Apply Today For The 2022 LEARN Scholarship

The Landover Educational Athletic Recreational Nonprofit (LEARN) was established in 1996 to support education programs for Prince George's County youth residing in the vicinity of FedEx Field stadium. Since its inception, the LEARN Foundation has awarded close to $1 million in scholarships and grants to Prince George’s County students and community organizations.  Embedded in the foundation’s mission is the belief that the future is now, and that through partnerships and collaboration young people residing in the targeted areas can benefit through post-secondary education opportunities. 

In 2002, the LEARN Foundation became a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Since that time, hundreds of students have benefited from scholarship awards toward college and other career preparation opportunities. The fund is now accepting applications for 2022 awards. Interested high school seniors must apply by Monday, April 25, 2022.

For more information please contact The LEARN Foundation at learnfoundation18@gmail.com.

Emerging Leaders Impact Fund Brings Philanthropy to Life for Young Professionals

Current and Incoming ELIF Members at the 2022 ELIF Kickoff Event

“Excellence in Truth and Service”

The motto of Howard University. It’s also what Virgil Parker, a returning alumni of the Emerging Leaders Impact Fund (ELIF) told me when I asked him what philanthropy means to him.

“We all have a responsibility to create solutions to help people around you,” Virgil says. “We need to strive to be a man for others.”

His vision comes, in part, thanks to an act of individual philanthropy that changed the course of Virgil’s life.

Six and a half years ago, Virgil arrived in the DC area to study at Howard University. Raised primarily by his mother and maternal grandmother near Rochester, New York, Virgil balanced two jobs while studying so he could continue his education – but it still wasn’t enough to meet mounting financial costs. After just two years, Virgil was forced to drop out.

Virgil Parker was a member
of the inaugural 2020-2021 ELIF cohort

Determined to work his way back into school, Virgil picked up a third job – but he quickly realized that even with the added income, it would take months – maybe even years – before he had enough money to restart his academic career.

Then one day, his boss (a fellow HU alum) learned of Virgil’s financial struggles. In an act of unsolicited generosity, she made a payment of nearly $5,000 to the University on his behalf, no strings attached – just enough money for him to register for classes.

“She did not have to do that,” Virgil said. “But I’m glad she did. Because of her gift, I made a commitment with God that I was going to do all that I could to give back and do my best.”

Virgil returned to Howard University and was quickly drawn to the social impact space. He applied to an internship with the Aspen Institute’s Program of Philanthropy and Social Innovation. There he was introduced not only to the full breadth and scale of philanthropy – but also to a brand-new opportunity for young professionals in Prince George’s County.

“The Emerging Leaders Impact Fund is about the future,” ELIF Chair Davion Percy shares. “Not only the future of our community – here in Prince George’s County -- but it’s also about the future leaders of that community.”

Launched in 2020, ELIF’s goal is to help young professionals realize the positive impact that they can have in Prince George’s County, through a medium that many of their age group may not be super familiar with -- philanthropy.

ELIF Chair Davion Percy speaks to ELIF members at the 2022 ELIF Kick-off Event.

“A lot of young people don’t realize that philanthropy is one of the most sustainable ways to make a difference in your community,” Davion explains. “We can all do things like mentor or volunteer – but few things have as long-lasting an impact – or as much personal and professional fulfillment – as strategically investing through philanthropy.”

“ELIF is basically a behind-the-scenes course of philanthropy in action in Prince George’s County,” says Darcelle Wilson with the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “We take our members behind the scenes and guide them through every step of the philanthropic cycle.”

Over the course of the year, ELIF members learn about Prince George’s County and the challenges that community members face. Based on what they’ve learned, members collectively decide on a cause to invest in and get the unique opportunity to participate in each step of the grantmaking process – from requesting proposals to allocating funding.

“I’m excited to learn more about this world of philanthropy,” incoming ELIF member Kate Spanos shares.

