Investing in the Future of Our Communities: The Fund for Children, Youth and Families

Many of our neighbors face inequitable access to quality education, gainful employment, and safe and stable housing. These inequities highlight the urgency of our mission to build thriving communities, a mission shared by many in the funding and nonprofit sector. The Fund for Children, Youth and Families makes investments to help advance this mission with our nonprofit partners.

Since 2016, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has managed three grant cycles through the Fund for Children, Youth and Families, a fund established by the former Freddie Mac Foundation to continue its groundbreaking legacy of investing in the betterment of underserved children, youth and families.  The fund’s third and most recent grant cycle awarded grants totaling $1.95 million to 46 nonprofit organizations. The Community Foundation will continue administering future investments through the Fund until grantmaking concludes in approximately 2020.

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families invests in organizations addressing the following issue areas:

  • The Stable Homes Stable Families issue area supports programming effectively moving families-in-crisis, especially families experiencing homelessness to stabilization and self-sufficiency, which is critical to developing homes that can nurture and support children to their fullest potential.

  • The Foster Care and Adoption issue area supports programming successfully transitioning children in the foster care system to permanent and safe homes, as well as programming successfully transitioning youth exiting the foster care system achieve self-sufficiency.

  • The Academic and Career Success issue area supports programming advancing children and youth along the academic continuum, including early childhood education, primary education, higher-education and career training. Especially programming working to close the achievement gap based on income and race/ethnicity.

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families requires a rigorous and highly competitive grantmaking process.  A large resource gap for disadvantaged children, youth and families continues to be demonstrated through the overwhelming response to the Fund, a response that continues to surpass the funding available.  To date, the Fund has received more than 650 funding requests, totaling $29.6 million.

“This speaks to the tremendous efforts of funders and nonprofits to navigate a challenging funding climate,” said Alicia Reid, Community Investment Officer for the Fund for Children, and Families.

Despite these challenges, Reid says the Fund for Children, Youth and Families grantmaking process has been incredibly rewarding. To date the fund has granted 139 grants, totaling $5.86 million to nonprofits servicing Washington DC, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland.

“It has been an invaluable experience to learn about the organizations who accept the challenge to lead in our communities by providing effective programming and services for low-income children, youth and families,” said Reid.

For more information regarding the Fund for Children, Youth and Families please visit www.fund4cyf.org. Read more about the Fund for Children, Youth and Families’ latest grants.

Fund for Children, Youth and Families Awards $1.95 Million to Greater Washington Region Nonprofits

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families at the Greater Washington Community Foundation is proud to announce $1.95 million in grants to 46 nonprofits serving disadvantaged children, youth and families across the Greater Washington region.

These organizations will receive grants up to $50,000 for project/program support or general operating support addressing the following issue areas: Stable Homes Stable Families, Foster Care & Adoption, and Academic & Career Success.

“These nonprofits all work to build thriving communities for today and for future generations,” said Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “We are committed to addressing inequities for youth and families to help our most marginalized neighbors—people experiencing homelessness, unstable housing, or underemployment—find pathways out of poverty. These grants allow some of our region’s most effective nonprofits to make a difference around some of our region’s biggest challenges in education, homelessness, and foster care.”

The Community Foundation administers the Fund for Children, Youth and Families, charged with implementing its grantmaking by the former Freddie Mac Foundation. This is the third grant cycle of a five-year implementation structure. The Community Foundation continued to employ a substantial, rigorous, and highly competitive grantmaking process for the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families’ third and latest grant cycle. The grantmaking process utilizes a grant review committee of regional partners, issue experts, and staff to review grant applications against the criteria established by the Freddie Mac Foundation before its wind down.  

The organizations who received grants stood out through our substantial, rigorous and highly competitive grantmaking processes, in which the Community Foundation utilized a grant review committee of regional partners, issue experts, and staff to review grant applications against the criteria established by the Freddie Mac Foundation before its wind down.

