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Charitable giving
your way

For over 30 years, individuals, families, and businesses have relied on us to make charitable giving easy, flexible, tax-smart, efficient, personal, and deeply rewarding. We are experts in identifying needs and opportunities for philanthropic investment in Arlington and beyond, so you don’t have to be.

Philanthropy Made Personal

“At its core, the role of a community foundation is to create pathways that connect our community and its many different individuals, groups, and organizations to the resources needed to flourish.”

Jennifer Owens, Arlington Community Foundation President & CEO

When it comes to making the most out of your charitable giving, the best pathway may not always be clear. Whether you’re a new or experienced donor, an individual or a corporation, there’s no shortage of questions to consider along the way: “Where will my donations make the most impact? How do I know my dollars are being used effectively? What types of assets can I donate? How can I maximize the tax benefits of giving?”… the list goes on…and on.

That’s where we come in. Answering these questions is what we do. We take the time to understand what’s important to you, so that we can provide you with customized service for your giving through a number of giving tools and fund types. If you’re looking to make a one-time donation to support affordable housing in Arlington, we’ve got you covered. If you want to start a legacy fund that will continue to support youth education and refugee families for generations to come, we can help you with that, too.

Working alongside our philanthropy team is our team of programmatic experts who intimately understand the social and economic challenges in Arlington and have deep relationships with the nonprofits and policymakers that are most effectively tackling those challenges. We constantly ask the questions about effective and maximum giving impact so you don’t have to (of course, you still can).

If you’re reading this, you’ve already made a big step on the pathway to highly personal, flexible, and rewarding giving. We invite you to explore this page to learn more and to meet a few of your neighbors who already give through the Community Foundation. But more importantly, please know that you can reach out to us at any time to talk about your own giving journey.

Grantee photos

Photos [Top to bottom]: Presenting a grant from the After School Enrichment Matters fund; Culpepper Garden, grantees of our annual Holiday Wish Catalog; A 2023 scholarship recipient with his family.

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How will you achieve your charitable goals?

We offer a variety of giving opportunities, so your charitable investments and impact are as unique as you are: from easy one-time donations that support the greatest needs in Arlington to long-term funds and planned gifts (and everything in between). Our funds allow donors to be recognized or to remain anonymous should they choose, and our fund administration fee is invested right back into the community.

Click the images and contact us to learn more about these popular giving tools (and others) to see which is right for you.

Open a Donor Advised FundLearn More
Build Your LegacyLearn more
Start a ScholarshipLearn more
Donate to a FundLearn more
Donor Advised Funds (DAF)

Support charities in Arlington and beyond, maximize your tax savings while minimizing paperwork, and get back to the joy that comes from supporting the organizations and causes you care about, whether it’s art classes for Arlington’s youth, support for local animal welfare groups, or funding for parks preservation. You can use cash, stock, real estate or other assets to fund the gift and will receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction.

Did you know: Not all DAFs are created equal. Check out this DAF Comparison Chart to learn more about the ACF Advantage.

Scholarship Funds

In the past decade, Arlington Community Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to Arlington students attending college. Generous individuals, families, companies, and organizations fund the scholarships, and each has its own unique eligibility criteria established by the funder, such as 1st generation Americans, LGTBQ+ students, and those entering the medical field.

To provide substantial and sustainable assistance for these students, all new scholarships must be renewable and a minimum of $1,500 per year.

Legacy Giving

Legacy gifts are a unique expression of generosity, oftentimes highlighting the causes and charities donors connect to most during their lifetimes. Planned gifts can offer important estate, financial and personal advantages – allowing you to give in the most effective and beneficial manner. Whatever your inspiration for giving, your legacy gift is an enduring testament to the causes you hold dear.

Quick tip: Making a bequest – of any percentage, part, or component of estate or trust assets – in a will or revocable living trust to Arlington Community Foundation is a simple way to donate, and it can also help to reduce inheritance taxes. Check out this sample bequest language to see how that looks.

Donate to an existing fund

These funds help the Foundation support long-term solutions; respond quickly to emergencies; and meet changing social, arts and cultural, educational, health and human services, or environmental needs in our community. Donations can be made securely online, and all gifts are tax-deductible.

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Maximize the giving impact and tax savings of
your stocks.
your real estate.
your retirement plan.
your cash.
your life insurance.
your bequests.

Donors have a variety of giving options to choose from when creating a new giving fund or adding to an existing fund. In addition to cash, we accept a range of assets to make giving convenient and highly impactful while maximizing your tax savings. Accepted assets include (but are not limited to):

– Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds (read: tax-savings of appreciated stock gifts)
– Life insurance and retirement accounts (read: QCDs from IRAs)
– Charitable bequests (read: sample bequest language)
– Real estate (read: flexible real estate giving tools)
Cryptocurrency (read: charities and cryptocurrency)

Keeping in mind your unique interests and means, our team is here to help you plan the giving options that are best for you. With our support, you can ensure that your gift meets your objectives and makes a real difference.

Giving Impact at a Glance

Assets under management of the Foundation, including cash, stocks, retirement plans, mutual funds, real estate, and other asset types.

$700,000+ ANNUALLY

Scholarships awarded to Arlington students. Each scholarship has unique eligibility requirements determined by the fundholder such as area of study, graduating high school, and extracurricular activities, among others.


Funds managed by the Foundation, ranging from memorial funds, to donor advised funds promoting cycling, to $2 million nonprofit reserve funds, and much more in between.


Grants awarded to nonprofits in Arlington and beyond, including Prompt Response grants, STEM Fellowships, education grants, and many more.

Let’s get started on your giving journey.

We love meeting new people. So no matter what your charitable/community questions may be, we’re happy to help! Send us an email at or call 703-243-4785 to discuss your needs and find out how we can get started on your giving journey together.

John Whitener
An Optometry Officer and a Gentleman
John’s scholarship empowers Arlington students to proudly check “yes” when asked about LGBTQ+ involvement.
“I believe in encouraging leadership at a young age. And having spent 20 wonderful years in Arlington, I want to maintain my connection to it and give back to it.”
Dr. John Whitener
Mirrored Stories: A Legacy of Healing
Dimple Dhabalia’s two-decade career in humanitarian work is marked by a profound connection between her own story and the lives she touches.
“My family made me the person I am: the things I’ve learned, the experiences I’ve had, the love I’ve received. If this fund in some way makes a legacy for them too, that makes me really happy.”
Dimple Dhabalia
braylon meade
Honoring Braylon’s life and legacy
In the wake of their son’s tragic death, Kris and Rose established three scholarships to reflect Braylon’s greatest passions.
“A lesson that’s come out of this is just how much he touched others’ lives. And if we can lift up three other teenagers each year, then we can do more to sustain his legacy than we could have ever hoped to do.”
Kris Meade
john foti
Equity in After School Programs
Using a fund to offset the cost of after-school programming in the eight Title 1 elementary schools in Arlington County.
“No matter the activity, students are using this fund and these moments to find and do what they love, and to feel like they belong in the community, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Jennifer Owens, ACF President
Jeanne and Joe
Love, legislation, and legacy
Using a legacy fund to ensure safe, stable, affordable housing where Arlington seniors can thrive.
“I want this fund to help bring the elderly issue to the table, making it part of how we think about the connections in the community.”
Jeanne Broyhill
tony young memorial
Finding Strength in Challenges
Tony Young was a lifelong disability advocate. After he passed, his wife Kathy Cameron started a scholarship fund in his name. Zoè Davis is the 2022 recipient.
“This scholarship validates my voice – disabled-LGBTQ+ voices – and I hope to pay it forward as I make my way in the world.”
Zoè Davis