Summer 2021 Grant Round Now Open

As the region’s largest local funder, The Community Foundation is proud to partner with and support thousands of nonprofits working to make our communities more equitable, just, and thriving places to live and work. We are now accepting proposals for grant opportunities from the following funds at The Community Foundation:

Arts Forward Fund

Arts Forward Fund, a collaborative partnership between The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The Community Foundation, and several other individual and institutional contributors, aims to support arts and culture organizations as they stabilize, adapt, and recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Fund’s focus is on community-based organizations with annual revenue of $3 million or less. Arts Forward Fund will prioritize organizations that are BIPOC-led and BIPOC-serving. Typically grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Friday, July 30

Webinar session I:
July 16 at 11 a.m.

Webinar session II:
July 20 at 11 a.m.

DIVAs Call for Ideas: Addressing Mental Health & Wellness through the Arts

The Donors InVesting in the Arts (DIVAs) Giving Circle is focused on providing Montgomery County youth with artistic experiences. The DIVAs would like to hear from arts-focused nonprofits as well as youth-focused organizations which provide highly engaging, top quality artistic programs promoting children’s mental health and well-being. All artistic mediums are welcome.

Friday, August 20 at 5 p.m.

Food for Montgomery: Resilience Building

Food for Montgomery is a public-private initiative created to address the alarming spike in food insecurity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This RFP is for nonprofit partners committed to building a more resilient, efficient, nimble, and equitable food security system across Montgomery County. Specifically, this Resilience Building grant opportunity will focus on helping partners pivot, collaborate, and/or innovate their food security work.

Grant awards for proposals benefiting a single organization will be capped at $75,000, while collaborative proposals will generally be considered for up to $150,000.

Tuesday, September 28 at 5 p.m.

Webinar session:
Monday, July 13 at 3 p.m.

Fund for Children, Youth, and Families

The Fund for Children, Youth, and Families invests in the betterment of underserved children, youth, and families across the Greater Washington region. This funding opportunity provides programmatic or general operating support for nonprofits offering housing services, permanency support, academic support, and early career development programs.

Grants of up to $100,000 are available. This will be a multi-year grant.

Tuesday, August 31 at 4 p.m.

Webinar session:
Monday, July 13 at 10:30 a.m.

Sharing Montgomery: Call for Ideas

This year, the Sharing Montgomery Fund will invest in organizations helping the people and areas within Montgomery County that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000. A limited cohort of grantees will receive multi-year grant commitments.

Thursday, August 12 at 5 p.m.

Webinar session:
Wednesday, July 14 at 2 p.m.

Upcoming Grant Rounds

As a trusted steward of local charitable assets, The Community Foundation operates quarterly grant rounds for its competitive and discretionary funding opportunities. The next RFP open date will be October 2021*.

*Please note that dates are subject to change

The Children’s Opportunity Fund Awards up to $100,000 to Literacy-Focused Montgomery County Nonprofits

Nonprofits Selected Through A Participatory Grantmaking Process

The Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF), a community impact initiative of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, is pleased to announce up to $100,000 in grants to 4 nonprofit organizations working to improve educational outcomes for Montgomery County’s children, youth, and families.

Each organization will receive funding up to $25,000 for project/program support providing direct service, advocating for, or researching literacy skills for children ages birth to 8 and their families.

 The Community Foundation recognizes that now, more than ever, it is critical to engage with and empower community voices to advance more equitable solutions. In particular, those that often remain unheard are our Black, brown, and low-income neighbors—and they need a platform to share their views. 

 To that end, the Children’s Opportunity Fund used a participatory grantmaking framework for its grant review process. Participatory grantmaking drastically alters the traditional funding model by ceding decision-making power over funding to local community members. 

Our Participatory Grants Committee included Montgomery County community members, educators, students and parents. This offered a diverse mixture of perspectives and experience, which we hope will promote more equitable decision-making. The review process began with several group discussions on the importance of equity in education, and the opportunity and achievement gaps present in Montgomery County. Committee members then focused on these issues, and insights from their group discussions, when reviewing applications and making final funding recommendations.  

Below, meet our new COF grantees and learn how their projects will support and empower students and families in Montgomery County. 

Advancing Black Lives in Education 

Advancing Black Lives in Education (ABLE) will use this funding to address learning loss for Black students by providing tutoring services, family support, critical learning tools and educational supplies.

 “The philosophy behind this impact initiative matches our vision: to provide support to Black children who attend Montgomery County Public Schools in grades pre-K through 5. We’ve seen many parents in the Black community request academic support for their children, as well as assistance in understanding the recovery plan and making informed decisions about their children's return to school. 

It is widely known that Black families are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus, economically and with respect to education. This work is important because our children and families need additional support from the community to thrive in the virtual learning environment and after they return to school.” -Natalie Thomas, President

ABLE expects to see a positive impact on children's academic achievement and families' social-emotional stability. ABLE hopes that, by reaching Black parents and providing them with a voice, they will become more actively engaged with their childrens’ school and related activities, such as PTA and school reform. 

Story Tapestries 

This grant will help fund Story Tapestries’ Discover the Power of the Written Word (DPWW) program, which offers high-impact literacy programs to 1300+ economically disadvantaged youth, educators and caregivers in Montgomery County. This includes professional development for educators, family supports through interactive events, and monthly arts and literacy kits for families. 