“The Community Foundation received over 200 proposals totaling approximately $8.6 million in funding requests,” said Tonia Wellons, Vice President of Community Investment at The Community Foundation. “The funding opportunity highlights the intense need in the community and the great value that organizations throughout the region offer in responding to this need.”

In mid-late 2019 The Community Foundation will release information regarding the 2019 Fund for Children, Youth and Families grant cycle.  Please visit www.fund4cyf.org for more information.

About the Greater Washington Community Foundation

Since 1973, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has been a champion of thriving communities and a catalyst for change made possible through local philanthropic engagement, effective community investment, and civic leadership. The Community Foundation works with donors and partners to make a real difference every day in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County by aligning resources and leveraging shared interests to amplify impact. As the region’s largest local funder, The Community Foundation has invested more than $1.2 billion to build more equitable, just, and enriching communities where all residents can live, work, and thrive.

About the Fund for Children, Youth and Families

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families was established to invest in the betterment of underserved children, youth and families in the Greater Washington region – specifically to invest in organizations achieving significant impacts across the fund’s three issue areas and eight outcomes. Through its grantmaking, the fund supports effective organizations working to make the community healthy and stable. Please visit www.fund4cyf.org for more information.

Latest Fund for Children, Youth and Families Grant Recipients

Adoptions Together, Inc.

AHC, Inc.

Barker Adoption Foundation

Bethany House of Northern Virginia, Inc.

Bread for the City, Inc.

Bright Beginnings, Inc.

Carpenter's Shelter

Children's Law Center

Communities in Schools of Northern Virginia

Community Bridges, Inc.

Community of Hope, Inc.

Cornerstones, Inc.

Court Appointed Special Advocates - Montgomery County

Court Appointed Special Advocates - Prince George's County

Court Appointed Special Advocates - Fairfax

DC Law Students in Court Program Inc.

District Alliance for Safe Housing, Inc.

Doorways for Women and Families

Dwelling Place, Inc.

Euphemia L. Haynes Public Charter School, Inc.

Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center

Friendship Place

Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, Inc.

Horizons Greater Washington, Inc.

House of Ruth

Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc.

Housing Up

Identity, Inc.

Interfaith Works

Latin American Youth Center Career Academy Public Charter School

Main Street Child Development Center

Mental Health Association of Frederick County

Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Inc.

Neighborhood Legal Services Program of The District of Columbia

Northern Virginia Family Services

Perry School Community Services Center, Inc.

Prince George's Child Resource Center, Inc.

Reading Partners - DC

Salvation Army - National Capital Area Command

Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc

Shaw Community Ministry, Inc.

Shelter House, Inc.

Stepping Stones Shelter

Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern VA, Inc.

Survivors And Advocates For Empowerment-Safe-Inc

Voices for Virginia's Children

Viewpoint: What business can do to ease homelessness

In a new op-ed for the Washington Business Journal, our President and CEO Bruce McNamer discusses what we learned from a conversation with Mayor Bowser and corporate executives at Salesforce, Zillow, Cisco, and Kaiser Permanente about what it will take to address homelessness and the affordable housing crisis. He shares key takeaways about how the local business community can step up its investments of resources, voice, and leadership to help ensure more of our neighbors have a place to call home.

2020 Count DMV In Census Project Offers Grant Opportunity

Please note these two updates to our grant opportunity as previously posted:

The review committee will now consider (on a case by case basis) larger grants for comprehensive coordinated proposals from applicants that seek to work in multiple jurisdictions.

Additionally, organizations may apply to the 2020 Census opportunity AND the Resilience Fund if they fit the eligibility criteria for both RFPs.


Currently we are less than one year from the commencement of the 2020 Census. Increased understanding of the importance of the census, how it is used, and the potential impact of a complete and accurate count, messaged for relevance, can inform regional awareness and inspire local action.

The 2020 Count DMV In Census Project will entertain applications from nonprofit organizations who will undertake activities that will focus on hard to count communities in the Washington, DC region. For information about the hard to count communities in our region, click here.

