The Partnership to End Homelessness Awards First Grants to Local Nonprofits Housing Single Adults

The Partnership to End Homelessness is excited to announce the first round of grants for “flex funding” programs at local nonprofits that provide Permanent Supportive Housing. Flex funding grants will help expedite housing placement and increase stabilization for single adults that have been matched to housing resources. While rent is covered by government programs, small but critical expenses like moving expenses, fees to obtain identification documents, or transportation to look at available units are not. Many times, these small fees can mean a serious delay in a person securing housing or can put an additional burden on the nonprofit provider.

This two-year pilot program seeks to demonstrate that flex funding can do one or more of the following:

  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to place single adults experiencing homelessness into Permanent Supportive Housing

  • Decrease the number of single adults experiencing homelessness by helping them obtain and/or maintain Permanent Supportive Housing

Flex funds, specifically for single adults, were identified as a high-need during conversations with District nonprofits, advocates, and government agencies. Because fewer resources are available for single adults and the City has prioritized bringing more Permanent Supportive Housing units online this year, these flex funds are both timely and critical to help us reach our goal of ending homelessness in the District.

The Grantmaking Fund is one of the strategic approaches to achieving the Partnership to End Homelessness’ mission to end homelessness in DC. The Fund aims to fill critical funding gaps, support innovative programs, meet emerging needs, build nonprofit provider and developer capacity, and support advocacy efforts.

With the importance of these flex funds in mind, we are proud to award the following organizations up to $50,000 over two years to expedite housing placement and stabilize single adults in Permanent Supportive Housing.

  • Friendship PlaceEstablished in 1991, Friendship Place’s mission is to empower people who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness to attain stable housing and rebuild their lives.

  • Miriam’s KitchenEstablished in 1983, Miriam’s mission is to end chronic homelessness in The District.

  • Open Arms Housing Inc. (OAH)Established in 1997, OAH's mission is to provide permanent homes with supportive services for women experiencing homelessness with a wide range of mental health issues.

  • Pathways to Housing DCEstablished in 2004, Pathways to Housing DC’s mission is to transform individual lives by ending homelessness and supporting recovery for people with disabilities.

We are incredibly grateful to our donors who have contributed more than $1.8 million to seed the Grantmaking Fund. If you would like to donate to the Partnership, please contact Angela Willingham at awillingham@thecommunityfoundation.org.

About The Partnership to End Homelessness

The Partnership to End Homelessness, led by the Greater Washington Community Foundation and the District Government’s Interagency Council on Homelessness (ICH), brings together the public and private sectors to advance effective and innovative solutions to ensure homelessness is rare, brief, and non-recurring in DC.

Resilience Fund Announces New Grants to Increase Advocacy, Civic Engagement, and Support for Marginalized Communities

The Resilience Fund has announced a new round of $180,000 in grants to eight local organizations conducting advocacy on behalf of immigrants and asylum seekers, providing outreach and services to marginalized communities, and expanding civic engagement among Hispanic voters. These grants represent our mission to respond to federal policy shifts that are negatively impacting our neighbors and communities in the Greater Washington region.


$25,000 grant to Casa de Maryland to respond to the impact of increased immigration enforcement on the African diaspora community in the region. This project will directly engage 250 African immigrant community members in legal rights training and 20 African immigrant community leaders in leadership and advocacy training and will benefit a broader community of immigrants residing in Fairfax County and statewide in Maryland through the achievement of universal representation in immigration proceedings.

$25,000 grant to Crossroads Community Food Network to address the need for increased communication and connection amid heightened anti-immigrant rhetoric and federal policy changes around SNAP and other safety-net programs. This project will serve 4,000+ residents of the Takoma/Langley Crossroads, a mostly immigrant, low-income community that straddles the border of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.


$25,000 grant to Asylum Seeker Assistance Project to provide holistic social services supporting a minimum of 40 formerly detained asylum-seeking men, women, and children living in the region. Through the provision of direct services, education, and community support, ASAP empowers asylum seekers to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose. All services are provided free to clients.

$25,000 grant to Ayuda to support critical client and case needs across three field offices in DC, Maryland, and Virginia to include (but not limited to) asylum seekers, victims of trafficking and other crimes such as domestic violence, and separated families. Ayuda will help clients with the costs of filing fees, expert reports, and psychological evaluations, in addition to other critical support such as transportation expenses, which are necessary for our clients to pursue their legal cases.


$15,000 to League of Women Voters, Montgomery County to increase voter participation in 2020 among Hispanic voters. League of Women Voters will work with an established local newspaper, El Tiempo Latino, to translate the Voter's Guide into Spanish for each election in 2020. This newspaper is distributed free on a weekly basis at about 300 points in Montgomery County, including bus stops, retail outlets, and metro stations. Its circulation covers about 26% of Hispanic households in the County. This grant will cover election-related activities for both the Primary Election and General Election in 2020.


$25,000 grant to Identity, Inc. to support emergency family custodial planning for immigrant families impacted by real and threatened immigration policy changes. Identity will facilitate 10 Know-Your-Rights information sessions for at least 300 residents and schedule five day-long follow-up Standby Guardianship Clinics to assist immigrant parents in Montgomery County in preparing Standby Guardianship Forms, thereby legally designating an adult to care for their children in case they are unable to do so due to adverse immigration action.

$25,000 grant to Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County to hire and manage a Community Health Worker (CHW), who will work from the Montgomery County Public Schools International Admissions and Enrollment (IAE) office in Rockville to serve children and families at a point of entry into the school system that is nearly universal for international students. This CHW is a critical piece of the program design to serve the increasing numbers of children and families settling in the County after emigrating from Central America. Many of these children faced incredibly difficult journeys to get here, and they will need a broad scope of supportive services to achieve healthy development and reach their full potential.

$15,000 grant to Shout Mouse Press, Inc. to support author empowerment, outreach, and advocacy work around two books: a memoir collection by Latinx youth immigrants and an anthology by Muslim American youth. The goal is to change the narrative about marginalized communities by empowering young people to write and publish original stories not being represented in traditional publishing marketplaces. This grant will support outreach to 300+ DMV-area educators and 1400+ local students via author talks and will directly empower 26 Latinx immigrant or Muslim American youth authors via professional development training, speaking opportunities, and scholarship money to support their next steps as leaders changing the narrative about their communities in this country.


The Resilience Fund was created in early 2017 as a collaborative partnership of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and other foundation and individual contributors. It seeks to address the critical needs of nonprofits responding to changes in federal policy and budget priorities, as well as the climate of intolerance and hate, both of which are disproportionately impacting local people of color, and immigrant and refugee communities.

Giving Voice to Youth Through Songwriting

When Andrew Isen first came to the Greater Washington Community Foundation in 2018 to establish the Andrew A. Isen Foundation, he was looking for ways to give back to the community through philanthropy that aligned with his passions. Making a difference in the lives of youth through musical theater is one of those passions.

Through his foundation, Andrew worked in partnership with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Foundation (ASCAP) to create The Andrew A. Isen Musical Theater Songwriting Workshop. The ASCAP Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the music talent of tomorrow, preserving the legacy of the past and sustaining the creative incentive for today's creators through a variety of educational, professional, and humanitarian programs and activities which serve the entire music community. The workshop program was established at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in the District and includes intensive master classes on songwriting for 15 Duke Ellington theater students to study the art and craft of musical theater songwriting and to begin the process of creating their own material. The workshop is directed by accomplished songwriters and offers students the opportunity to create and copyright their original songs. The first group of students worked with an arranger to prepare the songs for a special performance that took place at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in October.

For the fifteen young people who put on an amazing show at the Kennedy Center, Andrew’s giving has helped to unlock their potential and given them an opportunity to learn more about their own passion for the arts. What’s more, the program will continue to offer new students the same opportunity. You can watch a recording of their performance on the Kennedy Center’s website HERE.

