Grantmaking at the Greater Washington Community Foundation 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.

Our initiatives inspire neighbors – donors, community organizations, government, and the private sector – to work together to improve the economic conditions and social well-being of our entire community. Through them we invest directly in people, nonprofit organizations, communities, and changing systems to solve social problems and improve lives. We invest in innovation that can result in community transformation. We value nonprofits, local leaders, donors, and other stakeholders as vital partners in all our work.


We recently launched Voices of the Community: DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia (VoicesDMV) to deepen knowledge, data, stories, and language about every aspect of life in our region. Designed to provide more than just a broad overview of people in this region, VoicesDMV will provide community leaders with a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and challenges facing residents, and more importantly, the barriers to success that, if solved, will make the region more equitable and livable for all its residents. This project will provide powerful information that will help local leaders and philanthropists to make faster, smarter, and more impactful decisions to improve the health, education, and economic well-being of our region’s residents and neighborhoods. Our research partner is the Urban Institute.

Formed in partnership with the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, the Resilience Fund has been established to fund the critical needs of nonprofits working to support our region’s vulnerable communities as a result of changes in federal policy. Initially, the Resilience Fund will accept grant requests by invitation only in response to urgent needs identified by the fund advisors, other contributors, and colleagues in the philanthropic community. The Fund is currently focused on changes in international travel, immigration, and deportation policies that have an impact on residents and families in the Greater Washington region. In the future, we anticipate supporting policy analysis and advocacy around federal budget proposals that would have an adverse impact on our region.


A $9 million initiative of The Community Foundation, the Collaborative is a coalition of local workforce investors who share a common commitment to addressing poverty and income inequality by helping workers advance their skills and credentials so they can earn family-sustaining wages. Current Workforce Collaborative partners include The Community Foundation, the Consumer Health Foundation, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, the Scheidel Foundation, the Moriah Fund, Kaiser Permanente, Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Patricia Weiss Fagen, JP Morgan Chase, United Way of the National Capital Area, and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Greater Washington Works is a $1 million grantmaking initiative of the Greater Washington Community Foundation's Workforce Development Collaborative. Developed to address hiring challenges that have been persistently reported by local employers, Greater Washington Works will support at least 250 local workers to launch living-wage careers in the IT and Healthcare sectors.

Raise DC is a multi-sector partnership of local stakeholders formed to promote a culture shift from competition over Washington, DC, resources to collaboration, in providing every child and youth with opportunities to succeed, from cradle to career. We make our collective impact by:

  • Using data as a flashlight
  • Identifying effective practices
  • Aligning community resources to fill gaps and spread what works

All participants have a shared vision for change, as well as a common understanding of the problem and how they will work to collectively solve it. Raise DC was formed in 2012 to join public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit leaders together as the District's comprehensive cradle-to-career initiative –  focused on improving educational outcomes for children and youth. Initially launched in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, Raise DC now sits at The Community Foundation.

The City Fund Safer, Stronger DC Community Opportunity Grants seek to provide funding to nonprofits that help improve the lives of individuals and families living 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.

General operating grants are available for organizations who serve the Safer, Stronger DC Community Partnerships priority police service areas. Priority consideration is given to organizations who demonstrate work related to violence prevention.

This fund, administered by the Greater Washington Community Foundation, was established to invest in the betterment of underserved children, youth, and families across the greater Washington region. Specifically, to invest in organizations achieving significant impact providing services and programming across the following program areas: Stable Homes Stable Families, Foster Care and Adoption, and Academic and Career Success.

The Fund for Children, Youth, and Families’ inaugural funding cycle awarded $1.97 million in grants to 46 organizations addressing the above program areas. 

The Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF) is a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation (The Community Foundation) and its local office in Montgomery County. Funded jointly by the government of Montgomery County, Maryland, and Montgomery County Public Schools to leverage public funds to attract private investment, COF 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, COF 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.

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Knowing that our donors can give anywhere in the world, our volunteers have created shared funds that focus solely on improving the lives of our lowest-income neighbors in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. Every year, more and more donors get involved, loving how the funds make it easy to give to high-impact organizations which are vetted by their peer philanthropists. This past year, we celebrated that our givers have contributed nearly $9 million through Sharing funds since their inception. Email Donor Services to learn more. 

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