Funding will be provided for activities, including, but not limited to:

  1. Public education and information activities

  2. Outreach and mobilization

  3. Indirect assistance to individuals and families completing the 2020 Census Form

  4. Communications and media work

  5. Partnerships with community and nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and local governments to conduct public education and outreach

Grants Available

Grant awards will range between $5,000-$20,000 for program requests only.  General operating requests will not be accepted. The Review Committee will consider (on a case by case basis) larger grants for comprehensive coordinated proposals for applicants that seek to work in multiple jurisdictions.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Organizations must be 501(c)3 nonprofits or have partnerships that appoint a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution as their fiduciary agent.

  2. Organizations are required to operate in Washington, DC or the following counties: Montgomery and Prince George’s, MD; Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park in Virginia.

  3. Organizations that are valued by the community as a “trusted messenger” and resource as evidenced by extensive experience or a mission that includes providing direct services, outreach, and engagement of hard to count communities.

Application Process

Proposals must be submitted through our online grant application system, Gifts Online. No hard copy, email or faxed proposals will be accepted. Applications are due by 4:00pm on Monday, July 29. Proposals will be reviewed in August 2019 and applicants will be notified if they have been selected for funding by September 2019.

Please note: Applicants must have a functioning Internet connection and one of the following browsers, with cookies enabled: Internet Explorer v7 or higher Firefox v3 or higher.

Questions

For any questions regarding this funding opportunity or technical assistance with the online application system, please reach out to Melen Hagos. No calls, please.

Let’s End Homelessness Together: The Daniel and Karen Mayers’ Challenge

Daniel and Karen Mayers

Daniel and Karen Mayers

There was a time when ending homelessness in the District of Columbia seemed impossible. Today, many people, including Daniel and Karen Mayers, believe that goal is within reach. That is why they have donated $100,000 to begin the Dan and Karen Mayers’ Challenge. The Challenge aims to raise $1 million for the Partnership to End Homelessness. It is with a sense of both urgency and optimism that Dan and Karen challenge others to join them in ensuring that homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring in DC.

“In the past, homelessness was seen as an intractable problem,” says Dan, a leader in charitable giving in DC for nearly six decades. “Today, we have the leadership, tools, plan, and political will to end homelessness. The only thing missing is critical resources.”

“It’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to address the many important issues facing our city,” adds Karen. “Here is a concrete problem with a concrete solution.”

In partnership with the District government’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, The Community Foundation has identified an effective way for the local philanthropic community to play a significant role in ending homelessness. The core elements of the Partnership include coordination and engagement of the local business and philanthropic communities, a grant fund to support expenses that transition individuals and families from shelters into homes, and an impact investment that aims to increase the supply of deeply affordable and supportive housing for the District’s most marginalized residents.

A Long History of Philanthropy

Dan and Karen credit The Community Foundation with informing their philanthropy and introducing them to the region’s most effective nonprofits going back many years. Dan is The Community Foundation’s longest serving board member, having previously served as chair of the Board of Directors and of the Governance Board of The Community Foundation’s September 11 Survivors’ Fund. A retired senior partner at the Washington, DC, law firm WilmerHale, he was board chair of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee, Legal Action Center, National Child Resource Center, National Symphony Orchestra, Sidwell Friends School and WETA.

A retired social worker, Karen also has seen the District’s challenges up close while serving as board chair of House of Ruth, vice chair of Iona Senior Services, board member of Home Care Partners and the Higher Achievement Program and, most recently, as a member of The Community Foundation’s Sharing DC Advisory Committee.

More and more, Dan and Karen have focused their philanthropy on groups serving low-income individuals and families. Dan helped to guide The Community Foundation’s Neighbors in Need Fund, established during the recession to strengthen the region’s safety-net providers and services, and the couple were major donors to the fund.

A Lasting Impact

In making the inaugural gift to launch the Dan and Karen Mayers’ Challenge, they hope to inspire others who share their concern for the District’s marginalized residents. They also are motivated by a desire to have a lasting impact in the city they have called home for 60 years.