Funding this musical theater writing workshop was one of the highlights of my life. Watching and listening to this group of young people, literally rapt in learning from a Broadway composer was beyond rewarding. I’m so pleased that through this gift, this senior theater class at the Duke Ellington School had this opportunity which many of the students stated was life changing. I encourage others to explore and fund their passions and glean a similar donor reward.
— Andrew Isen
This program has been a total gift from day one… I absolutely loved every second of working with these students and am beyond proud.
— Nick Blaemire, Broadway songwriter and mentor to the student participants

At a time when school systems are losing arts and theater programs at a rapid pace, support from donors can help provide critically needed services to ensure that young people learn more effectively and are creatively enriched. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies has found that funding for the arts in schools has declined by 43.4%, adjusted for inflation, since 1965. Gifts like Andrew’s are helping to enable students to participate in arts education despite these cuts, as well as reap the benefits of arts instruction which is associated with lower suspension rates and increased college admissions and completion rates.

Many of The Community Foundation’s donors, like Andrew, are helping to Build Thriving Communities through support for our region’s arts and cultural communityWe love to work with donors who are looking to not only to give back, but for opportunities to roll up their sleeves and think creatively about how they can contribute their time, energy, and passion in addition to funding.

If you would like to learn more about how The Community Foundation can help you pursue your passions and achieve your philanthropic goals, please contact Rebecca Rothey at rrothey@thecommunityfoundation.org.

Investments on a mission

By Shannon Scott, CFO, Greater Washington Community Foundation


The end of the year is a great time to take stock of our financial choices throughout the year and make changes that may set us up for success in the year ahead. Achieving your philanthropic goals requires informed, strategic, and thoughtful investment options. At the Community Foundation, we have expanded those options to provide you with more opportunities to sustain your fund and increase your capacity to invest in nonprofits now and in the future.

To optimize your philanthropic investment, you can choose from the following to allocate all or part of your fund’s investment.

Community Foundation Investment Options

Combined Investment Fund – This global balanced fund is the most common investment choice for our donors. We manage and minimize risk, diversify the portfolio with quality investments, monitor investments versus benchmarks, and provide diligent committee oversight to put you in position to support current and future programmatic work and grant making. Since inception (in 1998), the fund has earned an annualized return 5.58%, net of investment management fees.

Vanguard Index Funds – In response to our donors’ request for a low-cost indexed funds, The Community Foundation added four new index funds. An index fund is a passively managed fund, meaning that the intent is to match the risk and return of the broad market indexes. These mutual funds attempt to mimic the performance of an index, such as the S&P 500, by owning the same stocks as those in the S&P 500. Its best qualities are limited protections from market anomalies and lower costs due to lower trading volume and less hands-on research. Our existing index funds include an equity fund (Vanguard Institutional Index Fund Institutional Shares) and a fixed income (bond) fund (Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Institutional Shares); two Treasury funds (Treasury Money Market and Short-Term Treasury) became available October 1, 2019.

Impact Investment – Working with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc., we offer a place-based mission investing opportunity for donors. You may allocate a portion of your fund at The Community Foundation to invest in the development of deeply affordable and supportive housing in the region. As part of our Partnership to End Homelessness impact initiative with Enterprise, allocating dollars to this initiative supports our efforts to respond to the homelessness crisis by developing deeply affordable housing for our most marginalized neighbors.

Cash – Keeping your fund 100% liquid in cash is also an option for donors. The average money market rate over the past 13 months is 2.24%, ranging from a high of 2.47% to a current low of 1.62%. This option offers the least amount of risk and the corresponding yield reflects that.

Separately Managed Fund – Finally, if you have over $500,000 in your fund, you may name an external investment advisor to manage your investments.

When making decisions about which of these options is right for you, we encourage you to consider your risk tolerance, grantmaking time horizon, and philanthropic intentions for your fund.

If you would like to learn more about any of these investment options or talk to us about reallocating all or part of your fund’s investment, please contact Shannon Scott or Juliana Mitrojorgji.

This is distributed for general informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. The information, opinions and views contained herein have not been tailored to the investment objectives of any one individual. Nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice. Any reference to an investment’s past or potential performance is not and should not be construed as a recommendation or as a guarantee of any specific outcome or profit. Any ideas or strategies discussed herein should not be undertaken by any individual without prior consultation with a financial professional for the purpose of assessing whether the ideas or strategies that are discussed are suitable to you based on your own personal financial objectives, needs, and risk tolerance.

The Truth About Chronic Homelessness and The Solution

As a part of The Partnership to End Homelessness’ work to educate and engage donors and private sector investors, we host a regular learning series focused on issues related to housing and homelessness. The series features experts on topics such as family homelessness, chronic homelessness, racial equity, and more. To learn about future events, please contact Angela Willingham at awillingham@thecommunityfoundation.org.

Our panel featured Neil Albert (DowntownDC BID), Rhonda Whitaker (an advocate with lived experience), Schroeder Stribling (ICH and N Street Village), and Scott Schenkelberg (Miriam's Kitchen). Tonia Wellons, our Interim President and CEO, moderated …

Our panel featured Neil Albert (DowntownDC BID), Rhonda Whitaker (an advocate with lived experience), Schroeder Stribling (ICH and N Street Village), and Scott Schenkelberg (Miriam's Kitchen). Tonia Wellons, our Interim President and CEO, moderated the discussion.


On December 4, The Partnership to End Homelessness hosted our third learning series event, focused on The Truth About Chronic Homelessness. Chronic homelessness is defined as a person living with a disabling condition — such as mental illness, substance abuse disorders, or physical disabilities — a person who has experienced homelessness continuously for a year or more, or someone who has had four separate episodes of homelessness in three years.

Many people have a specific picture in mind when they think about someone who is experiencing chronic homelessness. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions and a general lack of awareness around solutions. To help event participants to better understand who are people experiencing chronic homelessness, our Interim President and CEO, Tonia Wellons, opened the conversation with some helpful data points.

First, Tonia pointed out that it is not just single men that experience chronic homelessness. In the District:

  • 13% of people experiencing chronic homelessness are with families,

  • 72% of women experiencing homelessness are chronically homelessness, and

  • Many people experiencing chronic homelessness are elderly (over the age of 62).

Tonia also highlighted data from a recent survey of people experiencing homelessness which found that nearly 40% of interviewees had worked and wanted to work, and that the loss of a job was the reason they had become homeless.

To help continue the conversation, we had an outstanding panel of experts join us to help participants learn about the solutions to chronic homelessness, including Permanent Supportive Housing. Permanent Supportive Housing, often referred to as PSH, is affordable housing combined with supportive services like case management and health care. Research has shown that PSH is not only effective at ending a person’s homelessness but can also improve health outcomes and save the system money. In the District, PSH has a 93% success rate and costs about half of what it would for someone to remain homeless for a year.

Speaking directly to the audience of business leaders and philanthropists, the panel highlighted an important opportunity and role for the private sector — funding advocacy. To take solutions to scale, we need public and private funding that is proportionate to the number of people who need housing and supports. To get to that point, we need to support nonprofit advocacy organizations that can raise the issue and continue working to make sure we understand the need and have proof of what works. One of our panelists, Scott Schenkelberg said it best when he said:

Fund advocacy. It creates real change and creates a better for system for ending homelessness.

Below are a few highlights from the event and information about how to get involved in our efforts to #EndHomelessnessDC.