“Young children in Montgomery County are struggling to adapt to health and safety measures required in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hardest hit are those who were already experiencing economic hardship. Many of those children were already behind their peers in learning how to read and write. 

Story Tapestries has the tools and community connections to reach these children, their educators and their families - online - with a unique set of resources and services that boost their learning, overcoming barriers such as language, while also increasing an important ingredient in their daily lives - JOY!” -Arianna Ross, Executive Director

Story Tapestries will help bridge the learning gap for children who are behind their peers in learning targets, and generate a feeling of connectedness in 5 school communities, helping promote joy and hope. They will help reconnect educators with their passion for teaching by connect them with Teaching Artist mentors. And, they will help mentor parents on how to support their children more effectively from home.

GapBuster, Inc.

This grant will allow GapBuster, Inc., to offer a Cross-Tutorial Mentoring program to address the widening academic gap for students that have been impacted by COVID-19. It will also help students continue to move from in-person instruction to a virtual learning environment.

“Studies have reported that the digital divide disproportionately impacts students living in poverty and students of color--and COVID-19 has only magnified this problem. Right now communities are suffering, requiring innovative, creative, and aggressive programs that can lead to positive outcomes.” -Yvette Butler-Yeboah, MD, Executive Director 

GapBuster, Inc. hopes to positively impact students with our one-on-one and group Cross-Tutorial Mentoring program, resulting in at least 75% of participants improving at least one grade level in math and ELA by June 30, 2020; and, at least 75% of participants reporting reduced stress as it relates to COVID-19

Loud Voices Together 

Loud Voices Together will use this grant to fund the Harriet Tubman Scholars program, which supports Black and brown students in Montgomery County, MD, in the areas of literacy and math.

“Loud Voices Together was inspired to apply for this grant because of our commitment to equity and education for all students. We are particularly focused on Black and brown students with disabilities, due to the disparities and inequities experienced historically by this community. This funding opportunity will provide these students with the same opportunities as their economically advantaged peers who can secure literacy and numeracy direct services privately.” -Ronnetta Stanley, M.Ed., Executive Director

Loud Voices Together endeavors to help all students develop adequate reading and math skills, to support their long-term academic and professional success. The hope is that all students will make measurable growth in literacy and numeracy skills through this project. 

About the Children’s Opportunity Fund

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. 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. COF has invested $2 million to expand opportunities for out of school time programs, internships and career prep programs, and early childhood care and education for low-income families. 

Fund for Children, Youth And Families Awards $1.99 Million to Greater Washington Region Nonprofits

The Fund for Children, Youth, and Families (FFCYF) at the Greater Washington Community Foundation is pleased to announce $1.99 million in grants to 49 nonprofit organizations serving disadvantaged children, youth, and families across the Greater Washington region. The organizations will receive grants of up to $50,000 for project/program support or general operating support.

These grants support organizations that are:

  • Helping families experiencing homelessness, and those participating in housing-based service programs

  • Closing the achievement gap for students from various racial and ethnic backgrounds

  • Closing the achievement gap between low-income and high-income families by investing in early childhood education, academic achievement for school-aged children, and college preparation and career training

  • Supporting children in the foster care system by promoting permanency and helping youth leaving the system achieve self-sufficiency

Watch coverage of our FFCYF grants in this Local WDVM segment

Watch coverage of our FFCYF grants in this Local WDVM segment


Take the Wesley Housing Development Corporation, for instance, awarded funding to help low-income households avoid eviction. The grant will help 139 households in DC to maintain their housing. Of these households, nearly 50 residents will participate in one-on-one career coaching to attain unemployment benefits or re-enter the workforce. And, they will receive material assistance, such as grocery store gift cards, hygiene items, and youth “Study & Snack Packs,” at no additional cost.

Or, CollegeTracks, a Montgomery County nonprofit that that helps prepare high school students for higher education. Our grant will help fund their College Access Program, focusing on college admissions and counseling. Of the 784 students who were enrolled in the program in Spring 2020, nearly 630 will enroll in college within a year of their high school graduation.

Our grant to Prince George’s Child Resource Center will provide child development and parent/child learning activities for 95 participants, with the goal of improved language and cognitive abilities. Within one year, we also anticipate participating parents to demonstrate an improved understanding of nurturing parenting techniques.

These are just a couple organizations and projects that we’re proud to support. Below, read on for a full list of our FFCYF grantees and their projects.

  • Adoption Together
    To host informational meetings on foster care and adoption with 250 prospective families

  • AHC, Inc.
    To support the development of literacy and social engagement skills for 112 students in its afterschool program

  • Aspire Afterschool Learning
    To support 80 children in its LearningROCKS! afterschool program

  • Center for Adoption Support and Education
    To provide therapy sessions for 33 children who are moving from the foster care system into permanent, loving families

  • Central American Resource Center
    To provide housing counseling services to help 50 participants maintain stable housing

  • Children’s Law Center
    To provide legal support and other service to help children grow up in permanent, stable, loving families

  • Collaborative Solutions for Communities
    To help 12 families transition to permanent housing

  • CollegeTracks
    To help almost 800 high school seniors enroll in college or vocational programs

  • Community of Hope
    To help 14 families in remain stably housed or transition to another positive housing situation

  • Cornerstones
    To help 25 families move into stable, permanent housing

  • Court Appointed Special Advocate - Montgomery County, MD
    To recruit and train 100 additional CASA volunteers

