The Challenge

DC's poor families are among the poorest in major U.S. cities—even while the wealth of more fortunate residents continues to grow.

The Challenge

The National Capital Region (or DMV) boasts some of the greatest wealth and capacity in the world—

Yet more than 430,000 of our neighbors live in poverty, and over one million endure lives of chronic financial instability.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the Great Recession, the nonprofit funding terrain has shifted and shrunken dramatically in the DMV.  If we are to lift our region's low-income families out of poverty, we must find a new way.

POVERTY RATES IN THE DMV (BY PERCENTAGE)

  • 20
  • 15
  • 10
  • 5
  • 0
17.3
District of Columbia
7.2
Montgomery
10.3
Prince George's
8.5
Arlington
6.7
Fairfax
9.6
Alexandria
9.2
Washington Region
Above figures are based on an analysis of the 2014 American Community Survey by the Washington Area Women's Foundation.

To meet the challenge before us, the Lever Fund makes strategic investments in transformational, high-performance nonprofits that are poised to have the greatest impact for economically disadvantaged families in the DMV, and that equip our neighbors to overcome poverty's multiple barriers.  Our innovative, metrics-driven, ROI-oriented approach offers our community its best opportunity to fight poverty in a measurable, meaningful way.