“We have goals. We have families. We are people. I lost my job and became homeless. I got another job, but couldn’t afford a home. I was homeless for 25 years, but no one knew. I took later shifts to have a place to be warm.” - Rhonda Whitaker, Advocate with lived experience

“It costs $40,000 per year to keep someone homeless in DC. And Permanent Supportive Housing is cost effective - it costs $23,000 per year. A savings of almost 50%. And we know it works - PSH has a 93% success rate. ” - Scott Schenkelberg, CEO, Miriam’s Kitchen

“We are working with business owners in the DowntownDC BID to make them aware of resources available to people experiencing homelessness. We want the business community to engage and treat them as our brothers and sisters.” - Neil Albert, President & Chief Executive Officer, DowntownDC Business Improvement District

“The rate we transition people out of shelter is not keeping up with the rate of people coming into the shelter. We will not charity our way out of this problem...it is going to take all of us working together.” - Schroeder Stribling, Chief Executive Officer, N Street Village and Co-Chair, Executive Council, DC ICH

”We’re looking for champions. We’re extending the invite to you today to join us in the Partnership to End Homelessness.” -Tonia Wellons, Interim President and CEO, Greater Washington Community Foundation


If you are inspired and want to get involved, we invite you to join the Partnership to End Homelessness. Contact us or visit EndHomelessnessDC.org for more ways to contribute to the solution.

Meet our 2019 Montgomery County Philanthropists of the Year

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Hope Gleicher and Andy Burness met when he was just starting his mission-driven communications firm. Andy had been tasked to visit Baltimore’s Health Care for the Homeless where Hope was the founding executive director. Since then, Hope has led many philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, including the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, Trellis Fund, and Nonprofit Montgomery. Meanwhile, Andy’s business grew into a global communications firm working with hundreds of nonprofit and government partners working on solutions to challenging problems related to health, social justice, poverty alleviation, and scientific discovery. While raising their kids and juggling busy careers, Hope and Andy always made sure that giving was part of the fabric of their everyday lives.

Their quiet approach to philanthropy is informed by people on the front lines of service to those who suffer from inequities and injustices. When supporting people and organizations that share their values, Hope and Andy draw on their extensive knowledge and experience from their professional careers. That combination of time, talent, and financial resources has helped many nonprofits achieve game-changing breakthroughs, from small and emerging start-ups to large, visionary organizations.

Here in Montgomery County, some of their favorite organizations include Identity, the Crossroads Community Food Network, Manna Food Center, Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy, College Tracks, Interfaith Works, Rainbow Community Development Center, Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove. They also invest in efforts working toward systemic change, such as Nonprofit Montgomery and Montgomery Moving Forward. Additionally, as a co-founder and driving force behind Business Leaders Fighting Hunger, Andy has helped galvanize support for smart interventions to help ensure more of our low-income neighbors won’t have to worry where their next meal will come from.

Doing good is also central to the culture at Burness, the company Andy leads. In addition to offering a matching gift program for employees, the company has an employee-driven corporate giving strategy and distributes more than $100,000 each year to causes in Montgomery County and beyond.

We deeply appreciate Hope and Andy’s thoughtful leadership and advocacy, as well as their strategic philanthropy which have touched the lives of so many throughout our community. Their story illustrates the positive difference each of us can make when we give where we live.


Charitable giving in D.C. is well below the national average

By Tonia Wellons for the Washington Post Local Opinions

Tonia Wellons is interim president and chief executive of the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

The District is a magnet for some of the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful people. It’s also home to world-class museums, top-flight thinkers and the national headquarters for many of our nation’s most prominent nonprofits.

But even with these tremendous resources, we are conspicuously behind the curve when it comes to one important measure: generosity.

Tips for Family Giving


By Anna Hargrave, Executive Director for Montgomery County

“How can we get our children involved in giving?” This is one of the questions we hear frequently from our donors, especially around this time of year. We hear it about children of all ages—because parents never stop thinking about how to pass on their values.

And we have plenty of ideas to offer from our many years of working with individuals and families to maximize the benefits and impact of their giving. Here’s a taste:

Donors with their children and friends at one of The Community Foundation’s family-friendly learning events.

Donors with their children and friends at one of The Community Foundation’s family-friendly learning events.

TAKE YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOU when you volunteer or attend an event sponsored by an organization you care about, such as a site visit, presentation, or fundraiser. The rides to and from the event provide the perfect opportunity to prepare them for the experience and then to debrief. Be sure to tell them why you care, and ask about their reactions.

HOLIDAY GATHERINGS are the ideal setting for starting a conversation. With multiple generations represented at the table, it’s a fine time to introduce and discuss what each of you, and each generation, share in common and where you differ. Two simple ideas:

  • Storytelling - Many families tell treasured stories at each holiday. (If you need to jump-start the storytelling, check out these questions from StoryCorps.) Consider adding a new chapter to each story, telling how it makes you think about what you are most grateful for, and how you might express that through your giving.

  • Family giving circle - Invite everyone to join in giving together. For example, adults might all chip in an amount that the under-18 set are tasked with distributing. The kids can discuss and then report out to the whole family about their selection and what inspired them to choose that specific nonprofit. (Tip: The Catalogue for Philanthropy offers a browsable directory of local charities that are vetted by experts.)

Through a kid-to-kid giving circle, local middle school students got to experience the fun of discovering and making grants to great nonprofits.

Through a kid-to-kid giving circle, local middle school students got to experience the fun of discovering and making grants to great nonprofits.

ORGANIZE A FAMILY MEETING to deepen intergenerational ties and develop a plan that expresses your family’s core values. In our fast-paced culture it’s easy to skip straight to reviewing a list of potential organizations to support. But whether the next generation is six or sixty, it’s important to first carve out time for the kids and parents to uncover the values and life experiences that shape your giving priorities. Talking through a few key questions enables everyone to coalesce around a shared vision, help avoid conflict later and make it easier to get everyone to a resounding “yes” when you find the exact right causes to support.

The Community Foundation’s professional staff can design a meeting around your particular needs to write a family mission statement, identify goals and grantmaking priorities, and we can facilitate one-time or annual family meetings.

In working with hundreds of families, we’ve often seen most parents discover that giving helps them achieve more than one goal.  Conversations about philanthropy provide a platform for passing on values and can spark a passion so that the next generation experiences the joy of making a difference. Philanthropy can also keep family members close even as the kids grow up, move away, and get busy with careers and starting their own families.

Best of all, when you see your children thoughtfully and joyfully engaged in giving, you’ll know that your family legacy is in good hands.

Ready to find out more? Contact us at donorservices@thecommunityfoundation.org.

Family Philanthropy: Siblings Working Together in Honor of their Parents

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I feel we’re continuing our parent’s legacy and reinforcing things that were important to them and enriched their lives.
— Ellen Ross

At The Community Foundation, we love to help families experience the joy of giving and share their legacy with family members. One example of the power of families engaging in philanthropy comes from Rose and Harold Kramer who moved to Silver Spring in the early 1940s, where they raised three daughters and a son. Harold, after leaving the government, owned and operated several business ventures while Rose taught school before turning her attention to civic activities. Over the years, she was active in the League of Women Voters; served on the Montgomery County School Board, where she led the fight for school desegregation; and was elected to the Montgomery County Council, where she pushed for affordable housing.

Looking back, Ellen Ross recalls, "My mother became aware through her work that there were a lot of people in our community in need and a lot of inequities. Even a cross burning on our lawn didn't deter her from doing what she believed in."

"Dad had paved the way by making good investments, but mom was the driving force," says Ellen.

At the end of their lives, Rose and Harold told their children of their plan to create a fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation with a generous portion of their assets. When Rose passed away in 2006, the Rose and Harold Kramer Fund was established. Each year, one of their four children has the responsibility of making grants from the fund.  Reflecting on their parents’ legacy, the siblings all make a point to give to issues that move them individually while also investing in causes that they know would have inspired their mom and dad.

