RACE to Rebuilding Trust and Community


Realizing Arlington's Commitment to Equity (R.A.C.E.) Arlington County, in collaboration with United Way of the National Capital Area, launched a new equity-based funding program, RACE to Rebuilding Trust & Community, to support local organizations’ efforts to respond to community needs.

Through this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA)(PDF, 1MB) , Arlington County intends to eliminate, reduce, and prevent racial and social inequities and disparities to improve outcomes for those who have been historically marginalized and including Arlington nonprofits who may apply for grants.

Timeline for the RACE to Rebuilding Trust & Community Notice of Funding Availability.

This NOFA will provide grants to Arlington nonprofits to implement a program or project in direct response to a demonstrated community or human service need identified through their experiences. It also provides grants to support the day-to-day functions for organizations who demonstrate how their operations will be enhanced to meet the direct needs of residents in the communities they serve.

Applications are due December 21, 2023.

Submit an Application for Funding

Updated RACE to Rebuilding Trust & Community NOFA Application(PDF, 2MB)

Fillable Logic Model Template(XLSX, 25KB)

Fillable Budget Template(XLSX, 30KB)

Fillable Staff and Board Table(DOCX, 21KB)

Presentar una Solicitud

RACE para reconstruir la confianza y notificación comunitaria sobre disponibilidad de financiamiento(PDF, 677KB)

Submit a Community Reviewer Interest Form




In an effort to align funding decisions with values of transparency and racial equity, the County Board convened leaders in the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community in 2020 and 2021, facilitated by the United Way of the National Capital Area and supported by the national organization E Pluribus UNUM Fund.


In October 2021, as a part of Realizing Arlington’s Commitment to Equity’s (R.A.C.E.) focus on racial equity, a working group of community leaders and Arlington County representatives came together to develop a process to evaluate community needs through the lens of racial equity.

A series of discussions led to recommendations for a co-designed process to reform the County Board-awarded and discretionary funding process (outside of Arlington’s normal competitive procurement processes) to be more inclusive of root causes and shift to a community-needs model to support historical marginalized communities.

To move the process forward, the County Board adopted a resolution supporting a transition to a racial equity-based competitive process for Board-awarded community and human services funding that addresses inequities in Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities and systemic impacts for all. As such, the County Board allocated up to $1.5 million for FY25 (with the potential for additional funding available through FY23 closeout funds) that is the subject of this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

Previous Meetings

  • Community Meeting - Transitioning to an Equity-Based Nonprofit Funding Process in Arlington. On Jan. 9, 2023, leaders of the Back, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) community convened to share more information about this co-created process for making equitable nonprofit funding decisions, and County Board members and representatives from Realizing Arlington’s Commitment to Equity (R.A.C.E.) effort discussed next steps for implementation. View a copy of the presentation shared during the meeting.
  • February County Board Recessed Meeting. At its Feb. 21, 2023, Recessed Meeting, the County Board adopted a Resolution supporting this transition to a racial-equity based competitive process. Read the resolution.
  • June County Board Recessed Meeting. At its June 13, 2023, Recessed Meeting, the County Board received a presentation from staff sharing information on the NOFA process, including information on the application, technical assistance available to applicants, background on the criteria for proposal evaluation, and the post-evaluation and funding award process. View the presentation.
  • Community Information Session - Race to Rebuilding Trust and Community NOFAWatch the recorded presentation from July 31, 2023 for more details about the Equity-Based Notice of Funding Availability. View the PowerPoint.

Technical Assistance Sessions

Registration to attend a session is encouraged but not required.

Register here

  • Technical Assistance Session #1 - NOFA Overview
    Oct. 25, 2023 - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Arlington Mill Community Center

View the presentation here(PDF, 1MB)

View the recording here

  • Technical Assistance Session #2 - Logic Models 
    Nov. 15, 2023 - 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Long Bridge Community Center

View the presentation here(PPTX, 17MB)


Arlington County Government provides reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act; and language interpretation upon request. To arrange for a reasonable accommodation or language translation, please email EquityNOFA@arlingtonva.us to provide as much advance notice as possible.