  • Court Appointed Special Advocate - Prince George's County, MD
    To increase capacity for its Transitioning Youth program

  • Court Appointed Special Advocates – Fairfax County, VA
    To provide the services of a CASA volunteer to 292 children

  • DC Bilingual Public Charter School
    To enroll 34 children in PK-3

  • DC Volunteer Lawyers Project
    To train 38 volunteer lawyers to offer 140 victims legal and/or advocacy assistance

  • District Alliance for Safe Housing
    To assist families through its Cornerstone Program, Empowerment Project and Survivor Resilience Fund

  • District of Columbia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
    To improve the capacity of the District's 2,300 early childhood educators to identify children at risk for developmental disabilities

  • Doorways for Women & Families
    To provide safe housing, life skills and employment services to 30 households experiencing homelessness

  • Edgewood Brookland Family Support Collaborative
    To help 80 families and individuals obtain or retain stable housing

  • Family and Youth Initiative
    To match four teens with an adoptive family

  • Friends of the National Arboretum
    To provide career awareness workshops to youth from low-income communities

  • Generation Hope
    To offer college readiness workshops, application and enrollment services, and ongoing support throughout college for 170 teen parents

  • Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services, Inc.
    To place 90 vulnerable and homeless participant families in affordable housing

  • Healthy Babies Project
    To help pregnant/parenting youth find stable housing and create educational or job readiness plans

  • Homeless Children's Playtime Project
    To increase the number of advocacy coalition partners and expand support services for children in families experiencing homelessness

  • Homestretch
    To provide debt and financial services and help four homeless adults transition to stable housing

  • Hope House
    To provide college preparation services to high school students and ongoing support to students while in college

  • Housing Up
    To help 686 families obtain and/or maintain stable housing

  • Identity, Inc.
    To help 50 students demonstrate improvement or achieve their grade-level target in key literacy skills

  • International Rescue Committee
    To help 70 refugees increase their incomes through public benefits and securing entry-level jobs

  • Legal Aid Justice Center
    To provide housing-related legal services to more than 300 households

  • Main Street Child Development Center
    To help children achieve or make progress toward school readiness goals

  • Mental Health Association of Frederick County
    To close 15 cases and place foster children in permanent homes

  • Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
    To help 126 families maintain stable, permanent housing through its Partnership for Permanent Housing (PPH) program

  • Neighborhood Legal Services Program of The District of Columbia
    To provide low-income DC residents and homeless families with legal and housing services

  • Northern Virginia Family Service
    To help 130 households transition from homelessness into temporary housing or from temporary into permanent housing

  • Prince George's Child Resource Center
    To provide child development and parent/child learning activities that improve language and cognitive abilities for 95 participants

  • Reach Education
    To help high school and elementary students develop and grow their literacy skills

  • Rising for Justice
    To help 1,500 tenants and their families avoid eviction

  • Sasha Bruce Youthwork
    To support homeless youth and runaways with housing and family strengthening services

  • Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia
    To help 75 children served by the CASA program achieve permanency in their family placements

  • Shelter House
    To help 19 families achieve housing, public benefits and income stability through its RISE program

  • Stepping Stones Shelter
    To help 30 families move into stable housing and increase their income

  • Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment (DC SAFE)
    To assist 300 participants in successfully moving to safe transitional or permanent housing

  • The Arc Prince George's County
    To support more than 40 participants with training and employment services through its Project SEARCH and Ready@21 programs

  • The Barker Adoption Foundation
    To provide clients with lifelong services and advocate for ethical, respectful and child-centered adoption practices

  • The Platform of Hope
    To help 60 low-income families develop life goals, increase their resource networks and participate in programs that help achieve their goals

  • Voices for Virginia's Children
    To collect and distribute data-driven information to policy makers and support 1,000 children in the foster care system

  • Wesley Housing Development Corporation
    To help 139 low-income households avoid eviction and maintain housing

About the Fund for Children, Youth And Families

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families (FFCYF) 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. Through its grantmaking, the fund supports effective organizations working to make the community healthy and stable. Please visit for more information.

Community Foundation Awards $1 million in Relief Funds to Prince George’s County Small Businesses

The small business sector is a key economic driver in Prince George’s County; it makes up 95% of all businesses in the County. Unfortunately, Prince George’s County was hit hard by the pandemic.

50% of the jobs created over the past five years were lost in the first two weeks of COVID-19.

Many businesses have shuttered and far too many have closed for good, taking the jobs they’ve created with them. These losses have left individuals, families and communities struggling to survive and gain an economic foothold.

Helping residents improve their social and economic status is an important yet complex goal—and that’s exactly what the Greater Washington Community Foundation is doing as part of its new focus on equity and economic mobility in Prince George’s County.

The Legacy Fund, seeded with a $1 million gift directed by Sam Brin and a $10,000 gift from Meridiam, provides critically needed access to capital for small businesses in Prince George’s County. It provides direct relief to small businesses in Prince George’s County impacted by COVID-19 to help minimize vulnerability to closure and to enable small businesses thrive.

The Legacy Fund is helping blunt the impact of business closure and job loss with grants ranging from $2,000-$10,000 to 173 small businesses. These investments resulted in the retention of more than 650 full time jobs and provided the funding that businesses need for technology and other business enhancements. Additionally, through our partnership with FSC First, these companies can access technical assistance to help them better navigate new business and economic realities and ensure long-term development.