Early in the process, Ellen met with Anna Hargrave, Executive Director of The Community Foundation in Montgomery County. "Anna reads your personality really well and saw right away what I reacted well to. My first year was wonderfully interesting."

A resident of Wheaton, Ellen expressed an interest in local groups that provide after-school activities and college preparation for teens living in this multicultural neighborhood. In turn, Anna presented Ellen with a list of a dozen highly effective groups working with middle and high school students.  She then joined Anna in visiting several of the organizations to connect with the leaders, see their programs in action, and hear directly from students about how these programs support their success.

Reflecting on her experience, Ellen shared, “With the gaps between the economically secure and insecure growing wider every year, The Community Foundation has made me aware of programs that most effectively lessen the impact in Montgomery County. My husband and I have independently stepped up to do our share and always feel rewarded by knowing our diverse community has well designed programs to support a range of needs.”

Save the Date for the 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy

You’re invited to the 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy on March 12, 2020! Join us for the largest annual celebration of local philanthropy as we pay tribute to the individuals and organizations that dedicate their time and resources to make our region a more vibrant, equitable, and inclusive place to live. Mix and mingle with our region’s top local philanthropists, nonprofits, business, government, and community leaders, while toasting to The Community Foundation’s impact and legacy of bringing people and resources together for community change.

Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Clark courtesy of the Clark Foundation.

Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Clark courtesy of the Clark Foundation.

At the Celebration, we are proud to present the 2020 Civic Spirit Award to the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation for its commitment to expanding opportunities for our neighbors and communities to thrive. Mr. and Mrs. Clark believed in quietly and generously giving back to local organizations serving the community where they lived, worked, and achieved their success. Now under the leadership of their daughter, Courtney Clark Pastrick, the Foundation continues this philanthropic legacy by investing in building connections between effort and opportunity to help people achieve their greatest ambitions.

You’ll also experience the region’s vibrant local arts community while enjoying delicious food, an open bar, and networking opportunities. You can choose from an incredible line up of pop up performances of live music, theater, poetry, and dance from some of the region's most exciting nonprofits and local artists supported by The Community Foundation and our community of givers. To learn more about performance opportunities, please click here.


When you purchase a ticket or sponsorship for this event, you are also giving back to your community by supporting our efforts to build thriving communities throughout the region. Proceeds benefit The Community Foundation's Fund for Greater Washington, enabling us to make grants to effective nonprofits, incubate new ideas, convene partners to address community issues, and conduct programmatic initiatives and advocacy. Through this Fund, The Community Foundation invests in effective solutions to help our marginalized neighbors find pathways out of poverty, create diverse and inclusive spaces to deepen human connection, and prepare workers to succeed in our region’s changing economy.

Sponsorship Packages

We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities for organizations of all sizes and for individuals who want to celebrate with us and share their great work with an audience of 700+ community, philanthropic, local government, and business leaders— contact Emily Davis for more details.


Thursday, March 12, 2020
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


New Location!

Andrew Mellon Auditorium
1301 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20240


Ticket sales will open in January 2020

General Admission: $200

Nonprofit and Emerging Philanthropists: $125

Business Attire

Apply to Perform or host an art station at the 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy

The Community Foundation is currently accepting proposals for performance and interactive art/activity stations at our 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy. The event will take place on Thursday, March 12, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.

The Celebration of Philanthropy is a networking reception featuring pop-up performances and visual arts displays showcasing some of the region's most exciting artists and nonprofit arts organizations supported by The Community Foundation and our community of givers. Performances are staggered throughout the evening and across the venue, allowing guests to experience the region’s vibrant local arts community while enjoying delicious food, an open bar, and networking opportunities with friends and colleagues.

We are seeking nonprofit arts and other organizations that showcase the diversity of the Greater Washington region (DC, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George’s County). We aim to feature new groups and/or performances every year. When selecting groups, we select groups that represent a wide variety of art forms (see examples below). Performances and art stations that feature interactive elements with audience members will also be prioritized.

The annual Celebration brings together more than 700 local philanthropists, nonprofits, business, government, and community leaders to honor their individual and collective contributions to making our region a more equitable, vibrant, and inclusive place to live.

This is an open call for proposals that demonstrate:

  • Performance art — Pop-up performances (10-15 minutes) of live music, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, or other performances featuring individuals and/or groups of artists of all disciplines and ages. Performances are scheduled throughout the evening and across the venue – most do NOT take place on a traditional stage. For examples of last year’s performances, click here.

  • Visual arts stations or interactive displays — Interactive and participatory displays or art stations that engage the audience as individuals or a group. Stations may run throughout the evening in various areas of the event space. Examples include live painting, jewelry making, photo or art exhibits, roving video interviews, and more.

Please note: The Celebration offers guests a festive atmosphere. It is a standing and roving reception and the noise level of the crowd can conflict with performance audio.

Eligibility Requirements

We will consider applications from artists and nonprofit organizations that are:

  • located in and/or serving residents of the Greater Washington region, including DC, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George’s County;

  • current or past grantees of The Community Foundation and/or its donor component funds; and

  • available the evening of Thursday, March 12, 2020, from roughly 4:00-9:00 pm, and for a pre-scheduled walk through and rehearsal prior to the event.

You may submit as many ideas as you’d like for consideration. Proposals are due, via the online form below, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 20, 2019.

Individuals and organizations selected for performance opportunities will be notified in mid-January 2020. Selected individuals/organizations will receive a $500 honorarium (one per performance) and up to two tickets for staff or guests to attend the event. Please send your questions to marketing@thecommunityfoundation.org.

Fill out my online form.

Quarterly Update to Fundholders


Dear friends,

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I hope this note finds you enjoying a happy and healthy start to your holiday season. In September, the Board of Trustees asked me to serve as Interim President and CEO, bridging Bruce McNamer’s departure and our search for a permanent successor. It is my pleasure to serve in this capacity and to continue the critical work of The Community Foundation. During this transition, I will continue to prioritize our efforts to Build Thriving Communities through local philanthropy, move full steam ahead on our impact initiatives across the region, and continue to cultivate and build strong partnerships with you, our fundholders. 

I am also excited to share the news that our Board of Trustees has elected Katharine Weymouth as our new Board Chair. As Katharine takes on this mantle, she continues a family a legacy of giving and service to the Greater Washington region. Her grandmother (and namesake) Katharine Graham, who ran The Washington Post for more than two decades, also served on the board of The Community Foundation for nearly a decade. Katharine Weymouth previously served as Publisher and CEO of The Washington Post, and today she serves on the Board of Graham Holdings and is the COO at DineXpert.

Thanks to your continued support and partnership, last quarter our community of givers awarded more than $15.3 million in grants to organizations serving the most critical needs of our communities. This included $1.95 million in grants from the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families, managed by The Community Foundation, to support 46 nonprofits making a difference around some of our region’s biggest challenges in education, homelessness, and foster care. We were pleased to release a new online dashboard featuring the impact of the City Fund, detailing our five-year partnership with the District to invest $15 million in local nonprofits providing quality services to make DC a healthy, stable, and vibrant place to live for all residents. We also held donor education and engagement events across the region, including a discussion of lessons learned from our strategic emergency response efforts during the partial Federal Government shutdown earlier this year.

These are only a few examples of the ways in which we partner with you and our entire community of givers and doers to strengthen our communities. To support and sustain this vital work, we rely on generous gifts from our donors and on Community Foundation Support Fees charged to fundholders like you. These fees both support our critical community impact work and enable us to provide you with high-quality fund management and philanthropic advisory services throughout the year.

As we announced this summer, our Board of Trustees voted to increase our baseline Community Foundation Support Fees for the first time in 10 years — affecting most scholarship funds and non-endowed donor-advised, designated, field of interest, memorial, and disaster relief funds. The revised fees schedule took effect on October 1, 2019 and will be reflected on your February 2020 fund statement (for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2019). Please contact us if you have any questions.