Requests for sign language and/or language interpreters must be made at least five (5) full business days in advance.



Frequently Asked Questions 

RACE to Rebuilding Trust and Community Notice of Funding Availability Frequently Asked Questions


Is this NOFA for multi-year funding?

You can request funding for general operating or a single project or initiative whose completion timeframe could be up to three years. All awards are considered grants and the timeframe for grant completion will be documented in the final grant agreement.

Is this new fund replacing legacy funding?

  • The County is withdrawing funding that was made on a discretionary, non-competitive basis by the County Board from some legacy funding to support this new effort. Funding for some government-related services provided by nonprofits is not going away. Nonprofits who are having their discretionary funding withdrawn and put in this competitive process have or will be notified shortly.
  • All nonprofits who are an IRS designated 501c3 organization or a faith-based can compete for funding under this NOFA. Organizations must serve or wish to serve Arlington residents. Organizations may be based in other jurisdictions, provided that the proposed project benefits Arlington County residents. If projects/proposals are sponsored by faith-based organizations, outreach efforts and services must be provided to any Arlington resident, regardless of affiliation. Programs cannot be marketed exclusively to members of the sponsoring organization’s religious affiliation or denomination, and proselytizing while providing services related to this grant funding is prohibited.

Can organizations already receiving funding apply?

Yes. If you are already receiving funding, you may still apply. This process was designed to expand opportunities for funding to facilitate nonprofits efforts to address community needs that may not have been addressed by County processes. The County is prioritizing funding services in an equitable way to meet community needs.

Who determines the amount of the grants?

  • The review panel will make recommendations to the County Board for award notifications based on total amount available.
  • The review panel can recommend partial funding for proposals based on volume of applications, applicant’s willingness to accept partial funding, and identified community needs.
  • NEW: There is no floor or ceiling amount to request.

Are the grants for general operational support or project-specific?

Both will be considered for funding based on meeting the objectives of the NOFA.

Is the County prioritizing funding for a few big projects or many smaller ones?

The County is prioritizing awarding as many projects as possible. The exact number will be based on the total amount of funds available.

Is there any consideration to tiering the awards?

Tiering (such as by size of organization, budget, etc.) was considered. However, keeping in alignment with leadership recommendations to provide equitable access to opportunities, tiering is not a part of the NOFA at this time.

What is the total amount of funding allocated for this NOFA?

  • The total amount has not been determined. A possible estimate may be up to $1.5 million. It will be determined by the County Board as part of FY 2025 budget, which will be finalized by Spring 2024.
  • Any amounts for future award pools will be determined by the County Board and the budget process. 


NEW: Must a nonprofit be based in Arlington to be considered/apply for the Race to Rebuilding funding opportunity?

No. A nonprofit does not have to be based in Arlington to be either considered or apply for funding.  

Review Panels

How is the County evaluating the need? How will we be sure the real needs of the community are being addressed?

The County is not going into this process with a pre-determined set of needs or strategies. Applicants will define community need in their proposal, based on experience and understanding of the community. Applicants may use data and narratives in their proposals.

How will reviewers be trained and bias be eliminated? Will the content of the reviewer training be made available?

  • Reviewers will be trained by the County and United Way NCA NOFA development team in the following areas: bias, conducting objective application review, eliminating subjectivity, understanding narrative, conflict of interest forms, and mock application scoring. All reviewers will participate in racial equity training modules that have been administered by the County.
  • Reviewers will be brought together by a facilitator to discuss score reasoning and must come to a consensus, so outliers will be mitigated.
  • The operational training can be made available immediately and the racial equity training modules are planned to be made available to the public Fall/Winter 2023.

Who comprises the review panels? How will the panels be established?