Grants were awarded to companies in all nine Councilmanic Districts in the County and across multiple industries including retail, IT, business services, restaurants, and health, beauty and fitness. While each of the companies we’ve invested in supply critical goods and services, they’re also community gathering spaces and are important institutions in the County.

Below are a few examples of small businesses that received grants and how they play a critical role in our community.

Spiritual Essence Yoga, in Upper Marlboro, has supported the mental, physical, and emotional health of the Prince George's County community since 2008. While the stress of the pandemic has increased the community’s need for these services, the company was required to close for several months. This grant helped them reopen and begin offering virtual and in-person classes.

BLE Executive and Virtual Office Suites, in Largo, provides individual offices and virtual services to hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses in the County through a flexible office space business model. With more people working from home, and in-person meetings no longer an option, BLE has had to contend with reduced demand for its services. This grant will enable BLE to maintain critical staffing levels and continue to provide the high quality business to business services that are important for the growth and sustainability of small businesses and entrepreneurship.

Minimizing business closure and reducing job loss are important goals of the Legacy Fund, but we also recognize that in order to work families need childcare. The staff at Loving Hands Enrichment Center, a childcare facility in Clinton have cared for children in the community for 14 years. Like most companies, they’ve been forced to scale back due to the pandemic. Funding is helping the center retain staff and improve their operating systems. They are, once again, providing a strong educational and nurturing environment for child development in Prince George’s.

2020 Legacy Fund Grant Awardees

21st Century Expo Group

4EVER 2012 Corporation

Acbles Adrian Wilcox Agency, Inc.

Adventure Tours Aga Group

Aggie Family Child Care

Airport Metro Connection Inc.

Angarai Management Services

Appreciation Moments

Around the Clark Trucking

Ayers Natural Aztlan, Inc.

BC Tours & Travel, Inc.

Bea's Hive Assisted Living

Behind The Scenes Production

Belmont Executives, Inc.

Beltway Trophy Co.

Best Sweet Frog

Biruk Chewaka

BizyBee Professional Staffing & Biz'Ness Solutions

BLE Executive & Virtual Office Suites

Bright Horizon Ventures

Bruce T. Blake Insurance Agency, Inc.

Cameau Enterpises dba Camp Space

Centered Support

Charlene Mitchell

Cheerful Speech Therapy

Choice Clinical Services

Chung & Oh

Cipher Logix, Inc.

Clearview Optics dba Sterling Optical

CN Accounting & Management Consulting

College Park Yoga dba Numi Yoga

Colors by Tangie

Corporate Wheels

C-Pup Pet Walks

Cursor Logistics

Custom Plumbing and HVAC

Cuts Unlimited, Inc.

Cybersoft Technologies Corporation

Cynthia Cephas Photography

DAPO Group

DC Vegan

DCG Construction

Deanna Robinson Fitness

Defined by Design Events

Dickey & Associates

DMV Healthy Insurance

DNA Fitness, Inc. dba Curves of Glenn Dale

DSSP Consulting, Inc.

DXT Therapeutic Services

DY Food Wholesalers

Dynamic 3, Inc.

Dynamic Technical Solutions One

Eby Health Services, Inc.

Elites Care

Emmanuel Management Enterprise, Inc.

Envisage Management Solutions

Eric Kruszewski

Essentially Everything Events

Exact Financial Services

Executive Electrolysis, Inc.

Expressions of Faith

Extra Mile Logistics

Felicia C. Everett Insurance Company, Inc.

Femsterimages Productions

First Lady

Fitness Martial Arts

Flavors Culinary Group

Forty Winks

Front Street Management

G&D Construction

Garcia's Investments

Goins Worldwide, Inc.

Goldleaf Academy

Green Ivy, Benefit

Greenbelt Barber and Beauty Shop

Greenbelt Foods

GS Consulting and Communications, Inc.

Hair + Space Blowdry and Beauty Company

Harbor Wines

Hawkeye Medical

Higher Ground Transportation Services, Inc.

Hutchinson Design Group

Innovations 2000

Intuitive Group

Iwynn Productions

J and A Transport

J.D Clark Professional Services

Jiivana-LIFE Yoga & Wellness LLC dba Spiritual Essence Yoga

K&W Plumbing

KBM Realtors

KC Enterprise

Kery's dba Christina O Salon & Spa

KIK, Inc.

Kimi Nails & Spa

Kinetic Solutions

Klub Kid

Lamaha Hospitality

Laugh House

Law Offices of Sharon Theodore-Lewis & Associates

Legacy Partners Distribution

LG Total Fitness/Triple Delight Aquatics

LLF Handyman Services

Lord & Mitchell, Inc.

Lovi Family Daycare, Inc.

Loving Hands Enrichment Daycare

Maryland Carpet Repair & Cleaning

Maryland Physical Therapy and Wellness Center

Melton Digital

MF Communications Trade, Inc.

Min Wireless, Inc.

Mixin' Mimi Mixology

My Wealth Store

Neshama, Inc.


N'Style Hair Grooming Barber and Salon

Old Town Hospitality

Oni Family Day Care

Own Your Own DMV

PG Family Dentistry

Physical and Sports Rahab, Inc.

Premier Eye Care Center

Prince of Peace Homes for Seniors, Inc.

Printing Express & Designs

Pro Spex, Inc.

Prominent Solutions, Inc.

Quality Time

QW, Inc.