With 2019 coming to an end, The Community Foundation's staff can assist with carrying out your charitable giving to maximize both the impact and tax benefits of your gifts. Now is an ideal time to consider replenishing your fund at The Community Foundation. You can add to your fund now and make grants any time you wish. Please be mindful of our December 16 deadline for your year-end grantmaking activities to ensure your recommended grantees receive their funds by December 31.

Your continued partnership and support are crucial as we seek to build thriving communities today and for generations to come. We welcome the opportunity to discuss how The Community Foundation can support your charitable interests.


Tonia Wellons
Interim President and CEO

P.S. You can find more information and stories of impact on our website or by following us on social media (@communityfndn on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram).

Ensuring an Equitable Future for Our Region Through a Fair and Accurate Census Count

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The 2020 Count DMV In Census Project is proud to announce its first round of grants to ensure an accurate, and complete census count in the Greater Washington region. Grants will support 20 local nonprofit organizations undertaking education, outreach, and assistance focused on hard-to-count communities in the region, ahead of the March 2020 census, with a goal of increasing census participation in those communities.

The 2020 Count DMV In Census Project recognizes that a complete and accurate census count is critical for advancing racial equity in our communities. Historically, the census count disproportionately left out communities of color, immigrants, young children, low-income, and rural households. It is estimated that more than 55,000 individuals were “undercounted” in this region in 2010. With that many people undercounted, the full picture of our communities and their needs cannot possibly be captured.

Video courtesy of the United Way of the National Capital Area, a funder of the 2020 Count DMV In Census Project.

When populations are undercounted in the census, communities are impacted in multiple ways, with communities of color the most adversely impacted. For example, the census count determines the number of representatives a region has in government. An undercount could mean less representation than necessary for some of our most hard-to-count populations, resulting in a loss of power, influence, and likely decreased focus and mismatched investments in their priorities and concerns, which will have real consequences for the next decade. Federal funding for social service programs – such as maternal and child health, Head Start, supplemental food programs, subsidized housing, and other human services (more than $24 billion to DC, Maryland, and Virginia combined!)— could be drastically reduced and fail to meet the full needs of our communities that are historically and persistently subjected to divestment. Businesses that are urgently needed – like grocery stores and healthcare providers – may fail to open in under-resourced neighborhoods because the data does not reflect current or potential for future demand.

With the importance of the census count in mind, we are proud to award a total of $287,000 to organizations committed to a fair and accurate count of all residents of the DMV. The organizations listed below are focusing on a variety of communities in our region, including people living with disabilities, communities of color, returning citizens, and more. These organizations also work with communities across the Greater Washington region, including DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Northern Virginia. We encourage you to read below to learn not only which organizations we funded, but also how they specifically plan to encourage historically undercounted communities to participate in the census and be heard.

Donors to the 2020 Count DMV In Census Project include Bainum Family Foundation, the Bauman Foundation, Consumer Health Foundation, Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, United Way of the National Capital Area, and Weissberg Foundation. The Greater Washington Community Foundation administers grants on behalf of the project and conducted a rigorous application review process to vet grantee organizations for funding.

2020 Count DMV In Census Project Grant Recipients

Arc of the District of Columbia, Inc. to engage and educate people living with disabilities to complete the census with appropriate and accessible supports in place.

Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) to support efforts in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County to reach hard-to-count Asian-Pacific American populations.

CASA de Maryland, Inc. to support a census outreach program specifically promoting the participation of low-income immigrants and Latinx families in Northern Virginia.

DC Action for Children to engage children as youth ambassadors to convince families, friends, and neighbors to complete the 2020 census form and ensure that all people living in their household are counted.

District of Columbia Baptist Convention to support residents served by District of Columbia Baptist Convention’s interfaith member congregations in the DMV region through educational and awareness campaigns.

Edu-Futuro to reach hard-to-count Latinx populations in the DMV region through Linea Directa, a half-hour Spanish language program focusing on the importance of participating in the census. 

Ethiopian Community Center, Inc. to ensure that newly arrived African-immigrant residents in Montgomery County, MD have the information and support they need to participate fully in the 2020 census, by engaging individuals and families with limited English proficiency.

Greater Washington Urban League to fulfill the needs of census outreach and participation for people of color in the District, specifically wards 5, 7, and 8.

Justice for Muslims Collective (Defending Rights and Dissent Inc.) to engage Arab, Middle East Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities and businesses through outreach and awareness building in the DMV region. 

La Clinica del Pueblo (Promotores) to support promotoras de salud (community health workers) who will conduct education and outreach to hard-to-reach Latinx populations to encourage participation in the 2020 census.

Latino Economic Development Corporation to educate and reach out to small businesses in DC on the importance of the census.

Montgomery College Foundation - Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center to support student ambassadors at Montgomery College to engage in strategic outreach in hard-to-count communities in Montgomery County, MD.

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium Inc. to support outreach activities including education and raising awareness of the census within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Northern Virginia.

Prince George’s County Children’s Resource Center to advance census work in Prince George’s County to engage families and children ages 0-5.

Progressive Maryland Education Fund to engage low-income residents and communities of color in Prince George’s County on their participation in the 2020 census.

Restaurant Opportunities Centers ROC United, Inc. to support ROC DC’s efforts to incorporate census work in its outreach and education programs designed for low-wage restaurant workers.

Seabury Resources for Aging to support outreach to low- to moderate-income older adults in DC and Silver Spring, MD.

United Planning Organization to host information sessions for participants in their training programs for people of color in wards 5,7, and 8 and encourage students in its employment training programs to apply for positions in support of the census. 

Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights Inc. to support outreach efforts in Northern Virginia, specifically to Latinx, Asian, and African immigrant communities.

Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement to support outreach efforts to communities of color and immigrant communities in Northern Virginia.

New Tips for Your Year-End Charitable Giving

By Rebecca Rothey, Vice President of Development and Senior Philanthropic Advisor

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As the end of the year approaches, now is the time to plan for your charitable giving! The Community Foundation is here to help make your giving wise, simple, and fun. Here are a few tips of how our donors have maximized their assets to make powerful and meaningful gifts.

Tip One: Use Appreciated Assets to Diversify

If you own appreciated assets, such as stocks, that you’ve held for more than one year, consider gifting them first. When you make a gift of an appreciated asset you can benefit in the following ways:

  • Receive an income tax deduction for the fair market value of the transferred stock.

  • Avoid capital gains tax, regardless of how much your stock has appreciated.

For an added benefit, if you make a gift of stock rather than cash, you can use the cash you would have given to purchase more of the same stock. As a result, you will have made your gift and you still own the same stock—only now with a higher cost basis. Some donors who are concerned about a possible pending recession have used gifting to a charitable fund as an opportunity to diversify and create a pool of charitable assets, capturing gain into a fund ahead of a downturn and investing the charitable fund in cash to preserve value.

One of our long-time donors follows market activity closely. Rather than wait until year-end, he gives when he believes the market is likely at the highest it will go that year. Last year, he gave in August, gifting his stocks at their highest value before the market declined in September.

Tip Two: New Tax Laws Reward Cash Giving

Last year, one of our donors opened a substantial fund after selling her home. While she had a capital gains tax liability from the sale, the higher deduction for cash made the transaction a wash for income tax purposes.

If you are fortunate to be in a position to give a large sum in one year or over multiple years, speak with your accountant about the possible benefits of giving cash. Although it is usually better to gift appreciated assets because of the capital gains tax avoidance, under the new tax law you may now deduct up to 60% of your adjusted gross income for gifts of cash. Consider front-loading a charitable fund at The Community Foundation, maximizing our charitable income tax deduction in that year or up to five years using the carry-forward charitable deduction.