Kate learned about ELIF through her Nonprofit Management & Leadership course at the University of Maryland in College Park. Like several of her classmates, Kate is eager to see how she can apply the principles she’s learning in the classroom to the work she does every day.

“My partner and I started EducArte (a nonprofit in Prince George’s County) at the outset of the pandemic,” Kate explains. “Being new to the nonprofit and philanthropy space, we’re still learning how things work. My hope is that through ELIF we can not only give back, but also better understand what the needs of the community are so we can align ourselves to meet them, as an organization.”

Current and Incoming ELIF Members at the 2022 ELIF Kickoff Event

Last year, the inaugural ELIF cohort -- which totaled 40 young professionals including Virgil-- chose to focus on addressing chronic absenteeism in Prince George’s County schools. The group awarded $11,500 in micro-grants to five different Prince George’s County nonprofits supporting youth and children’s learning.

“The idea of philanthropy is that it doesn’t take a whole lot to do a lot of good,” Virgil adds. “Anyone can participate; anyone can make a difference in their community. All they need to do is find the right avenue to use their given assets to help advance somebody else. For me, ELIF is one of those avenues.”

The Emerging Leaders Impact Fund (ELIF) is now enrolling members for the 2022 cohort. If you would like to give back to your community by becoming an ELIF member, visit www.thecommunityfoundation.org/elif

Quarterly Community Update

Dear friends of The Community Foundation,

I hope you and your family had a safe and healthy holiday season and a happy new year!

Thanks to the continued compassion and care of our community of givers during a time of deep uncertainty, 2021 was another record year for generosity in Greater Washington. In 2021, we welcomed more than 51 new funds to our Community Foundation family and our donors collectively invested more than $86 million to support nonprofits responding to critical needs, nurturing an equitable recovery, and working to strengthen our region and beyond.

If you plan to continue or grow your giving in the year ahead, please make sure to follow our updated gift transmission guidelines for a variety of ways to contribute to your fund at The Community Foundation. It is crucial that you follow these instructions – especially including the fund name along with your contribution – to ensure timely processing of your gift. If you have any questions or need assistance with your gift, please contact us at 202-955-5890 or donorservices@thecommunityfoundation.org.

At The Community Foundation, we are grateful to be your trusted philanthropic partner and proud of what we have accomplished together for our community. In 2021, your support enabled us to:

As we embark on our new 10-year strategic vision, we plan to engage our entire community in discussions about how we will work together to co-create a brighter future for our region where people of all races, places, and identities reach their full potential and prosper. From our quarterly book club convenings to our grantmaking and investment strategies, we are committed to fully embodying the values of racial equity and inclusion in all aspects of our work and operations. For example, our new Investment Policy Statement outlines our approach to exercising competent and socially responsible stewardship in managing financial resources in alignment with our vision for a just and equitable region.

Thanks to your generosity and the inspiring service of our community partners, I am hopeful about what we can accomplish together in the year ahead. There will be challenges still to come, but I am confident we can continue to get through them together.

Sincerely,
Tonia Wellons
President and CEO

P.S. In case you missed it, our OCIO recently recorded this video to share an investment outlook and performance update.

Top 10 Milestones to Remember: 2021 in Review

Now that 2021 is over, we’re reflecting on and celebrating our most impactful stories from the past year – from releasing our new strategic vision, to historic investments in Black-led change, to a $1 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott that boosted our recovery work for local arts groups. Here are some of our most meaningful milestones from 2021. 

Together, We Prosper: Launching a New Strategic Vision for Closing Our Community’s Racial Wealth Gap

In October, we shared the culmination of months of deep heart work: our 10-year strategic vision to close our region’s racial wealth gap. First unveiled at our annual meeting, the vision centers on three core leadership pillars: leading with racial equity and inclusion, aligning business with values, and closing the racial wealth gap. We envision a future where all have the opportunity to prosper – and know together, we can realize this vision as reality.