R.A. Investments

Regina Robinson Enterprises

Rickenbacker's Preparation Services

Roman Mechanical

Salon 809

Seeram Enterprises

SELA Hair and Nails

Shan's Jumping Gymnasium

Sidnea Global Enterprises, Inc.

Silver Canady & Associates

Sky Nails


SNR Holdings dba Misfit Winery

Something Vintage Rentals

SRC Eldercare Services

Sutter Design, Inc.

Tajick Dental Clinic PC

TCH Enterprize

Team Power Linx

TechOpps, Inc.

Temple Hills Swim Club, Inc.

The Face Paint Ladyn Inc.

The Groom Room

The Joseph Company

The Mercy Law Firm

The Mobile Experience

The SEMCAS Group

The WaterHole

Total Interior

Toth Distribution Service, Inc.

Transcend Solutions

Tucker Moor Law Group

Turning Point Solutions

University for Tots-Suitland Child Care Center, Inc.

viaJ Entertainment Services

Vino 301 Wine Concierge

VIP Financial Services

Visage Dermatology and Aesthetic Center

Way To Live Initiative

Wills Trucking & Excavating, Inc.

World View Early Learning Center, Inc.

Youth Avenue Solutions

About the Legacy Fund

The Legacy Fund made a big difference for 173 businesses on the brink of closure. It’s a key part of our effort to build thriving communities and help individuals and families in Prince George’s County build wealth and leave a legacy for generations to come.

For more information about our work in Prince George’s County, visit

Arts Forward Fund Announces More Than $1 Million in Grants to Local Arts Groups Impacted by COVID-19

Arts Forward Fund, a partnership between the Greater Washington Community Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and 16 other foundations and individual donors, announces grants totaling $1,048,500 to 43 arts and culture organizations in the DC region.

These grants will help organizations make essential shifts needed to sustain their work through the COVID-19 pandemic and to respond to the national movement for racial justice. A majority of the grants will be used to support expanded digital and online programming. More than 60 percent of grants and grant funding will go to organizations that are BIPOC-led and predominantly BIPOC-serving.

In response to a call for applications released in early August 2020, Arts Forward Fund received 227 applications totaling nearly $8 million.

“The volume of applications illustrates the devastating impact of the pandemic on arts and culture organizations in our region,” says Calvin Cafritz, President and CEO of The Cafritz Foundation, which made a lead grant of $500,000 to establish Arts Forward Fund. “The pandemic has exacerbated challenges for groups that have historically had inequitable access to philanthropic capital, and these grants reflect the collective commitment of our funding collaborative to prioritize those organizations.”

“Arts and culture organizations are a critical economic engine for the region and they contribute immeasurably to our sense of community and our well-being,” says Tonia Wellons, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “We are proud to partner on the Arts Forward Fund to bring much needed relief to these organizations that enrich our communities and touch our lives.”

Following is a list of Arts Forward Fund grant recipients, grant amounts, and a brief description of how grant funds will be used.

  • 826DC
    $25,000 to support the shift to online and small group programming, including increased training for volunteers

  • Anacostia Playhouse
    $25,000 to support the shift to digital content

  • Arch Development Corporation
    $30,000 to support transition to online programs

  • Art Enables
    $25,000 to implement an enhanced digital marketing plan

  • Art Works Now
    $25,000 to support the shift to virtual programming, including an expansion of the Creative Aging program

    $25,000 to support the WORK-SMART training series for Fairfax County arts organizations

  • Arts on the Block
    $25,000 to upgrade IT and HR capacity with a focus on equity and human-centered design

  • ArtStream
    $25,000 to hire a virtual programming manager and develop a new evaluation system for online programs

  • Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA)
    $25,000 to support the shift to virtual programming

  • Critical Exposure
    $20,000 to support the shift to digital curriculum

  • Dance Institute of Washington
    $30,000 to support facility renovation and program evaluation with a focus on racial equity

  • Dance Place
    $30,000 to support diversity, equity, and inclusion training

  • DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
    $50,000 to support a distance-learning database and virtual projects

  • DC Jazz Festival
    $30,000 to support a new digital content initiative

  • Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education (FAME)
    $25,000 to support an online learning platform

  • Gala Hispanic Theatre
    $30,000 to build fundraising capacity and create online programming

  • Greater Reston Arts Center
    $20,000 to support digital content

  • Heritage Signature Chorale
    $20,000 to support digital content

  • InterAct Story Theatre
    $10,000 to support the shift to virtual and blended programs

  • Joe's Movement Emporium
    $30,000 to support the transition to a new online teaching platform

  • Kalanidhi Dance

    $10,000 to support website development

  • Life Pieces to Masterpieces
    $30,000 to support outdoor programming, PPE and safety precautions

  • Live It Learn It
    $25,000 to support equipment and curriculum to adapt to distance learning

  • Museum of the Palestinian People
    $20,000 to strengthen the museum’s online presence and create a new online exhibition

  • Music for Life
    $10,000 to support the shift to online programs

  • One Common Unity
    $20,000 to support software and training for a digital platform

    $15,000 to support online content platforms and web development

  • PEN/Faulkner
    $50,000 to support online accessibility (joint proposal with Split This Rock, The Writer's Center, 826 DC)

  • Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center
    $25,000 to support virtual programming