Tip Three: Unique Benefits from IRA Gifts

If you are over 70.5 and are not already doing so, consider making a gift directly to The Community Foundation from your IRA. While you may not make an IRA Charitable Rollover gift to a donor-advised fund, there are several options for establishing other types of funds that will help you achieve your charitable goals while simplifying your giving. Benefits of a charitable IRA gift include:

  • Reduce Your Taxable Income: By rolling over some or all your RMD from your IRA to charity, you can reduce your taxable income this year.

  • Lower Your Social Security Tax: Reducing your taxable income with an IRA rollover gift may also reduce the tax due on your social security payments.

  • Avoid IRS Tax Limits: IRA rollover gifts may be made over and above the normal cash gift limit mentioned above.

  • No Need to Itemize: If you do not itemize your deductions, you can still benefit from the reduction in income and tax resulting from an IRA rollover gift.

One of our donors shared that he and his wife are delighted to simplify their IRA giving through a fund at The Community Foundation. They have an additional donor-advised fund as well, for gifts outside their IRA giving.

Tip Four: Don’t Forget About Property

One of our donors is a couple who earned income from rental properties, but decided they no longer wished to manage them. Rather than sell the properties and pay the capital gains tax, they gifted two of their houses directly to a donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation. They were able to take a charitable income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property and created a fund their children will advise when they’ve passed away.

If you own property, such as a second home, commercial, or rental properties, consider gifting all or a portion of the property directly to a charitable fund.

We hope these tips offer new ways to think about your charitable giving! Your giving is instrumental to making the Greater Washington region a more thriving, just and enriching place to live for all.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Rebecca Rothey, rrothey@thecommunityfoundation.org or 202-263-476.

Disclaimer: The Community Foundation does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your advisor before making a gift.

Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP®, AEP®, gave an engaging presentation on Working with Professional Advisors to a packed room at the annual Practical Planned Giving Conference.

Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP®, AEP®, gave an engaging presentation on Working with Professional Advisors to a packed room at the annual Practical Planned Giving Conference.

2019 Year End Gifts & Grantmaking

Please note: The Community Foundation is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. We will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and Jan. 1, and we will close early on Dec. 31 at 1 p.m.

As we near the end of the year, we would like to recognize our donors and their generosity throughout 2019. You’ve continued to demonstrate a strong philanthropic spirit by maintaining and establishing new funds, and recommending thousands of grants to local and national nonprofit organizations.

In an effort to assist you with carrying out your end-of-year philanthropic goals, please see below for The Community Foundation’s deadlines regarding year-end giving and grantmaking activities:


Grant recommendations submitted by December 16 will be processed by December 31, provided the grantee organization meets The Community Foundation’s due diligence requirements. Due to increased volume, we cannot guarantee that grant recommendations submitted after December 16 will be processed and mailed in 2019.

PLEASE NOTE: Grants submitted prior to December 16, 2019 must also be approved (meeting The Community Foundation’s due diligence requirements) to be processed and mailed by December 31, 2019.

Grant recommendations should be submitted through your Donor Central account. Questions regarding Donor Central can be forwarded to Emily Davis (202-973-2501, edavis@thecommunityfoundation.org).


Stock and cash gifts (check, wire, online) submitted to The Community Foundation by December 31 will be earmarked as a 2019 contribution. Please note: The gift must be in The Community Foundation’s account by this day to be eligible for a 2019 tax deduction.

Gifts made online:

Gifts can be made online at www.thecommunityfoundation.org/donate. 

Gifts made via check can be sent to:          

Attn: Finance Department
Greater Washington Community Foundation
1325 G Street NW
Suite 480
Washington, DC 20005

*Please include the name of the fund in the memo line of the check. 

**Checks sent by US Postal Service mail can be earmarked as a 2019 contribution if postmarked by the US Postal Service on or before December 31.

Gifts of cash or securities made via wire transfer:

Please see the instructions for making gifts of cash or securities by wire transfer.  Please contact the Finance Department at 202-955-5890 if there are any questions. Monies must be in The Community Foundation’s account by December 31, to be earmarked as a 2019 contribution.

Gifts made via transfer from mutual funds:

In order for gifts made from mutual funds submitted to The Community Foundation to be received by December 31 and earmarked as a 2019 contribution, the transfer must be initiated by December 6, 2019.

Black and Brown Coalition Announces Vision to End Inequities in Montgomery County Public Schools

Post by Kimberly Rusnak, Project Director for the Children's Opportunity Fund

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“Everyone wins if we can tackle the achievement gap,” said Diego Uriburu, the Executive Director of Identity and a key leader in the Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence.

As I sat in the auditorium at Gaithersburg High School for the Black and Brown Forum for Educational Equity and Excellence on the night of October 15, I was amazed by the power and energy in the room. The Black and Brown Coalition—a group of nonprofit partners led by Identity, a Montgomery County nonprofit serving Latino youth and families, and the NAACP of Montgomery County — shared moving data points, told stories, and led the audience to understand how black and brown children do not have access to the same opportunities as their peers.

Their data came from the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system, where educators commissioned a resource study that showed three dramatic inequities:

  • Black and Latino students in MCPS from low-income families are 1.5 times more likely to have a novice teacher than their peers.

  • Lower-income elementary and middle schools are much more likely to attend schools led by novice principals. In Title 1 elementary schools, more than half of the principals have less than 3 years of experience in MCPS, and more than 60% of low-income middle schools have a novice principal.

  • Black and Latino students are less likely to have access to the most rigorous curriculum than their peers.

In addition to these powerful statistics, students shared stories about how this inequality affected their own educational experiences. Giankarlo Vera, an MCPS graduate, shared how he once dreamed of becoming a doctor. Despite an excellent GPA in honors classes, none of the counselors ever encouraged him to look at four-year universities or provided guidance on how to pursue his dream. He reflected,

“Where was all the support that I was promised when I enrolled in MCPS schools?”

Education is a key factor that impacts all aspects of life. A great education can pull an individual out of poverty. It is especially important in Montgomery County, a county with a reputation for an excellent school system, that everyone benefits.

One especially moving moment occurred when Ruby Rubens, a long-time education activist, shared that a group of concerned parents named 1977 made similar requests of MCPS 42 years ago. Despite a positive response from the administration at the time, not much has improved.

The time to act is now. Approximately 1,000 people attended the event on a Tuesday night – including elected officials, community organizations, parents, students, educators, and other groups of concerned citizens. They sent a message, loud and clear, that the Montgomery County community cares about equity in education.

I was proud to participate and represent the Children’s Opportunity Fund to pledge our support to strengthen education for all Montgomery County students. The Children’s Opportunity Fund is a proud partner, planner, and supporter of the Coalition’s work, including this forum. Through the Children’s Opportunity Fund, we will continue to invest in evidence-informed solutions to drive our community toward better outcomes for all. We recognize that no one person or organization can do this work alone. There is power in numbers.

We can no longer stand idly by and wait for others to get this right. We need to get loud. We need to push. We need to influence and demand positive change. The Children’s Opportunity Fund is ready to catalyze this change. In partnership with the Black and Brown Coalition, the Children’s Opportunity Fund will continue working to amplify community voice and ensure that county officials understand the importance of closing the achievement gap for all students in Montgomery County.

If you have questions or would like to support with the Children’s Opportunity Fund, please contact Kimberly Rusnak, Project Director for the Children's Opportunity Fund at krusnak@thecommunityfoundation.org.

New Cohort of Nonprofit Leaders Selected for Leadership Development Award

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, Jorge Figueredo, Markus Larsson, Lecester Johnson, and Alex Orfinger pose together at the awards presentation.