Celebrating Our Community’s Champions

View a recording of our Celebration of Community Champions program.

In May, our virtual Celebration of Community Champions lifted up our collective COVID-19 response efforts and the everyday heroes – local individuals and companies – who stepped up for our region in exceptional ways. We were proud to highlight Feed the Fight as our Community Hero; Food for Montgomery as our Collaborative Hero; CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield as our Corporate Hero; and Dr. Monica Goldson, Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (in memoriam), Steve Proctor, and Dr. Alvin Thornton as our Civic Heroes. The evening also featured special performances from Arts on the Block, DC Jazz Festival, the Prince George’s County Youth Poet Laureate, and Synetic Theater.

Historic Investments in Black Leaders and Black-Led Nonprofits

Jawanna Hardy, a US Air Force veteran, leads an outreach program providing resources to communities affected by youth homicide, suicide, and mental health illnesses.

We were proud to make several historic investments in Black-led change impacting our region. Through our Black Voices for Black Justice Fellows, an initiative launched in 2020 with Bridge Alliance Education Fund and GOODProjects, we selected 10 inspiring Black leaders and activists on the frontlines of advancing racial equity and social justice. Additionally, a generous gift from Facebook enabled investments of nearly $1 million in 17 Black-led organizations leading systems change work. These awards supported the immediate infrastructure needs of grantees, including staffing, strategic planning, marketing and communications, professional development, and more. 

Direct Cash Transfer as a Vehicle for Speed, Inclusivity, and Equity

During the COVID-19 pandemic, The Community Foundation and many of our philanthropic partners embraced giving directly—transferring cash to people—as an effective and efficient means of providing relief to those hit hard by the sudden economic and health emergency. Since the onset of the pandemic and in partnership with donors, nonprofit organizations, and local government agencies, we facilitated the administration of approximately $26 million in funds, distributed in increments of $50 to $2,500 to approximately 60,000 residents across the Greater Washington region. Urban Institute published a report chronicling the goals, strategies, and short-term achievements of our effort to develop and implement cash transfer strategies at the height of the pandemic. 

Advancing Housing Justice and Preventing Evictions

Housing Counseling Services received a grant to help tenants apply for rental assistance by meeting them where they live, learn, pray, and play.

Our Partnership to End Homelessness continued its critical eviction prevention work in response to the pandemic and economic crisis. Its work to advance housing justice included more than $300,000 in grants to address our region’s housing crisis and inequalities by funding seven nonprofits leading advocacy and organizing efforts. Hear from our Community Investment Officer Jennifer Olney on the Partnership’s eviction prevention work and her explanation of common misperceptions about homelessness – and how you can get involved in helping more people obtain and maintain stable housing during a crisis and beyond.  

Improving Equity and Economic Mobility in Prince George’s County

Jacob’s Ladder was selected by ELIF members to receive a microgrant for its Academic Enrichment Program that provides tutoring, basic literacy skills, and mentoring to students.

Our Emerging Leaders Impact Fund (ELIF), a new giving circle for young professionals in Prince George’s County, announced its inaugural grants to five Prince George’s County nonprofits working to combat chronic absenteeism in County schools. ELIF is currently recruiting new members for 2022; Interested candidates can apply here. While our Equity Fund, which works to eliminate social and economic disparities in Prince George’s County, awarded $440,000 in grants to help 19 nonprofits advance food security, affordable childcare, and workforce equity. These grants were made possible thanks to a generous gift from the Ikea U.S. Community Foundation. 

Increasing Food Security and Educational Equity in Montgomery County

Food for Montgomery received our Collaborative Hero Award for its public-private effort to coordinate and expand food distributions, support local farmers and small businesses, and improve food systems to combat food insecurity in Montgomery County.

