Arlington Community Foundation

EIN: 54-1602838

Mission Statement

Arlington Community Foundation (ACF) uses the power of philanthropy and its role as community convener and catalyst to improve the quality of life in Arlington and beyond.

As a grantmaker, convener, and leader of programmatic initiatives, ACF strives to strengthen local nonprofits, encourage better understanding of the needs of Arlingtonians, and address the most critical issues of our time to ensure that our community provides opportunity for everyone.


Program Summary

Personalized Philanthropy – 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’re experts in vetting nonprofits and philanthropic investment strategies, so you don’t have to be.

Economic Mobility – With a unique bird’s eye view of Arlington, ACF serves as a community convener, nonprofit reserve fundholder and grantmaker, and driver of major community initiatives and in-house community impact funds to create economic opportunities and prevent displacement, with a special focus on deeply affordable housing, deeply affordable childcare, and pathways to living wages.

Scholarships – Arlington Community Foundation has a well-established Annual Scholarship Program that, over the last decade, has awarded more than $5 million to Arlington students attending college. Generous individuals, families, companies and organizations fund the scholarships, which have their own unique eligibility criteria.


Impact Statement

Philanthropy Impact: In 2023, with the support of so many community members, we provided over $5 million in grants to nonprofits and community programs. We currently manage over $30 million in assets, with over 200 funds, including 20+ nonprofit agency funds. Behind each fund is an inspiring story of passion and purpose, put into action through philanthropy. Such is the case with one of our newer legacy fundholders, Dimple Dhabalia. Dimple’s two-decade career in humanitarian work is marked by a profound connection between her own story and the lives she touches through her work and legacy fund. Read her story here.

Economic Mobility Impact: Community advocacy based on our 2023 Affordable Childcare Report led the County Board in April 2023 to fund, beginning in FY 24, a new full-time senior level DHS position to support the implementation of the Child Care Action Plan, among other priorities. In June 2023, the findings of our recently-completed deeply affordable housing pilots demonstrated feasible pathways to closing the affordability gap for our lowest income neighbors. Concluding in December 2023, the data and lessons learned from our 18-month guaranteed income pilot, and pilots from around the country, are being used to inform national policy that would create a federal income floor under which no one in our country can fall.

Scholarship Impact: In 2023, ACF awarded more than $700,000 in scholarships to new and renewal students. To celebrate the achievement of these students, ACF hosted a Scholarships Ceremony in June, filled with students, their families, and scholarship donors. During the ceremony, 11 scholarship recipients shared what the scholarship means to them in an inspiring video. You can watch the video here.


What ways can the public get involved?

There are several ways to get involved with the Community Foundation:

  • Donate to or Start a Fund: Browse our current funds and make a one-time donation to support a variety of needs in Arlington. Check out our Plan Your Giving page to explore how our different fund options can maximize your own charitable giving, from scholarship funds to legacy funds, and everything in between.
  • Volunteer to Review Scholarship Applications: Every year, we seek volunteers to participate in our annual community scholarship review. The entire process is virtual and takes place between January and March. Click here to sign up for updates.
  • Spirit of Community Awards: For over 30 years, the annual Spirit of Community Awards have recognized those who demonstrate a tireless commitment to improving life in Arlington, whether through philanthropy, advocacy, the arts, social justice, or volunteering (among other fields). You can get involved by nominating someone for the award, attending the Celebration & Luncheon, and/or sponsoring the event! Learn more by clicking here.
  • Sign Up for our Community E-news: Be the first to know about scholarship updates, events, grant opportunities, charitable giving tips, community stories, volunteer opportunities, and more by clicking here.

How are charitable dollars spent? Where does my donation go?

Unrestricted donations 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.

A collection of Photos showing the following: students at the scholarship ceremony, judge Bill Newman presenting at the Spirit of Community awards, Christian Dorsey speaking on stage with Darrick Hamilton and Nisha Patel, the Arlington's Guarantee pilot evaluation report, and the barcroft apartments.

Information provided March 2024