Annual Sweet Home Virginia Gala Raises Funds to Support Critical Needs in Northern Virginia

Richard Duvall, a partner at Holland & Knight LLP in the Government Contracts and Litigations practices, and the Holland & Knight firm will be recognized by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia for their philanthropic leadership in the Northern Virginia area with the 2014 Community Leadership Award.  The longest standing community based recognition award in Northern Virginia, it will be presented at the Community Foundation’s annual Sweet Home Virginia Gala on October 10, 2014 at the Sheraton Tysons Hotel.  Leon Harris, Anchor, ABC7 / WJLA-TV will be the Master of Ceremonies.

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 this event to celebrate the charitable work of the Community Foundation and to raise funds to support the critical needs of the Northern Virginia community.  This year also marks the centennial celebration of community foundations in America.  With over 700 organizations in the U.S. and 1700 worldwide, community foundations collectively manage more than $48 billion in assets and make grants of approximately $4.5 billion a year to improve life in their communities.

“Richard Duvall has invested countless hours and tremendous resources to supporting our neediest neighbors in Northern Virginia,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  “You will never meet a more genuine, competent and caring person.  I am delighted to bring the work and accomplishments of Richard Duvall and Holland & Knight LLP into the spotlight by honoring them with this year’s Community Leadership Award.”

The evening will feature a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner, live auction and award presentation.  Dress is black tie attire.

Support for the Community Foundation’s Sweet Home Virginia Gala is provided by Presenting Sponsor, Holland & Knight LLP, and from Platinum Sponsors ACADEMI, Booz Allen Hamilton, Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, and David and Carol Young.

A full list of grant winners is in the press release below.

Third annual “Health Kids Grants” Cycle supports 14 schools in Northern Virginia

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awarded $20,000 in Healthy Kids Grants to address the main causes of childhood obesity by supporting programs that increase physical activity and/or improve nutrition in Northern Virginia public schools.  The 2014-2015 school year is the third annual cycle, with a total of $50,000 awarded to date.  Healthy Kids Grants are made possible by a grant from the Chin Family Charitable Fund, a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

“Childhood obesity is a critical issue facing children and families throughout our region,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.  “We are delighted to partner with the Chin Family Charitable Fund helping our local schools address childhood obesity in Northern Virginia, and are pleased to see so many worthy programs blossom once provided with needed financial support.” she added. 

Grantees were approved by the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors after having been selected by a volunteer committee including Jesse Elis, Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services; Neerja Gursahaney, Volunteer; Melissa Jones, Nutritional Cooking Instructor and Food Educator, Former Teacher; Susan Nolan, Community Foundation Board Member; and Rhonda Richardson, Inova Health System.

For more information about the Healthy Kids Grants program, please contact Lesley MacDonald at

A full list of grant winners is in the press release below.

Montgomery County Mental Health Association to bring “Serving Together” to Northern Virginia

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awarded a grant of $33,000 to Mental Health Association of Montgomery County’s (MHA) “Serving Together” Program through its Military Families and their Personnel Fund.  The grant will support MHA in its initial stage to bring its successful program to the Northern Virginia region, and directly addresses the Community Foundation’s findings in its recent study, “Supporting Our Region’s Veterans,” published in June of 2014, which identified a need for greater coordination between government and nonprofit providers to better serve military families in the Northern Virginia region.

The Mental Health Association of Montgomery County is a nonprofit organization that provides mental health and other services throughout the region.  Its “Serving Together” program currently works in Montgomery County to transform a fragmented network of services for military veterans and their families to one that rallies the entire community in identifying those in need, assisting them and  connecting them in a coordinated way to economic, health, housing & education services. The program promotes collaboration among providers, and helps veterans find the services they need through a web resource and peer navigators – veterans who provide one-on-one assistance.

“We are so excited to take Serving Together’s successes and lessons learned in Montgomery County, MD to Northern Virginia to create a more coordinated system of care for their veterans, service members, and their families,” said Jessica Fuchs, Serving Together Project Director.  “We believe those who have served our country have earned the right to easily accessible local services, and we look forward to digging into the resources in Northern Virginia and connecting with local community partners t get the work done.”

The Community Foundation looks forward to an ongoing collaboration with Serving Together and funders in the region to address service coordination and navigation assistance for veterans in the region.  To support the Community Foundation’s Military Fund, or to get involved in this initiative, please contact Lesley MacDonald at

Nonprofits and Schools offering after-school programs and serving children and youth invited to apply

The Loudoun Impact Fund, a giving circle at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia dedicated to supporting organizations in Loudoun County, has launched its 2014 grant cycle. Applications are now being accepted from nonprofits, schools and faith-based organizations serving citizens of Loudoun County.  Since its inception in 2012, the Loudoun Impact Fund has granted $50,000.

This year, $50,000 is available in a competitive grant cycle that will primarily focus on youth programs.  $25,000 will target programs that address the lack of after-school programs at the elementary level for low-income families.  The remaining $25,000 will target programs serving children and youth in Loudoun through age 18.

The Loudoun Impact Fund intends to award grants between $2,000 and $25,000 to nonprofits, schools and faith-based organizations. Applicant groups must serve Loudoun County residents. Applications are being accepted until September 15. To learn more about this opportunity, or to apply, visit

For questions or more information about the Loudoun Impact Fund, please contact Lesley MacDonald at

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

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

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

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

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

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