Our Children’s Opportunity Fund was recognized by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading as a 2021 Bright Spot community for its COVID-19 response work, including the launch of Educational Enrichment and Equity Hubs. Equity Hubs offered a safe place for low-income students to participate in remote learning during school closures, welcoming more than 1,400 students across 70 sites. Our Food for Montgomery initiative has marshaled the resources of nonprofits, faith communities, local businesses, farmers, and county agencies to increase food access and help families recover from crisis. It has raised and deployed over $2.1 million to double the number of food distribution sites, help sustain local farmers and small businesses, and improve the hunger relief system to meet today’s challenges and future crises. 

Gift From Mackenzie Scott Enables Additional Relief Funding For Local Arts Groups

Dance Institute of Washington received a grant to support its facility renovation and a program evaluation with a focus on racial equity.

Arts Forward Fund was established in partnership with The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation to help struggling arts and culture organizations to adapt their programming to survive and recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic. In 2021, the initiative was recognized by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott with a $1 million gift as part of a cohort of equity-focused efforts. Thanks to Scott’s generosity, we were able to award a second round of grants in September 2021, investing in nearly 90 local arts groups. In total, the fund has made nearly $2.7 million in grants to 130+ organizations – 60% of which are BIPOC-led or BIPOC-serving.

Turning Ideas Into Action for Community Change

Learn about several of our Community Action Awards supported projects in this video produced by our partners at Comcast.

As the last step in our three-part VoicesDMV community engagement initiative, we awarded our inaugural Community Action Awards microgrants to 50 local activists, artists, and advocates leading neighborhood-based projects which advance equity and inclusion. Projects included public murals in Brookland, Forest Bathing in Maryland, yoga and dance accessibility, and more. In December, our former Senior Advisor for Impact Benton Murphy reported back how grantees are doing – and the collective impact of these projects - read his post for several inspiring videos and photos. 

Aligning Our Business With Our Values: A New Partnership With SEI

Check out this video featuring our OCIO providing an update on your investment options and their performance.

We believe to truly affect change, our values must inform and drive our actions – and this was the impetus for partnering with SEI as our outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO). The leading global investment firm is known for its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, values we wholeheartedly share. As an OCIO with 450+ clients worldwide – more than 170 of which are nonprofits – SEI serves as an extension of our staff, providing world-class investment expertise and constant focus on managing the charitable funds you have entrusted to us. Check out this new video featuring our OCIO providing an update on your investment options and the performance of our investment portfolio.

In Memoriam: Diane Bernstein, Jane Bainum, Milt Peterson, Senator Mike Miller, Waldon and Rhonda

As a member of our Partnership to End Homelessness Leadership Council, Waldon Adams was instrumental in our work to ensure everyone has housing they can afford.

Last year, we lost several special members of The Community Foundation family. We pay tribute to former Trustee, donor, and friend Diane Bernstein; Jane Bainum, co-founder of the Bainum Family Foundation and longtime philanthropic partner; Milt Peterson, trusted donor and founder of Peterson Companies; and the beloved Senator Mike Miller, one of our 2021 Civic Hero honorees. We also remember and honor our friends Rhonda Whitaker and Waldon Adams, two tireless advocates for ending homelessness who passed away unexpectedly in April. 


From Crisis to Recovery: A Pivotal Year

You can also view our FY 2021 annual report for more highlights from our crisis to recovery work in 2020-2021.

The Community Foundation Invests $6.2+ Million in 70 Nonprofits Nurturing Equitable Recovery

Grants aim to increase food security, close the opportunity gap, support survivors of domestic violence, and build stability for more families.

The region’s largest local funder has announced more than $6.2 million in grants to 70 nonprofits addressing issues facing families and communities in the Greater Washington region as they adapt to a post-pandemic life. 

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is investing in equitable recovery targeting a wide range of challenges, from helping families facing food insecurity, to advancing educational equity, supporting survivors of domestic violence, and building stability for more families. 