Dan and Karen recognize that their gift—a substantial percentage of their philanthropic dollars—is just a beginning. But, says Karen, “we have no doubt that the community is up to this challenge.” So far, the Challenge has raised $600,000 from the Mayers’ family, friends and The Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

“This is what community foundations do—they respond to community need,” adds Dan. “Time and again, I’ve witnessed The Community Foundation galvanize the generosity of concerned residents. I’ve seen compassionate people rally around urgent community needs, from natural disasters to 9/11 to the recession.”

Bruce McNamer, The Community Foundation’s President and CEO, echoed Dan and Karen’s optimism: “It’s hard to fathom living in such a wealthy society and not coming together to solve this problem. Together, let’s ensure that every one of our neighbors has a safe and stable place to call home.”

Learn More

To learn more about the Partnership to End Homelessness, visit EndHomelessnessDC.org. If you would like to contribute to the Mayers’ Challenge, please contact Angela Willingham, Associate Vice President of Development or give online.

 

How Do We End Youth Homelessness in DC?

Guest Post by Ramina Davidson, Director of Housing Stability & Youth Initiatives, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA)

The Greater Washington Community Foundation and our community of donors have funded DCAYA since 2005, when The Community Foundation served as DCAYA’s fiscal sponsor during the organization’s development. Funding has been awarded for general operating support, program support and organizational capacity building, as well as youth civic engagement, youth homelessness/housing and youth workforce-related initiatives.


Washington, DC has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the nation. The 2018 Youth Count DC estimated that more than 1,300 unaccompanied youth, youth separated from family, and youth heads of household were experiencing homelessness or housing instability (e.g. couch surfing or doubled up) in September 2018. Data from DC’s education agencies also revealed almost 6,000 students enrolled in school are homeless or housing unstable. How do we end youth homelessness in the District of Columbia?

Homelessness or housing instability, generally, is the denial of the right to stable, safe housing. For youth, this denial often manifests through multiple, recurring inequities in the systems that support families and youth (e.g. educational agencies, child and family services agencies) and societal inequities generally (e.g. racism, homophobia, generational poverty). In order to correct systems inequities, power over those systems must be ceded to those individuals the systems have failed to serve.

Over the last decade, DCAYA has steadily been working to shift power to the youth who are experiencing homelessness and housing instability themselves. This led to the creation of DC’s Interagency Council on Homelessness’ Youth Committee, a committee where dozens of organizations, agencies, advocates, and individuals work together to end youth homelessness—including youth who are directly affected by these issues.

In Spring 2017, in partnership with the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), The Community Foundation hosted a special event to release Solid Foundations DC, the  District’s first-ever strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness . Solid Foundations DC is the first data-driven youth homelessness plan in the country.

In Spring 2017, in partnership with the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), The Community Foundation hosted a special event to release Solid Foundations DC, the District’s first-ever strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness. Solid Foundations DC is the first data-driven youth homelessness plan in the country.

Last year, through persistent advocacy, DC’s youth homelessness system saw several advancements inching us closer to shifting the balance of power. The most notable advancement was the establishment of “Through the Eyes of Youth,” a workgroup of the Youth Committee and DC’s first advisory group of youth with lived experience of homelessness or housing instability. Tasked with guiding the Youth Committee’s implementation of Solid Foundations DC, DC’s first comprehensive plan to end youth homelessness, these youth are paid advisors who share their expertise regarding failures and successes of the systems meant to serve them. These advisory group members guide all aspects of the plan, from bettering the annual homeless youth census to improving resource allocation to developing new and innovative programs.

For example, inspired by feedback from the youth advisory group, the system improved the implementation of its annual homeless youth census, Youth Count DC, to reveal a clearer picture of how young people experience homelessness. For the first time, the census captured where youth have stayed in the past, as well as where they think they may stay in the future. As a result, the total number of youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability rose by hundreds, reflecting more accurate counting that gives policymakers a better understanding of the causes of youth homelessness, and thus better ability to implement successful interventions.

