A recent study shows the average American girl's self-esteem peaks at age nine … and then plummets. Diminishing confidence makes every hurdle – in friendships, school, and home life – more difficult. But each year, Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia teaches 5,000 girls in grades 3-8 that they are strong, healthy, and ready for any challenge. At 150 sites (including 19 Title 1 schools), trained volunteer coaches lead girls through a 10-week season of interactive lessons and running clinics. The research-based curriculum addresses the “whole girl,” inspiring healthy habits and choices that impact emotional and social well-being, as well as physical health. A take-home guide helps parents reinforce positive messages and initiate important conversations. And at the culminating, region-wide 5K fun run, families cheer for the girls from the sidelines – or even run beside them. Regardless of background or income level, girls emerge from the program more likely to engage in exercise, and with higher self-esteem. A track record of 50,000 runners in 15 years is beyond impressive. Let’s keep it going strong.

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: VA-Arlington County; VA-Fairfax County; VA-Loudoun County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Alexandria; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Women/Girls

Schools They Work In: Antietam; Arcola; Arlington Science Focus; Armstrong; Ashlawn; Barcroft; Belle View; Blessed Sacrament; Bonnie Brae; Brookfield; Buffalo Trail; Bull Run; Burgundy Farm Country Day; Bush Hill; Buzz Aldrin; Camelot; Campbell ; Canterbury Woods; Cardinal Forest ; Cardinal Ridge; Catoctin; Cedar Point; Centre Ridge; Centreville; Chesterbrook; Churchill Road; Columbia ; Colvin Run ; Cool Spring; Countryside; Crossfield; Cunningham Park ; Daniels Run; Discovery; Dogwood; Douglas MacArthur; Drew Model ; Fairfax Villa; Farmwell Station; Flint Hill; Floris ; Forest Edge ; Fox Mill; Francis C. Hammond ; Franklin Sherman; Fredrick Douglass; Freedom Hill; Gesher Jewish Day School; Glenkirk; Greenbriar East; Greenbriar West; Gunston; Hayfield; Hillside; Horizon; Hybla Valley ; Island Creek; James K. Polk; Jamestown; Jennie Dean; Kenmore ; Kent Gardens; Kilby ; Lake Anne ; Lane; Langley School; Laurel Hill; Laurel Ridge; Legacy; Lemon Road ; Liberty; Little Run; Loch Lomond; London Towne; Long Branch; Lorton Station; Loudoun Country Day; Louise Archer; Lovettsville; Lowes Island; Lutie Lewis Coates; Lutie Lewis Coates; Lyles-Crouch; Marsteller Middle; Martin Luther King, Jr. ; Marumsco Hills ; Mary Ellen Henderson Middle; Mary Williams; Matthew Maury (partnership with Campagna Kids); Mayfield Intermediate; McKinley; Merritt Academy; Montclair; Montessori School of Mclean; Navy; Newington Forest ; Nottingham; Oak Hill ; Oak View; Oakton; Oakwood Middle; Occoquan; Old Bridge; Olde Creek; Orange Hunt; Patrick Henry ; Pattie; Poplar Tree; Potomac School; Potomac View; Potowmack ; Providence; Reston Montessori; Riverside ; Rolling Ridge; Rolling Valley ; Rosa Lee Carter; Rosa Parks; Samuel Tucker (partnership with Campagna Kids); Saratoga Middle; Shrevewood; Signal Hill; Silverbrook; Sinclair; St. Agnes ; St. James; St. Leo the Great; St. Louis ; St. Mark ; St. Theresa ; St. Veronica; Stenwood; Stratford Landing ; Sycolin Creek; T. Clay Wood; Taylor; Terra Centre ; The Key School; Thomas Jefferson; Thurgood Marshall; Tuckahoe; Vaughan; Wakefield Forest; Waples Mill ; Waynewood ; Weems ; West Gate; Westbriar ; White Oaks; Williamsburg; Yorkshire

Awards & Recognition

Fairfax County Volunteer Service Award for Group, 2016
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year, 2013
Top prize for Capacity Building at Girls on the Run of Summit, 2013

Girls on the Run International received national recognition as a Rodale 100 honoree in the “Fitness with a Focus” category, 2016


Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Girls on the Run of Northern Virginia is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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