These grants represent initial investments that lay the groundwork for The Community Foundation’s new 10-year strategic vision to close the region’s racial wealth gap. The Community Foundation’s new strategy focuses on increasing economic mobility by prioritizing historically underinvested BIPOC neighborhoods that have been systematically denied access to wealth building opportunities. The Community Foundation is specifically interested in neighborhoods and census tracts that are experiencing the highest incidences of system-induced inequities in the areas of health, homeownership, education, employment, income, and life expectancy. 

“The pandemic not only increased demand for housing, food, and educational supports, it also exacerbated and brought longstanding inequities into focus,” said Tonia Wellons, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “These grants will help our nonprofit partners sustain and continue to adapt their services to support equitable recovery by providing individuals and families with what they need to survive and thrive today and for the long-term.”

 

Food Security

With 1 in 10 Montgomery County residents facing food insecurity due to COVID-19, The Community Foundation’s Food for Montgomery initiative is marshaling the resources of nonprofits, faith communities, local businesses, farmers, and county agencies to increase food access and help families recover from crisis. Grants totaling $959,590 will build the resiliency of 14 nonprofit and faith-based partners to more effectively and efficiently meet the needs throughout Montgomery County.

Afrithrive to support its two-acre farm and community gardening program to engage African immigrants in growing culturally specific produce which is hard to obtain through most food distribution providers. 

American Muslim Senior Society to support staffing, equipment, and cold storage necessary to strengthen its food security work and maximize the power of its volunteer network.

BlackRock Center for the Arts / Up-County Consolidation Hub to hire a bilingual social worker to connect vulnerable families to sustainable food resources and supports that are vital to their recovery.

Celestial Manna for staffing needed to advance food recovery efforts that prevent food waste and save thousands of dollars.

Charles Koiner Center for Urban Farming to support the development of an urban farm and community gardening program in Wheaton, MD that will enable residents to grow their own culturally appropriate food.

Community Health and Empowerment through Education and Research (CHEER) to support community-garden work that will engage Long Branch area residents to grow their own food for their community.

Guru Gobind Singh Foundation to support expanded storage that will enable this volunteer-driven effort to sustain its food security work.

Kingdom Fellowship CDC / East County Consolidation Hub to support the development of an innovative cold storage resource to help hub partners prevent waste and distribute food more efficiently. Hub partners include Kingdom Fellowship, Rainbow Community Development Center, Kings & Priests Court Int'l Ministries, and People's Community Baptist Church. 

Manna Food Center, A Place of Hope, Co-Health, Ethiopian Community Center Maryland, Identity, Kings and Priests’ Court International Ministries, and Southern African Community USA to enable outreach partners to connect residents with Manna Food Center’s resources and provide vouchers to purchase culturally specific foods to meet their needs.

The Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland and its partners, the Crossroads Community Food Network and FRESHFARM, to build the capacity of local farmers markets so they can more effectively reach and serve customers that rely on federal nutrition benefits, thereby increasing access to healthy food from local farmers.

Rainbow Community Development Center for staffing necessary to foster resiliency in the East County region through collaborative work with key partners and to sustain the organization’s expansion spurred by the pandemic.

Red Wiggler Community Farm to employ adults with developmental disabilities to grow healthy food for group homes and food distribution partners throughout the county.

Shepherd’s Table to support the necessary equipment and kitchen improvements to sustain and deepen collaborations bringing prepared meals to individuals and families facing food insecurity.

WUMCO for expanded cold storage that will enable the collection of more donations from local farmers and hunters to distribute in the rural, Up-County area. 

 

Education and Literacy

The Community Foundation’s Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF) is a public-private partnership that invests in innovative, evidence-informed efforts targeted at reducing educational disparities to close the opportunity gap in Montgomery County. Reading mastery is a key predictor of a student’s career attainment, and the most critical time to gain these skills is between birth and third grade. Recent grants of $200,000 will further COF’s strategy to improve third grade literacy rates by supporting early literacy programs, tutoring programs, and out of school time activities. 

