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Grantmaking

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is the largest funder of nonprofit organizations in the region. Since 1973, we have granted more than $1.2 billion to thousands of nonprofits, including more than $96 million in the past year. The following funds represent many of The Community Foundation’s discretionary and competitive grantmaking. For information about available grant opportunities, please visit the For Nonprofits section of our site.

Catalyst Fund

The Catalyst Fund is a new initiative focused on community-based efforts to support small business, micro-enterprise development, and entrepreneurship. The Catalyst Fund is an outgrowth of The Community Foundation’s long-standing support for job training and workforce development solutions and represents a shift in our strategy to consider the changing nature of our region’s workplaces and economy. In April 2018, the Fund announced its first round of grants to four organizations for a total of $250,000. The selected grant recipients offer microloans and small business training programs for low-income entrepreneurs; help small local businesses that may be impacted by construction of the new Purple Line Light Rail; enable low-income residents of color to build and own a network of cooperatively-owned businesses; and support a free, bilingual entrepreneurship and business support program for underserved aspiring food entrepreneurs.

Children's Opportunity Fund

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The Children’s Opportunity Fund is a public-private partnership funded jointly by the Montgomery County Government and Public Schools to leverage public funds to attract private investment. The Fund champions, plans and funds strategic investments that improve the lives of low-income children and families in the county. With a focus on innovative, evidence-informed efforts targeted at closing the opportunity gap, the Fund identifies priority areas for investment based on unmet need, aligns resources toward effective multi-sector collaborations serving the county’s most vulnerable youth and their families, and seeks new funding sources. In July 2017, the Fund made matching grants of $625,000 to expand opportunities for out of school time programs, internships and career prep programs, and early childhood care and education for low-income families. The Fund recently made another $623,000 in grants to these high-impact organizations to further support their vital work.

City Fund

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From 2013-2018, The Community Foundation partnered with District Government and served as Administrator of The City Fund, investing $15 million over 5 years as part of the District’s overall public safety and violence prevention agenda. The initiative supported local community-based organizations focused on improving the lives of individuals and families in District neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by inequities related to social determinants of health, including access to educational, economic and job opportunities, access to health care services, quality of education and job training, and recurring exposure to violent crime. In July 2017, The Community Foundation facilitated the City Fund’s final rigorous, independent and competitive grant review process as part of the Safer, Stronger DC Community Opportunity Grant Competition, which awarded $1.5 million in grants to 33 nonprofit organizations.

Prince George's County Domestic Violence Fund

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Prince George’s County, through the Department of Family Services, established the Domestic Violence Community Grants Fund in March 2017 to award mini-grants to domestic violence prevention nonprofit organizations. Grants assist individuals, families and survivors of domestic violence in achieving a greater level of independence, strengthen the family’s ability to cope with healing, and rebuild the family unit by removing various challenges which inhibit self-sufficiency, including but not limited to legal services, counseling services, support groups, employment, training and housing. In 2017, grants of more than $260,000 were awarded to four organizations including:

Fund for Children, Youth, and Families

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The Community Foundation began administering the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families five-year grantmaking strategy with the inaugural round in 2016. It was established to invest in the betterment of underserved children, youth, and families in the region. The 2017 Fund for Children, Youth, and Families Grant Cycle awarded grants totaling $1.93 million to 47 nonprofit organizations for work addressing the following issue areas: Stable Homes and Stable Families, Foster Care and Adoption, and Academic and Career Success. Through its grantmaking, the Fund supports effective organizations working to make the community healthy and stable.

Resilience Fund

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The Fund was created in March 2017 to support the critical needs of nonprofits working on behalf of vulnerable communities affected by changes in federal policies disproportionately impacting people of color, and immigrant and refugee communities. The Fund's main objective is to provide funding in response to both urgent and systemic issues facing our community and to be nimble in responding to new issues as they emerge. Since inception, the Fund has granted out $380,000 to 12 organizations supporting residents and families affected by the new Administration’s changes to international travel, immigration, and deportation policies as well as building community cohesion and combating anti-other sentiment. These grants have helped to expand local capacity to educate 7,000+ immigrants on their legal and civil rights and offer them screenings and legal representation, supported grassroots community engagement and expanding national education programs in local schools to combat bullying, bigotry and anti-other sentiment. The Fund recently made emergency grants to two local organizations working to assist with reuniting immigrant families separated at the border and to protect the civil rights of immigrant children detained in Maryland and Virginia. 

