ACTing for Alexandria
Donations & Charities
In a community that is even older than the nation’s capital and
a magnet for tourists worldwide, the Alexandria Community
Trust focuses local generosity and commitment on bettering
the lives of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“Through ACT, families and friends
are joining together, deciding how they want
their donations to help, and touching the lives of
neighbors most in need.”
a safe, child-friendly, centralized facility for the treatment, investigation, and
prevention of child abuse. ACT also took a central role in organizing the Alex-
andria Council of Human Services Organizations, a vehicle for Alexandria’s
diverse nonprofit agencies and city health and social services agencies to
collaborate with each other and generate coordinated solutions.
ACT’s success in mobilizing Alexandrians to donate their charitable dollars
to local efforts reflects the great heart of this unique community. Alexandrians
have contributed millions of dollars to ACT’s general Community Fund. Every
dollar raised for the fund stays in Alexandria. Donations are used to increase
the impact of existing service agencies and organizations that serve people
living in donors’ own backyard.
“ACT brings ordinary Alexandrians
together and helps them accomplish
ACT also helped create Giving Circles, groups of Alexandrians united by
friendship or similar interests who raise funds together and apply them to
issues and initiatives of their own choosing. A growing number of individuals
J ust across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., is an historic 250- and families, including city, state, and corporate leaders, have established
year-old city that George Washington once called home — Alexandria, ACT Donor Advised Funds — long-term gifts that involve family members
Virginia. Through the Alexandria Community Trust (ACT), families and friends in awarding grants. ACT counsels all of these groups so donors can make
who live here today are joining together, deciding how they want their dona- smarter philanthropic decisions … and see results. Still other Alexandrians are
tions to help, and touching the lives of neighbors most in need. contributing their time and talents to supporting ACT and its initiatives.
ACT was launched in 2004, with the generous gift from the estate of The combined impact is huge, on individual lives and the community as
Norma L. Steuerle, a long-time Alexandrian who lost her life at the Pentagon a whole.
on September 11, 2001. In the few years since, ACT has been able to build By reaching out to people from all walks of life and in every corner of the
on this legacy and has proven its effectiveness. ACT continually raises local city, by connecting diverse resources and vital efforts, ACT is bringing ordinary
philanthropic giving to new levels, increases the abilities of existing service Alexandrians together and helping them accomplish extraordinary things.
agencies and organizations to help others, and spearheads innovative solu- “ACT is a regional affiliate of The Community Foundation for the National
tions to community problems. Capital Region.”
A prime example of ACT’s leadership is the creation of the Center for
Alexandria’s Children, which opened in 2007. Under ACT’s leadership, the
Center went from idea to opening in less than two years, and now provides
120 Best of DC Best of DC 121