Kid Museum to create an intentional curriculum for students in Grades K-3 that integrates STEM, literacy, and social emotional learning at Rolling Terrace and Strathmore, two Title 1 Elementary Schools -- in the spring the program will be piloted at additional elementary schools. 

Imagination Library to expand its program developed for children from birth to age 5 in seven zip codes to receive free, high-quality, age-appropriate books delivered to their home every month. 

 

Survivors of Domestic Violence

In partnership with the Prince George’s County Department of Family Services, The Community Foundation administers the Domestic Violence Community Grants Fund to support nonprofits assisting families and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking to achieve a greater level of independence and self-sufficiency, cope with healing, and rebuild the family unit. Grants of $120,00 to four organizations will support counseling services, housing and transportation, and legal services.

Community Advocates for Family and Youth to support the recently launched Begin Again and Thrive program to address housing needs by providing emergency accommodation, permanent relocation, and financial assistance. 

Community Crisis Services to provide shelter transportation, limited rental support, and to meet individual needs such as school lunches or school supplies for a family or student. 

Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County to continue funding a staff attorney position and program offering legal assistance.

House of Ruth Maryland to support the provision of counseling/therapy services including IPV education, safety planning, and trauma reduction. 

 

Children, Youth, and Families

The Community Foundation administers the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families, a five-year initiative, to invest in effective organizations working to make the community more vibrant, healthy, and stable. The 2021 cycle includes nearly $4.8 million in multiyear grants to 50 nonprofits offering housing services, permanency support, academic support, and early career development programs.

826DC to help students improve writing skill development and increase fluency with writing based on the National Writing Project standards.

Adoptions Together to provide training for families interested in fostering and to place foster children in permanent homes.

The Arc of Prince George’s County to support participants of the Ready@21 Program, which helps young adults through career coaching and resume development to increase job readiness, improve college awareness, and develop self-advocacy skills.

Aspire! Afterschool Learning to improve reading instructional level by one grade or more for students in its afterschool care program.

The Barker Adoption Foundation to provide older foster child adoption training and facilitate the placement of older foster children and/or sibling groups.

Bread for the City to support advocacy efforts for families at risk of housing displacement and to provide direct services to families through the Food Program, Clothing Program, Medical Clinic, Social Services Program, and Legal Clinic.

Bright Beginnings to support early childhood development for children ages 0-5.

Carpenter's Shelter to help families who enter shelter to gain stability and transition to permanent housing and sustain independent living.

CASA for Children of DC to provide advocacy support for reunification, adoption, or guardianship for foster youth and workforce development activities for older foster youth.

Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.) to provide trainings and support for pre-adoption and post-adoption guardians.

Central American Resource Center to provide financial training and planning to support stable housing for Latino immigrants.

Children's Law Center to provide legal representation for child welfare cases to ensure children are growing up in permanent, stable families.

Community Crisis Services, Inc. to assist households experiencing homelessness and/or domestic violence to access safe, permanent housing.

Community Family Life Services to provide intensive financial coaching, financial case management, and wrap around supports for women seeking housing stability.

Cornerstones, Inc. to provide rental assistance services for at-risk tenants.

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/ Prince George's County, Inc. Support the Job Readiness and Transitioning Youth program, which ensures that at youth participants who emancipate will do so with stable housing

Voices for Children Montgomery to provide placement in safe homes for clients at case closure.

DC SAFE to help clients move to safe transitional or permanent housing after their stay in SAFE Space.

DC Volunteer Lawyers Project to offer advocacy and referrals, including enforcing victim rights in housing, employment, and public benefits, as well as provide legal assistance and advocacy with victim legal rights.

DC127 to help teen parents who are aging out of foster care be prepared for a life of independence with stable housing, jobs, and increased access to supportive services.

District Alliance for Safe Housing to help families transition from emergency shelter to more permanent housing with increased economic and housing stability.

District Of Columbia Grassroots Empowerment to help secure long-term housing for residents displaced and impacted by public housing redevelopment.

