The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s own Innovation Fund is generously supporting Maker Faire NoVa for another year and we are very grateful for their support! This year it is especially wonderful as they have also been instrumental in supporting the Mason Innovation Lab (MIX) where about a third of the Maker Faire NoVa will be held! Robotics, Cardboard Challenge, ROV’s, Take-A-Part and many more exciting exhibits will be in the MIX, so definitely put it on your roadmap for the Faire.

The Innovation Fund at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia invests in inventiveness, creativity and new designIt uses a venture philanthropy model of grant making in which donors to the Innovation Fund, in partnership with the Community Foundation board and staff, find investment opportunities in Northern Virginia that help:

  • Diversify the local economy
  • Launch the very first cyber security course of study in our local high schools
  • Level the playing field for disadvantaged youth
  • Promote grass roots innovation

The venture philanthropy model goes far beyond the writing of checks to address an immediate need. Grants from the Innovation Fund are truly “venture” in nature, supporting nascent programs that, but for the Innovation Fund support, may not have launched.  The Fund invests in community to help solve local problems, strategically partnering with local nonprofits and schools to launch promising, innovative programs and initiatives that have the potential to transform our region.


To date, the Innovation Fund has helped launch the Mason Innovation Lab at George Mason University, launch cyber security courses of study in our local public schools, launch the NOVA Maker Faire in Reston that was attended by more than 3,000 visitors each year since 2014, and supported the Honey Bee Initiative at Mason’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Going forward, the Community Foundation is committed to partnering with our Innovation Fund donors for greater impact. All investments in local innovation through the Innovation Fund will therefore be informed by both the donors to the Innovation Fund and Community Foundation board and staff.