Sharing DC

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Sharing DC supports nonprofit organizations based in and directly serving low-income children, youth, adults and families in the District of Columbia. With staff facilitating an annual vetting and site visit process, Sharing DC’s donor-led grants committee evaluates each applicant’s program, management, and leadership to make sure it is the best possible investment. The focus area for the last Sharing DC grant cycle was on youth post-secondary success. The primary goal was to help District of Columbia youth access and be successful in post-secondary education and training, including traditional college and university credentials and industry recognized certifications. A total of $140,000 in grants were awarded to 7 organizations

Sharing Montgomery

The Sharing Montgomery Fund provides grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations with programs or services which directly serve low-income children, youth, adults, families, and/or seniors living in Montgomery County. Since its inception, the Sharing Montgomery Fund has distributed nearly $7 million in grants to some of the best community-based nonprofit organizations offering safety net, education, and workforce development programs. The Fund's Advisory Board and many friends recently completed a two-year challenge match that boosted Sharing Montgomery’s Endowment from $1.6 million to $2.1 million. This increase will help expand our giving in perpetuity, enabling us to deepen our investments in high-impact programs that help our neighbors striving to lift themselves out of poverty. 

Sharing Prince George's

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Sharing Prince George's supports quality nonprofit organizations addressing the economic security needs of Prince George’s County residents through education, workforce development and safety-net services. It currently consists of the Prince George’s Neighbor to Neighbor Fund and the MGM National Harbor Fund. Since its inception, Sharing Prince George’s has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to some of the best community-based nonprofit organizations serving Prince George’s County residents. In 2018, it granted out a total of $188,000 in awards to 15 nonprofits

Spring Creek Environmental and Preservation Fund

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The Spring Creek Environmental and Preservation Fund was created to support local nonprofit organizations with a demonstrated track record in successfully preserving, protecting or encouraging sustainable use of exceptional natural or built environments in the Greater Washington region, particularly those environments affecting low-income populations. Funding is available for eligible nonprofit organizations providing programs and activities which are directly related to the following priorities:

  • Preserving the regions historic places and protecting neighborhood diversity;

  • Preserving and ensuring equitable access to the regions natural resources;

  • Promoting smart growth and conservation efforts; and,

  • Supporting education, civic engagement and advocacy pertaining to environmental issues.

In 2018, the Fund granted a total of $45,000 to three organizations:

  • City Blossoms

  • Common Good City Farm

  • Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Starbucks Memorial Fund

The purpose of the Starbucks Memorial Fund is to support nonprofit organizations providing a pathway to employ opportunity youth (ages 16-24 years old), veterans and refugees. The Fund's priority focus is to invest in organizations that provide work readiness, soft and hard skills training, and on the job training experiences to foster leadership confidence, innovative thinking, risk taking and teamwork. Recent grantees include:

Transforming Neighborhood Initiative Fund for Community Innovation

The Transforming Neighborhood Initiative (TNI) Fund for Community Innovation was established by the Office of the Prince George’s County Executive and Prince George’s County Public Schools. The Fund provides general operating, program funding, and capacity building support to school-and community-based organizations that currently provide quality free and/or affordable programming for youth, ages 0-18, and families living in Prince George’s County in its TNI communities. TNI is a valuable partnership making a difference in the lives of Prince George’s County youth. It has provided support to nonprofit organizations offering educational assistance to improve academic achievement, recreational activities to encourage wellness and violence prevention, and life skill activities to foster leadership development and civic engagement. In 2018, a total of $125,000 in grants were awarded to 8 organizations located in and serving Prince George's County. 

Workforce Development Collaborative

The Workforce Development Collaborative envisions a Washington, DC metropolitan region where all people, all communities can thrive. The mission of the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative is to drive resources to programs and policies that enable people to increase their skills, credentials, employment and wages with an emphasis on systems change that eliminates income gaps based on race, ethnicity, and gender. The Collaborative makes grants that improve the quality of our regional workforce development system. It also supports research, advocacy, and consensus-building efforts to inform key state and local workforce policy decisions – investing $10 million and leveraging $48 million through advocacy efforts. The Collaborative supports Greater Washington Works, a $1 million grantmaking initiative developed to address hiring challenges that have been persistently reported by local employers. In 2017, Greater Washington Works issued multiyear investments in three employer-led regional consortia to support local workers to launch living-wage careers and help meet the talent needs of local IT and Healthcare employers. The initiative will support at least 250 local workers to launch living-wage careers in the IT and Healthcare sectors.