Doorways for Women and Families to provide re-housing supportive services to help participants achieve stability and transition to permanent housing.

The Dwelling Place, Inc. to help program residents remain stably housed and maintain compliance with program requirements through case management, increasing financial stability, and home visits.

Family & Youth Initiative to assist participant teens in foster care with finding an adoptive family and provide continuing support to participant youth who age out of foster care.

Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso to provide afterschool and summer programs for children in the child welfare system to allow them to develop positive relationships with adults and peers.

Crittenton Services of Greater Washington to increase school attendance, academic engagement, and grade point average for Goal Setting Girls participants.

Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center (FAPAC) to provide training, peer support, financial stability, and individual advocacy to foster families in DC.

Homeless Children's Playtime Project to provide ongoing play programs and supportive services for homeless children in DC.

Hope And A Home, Inc. to help resident families increase financial stability and make progress towards transitioning into and/or maintain permanent, stable housing.

Horizons Greater Washington to provide literacy and math academic enrichment support for students.

Housing Up to provide employment support, rental assistance, and financial support services for affordable rental housing buildings.

Interfaith Works Inc. to help families experiencing homelessness achieve stability and transition to permanent housing with the assistance of case management and supportive services.

Martha’s Table to support academic enrichment for the six developmental domains — early literacy, early math, language, cognition, physical development, and socioemotional development.

Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc. to support the Home Visiting Program, which encourages early childhood development through reading, storytelling, and singing with young children daily.

Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. to help residents maintain on time rent payments and permanent, stable housing.

My Sister's Place to help residents increase income, provide case management, and transition to transitional or permanent housing.

National Housing Trust Enterprise to help NHT households participate in financial programs and maintain stable housing.

Neighborhood Legal Services Program to host “Know Your Rights” presentations and represent clients in cases involving housing discrimination, illegal eviction, rent increases, housing conditions, voucher termination, and loss of subsidies.

Neighbors Consejo to assist low-income families in transitioning from shelter to rental housing, while helping them improve their personal and financial stability.

Northern Virginia Family Service to provide foster care pre-service training and Resource Parent certification.

One Common Unity to improve course grades, increase class attendance, and reduce punitive disciplinary actions for students in the Fly by Light program.

One World Education to increase research and writing skills as well as social and emotional learning for students.

The Platform of Hope to provide housing, education, employment, family stability, finances, and health support services for low-income families at risk for homelessness.

Prince George's Child Resource Center, Inc. to improve language and cognitive abilities through participation in child development and parent/child learning activities.

Reading Partners to help students meet or exceed their primary, individualized end-of-year literacy growth goal.

Right Beginnings Inc. to provide career development, mentoring, and career counseling to homeless women seeking to increase financial stability to find housing.

Rising for Justice to provide tenant rights educational trainings and legal services for tenants in need of improved housing conditions or facing eviction.

Sasha Bruce Youthwork to help at-risk youth achieve safe and stable living environments.

Stepping Stones Shelter to help resident families increase their income during stay and move on to stable housing utilizing a subsidy program.

Following up with our Community Action Award Winners

By Benton Murphy, outgoing Senior Advisor for Impact

Earlier this year, the Community Foundation issued $100,000 in small grant awards to community partners across the region through our Community Action Awards. The Awards were provided to a cohort of 50 activists, artists, and advocates leading neighborhood-based projects that would spark change in their communities. 

The Community Action Awards are part of our three-part VoicesDMV series, a powerful community engagement initiative launched in 2017 to explore our region’s most pressing challenges and opportunities. In 2020, VoicesDMV tapped into Community Insights through a regional survey and convened hundreds of residents from across the region to discuss ways to make our communities stronger through On The Table conversations.

While many of our Awardees are still working to finalize their programs, we are thrilled to share some highlights of some excellent programs that have taken place over the past year.

