Greater Washington Community Foundation: D.C. Metro Area Grants

OVERVIEW: The Greater Washington Community Foundation supports human services, education, the environment, health, the arts, and economic development in the D.C metro area.

FUNDING AREAS: Human services, education, the environment, health, the arts, economic development

IP TAKE: This is one of the biggest funders in the D.C. area and one that is very involved in all aspects of the local nonprofit scene.

PROFILE: Established in 1973, the Greater Washington Community Foundation (GWCF) is a community funder based in Washington, D.C. Local business and community leaders formed this foundation to encourage philanthropy and champion thriving communities. GWCF “exists to Build Thriving Communities by providing community leadership, inspiring local giving, promoting civic engagement, and guiding strategic philanthropy.” It funds local efforts for human services, education, the environment, health, the arts, and economic development.

The Greater Washington Community Foundation serves the 5.5 million residents in this region of the Mid-Atlantic States and address local and regional needs. GWCF has numerous individual grant rounds throughout the year. It awards discretionary grants through a competitive process during three scheduled rounds. It also awards donor-recommended grants that are not open to competitive opportunities. GWCF’s Catalyst Fund supports entrepreneurship and small businesses, Children’s Opportunity Fund is a public-private initiative, and the Domestic Violence Community Grants Fund serves Prince George’s County. Other grantmaking efforts include the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families, the Resilience Fund, Sharing D.C., Sharing Montgomery, Sharing Prince George’s, Spring Creek Environmental and Preservation Fund, Starbucks Memorial Fund, Transforming Neighborhood Initiative, and Workforce Development Collaborative.

Grants range between about $10,000 and $100,000. In a recent year, the funder received over $80 million in donor contributions and awarded over $96 million in grants. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking focuses on the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County in Maryland, and Prince George's County in Maryland. The Northern Virginia focus areas are Arlington County, City of Alexandria, County of Fairfax, Fairfax City, City of Falls Church, Loudoun County, and Prince William County. Past local grantees include Maryland Community Connection, Cornerstone Community D.C., and D.C. Lawyers for Youth.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits three times per year for competitive grantmaking opportunities. Sign up on the foundation website to receive updates about upcoming opportunities. Direct general questions to the staff at or 202-955-5890.


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