  • Project Create
    $17,500 to support rebranding and marketing

  • Restoration Stage
    $25,000 to support the transition to digital programs

  • Shout Mouse Press
    $20,000 to increase digital and print sales and engage a DEI consultant

  • Step Afrika!
    $30,000 to support the shift to virtual programs

  • Synetic Theater
    $25,000 to support the shift to online content

  • Teatro de la Luna
    $20,000 to support the shift to online content

  • The Essential Theatre
    $25,000 to support capacity-building

  • Theatre Alliance
    $25,000 to support the shift to online programs

  • Urbanarias
    $16,000 to support expanded digital marketing and improved ticketing and production for digital content

  • Washington Jazz Arts Institute
    $20,000 to support an online music collaboration project

  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    $25,000 to support innovative online productions, anti-racism training, marketing

  • Words Beats And Life
    $25,000 to support the shift to online programs

  • Young Playwrights Theater
    $25,000 to support the shift to online programs

  • Zora Neale Hurston Richard Wright Foundation
    $20,000 to support the shift to online programs

About Arts Forward Fund

Launched in July 2020 with lead grants from The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Harman Family Foundation, and the Weissberg Foundation, Arts Forward Fund is a funder collaborative housed at and administered by the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Additional supporters include Linowitz Family Fund, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, S & R Foundation, Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation, Lois and Richard England Family Foundation, Philip L. Graham Fund, Greater Washington Community Foundation, Share Fund, Walter Brownley Trust, Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation, and other individual contributors.

VoicesDMV: Putting Your Ideas On the Table

By Benton Murphy, Associate Vice President for Community Investment

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On October 1, hundreds of residents from across the region came together for virtual or face-to-face small-group conversations on a single day to discuss and reimagine the future of our communities, through our VoicesDMV On the Table conversations.

We were so proud to be joined by a diverse group of community members to discuss issues ranging from how we can help support students to succeed in a remote learning environment to unpacking the impacts that hate, racism, and injustice have on our neighbors and communities. 

At The Community Foundation, we believe it is important to actively engage people and communities most impacted as we seek to develop solutions and identify investments to address community needs. In particular, our focus for the VoicesDMV initiative is to engage people who are often left out of these conversations to uplift and amplify the voices of communities who have been systematically unheard and silenced.

Created by The Chicago Community Trust in 2014, to date, the On the Table model has been adopted by more than 30 communities that have collectively engaged more than 300,000 people from coast to coast. Our Community Foundation chose to participate in the On the Table initiative with the knowledge that when we come together to talk with, listen to, and learn from each other, we have the power to improve the quality of life for everyone. 

Individuals, nonprofits, groups of neighbors, and major regional institutions all convened for our inaugural On the Table day of civic engagement and participation. We are so thankful for the partnership of organizations like American University, Leadership Greater Washington, Howard University, and Venture Philanthropy Partners, each hosted multiple tables for robust discussion across a diverse set of topics ranging from supporting educational outcomes in the early childhood space to boosting African American participation in COVID-19 clinical trials. 

On the Table was designed to bring diverse participants together to have a data-driven, action-oriented conversation on how to improve the lives of our neighbors in the DMV. Conversations were grounded in data that The Community Foundation gathered with survey partner Gallup earlier this year. Our Community Insights survey revealed a region characterized by deep inequity but also pride in our communities and deep values around topics like ensuring a quality education for young people. 

Stephanie Berkowitz, President and CEO of Northern Virginia Family Services, participated in a conversation on economic mobility, noted:

“The value of it was the diversity of the participation and the data-driven aspect of the conversation and the opportunity to get people in a room together that don’t naturally have opportunities to get together, especially in the middle of a pandemic.”

Carissma McGee, a student at Howard University, underscored the importance of channeling conversations into action:

“I think today really mobilized people to take action even after the conversation… instead of just looking back and saying oh there’s a problem in my community, its taking a step back and looking holistically at what people are facing and having empathy.”


This WDVM segment highlights how VoicesDMV On the Table conversations brought together residents throughout the DMV area both online and in small, face-to-face groups to talk about ideas for improving their communities.


Community Action Awards

We are excited that On the Table generated so much critical conversation and are looking forward to supporting these community leaders in taking action on the issues and challenges they discussed in their conversations. To ensure these conversations move from ideas to action, The Community Foundation is now offering Community Action Awards—grants of up to $2,000 to individuals and nonprofits working to make our region a more equitable and inclusive place for everyone to live, work, and thrive. 

Through the Community Action Awards, we are interested in supporting and advancing neighborhood-level projects that will engage diverse communities and help grassroots leaders to implement their ideas. We are especially interested in providing resources to enable ideas and activities that were generated through On the Table conversations.

The application process is easy, with just four questions to answer in an online application form. We also invite applicants to share a short video clip describing the change they are hoping to see for their community! 

We encourage anyone in the community who has an idea of how to make our region a better place to live and thrive to apply, and to share this opportunity with people who may also be interested in sparking positive change in their neighborhood.

New Grant Opportunities for Nonprofits Serving Greater Washington

The Greater Washington Community Foundation has opened its Fall 2020 Grant Round and is now accepting applications for Community Action Awards and grants from the Children's Opportunity Fund in Montgomery County and the Equity Fund in Prince George's County. 

VoicesDMV Community Action Awards

VoicesDMV is a three-part initiative that tapped into Community Insights through a regional survey, convened residents for On the Table conversations and Social Just Town Halls to discuss the issues that matter in our communities, and now will provide funding for Community Action Awards to help advance ideas sparked during these conversations.