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, Jorge Figueredo, Markus Larsson, Lecester Johnson, and Alex Orfinger pose together at the awards presentation.

We’re excited to announce the second cohort of the David Bradt Nonprofit Leadership Award: Shannon Babe-Thomas, Jorge Figueredo, Lecester Johnson, and Markus Larsson. These four nonprofit leaders were selected from among an impressive group of more than 45 applications and nominations. They will be awarded a grant to invest in their own professional development to enhance their leadership, creative thinking, strategy, management skills, and networks. We see this award as an investment in their future, and in the future of our nonprofit sector.

The award was named after and established in honor of David Bradt, a quietly effective leader and champion of the Greater Washington region’s nonprofit sector for several decades. A few years ago, his friend Alex Orfinger wanted to find a meaningful way to salute David’s many years of service to our local community. Teaming up with David’s wife, Diane Tipton, Alex and Diane invited friends and family to join them in establishing the David Bradt Nonprofit Education Fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Their vision was to provide an annual award to enable nonprofit leaders in the Greater Washington region to attend an intensive executive training program. Through investments in leadership development, the David Bradt Nonprofit Education Fund will have a long-lasting, tangible impact on our community by enhancing the capacity and influence of the region’s most effective nonprofits. Learn about the award’s first cohort: Lauren Biel, Patricia Funegra, and Adam Rocap.

With facilitation by The Community Foundation staff, the steering committee recently selected the following awardees:

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, and Diane Tipton.

Shannon Babe-Thomas, Executive Director of Community Bridges

Community Bridges serves immigrant and minority girls, grades 4-12, and their families living at or below the federal poverty line in Montgomery County. By addressing the development needs of these girls, Community Bridges empowers them to become exception students, positive leaders, and healthy young women. Since Shannon became the executive director three years ago, Community Bridges has almost tripled the number of girls served to over 340 and doubled its cohort of mentors to 46. More than an executive director, Shannon is also a civic leader who listens to the community and thinks strategically about how Community Bridges can constantly improve to meet the evolving needs of its clients. Shannon plans to attend Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

David Bradt, Jorge Figueredo, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Jorge Figueredo, and Diane Tipton.

Jorge Figueredo, Executive Director of Edu-Futuro

Edu-Futuro was established in 1998 to serve immigrant youth and families in Northern Virginia through its Emerging Leaders academic enrichment program for youth, its parent empowerment services, and its language enrichment programs for children. Since becoming Edu-Futuro’s executive director four years ago, Jorge has helped triple the number of clients served through Edu-Futuro’s programs to 1,694 and has been instrumental in growing the organization’s capacity. Jorge sets a tone of integrity, innovation, and creativity that will pave the way for Edu-Futuro’s success into the future. Jorge plans to attend Harvard Business Schools’ Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program.

David Bradt, Lecester Johnson, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Lecester Johnson, and Diane Tipton.

Lecester Johnson, CEO of Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School

Academy of Hope provides adult learners with the instructional programs and services they need to earn their high school credential, obtain workforce training, or continue onto advanced training or college. In her 13 years as CEO, Lecester has overseen Academy of Hope’s transition from a small, community-based volunteer literacy organization to an adult public charter school with Middle States Accreditation. She also helped to start and led the DC Adult and Family Literacy Coalition for three years, which advocated for resources that have helped move the needle for adult learners across the District, including the career pathways innovation fund and a fund for much-needed transportation support. Lecester plans to attend Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

David Bradt, Markus Larsson, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Markus Larsson, and Diane Tipton.

Markus Larsson, Founder and Executive Director of Life Asset

Markus founded Life Asset to fill an unmet need for microloans and training for low-income entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington region. Since its creation, Life Asset has become the second largest Small Business Administration microlender in terms of number of loans under $50,000 in the country. In 2018, Life Asset provided 800 microloans and trained 1,600 entrepreneurs. Markus is known for his collaborative spirit and the learning culture he has created at Life Asset, which has helped it create a model for other microlenders. Markus is exploring management and entrepreneurship programs from Stanford, George Washington, and Georgetown.

For more information about the awards, please contact Kate Daniel, Donor Services Associate.

The Impact of the City Fund's Investments in DC

By Tonia Wellons, Interim President and CEO

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Imagine someone gave you $15 million to invest in local programs to help improve lives. Where would you invest those dollars? What information would you need to help make those decisions? How would you know if that $15 million was well spent?

While this sounds like a fantasy scenario for a foundation, these are some of the hard questions the Greater Washington Community Foundation had to ask when the District of Columbia entrusted us to lead the City Fund.

The City Fund was established in 2013 via legislation passed by the DC City Council to support former Mayor Vincent Gray’s One City Action Plan to grow and diversity the District’s economy, educate and prepare the workforce for the new economy, and improve the quality of life for all DC residents. It was designed as a five-year initiative, with the final round of City Fund grantmaking concluding in 2018. The City Fund was an unprecedented government/philanthropic partnership for our region. For the first three years, the City Fund was focused on driving community improvement around seven priority issue areas—the arts, education, the environment, health, public safety, senior and disability services, and workforce development. Over time, the City Fund’s focus shifted to support Mayor Bowser’s Safer, Stronger initiative with investments focused on improving the lives of individuals and families in District neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by inequities related to social determinants of health, including access to educational, economic, and job opportunities; access to health care services; quality of education and job training; and recurring exposure to violent crime.

The Community Foundation worked with Mayor Gray as a trusted local philanthropic partner to design a rigorous, transparent, independent, and community-informed grantmaking process to support dozens of excellent nonprofits working in all 8 wards throughout the District. The grantmaking program focused on investments in programs and building the capacity of nonprofits to provide quality services that will make the District a more healthy, stable, and vibrant place to live for all its residents. Over the course of several grant rounds, The Community Foundation’s staff engaged community members—including issue area experts, Community Foundation board members, and other vital stakeholders—to help us make funding decisions.

District of Columbia Youth Orchestra, one of the City Fund's grantees, performing at the White House in 2016.

District of Columbia Youth Orchestra, one of the City Fund's grantees, performing at the White House in 2016.

We are proud today to unveil a final online report to the community that encompasses the breadth and depth of our City Fund initiative. We have partnered with mySidewalk to create the City Fund Dashboard. The Dashboard provides an analysis of the scope of the City Fund’s investments, the impact of our nonprofit partners, and the context in which the investments were made. By exploring the dashboard, we are hopeful you will learn something new about our community and the incredible work that our nonprofit partners undertake each and every day to make our community stronger. In doing so, you will follow in the footsteps of the dozens of community stakeholders, issue-area experts, and partners who contributed their expertise and lived experience to this initiative. We thank them for their service to our community!

With a fund this large, it can be difficult to realize the impact on individuals in our city. We invite you to read the story of Chloe [name changed], an 11-year-old who found a home before she became a victim of sex trafficking. She was assisted by FAIR Girls, who used funding from the City Fund to hire a youth case manager whose full-time job is to serve trafficked and exploited children in the nation’s capital. You can read more about FAIR Girls and Chloe’s story here.

The City Fund is just one example of how The Community Foundation partners with local governments as a trusted grantmaking partner. The Community Foundation thanks the District of Columbia government, the Council of the District of Columbia, Mayors Bowser and Gray, and all the fantastic grantees who made the City Fund initiative a success.

For more information about the City Fund, or how you can partner with The Community Foundation, please contact Benton Murphy, Associate Vice President of Community Investment, at bmurphy@thecommunityfoundation.org.

A Legacy Endures With Our New Board Chair

Do you have a family legacy that has lasted generations?  Here at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, we are proud to be part of many family legacies, but one in particular has recently given us cause to celebrate. Our Board of Trustees has elected Katharine Weymouth as our new Board Chair at the Greater Washington Community Foundation. As Weymouth takes on this mantle, she continues a family a legacy of giving in the Greater Washington region that began in 1917.