In addition, system improvements included development of three new youth homelessness initiatives: Rapid Rehousing for Youth, Extended Transitional Housing (a new longer-term housing program), and a Drop-In Center that provides 24-hour care. Because DCAYA was able to secure full funding for all new projects in 2018, these new initiatives are currently being implemented and will ensure that hundreds more youth in DC have access to tailored resources than in years prior.

DC’s youth homelessness services system continues to gain momentum in its effort to end youth homelessness. Through collaborative education and advocacy, more partners join in the fight to end youth homelessness every day, and we couldn’t do this work without the support of funders like the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Driving major system change requires stable, multi-year investments. Realizing the change we seek is not a one- or even two-year endeavor. The multi-year funding support and thought partnership of the Greater Washington Community Foundation has been integral to the progress our community has made.

As we continue work to transfer power over systems that serve youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability into the hands of those youth themselves, we know we must not rest on our laurels. A seat at the table is a start, but our work is not done until youth are calling the meeting.

Resilience Fund Offers New Grant Opportunity Addressing Federal Policy Impacts

The Resilience Fund was created in early 2017 as a collaborative partnership of philanthropies and individual donors led by the Greater Washington Community Foundation. It seeks to address the critical needs of nonprofits responding to changes in federal policy and budget priorities, as well as the climate of intolerance and hate, both of which are disproportionately impacting people of color, immigrant, and refugee communities. 

Since the Fund’s inception, it has raised and leveraged more than $1 million and made grants to organizations supporting our neighbors affected by changes to immigration and deportation policies, as well as efforts to build community cohesion and combat “anti-other” sentiment. Grants have supported immigrant-serving organizations providing advocacy, legal, or medical services; training on legal and civil rights; and, assistance with family reunification.

Grantmaking Opportunities

For our 2019 giving round, The Resilience Fund is accepting proposals from organizations who are responding to changes in federal policy and budget priorities impacting the Greater Washington region. Grant awards may range from $10,000-$30,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Organizations must be 501(c)3 nonprofits OR have partnerships that appoint a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution as their fiduciary agent.

  2. Organizations are required to operate in Washington, DC or the following counties: Montgomery and Prince George’s, MD; Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun, and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas, and Manassas Park in Virginia.

  3. Organizations must demonstrate that the proposed work is directly responding to changes in the federal policy landscape over the past two years.

Application Process

Proposals must be submitted through our online grant application system, Gifts Online. No hard copy, email or faxed proposals will be accepted. Applications are due by 4:00pm on Monday, July 29. Proposals will be reviewed in July/August 2019 and applicants will be notified if they have been selected for funding by September 2019.

Please note: Applicants must have a functioning Internet connection and one of the following browsers, with cookies enabled: Internet Explorer v7 or higher Firefox v3 or higher.

Questions

For any questions regarding either funding opportunity or technical assistance with the online application system, please reach out to Melen Hagos. No calls, please.

Mayor Bowser and Greater Washington Community Foundation Launch Public-Private Partnership to End Homelessness in DC

Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser along with her Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH) and the Greater Washington Community Foundation announced the launch of the Partnership to End Homelessness. This first-of-its-kind initiative in the District aims to galvanize private sector engagement and unite the public and private sectors around a shared strategy to address homelessness and housing insecurity in the nation’s capital.

The Partnership will advance effective and innovative solutions to help our most marginalized and economically disadvantaged neighbors (0-60% Area Median Income) and ensure that homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring in DC.

On any given night, more than 6,500 individuals, youth and families experience homelessness, including more than 1,500 children. This is due in large part to rising housing costs that outpace local incomes and a shortage of affordable housing, which are preventing many people from participating in the region’s economic growth. In DC, a person earning minimum wage would have to work nearly three full-time jobs to afford an apartment suitable for a family, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

The Partnership aims to increase the availability of philanthropic and private capital to expand the capacity of nonprofit housing developers and supportive service providers to help more of our neighbors transition from the streets or emergency shelters into permanent homes. It will also offer an impact investment option to reduce housing insecurity by financing the development of deeply affordable and supportive housing.

