Our grantmaking is different.

The Community Foundation is home to nearly 700 donor-advised and field-of-interest funds formed by individuals, families and corporations from across the metropolitan Washington region, each with distinct funding priorities. Like many community foundations, grantmaking at The 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.

The Community Foundation administers three types of grants:

Competitive Grant Opportunities (open opportunities)

These grant opportunities represent The Community Foundation’s own grantmaking dollars, created through support from from individuals, corporations, foundations and other sources.  These funds support nonprofit organizations whose programs and activities directly relate to our priority initiatives of Safety Net Services, Education, Workforce Development, and Nonprofit Capacity Building. We issue Requests-for-Proposals (RFPs) at various points in the year.

Grants from Field-of-Interest Funds (by invitation only)

Donors who establish field-of-interest funds identify the type of cause or organization that interests them, and then ask our knowledgeable Community Investment team to recommend outstanding nonprofits working in that issue area based on their knowledge of community issues and nonprofits. Field-of-interest fund grants are by invitation only. Unsolicited proposals are not accepted.

Grants from Donor Advised Funds (restricted opportunities)

Grants made from donor advised funds—which constitute nearly 90% of grantmaking funds—are driven by individual donors. The fund donor recommends to us a grant of a specific amount to a specific nonprofit organization. The Community Foundation performs due diligence, and if approved, issues the grant. Sometimes the grant letter includes the donor’s name and any reporting requirements. Donor-advised fund grants are not published opportunities. Unsolicited proposals are not accepted.

For information on our competitive grant opportunities, click here.