Katharine Weymouth served as Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post, the newspaper division of The Washington Post Company, from 2008 through the end of 2014. Today she serves on the Board of Graham Holdings, Cable One, Republic Services, and the Philip L. Graham Fund. She is also COO at DineXpert, a start-up helping independent restaurants improve their margin.

Katharine Weymouth (center), with her grandmother Katharine Graham (left), daughter (in Weymouth’s arms), and her mother Lally Weymouth (right) at the National Cathedral.

Katharine Weymouth (center), with her grandmother Katharine Graham (left), daughter (in Weymouth’s arms), and her mother Lally Weymouth (right) at the National Cathedral.

For Weymouth, giving is part of her family’s legacy. Most famously, her grandmother (and namesake) Katharine Graham, acted on a passion to create equal opportunities in education. Graham, who ran The Washington Post for more than two decades, also served on the board of The Community Foundation. She joined the board in the early 1990s when then-Board Chairman R. Robert Linowes hand-picked her as part of a restructuring effort to revitalize The Community Foundation. Graham served on the board for nearly a decade.

“I was lucky enough to be born into an amazing family - and a family of strong women,” said Katharine Weymouth. “My grandmother, Katharine Graham, loved this region. My grandmother was passionate about creating equal opportunities for all to have access to a good education.”

Graham also established the Early Childhood Collaboration of Southeast Washington at The Community Foundation to increase education equity in Washington, DC.

Katharine Weymouth.

Katharine Weymouth.

A generation before Katharine Graham, Weymouth’s great-grandmother, Agnes Meyer, moved to DC in 1917. Meyer also contributed to education-related philanthropy.  She was a founding member of the National Citizens’ Commission for the Support of the Public Schools.  Weymouth’s uncle, Don Graham, has spent his life in DC and is renowned for his philanthropic efforts in the region.  Among his many contributions, he worked with other business leaders in the region to establish the DC College Access Program, providing counseling and financial aid to help DC high school graduates to attend and complete college.

How does Weymouth plan to apply this legacy to her work today? For one thing, it means that the Greater Washington region is close to her heart.

“I love this region and I care about its future,” Weymouth said. “Washington has changed so much since I moved here in 1993. Washington has evolved to have a much more diverse business and tech community. It has become a city that draws millennials and continues to draw people who want to serve their country and then fall in love with DC and the region.”

But Weymouth recognizes that change comes with a price. She points to the region’s rising housing costs that continue to outpace local incomes, and a lack of equal access to education. 

“The region has always suffered from too great a divide,” Weymouth said, “between the wealthy and those struggling to live paycheck to paycheck or needing a safety net. As affordable housing has become harder and harder to find, this divide has only become more pronounced. I see housing and the inequality in this region as our single biggest challenge.”

Weymouth says that serving on the board of The Community Foundation makes her feel more empowered to help the region. She plans to bring her many years of leadership to the board, especially in finding ways to gain greater visibility for The Community Foundation and to engage a broader community to become part of The Community Foundation’s vision. 

“To me, the most powerful thing about The Community Foundation is its power as a convener and a leader in the community,” said Weymouth. “Through our donors, The Community Foundation supports thousands of amazing organizations doing important work in our communities.  But its most important role, I believe, is its role identifying the most critical needs of the communities we serve and working to pull together public and private partnerships to really make a difference.

“I have always been inspired by the often-quoted words of President Kennedy: ‘For of those to whom much is given, much is required.’  I am ever grateful for the education I received and what it allowed me to accomplish.  I want to be able to afford others the same opportunities.”

We are so excited to have Katharine Weymouth lead our Board of Trustees!

A Leadership Transition at The Community Foundation

Bruce McNamer, President and CEO will be leaving the Greater Washington Community Foundation in mid-October. He has been recruited to help build a new private foundation in Chicago and will be relocating there with his young family.

Interim President & CEO Tonia Wellons and outgoing President & CEO Bruce McNamer in 2017 at the release event for the inaugural VoicesDMV report.

Interim President & CEO Tonia Wellons and outgoing President & CEO Bruce McNamer in 2017 at the release event for the inaugural VoicesDMV report.

In 2015, Bruce was selected to lead The Community Foundation, a nearly 50-year old organization which has invested more than $1.2 billion to strengthen the region by addressing the greatest needs facing our neighbors and communities. During his four-year tenure, Bruce helped to reinvigorate The Community Foundation with a new comprehensive strategic plan and exciting new programmatic initiatives. He recruited a new leadership team, diversified the Board of Trustees, and invested in improving internal processes and systems. Last year, The Community Foundation mobilized more than $66 million in donor contributions and granted out more than $64 million to a diverse range of causes – including neighborhood revitalization, education, health and human services, arts and culture, workforce development programs, and to reduce income inequality.

Under Bruce’s leadership, The Community Foundation added several vital new initiatives to its existing grantmaking and community leadership programs. The Resilience Fund was created in early 2017 in partnership with the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation and several donors concerned about the local impact of changes in federal policies and the increasing climate of anti-other sentiment disproportionately impacting people of color, immigrant, and refugee communities. The Fund has raised and leveraged more than $1 million and made grants to community-based organizations helping area residents affected by changes to immigration and deportation policies. It has also responded to increases in instances of hate and intolerance in the region by supporting grassroots community engagement and expanding anti-bullying and anti-bigotry programs in local schools.

In late 2017, The Community Foundation launched VoicesDMV, a community engagement initiative designed to connect directly with the people and communities it serves to understand their perceptions of the quality of life in the region. The inaugural year included hosting a series of community conversations, focus groups, and an online survey of more than 3,000 people. VoicesDMV found that despite our region’s economic growth, deep disparities in income and opportunity persist and prevent many of our neighbors from accessing the region’s prosperity. The resulting report has been a catalyst for more effective community investments across the region and even influenced The Community Foundation’s shift to a new Building Thriving Communities strategic framework focused on addressing poverty, deepening culture and human connection, and preparing for the future of work.

This year, The Community Foundation joined with Mayor Bowser and the District’s Interagency Council on Homelessness to launch the Partnership to End Homelessness — a multi-stakeholder, multi-million-dollar grantmaking, policy, and investment platform focused on making homelessness in DC rare, brief, and non-recurring. The Partnership will capitalize on the city’s momentum by aligning public and private sector resources and strategies to increase the supply of deeply affordable and supportive housing and to help more of our neighbors transition from shelters into homes.

“My time at The Community Foundation has been special for so many reasons — it was a time to learn from and work with so many wonderful people and organizations; a time to invest deeply in a community that after 20 years I have come to call home; a time to work with colleagues and a remarkable Board to build our institution and our impact,” said Bruce McNamer. “I am proud of the progress we have made toward building a more equitable, just, and thriving region for all. And I am confident The Community Foundation is in a very strong position today with capable and committed staff, donors, and partners to build on the momentum we have created to ensure this critical community impact work will continue.”

Bruce McNamer, Mayor Muriel Bower, and 2018 Civic Spirit Award Winner Carol Thompson Cole at our 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy.

Bruce McNamer, Mayor Muriel Bower, and 2018 Civic Spirit Award Winner Carol Thompson Cole at our 2018 Celebration of Philanthropy.

The Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees has established a search committee and is in the process of hiring an executive search firm to find a permanent replacement. In the meantime, the board has named Tonia Wellons as The Community Foundation’s Interim President and CEO. While serving as the VP of Community Investment for the past three years, Tonia spearheaded The Community Foundation’s investments in strengthening our region, led the refresh of our grantmaking strategy to focus on Building Thriving Communities, and guided the launch of several new programmatic initiatives.