Visions in Leadership

For more than 35 years, The Community Foundation and our donors have demonstrated a deep commitment to our diverse communities.

Going forward, working together we can bring positive change to the most difficult issues facing our region today.

FAQ's

I did not apply for a grant, but I received a check from The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. What does that mean?
The majority of grants made by The Community Foundation come from our donor-advised funds. These grants are made at the discretion and request of a donor. The fund donor directs us to make a grant of a specific amount to a specific nonprofit organization. The Community Foundation issues the check, sometimes with a letter stating the donor's name and outlining any requirements and/or contingencies. If you would like to express your gratitude to the donor for the gift, please consult the letter accompanying the check. Please keep in mind that out of respect our donors' privacy The Community Foundation does not release any additional information about our donors beyond that letter.

Can I apply for a grant from The Community Foundation?
The Community Foundation has several competitive donor-advised fund grants and strategic initiative grants that welcome proposals and letters of intent from local nonprofit organizations. Visit "What We Fund" to learn more about these opportunities.

How do I apply for a grant from The Community Foundation?
Eligible nonprofit organizations may apply for The Community Foundation's competitive donor-advised fund grants and grants from our Strategic Initiatives. Please consult "What We Fund" to for more details about available opportunities. When applying, carefully follow the specified guidelines and procedures.

Out-of-cycle, late, improperly formatted or unsolicited proposals/letters of intent will not be accepted.

Does my organization have to be located in Washington DC to receive a competitive grant?
The Community Foundation's competitive grants are made to nonprofits located in and/or directly serving residents of the following geographic regions:

  • Washington, DC
  • Montgomery County, MD
  • Prince George's County, MD
  • Arlington County, VA
  • City of Alexandria, VA
  • County of Fairfax, VA
  • Fairfax City, VA
  • City of Falls Church, VA
  • Loudoun County, VA
  • Prince William County (Neighbors in Need Fund only) 

Does The Community Foundation award grants to individuals?
No. The Community Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that are tax-exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

My organization does not have tax-exempt status. Can I still apply?
The Community Foundation funds nonprofit organizations having evidence of tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and not classified as a private foundation. We also accept letters of inquiry/proposals from organizations operating under a nonprofit fiscal sponsor. All grantees must be able to provide a copy of an official IRS Determination letter or proof of fiscal sponsorship upon request.

What happens after I submit a proposal or Letter of Intent?
The Community Foundation utilizes a standard due diligence process to assess the qualifications of each proposal for funding. The due diligence process can take between 3 – 6 months, however consult the guidelines for the specific funding opportunity to which you are applying for detailed timelines and notification dates. The basic steps in the due diligence process include:

  • Review grant proposals, budget and supplemental documents;
  • Conduct interviews with organization and project leadership via a site visit (in person or via phone);
  • Conduct additional follow-up research as needed;
  • Present funding recommendations to the donor advisor or Collaborative Board for decisions;
  • Grant recommendations ratified by the Foundation's board of directors; and,
  • Applicants notified of decisions.
  • Note: Not all applicant organizations will proceed through the full review process if significant deficiencies are identified.

Does The Community Foundation provide emergency grants?
No.

Does The Community Foundation award multi-year grants?
The funding time period is dictated by each fund. However, there are several funds at The Foundation that do offer multi-year funding. More information about funding opportunities can be found on the "What We Fund" page.

How do I learn about funding opportunities?
Sign up for our mailing list on the Nonprofit Inquiries page to receive notifications of future grant opportunities.