The application is now open for small awards of up to $2,000 for individuals and nonprofits in Greater Washington working to make our region a more equitable place for everyone to live, work, and thrive. These microgrants are intended to support and advance neighborhood-level projects that will engage diverse communities and help grassroots leaders to implement their ideas. We are especially interested in providing resources to enable ideas and activities that were generated through On the Table conversations, held on or around October 1. The online application closes on Monday, November 2, 2020.

Children's Opportunity Fund

The Children’s Opportunity Fund is focused on funding innovation opportunities that close the achievement gap in Montgomery County, Maryland. As a member of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading network, the Children’s Opportunity Fund is using a participatory grantmaking process to fund organizations providing direct service, advocating for, or researching literacy skills with children ages birth to 8 and their families. The Children’s Opportunity Fund will provide grants up to $25,000 for organizations with a budget of less than $500,000, that are focusing on early literacy, family supports, and tutoring.

Applicants must submit a proposal via The Community’s Foundation’s online application system no later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, October 26, 2020.

The Equity Fund

The Equity Fund supports nonprofit organizations working to eliminate social and economic disparities and create pathways to economic success for Prince George’s County residents. The focus area for the 2020 Equity Fund grant cycle is workforce equity and economic mobility for low-income people inclusive of people of color and other marginalized or under-represented groups. The Equity Funds seeks to support a diverse range of impactful programs to ensure that people who face social and economic barriers have access to high-quality education and jobs which pay family-sustaining wages.

Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded for program support. Applicants must submit a proposal via The Community’s Foundation’s online application system no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 13, 2020.

Greater Washington Community Foundation Announces Community Action Awards

Microgrants for Individuals, Organizations with Ideas for Improving Neighborhoods

After engaging hundreds of residents from across the Greater Washington region in small-group conversations to discuss and reimagine the future of their communities as part of VoicesDMV On the Table, the Greater Washington Community Foundation is offering Community Action Awards – small grants of up to $2,000 for individuals and nonprofits in Greater Washington who have ideas to make the region a more equitable place to live, work, and thrive.

“Everyone has a role to play in shaping a ‘new normal’ for the Greater Washington region. Yesterday’s On the Table conversations were an important first step,” said Tonia Wellons, president and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “The best way for us to overcome this time of crisis and uncertainty is by standing together – neighbors helping neighbors – to build a more equitable future for our region. Yesterday we were encouraged by the residents from across the DMV who gathered virtually, in parks, offices, around kitchen tables, and elsewhere to discuss the issues that impact their lives, and to work together to develop solutions.”

On the Table is part of The Community Foundation’s VoicesDMV initiative, which launched in 2017 as a way to explore the region’s challenges and opportunities related to housing, transportation, safety, economic security, race relations, and community well-being. This year, VoicesDMV returned as a three-part initiative that first tapped into Community Insights through a regional survey conducted by Gallup, then brought residents together to discuss the issues that matter in their communities through a series of town halls this summer and small-group On the Table conversations on October 1, and now will help fund ideas sparked during those discussions through Community Action Awards to move from ideas into action.

Through the Community Action Awards, The Community Foundation is interested in supporting and advancing neighborhood-level projects that will engage diverse communities and help grassroots leaders to implement their ideas. The Community Foundation is especially interested in providing resources to enable ideas and activities that were generated through On the Table conversations.  

“We are eager to hear the ideas our neighbors developed during yesterday’s On the Table conversations to make the region an even better place for all residents to live, work, and thrive. But any resident, including those who didn’t participate in On the Table but have an innovative idea, should consider applying for one of our Community Action Awards to help move those ideas from conversations into community change projects,” said Wellons.

The deadline to apply for a Community Action Award is November 2, 2020. To learn more and apply, visit For more information about VoicesDMV and On the Table, visit

RFP Re-Opens for COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund Grants

Over the past several weeks, we’ve watched our region’s needs evolve in response to COVID-19. As the community’s priorities have shifted, so have ours to match.

Since temporarily closing our RFP for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, we have carefully re-evaluated our funding priorities and continued to review all submitted applications. We received 700+ proposals totaling more than $40 million in requests during phase I of our grantmaking. To date, we have awarded 95 grants totaling nearly $4 million.

Today, we have re-opened our Request for Proposals online application form for local nonprofits to apply for support through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

For this second phase of grantmaking, we are now accepting requests for advocacy efforts that seek to improve food security, domestic violence prevention, health care access, childcare systems, and more. We have refined our funding priorities to better support a set of target populations disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic.

You can read more about our updated priority issue areas and priority populations here.

Several additional, important points to note include: 

  • Eligible applicants may only submit ONE application for funding for this round

  • Organizations that did NOT receive funding in round I will be prioritized for funding in round 2

  • Nonprofits may apply for grants up to $50,000

  • At least 50% of the organizations selected for funding will have board and senior leadership of color

Applications will be accepted until May 29 at 5 p.m., with final funding decisions made in June 2020.

If you have any questions about how to apply, including what the fund will support, how your organization can apply, and what geographic regions will be considered, please read our FAQs.

For general inquiries, please contact Melen Hagos at

Thank you. We look forward to receiving your proposals and continuing to respond to our community's needs, together.