“We know that ending homelessness is possible, but that it is going to take all of us from the public and private sectors working together across all eight wards,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through our Homeward DC plan, we are implementing evidence-based solutions and transforming our homeless services system. And while there is more work to do, we are on the right track—family homelessness has decreased by nearly 45 percent and the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness in the District is lower today than it has been in the last 15 years. The time to double-down on and accelerate our progress is now, and that is why we are so grateful to be partnering with the Greater Washington Community Foundation on these critical efforts to end homelessness in Washington, DC.”

“Homelessness and housing insecurity have not always existed the way they do today. We believe that homelessness is solvable, and we also believe that our community is stronger when we bring everyone along,” said Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “Over the last four years, we have witnessed that our community has the political will, leadership and expertise to move the needle on homelessness. The Bowser Administration has established a strong foundation, but private sector engagement will be critical to long-term success. We cannot afford to waste this moment—we must act now and capitalize on the city’s momentum. Together, we can ensure that every one of our neighbors has a safe, stable and affordable place to call home.”

The Partnership will work to:

  • Increase the supply of deeply affordable and supportive housing;

  • Expand nonprofit capacity to help our neighbors exit homelessness;

  • Shift public perceptions of homelessness through education, community mobilization and advocacy efforts; and

  • Coordinate cross-sector participation to complement government funding and programming.

The Partnership’s Investment Vehicles

The first phase of the Partnership will utilize two different funding vehicles.

Impact Investing

The Community Foundation will seed $5 million from its combined investment fund to launch an impact investment option available to its donors and others who join the Partnership.

The Partnership strives to raise $10 million in investments to help Enterprise Community Loan Fund build and preserve housing units for hundreds of people across the region. While fund investments earn a fixed return, they will aid in bringing financial resources to bear in the fight to end homelessness and housing insecurity by increasing the production of deeply affordable and supportive housing.

Impact Note investments provide financing to organizations building and preserving deeply affordable and supportive housing units. Housing providers leverage this investment capital to create more homes for our most marginalized neighbors.

Grantmaking Fund

The Partnership’s Grantmaking Fund will:

  • Enhance the capacity and expand the network of affordable housing developers and supportive service providers in the community;

  • Provide flexible funding to help nonprofits pay for small expenses not covered by federal and local housing programs—such as rental application fees, security deposits and moving expenses—which can create big barriers to stable housing; and

  • Support innovative approaches and advocacy efforts focused on strengthening policies that impact housing and homelessness.

The Partnership’s first competitive grant cycle will open in August 2019. The first round of grants will provide support for nonprofit providers in DC to help people obtain and maintain permanent housing and reduce the amount of time spent in the homeless services system.

Funding the Partnership

The Partnership has raised and committed $6.6 million to date, including $1.6 million for the grantmaking fund.

The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has made the lead investment of $1 million to help launch the Partnership’s Grantmaking Fund. The Clark Foundation’s mission is to expand opportunities for those who demonstrate the drive and determination to better themselves and their communities.

“The Clark Foundation is committed to partnering with regional leaders like The Community Foundation to provide members of the DC community with the best opportunity to thrive,” said Ryan Palmer, Director, DC Community Initiatives for the Foundation. “Stable housing is a critical factor in a person’s path to reaching their full potential. And while homelessness is a significant challenge in our city, it is through collaborating together in partnerships like these that we can make an impact.”

Additionally, The Community Foundation’s longest-serving Trustee, and former Chair of its September 11 Survivors’ Fund, and his wife have donated $100,000 as the inaugural gift to launch the Dan and Karen Mayers’ Challenge. The Mayers issued this challenge to inspire others to help raise $1 million for the Partnership. So far, the Challenge has raised $600,000 from the Mayers’ family, friends and The Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

More information about the Partnership can be found at EndHomelessnessDC.org. The Partnership’s website offers resources and a variety of ways for individuals and organizations to get involved in our community’s effort to end homelessness in DC.