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.



Like many community foundations, grantmaking at The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is often very different than grantmaking by private, corporate and government foundations, and workplace/employee giving programs. Our ability to make grants largely depends upon the source of the grant funds. Read on for details.

Grants from Donor Advised Funds

Grants made from donor advised funds – which constitute some 90% of the funds we house -- are largely out of our control. In this case, the fund donor recommends to us a grant of a specific amount to a specific nonprofit organization. The Community Foundation performs due diligence, and if approved, issues the check, sometimes with a letter stating the donor’s name and outlining any requirements and/or contingencies.

To learn more about donor advised funds, click here.

Grants from Field-of-Interest Funds

Donors who establish field-of-interest funds identify the type of cause or organization that interests them, and then ask our knowledgeable Community Investment team [staff listing in 2.3] to recommend outstanding nonprofits working in that issue area based on their knowledge of community issues and nonprofits. Most grant applications for field-of-interest funds are by invitation only (that is, unsolicited applications are not accepted).

To learn more about field-of-interest funds, click here.

Grants from Our Community Leadership Fund

This Fund represents The Community Foundation’s own grantmaking dollars, which is created through donor contributions as well as support from from individuals, corporations, foundations and other sources. Community Leadership Fund grants generally support nonprofit organizations whose programs and activities are directly related to our funding priorities of education, workforce development and safety net issues.  We issue Requests-for-Proposals (RFP’s) several times per year.