Leading Our Community's Response

Our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund has now been in operation for one month. Over that time, we have provided more than $3.8 million in grant funds to local nonprofits providing critical relief supports across our region and across five issue areas—education and youth, employment and small business, medical care and access, housing and homelessness, and general operating support.

Our RFP is currently on pause as we absorb the information from 750 applications on the evolving needs of our community and learn more about communities and populations that are being impacted disproportionately. We plan to reopen our RFP later this month reflecting an updated set of giving priorities.

Over the last few weeks, we have formed working groups for each of our five issue areas to review proposals and make grant recommendations. Below, read about what we are doing and learning in each area - and how our community is organizing to fight the COVID pandemic.

Employment and Small Business

We have made a set of investments in local service providers working to provide emergency cash assistance to our region’s low-income workers that do not have the resources to wait for Federal or State unemployment benefits to kick in, or communities (like undocumented workers) that do not qualify for this type of support.

Education and Youth

We have been singularly focused on supporting the most vulnerable children and families who are struggling as a result of this crisis. Many organizations are stretching themselves to support the youth and families they already have built strong connections with to address basic needs.  Parents are a child’s first teacher and now that schools are closed education is not solely in the classroom.  Despite what schools, local government and philanthropy are doing there are still many families that are not able to connect to services and education opportunities for the children in their homes. 

Medical Care and Access

We are providing support services for health care and frontline workers while also addressing the health access needs of the more vulnerable populations in Greater Washington area. Their focus has been to support efforts to source PPE for frontline workers, increase COVID-19 testing for vulnerable and marginalized communities, and support clinics and health centers providing support and care in response to COVID-19.

As the pandemic response continues to grow on a statewide and national level, we know that our response will have to adapt as well. This working group is continuously monitoring changes, sharing resources, and adjusting its priorities directly in response to needs.

Homelessness and Housing

We have been working to support local providers whose doors are open and who are actively providing direct services to the most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted populations during the COVID crisis - specifically people living in shelters or on the street. Priority populations include: women and children facing increased instances of domestic violence and abuse, families, youth including foster care and LGBTQ youth, older/chronically ill individuals, and undocumented people and immigrants.

As we continue to see increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness testing positive for COVID and deaths amongst this vulnerable population, our investments will help organizations provide essential services and resources to protect these individuals, families, and youth and to prevent community spread.

General Operating Support

Investments also included grants to nonprofits addressing the dramatic uptick in intimate partner violence and other types of abuse, grants to organizations supporting at-risk communities including those living with disabilities, and grants to support the ability of legal services providers to continue to provide critically needed services to local residents as courts continue to convene.

What’s Next?

We anticipate re-opening the RFP by the end of April. In the meantime, for more information on our COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, please visit for a list of our grantee partners and funding priorities.

New Grant Opportunities for Nonprofits Serving Greater Washington

The Community Foundation has opened its Spring 2020 Grant Round and is now accepting proposals for grants from the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families; Spring Creek Environmental and Preservation Fund; and the David Bradt Nonprofit Education Fund's Nonprofit Leadership Award. Additionally, the Resilience Fund has opened a call for ideas and the Partnership to End Homelessness has released an RFI related to advocacy and public will building efforts focused on homelessness and affordable housing. 

Greater Washington Works Request for Proposal

On December 12, 2016, the Community Foundation shared Greater Washington Works: IT and Health Careers with Promise with over 125 nonprofit, funder, business and government stakeholders The report examines the state of our regional middle-skill IT and Healthcare talent pipeline including information on hiring challenges and factors keeping local worker from launching new careers in these high growth sectors. 

In addition to the launch of the report, a request for proposals, Greater Washington Works, was released to provide two-year grants of up to $250,000 to train and place local workers in high growth occupations in IT and/or Health.  Proposals, due on March 6, will seek to address the skills gap in those two sectors implementing the national best practice of sector partnerships. 

In her welcome remarks on December 12, Courtney Strauss, Executive Director and Senior Banker with JPMorgan Chase Private Bank, provided interested applicants the key ingredients of addressing the nation’s middle skills gap and effectively serving job seekers as well as employers.

Given the state of today’s labor market, here are three effective strategies we’ve seen for addressing the middle skills gap:
The first thing we have seen is that communities must have an effective strategy to engage employers.  We have to remember that the skills gap is as much, if not more, a demand side problem as it is a supply-side problem.  Many of these demand side problems are the result of what we call “weak signaling” – in other words, employers don’t do a very good job of communicating exactly what skills they need. Other problems are the result of a collection action challenge—employers don’t want to invest in training or collaborate with other firms in their sector because they are afraid a competitor will poach a worker they have just invested in.
Second, on the supply side, the challenge is most aptly captured by Labor Secretary Perez’s quip that the problem with the U.S. Workforce System is that is based on the principle of “train and pray”—invest in education and pray that there’s a job on the other side.  But around the country, we are seeing smart new programs that offer an antidote to training for training’s sake by aligning with employer demand, organizing around career pathways, and providing contextualized learning. 
One final category of activity to put on the list of strategies to build a talent pipeline is what I like to think of as the glue that holds it all together.  This is the information and infrastructure that enables ongoing alignment between labor market supply and demand.

Through its investments in local workforce development partnerships, Greater Washington Works seeks to support hundreds of local workers to launch new careers in IT and Healthcare. Funding applications are due no later than March 6, 2017 and are only accepted electronically at the link above. Interested applicants are encouraged to email or with any questions.