 The reviewer panel will include 9 County staff across departments and 9 community members with professional and/or lived experience. The County will send out a call for reviewers so community members can express their interest. The County will also recruit reviewers in-person from places that have not historically been tapped for engagement, including community events and gathering places. All members of the review panel will complete an application and a conflict-of-interest form, and all community reviewers will be compensated.

What is the review and scoring process for applications?

Applications will be distributed among review panel members who will individually score their set of proposals based on a rubric. Panel members will then convene to discuss their respective scores, provide comments, and reach a recommended cumulative score. Funding amounts will be recommended based on cumulative scores and panel recommendations to use the fullest amount of available funding.

Can we get youth involved in the process?

At this time, we are only considering adult reviewers. Based on process feedback from applicants, reviewers, and internal staff, youth may be potentially considered in the future.

NEW: Will proposals be translated for non-English speaking reviewers?

Yes, proposals will be translated as needed.

NEW: Is there credit for experience for organizations that have been funded previously?

No, there is no credit for experience for previously funded organizations. All applications will be scored on their individual merit and not compared to each other.


Can the County provide example project sizes to help nonprofits understand what kind of ask may be reasonable?

No. This is the first year funding this opportunity and we do not have any examples at this time.

How will the procurement process be accessible for nonprofits, such as the insurance requirements?

Once awards are made, all grantees will be connected to the County staff to provide technical assistance on these processes.


How hard and fast is the audit requirement, especially for smaller nonprofits? Do you have recommendations of where to get an audit?

A financial review is required if a full audit is not available. A nonprofit’s Board members may be a good resource for contacts with experience or background in accounting, who can provide a basic financial review, pro bono or at low cost.

Is there an appeals process? What discretion does the County Board have in evaluating applications and offering awards?

There is no formal appeals process because this NOFA process has been rigorously designed to maximize access, transparency, and accountability. The County Board will not be evaluating or scoring applications. Applications that are evaluated, scored and identified for award by the review panel, will be presented to the County Board for its final approval. The County Board has the discretion to expand funding to make additional awards beyond those presented, in the order in which they were rank scored by the review panel.

Can proposals focus on other forms of equity beyond racial equity, such as gender or disability?

Yes. While the primary area is racial equity, the County considers all forms of inequities.

How will small organizations compete with those who can afford professional grant writers?

Technical assistance sessions will be offered to help mitigate the inequitable benefit or deficit that some organizations may have. The application process has been designed to maximize the various ways grant proposals can be submitted without the use of a professional grant writer. This includes audio submissions.

If the applications are looked at as need statements, what about the needs that aren’t funded? Is the County going to be tracking those at all?

This NOFA is not designed to be a needs assessment. The basis of this NOFA is that nonprofit organizations closest to and in the community, are best situated to understand needs to be filled. As the NOFA is evaluated over time, trends in programs, projects and organizations funded will be reported to the County Board.

Is there an ability to provide feedback on the application process?

Yes. The County will be looking for feedback from those who are engaged with the process more broadly, including but not limited to applicants, reviewers, the BIPOC leadership Group, and the internal NOFA development team.

How long should the application take?

This NOFA was designed to be streamlined and accessible for all applicants, regardless of their prior grant submission experience. While the amount of time for any individual organization may vary, the NOFA application has been designed to be completed within up to 15 hours to minimize the burden on applicants.

Are we parsing out different services to spread the funding across the service areas?

No. There are no categories or groupings of service areas being considered under this NOFA. All applications will be considered together based on their responses to the NOFA in demonstrating community and human service needs, for either general operations or a program or project to meet that need, up to the amount of funding available for grant awards.

What will be the structure of the technical assistance sessions (where will community/TA sessions be hosted)? In person, virtual, central location, etc.?

The sessions will be a combination of in-person at multiple locations in Arlington, hybrid, and virtual. The sessions will be recorded so they will be available afterwards. Details available here.

How long will data/applications be maintained?

Information received will be stored and maintained consistent with the County’s retention policies.

NEW: Will this be offered in future years?

Future funding is dependent on allocation of funds.