Seven Schools and Nonprofits Take Innovative Approaches to STEM Education in Northern Virginia

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has awarded a total of $50,000 to seven schools and nonprofit organizations through its Innovation Fund with grants of $5,000 or $10,000 each to support their innovative approaches to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education across Northern Virginia.  This is the second grant cycle of the Innovation Fund, created to support programs that nurture inventiveness, creativity and new design, and brings total grants through the fund to $100,000.

Siddhartha Chowdhary, Founder & CEO of Credence Management Solutions and Innovation Fund donor, says, “In today’s global economy, innovation is not only the key to economic development and growth, but it is also the key to transformational social changes in underserved, underrepresented, and disadvantaged communities both here in the US and across the world.  Our children need the ability to innovate and keep America competitive, raise the quality of life for themselves and those around them, and find creative solutions to our social changes, and this is why I support the Innovation Fund and am proud to announce our 2014 grantees.”

The 2014 Innovation Fund winners are as follows:

Children’s Science Center $10,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
To provide the necessary materials to support and expand the Museum without Walls program at The Lab at Fair Oaks Mall.

Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS) $10,000
Serving Fairfax County
To continue to provide educational programs through GEMS Club and Girl Makers of NoVA STEM for girls who attend Terraset Elementary school.

Fairfax County Public Schools $10,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
To support the BEST (Building Excitement for Science and Technology) student-led program which will create STEMkits and provide them to schools throughout Northern Virginia.

*ReSET $5,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
To support recruitment, placement, and training of STEM volunteers in the STEM Learning and Career Mentoring Program.

The House $5,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
To support the Student Leadership Center’s (THI) CyberAcademy which will help students gain skills and knowledge in cybersecurity through its out-of-school time STEM education and youth development programs.

Alexandria Seaport Foundation $5,000
Serving all of Northern Virginia
To support the STEM on the Potomac program which benefits hundreds of at-risk and urban Northern Virginia youth.

Family Alliance Network $5,000
Serving Loudoun County
To establish the FAN of Loudoun STEM Outreach program for students with disabilities.

*The grant was made possible by COX Communications through the 2014 Innovation Fund

Funding for the Innovation Fund’s 2014 grant cycle was generously provided by the Stockwell-Frase Family Fund, Just Plain Science Fund, Cox Communications, Chris Chester Charitable Fund, Credence Management Solutions, and Steve and Donna Gladis.

Women Empowering Women to Innovate, Lead and Succeed

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has launched a new Business Women’s Giving Circle, the first group of its kind in the region comprised of women who are successful business leaders looking to empower girls and women of all ages through philanthropy in the Northern Virginia region.

The giving circle is comprised of 26 founding members, including women who are business owners and business leaders, members and leaders of local chambers of commerce and nonprofit boards of directors, and women who are interested in joining with their peers to support programs and organizations in our region that promote business innovation, entrepreneurship, STEM education and inventive opportunities for women and girls.  Annual membership in the group is $1,000, and includes a vote in the annual competitive grant cycle.  All contributions are pooled for a greater collective impact.

The group seeks to empower girls and women of all ages and to prepare them for success by supporting organizations that create connections, opportunities and confidence.  Members will connect personally and professionally, develop a foundation of knowledge for the needs of girls and women in the region, and identify a focus area for annual grant making.

For more information, visit www.cfnova.org/bwgc.

The inaugural grant cycle will launch in September of 2014, with a goal of $50,000 to support organizations empowering women to succeed.  For more information the Business Women’s Giving Circle, contact Sari Raskin, Associate Director of Community Investment, at (703) 879-7641 or sari.raskin@cfnova.org.

Commits to multi-year funding collaborative to support coordination of services

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, in partnership with the United Way of the National Capital Area and with the support of Deloitte Consulting, released “Supporting Our Region's Veterans,” a report that assesses the demographics and network of support services available for post-9/11 war veterans, transitioning service members, and military families in the Northern Virginia region.  The report is one of a series of publications commissioned by the Community Foundation to inform, inspire meaningful dialogue, and increase philanthropic and public investment surrounding critical community needs.  It was developed to gain a more sophisticated, data-driven understanding of support available to Northern Virginia’s veterans, and to provide the Community Foundation, United Way NCA, and other local community-based organizations and philanthropists with the insights needed to strategically target and coordinate grant dollars toward the greatest needs.  The full report can be downloaded from www.cfnova.org.

Deloitte Consulting invested over $80,000 in pro-bono support to perform the research and publish the report, leveraging their considerable skills, knowledge, and personal dedication to produce a study that will serve as a tremendous resource not only to government service providers, but to nonprofit organizations and to philanthropists working to meet the needs of local military veterans.

The basic findings of this three-year study indicate that although veterans in our area are well supported at the macro-level with access to a wide variety of government and nonprofit services, there are several ways that the local philanthropic sector can target its dollars to better support the needs of Northern Virginia’s veterans at the micro-level.  The Community Foundation is addressing these findings by issuing an RFP through its Military Fund to support coordination of services for military veterans in the region this year, and by joining over 30 philanthropic organizations and corporations through the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge, a national initiative with pledges totaling more than $170 million over the next five years to support veterans and military families.

Young Professional Giving Circle at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Raised $52,000 for grantmaking at its annual Awards Gala

The Future Fund raised approximately $52,000 on Friday, May 16th, at its annual Awards Gala aboard the Cherry Blossom Charter, and has raised over $200,000 since its inception in 2011, to support the critical needs in Northern Virginia by engaging young professionals in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s in philanthropy.  A giving circle of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, its members learn about the critical needs of the region, donate at affordable levels to the causes they care about most, and meet their professional peers – other community advocates who see the benefit of pooling monetary contributions to increase the impact of their support to local charitable organizations.  All proceeds from this event and from annual sponsorships will support its competitive grant cycle in 2015.

