women and girls in our region.

The winning organizations are as follows:

SHINE – SHINE for Girls: $20,000
To support innovative, curriculum-based programming for middle school girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. Utilizing kinesthetic learning, SHINE combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math scores and spark their interest in STEM.

Girls Inspired and Ready to Lead (GIRL): $10,000
To provide leadership development to middle school girls while providing experiential learning in STEM and Entrepreneurship to prepare them for careers of the 21st Century and equip them with the essential skills of critical and creative thinking, communication, intercommunication, and collaboration.

Marymount University – Empowering Leaders in STEAM “ENLIST II”: $10,000
To support a twelve-week STEM/STEAM after school program for 3rd-6th grade girls through Marymount University’s partnership with Fort Belvoir Elementary School.  Activities will be staffed by 15 MU pre-service teachers and supervised by mentor teachers, and will include a visit to MU.

Members of the Business Women’s Giving Circle are looking forward to engaging with these winning organizations throughout the year as consultants and mentors. 

Annual membership in the Business Women’s Giving Circle is $1,100, and includes a vote in the annual competitive grant cycle.  All contributions are pooled for a greater collective impact.  To learn more about the group, please visit the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s website at, or contact Sari Raskin, Associate Director of Community Investment, at (703) 879-7641 or

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Young Professional Giving Circle at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia Awards Two Local Nonprofit Organizations in its 2016 Granting Cycle

The Future Fund announced the winners of its 2016 grant cycle today, awarding $15,000 each to two Northern Virginia nonprofits offering academic summer programs to low-income students entering grades K-6.  This is the fifth grant cycle of the Future Fund, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s giving circle for young professionals, and brings total grants to $223,000.

The two grant-winning organizations offer summer programs to low-income, elementary school students which include academic components designed to prevent loss of school-year academic gains as well as additional enrichment opportunities for students during the summer of 2016.  The winning organizations include:

AHC, Inc., located in Arlington, VA
The Future Fund grant will support a six-week summer camp experience for up to 124 low-income students in grades K-5 living in AHC’s affordable housing communities in Arlington, VA.

Shelter House, Inc., located in Fairfax, VA
This grant will support Shelter House in initiating academic and recreational summer programming for 70 school-aged students residing in its three homeless shelters in Fairfax County.

The Future Fund Grants Committee reviewed 18 applications this fall after the Community Foundation opened the application process last August to organizations offering learning programs to low-income students over the summer.  Members of the committee conducted site visits to six semi-finalists, and narrowed down to four finalists on which the entire Future Fund membership was invited to vote.

The Future Fund was established in 2011 as the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s giving circle for young professionals.  It helps its members connect both personally and professionally, learn about the critical needs of the region, and donate at affordable levels to the causes they care about most while increasing the impact of their support through collective giving.  In its first four years, the Future Fund has raised more than $200,000, provided local organizations with more than 400 volunteer hours, collaborated with more than 15 community-led organizations to raise awareness of local needs, and developed its own endowment for future giving.

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Sweet Home Virginia Gala Raises $482,000 and Engages Hundreds of Donors to Support Critical Needs in Northern Virginia

Jim Wordsworth of J.R.’s Goodtimes Inc. has been recognized with the 2015 Community Leadership Award by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  The Community Leadership Award is the most prestigious, longest standing community based recognition award in Northern Virginia, and was presented at the Community Foundation’s annual Sweet Home Virginia Gala on October 9, 2015 at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel.

The award is presented annually for outstanding community service and dedication to improving the quality of life for all Northern Virginians. Over 600 business leaders, philanthropists, and community organizers participate in the Sweet Home Virginia Gala, which celebrates the ever growing levels of philanthropy in our region. 

“Jim Wordsworth is one of Virginia’s top business and community leaders,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  “In addition, he has generously supported local, regional and national nonprofits with his time, treasure and talent for decades.”

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The J.O.Y. Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation Grants $32,000 to the Capital Area Food Bank’s Family Market Program

The J.O.Y. Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia made a grant of $32,000 to fully support the Capital Area Food Bank’s (CAFB) Family Market Program at Manassas Park High School for the 2015-2016 school year. This grant will provide 6,000 pounds of food to over 200 families 9 times per year, in a community where 51% are on free and reduced lunches through the school.

The Capital Area Food Bank uses a “Family Market” model that combines food distribution with parent-teacher interactions and nutrition education. Each family takes between 28 and 30 pounds of non-perishable food and fresh produce during a market day. 

The J.O.Y. Charitable Fund supports education, job training, community improvement, the environment and organizations that further the work of nonprofits.

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