The event honored the Future Fund’s two 2014 grant-winning organizations – Linden Resources and Quality of Life Foundation.  Each organization received grants of $20,000 to support veterans of the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom wars and their families.

Photos from the event are available on the Community Foundation’s website at www.cfnova.org/ffgala.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, Philanthropic and Nonprofit Leaders Come Together with the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative to launch the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge

Community Foundation for Northern Virginia pledges $100,000 over the next five years

Today, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is proud to join over 30 philanthropic organizations and corporations to announce pledges totaling more than $170 million over the next five years to support veterans and military families.  The Community Foundation’s Military Personnel and Their Families Fund has granted $270,300 since it was established in 2010, and through the Joining Forces Impact Pledge, has committed another $100,000 of support through 2019.

The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge was announced today by Joining Forces and a coalition of leading foundations at an event hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge - initiated by Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, the Lincoln Community Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation - creates a community of funders and builds momentum for programs that will support service members, veterans and their families in local communities as the country draws down from twelve years of war.

Today’s event featured remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, General George Casey (ret.), former Chief of Staff of the Army, US Teen Poet Laureate and military child Michaela Coplen, and representatives from the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, Blue Shield of California Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Points of Light, Bank of America, and Blue Star Families.

Reveals deep philanthropic engagement in the community

In a recent report published by CF Insights, “Benchmarking Beyond Asset Size: 2014 Top 100 Lists,” the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia ranked #85 on the top 100 list of Most Active Grantmakers.  This report is based on the most recent Columbus Survey results, which surveyed community foundations across America to help gauge success across several dimensions of grantmaking and community engagement.  The survey is available at http://bit.ly/QFlqlt.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is committed to supporting the most critical needs of the community through its discretionary grantmaking.  During 2012-2013, the Community Foundation awarded over $2.2 million in total grants and over $450,000 from its discretionary funds to local nonprofits, schools and community based programs.  It awarded nearly $250,000 in scholarships to support 79 students from Northern Virginia, held 144 separate charitable funds for grant making, and reported $31.8 million in managed assets.

Read the full press release

Young Professional Giving Circle at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia Invites Community Members to Annual Awards Gala

All Aboard!  The Future Fund will celebrate its successful grantmaking in 2014 and raise funds to support its grant cycle in 2015 at its annual Awards Gala on Friday, May 16, 2014 aboard the Cherry Blossom Charter in Old Town, Alexandria.  Tickets are $75 for Future Fund members and $95 for nonmembers.  More information is available at http://www.cfnova.org/ffgala.

The Future Fund is the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s giving circle for young professionals.  It offers members opportunities to learn about the critical needs of the region, donate at affordable levels to the causes they care about most, and meet their professional peers – other community advocates who see the benefit of pooling monetary contributions to increase the impact of their support to local charitable organizations.

The annual Awards Gala is a chance for Future Fund members and friends to meet the grant-winning organizations who were recipients of the group’s competitive grant cycle.  This year, the group focused its philanthropy to benefit organizations supporting veterans of the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom wars and their families.  Linden Resources in Arlington and Quality of Life Foundation in Woodbridge both received grants of $20,000.

Support for the Future Fund is provided by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation and Womble Carlyle.

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"Do More Than Give"

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and the Giving Circle of HOPE presented “Do More Than Give: How Donors Maximize Philanthropic Impact,” on Thursday, April 3, 2014 from 7:30-10:00 a.m. at the Gannett headquarters in McLean, Virginia.  This program was designed to engage donors in the Northern Virginia region in a discussion of catalytic philanthropy – an innovative approach to supporting a cause and making an impact beyond financial support.

Leslie Crutchfield, the author of “Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World”, and senior advisor with the Foundation Strategy Group, was the featured guest presenter. Her book provides a blueprint for philanthropists to increase the impact of their gifts through active community engagement. In it, Crutchfield highlights six practices that take philanthropy from check-writing to proactively producing change.

This event was made possible with support from Gannett Company, Inc. and Foundation Strategy Group.

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Over 100 “Makers” and 3,000 Faire-goers expected on Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Innovation Fund is a premiere sponsor of Northern Virginia’s inaugural Mini Maker Faire, to take place on Sunday, March 16th from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at South Lakes High School and Hughes Middle School in Reston.  It will bring together inventors, hackers, crafters, artists, and DIY’ers from across the region to demonstrate and collaborate with Faire-goers to make things, new inventions, tools, and gadgets.  More than 100 booths will feature “Makers” ages 12 to 92, offering hands-on projects for adults and kids of all ages.  Tickets are required to attend this event.  More information is available at http://makerfairenova.com.

The Innovation Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia recognizes and promotes innovation and supports programs that nurture inventiveness, creativity, and new design across Northern Virginia.  

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2014 Community Investment Grant Cycle Supports the Region’s Neediest

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia announced the winners of its 2014 Community Investment Grants. The organizations, all of which provide support in key areas of need throughout Northern Virginia, have received grants of up to $10,000 that will further their impact on the health and general wellbeing of neighbors, communities, and the entire region. The total sum of grants made is $308,643.

The Community Foundation convened volunteer committees that consisted of area experts, donors, and Foundation board members to review the 138 applications.  Applications were accepted in the following areas of need:  Child and Youth Development; Education; Health, Mental Health and Aging; and Poverty Relief.  The Community Investment Fund grant cycle is the largest of the Community Foundation’s discretionary fund cycles.

Read the full press release