American University and EL Haynes Public Charter School received an award to support their Action Research for Community Change project. The project, sparked by a conversation that took place as a part of our On the Table day of dialogue in 2020, was an innovative and impactful partnership that paired AU college students and high schoolers at EL Haynes Public Charter School in conversations on race and equity. Students at both institutions participated in virtual classrooms together, co-learning and co-designing a community action research project. AU students developed a curriculum and guide for community action research. EL Haynes students conducted a bilingual survey of the student body with more than half of student responding. Based on student responses, the action researchers made a series of recommendations that yielded commitments from school leadership to hire a new social worker, offer two new elective courses focused on centering Black lives, and a commitment to using student surveys to inform future teacher professional development. What’s more—AU students developed a workbook on action research that the students can use in future years to continue to lift up student voices for change!

The Brem Foundation received an award to provide funding for its Wheels for Women program which helps connect women to breast care appointments. The District of Columbia has the highest death rate for breast cancer in the United States, and despite being diagnosed at the same rate, Black women have a 40% higher death rate from breast cancer than white women. Brem used funds to support 76 one-way rides for women to get to their breast care appointments, the majority of recipients were Black women. Brem also was able to use funds to expand from 8 to 9 community partners for rides, which will be useful for the many recipients who live very far from their health care provider.

IMPACT Silver Spring used its award to support its Sewing Academy for Latina Women. The Academy was the brainchild of IMPACT’s Women’s Empowerment Collective, composed mostly of parents of IMPACT’s youth programming or who became interested through direct outreach at local schools. The award funded the purchase of sewing machines and supplies, as well as compensation for experienced seamstresses who served as instructors in the program. Twenty women registered for the Academy over a six-month period. The women of the Academy both built their sewing skills as well as strong bonds and a new support network. Participants were also supported to participate in civic actions, including providing testimony at Montgomery County Council hearings on the importance of affordable vocational education. When the Academy students gathered with their family, friends, and IMPACT staff for their graduation in July they held a fashion show to showcase the students’ work, with one participant noting: “I made three dresses. I never thought I could do this. I’m making my dreams come true.”

This has been an especially meaningful program for me to take on as I wrap up a 17-year stint here at The Community Foundation to move on to other opportunities. Having led our inaugural Community Action Awards program, it is so wonderful to see how impactful these small-dollar grant awards can be. It is instructive for us as funders and individual donors that even a small gift can be meaningful for those who are striving to make the world a better place for everyone. I am hopeful that you will find our next crop of Awardees as inspiring as I have found this one!

View the Impact of Several Projects

Got You Covered Diaper Bag Project

Live It Learn It for Drew Elementary School

DC KinCare Alliance Relative Caregiver Community Board Outreach and Education Project

Zoom Pals, an intergenerational pilot project in a partnership between American University and Hyattsville Aging and Place

Quarterly Update to the Community

Dear Community Foundation Fundholders,

I hope you and your family are enjoying the beautiful fall weather!

 Thanks to the continued generosity and care of our community of givers, we collectively awarded more than $21 million in grants last quarter to nonprofits working to strengthen our region and beyond.

In August, we were proud to release our 2020-2021 Annual Report and share how we mobilized $40 million in community support to help our neighbors facing hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to the incredible donors, nonprofit partners, and community leaders who stepped up to help us meet this challenge. In case you missed our 2021 Annual Meeting or the release of our Annual Report, you can find the recording and resources here.

Last quarter, our community impact work included:

  • A new partnership between our Food for Montgomery initiative and Feed the Fridge to provide meals for families in need at Mary’s Center.

  • Our Partnership to End Homelessness participated in the White House Eviction Prevention Summit and invested in Housing Counseling Services to help more tenants apply for and access rental assistance.

  • Historic investments to address the infrastructure needs of 17 Black-led organizations, enabled through a generous $1 million gift from Facebook. 

  • Additional investments from Arts Forward Fund totaling nearly $1.7 million to help 89 arts and culture organizations recover from the impact of the pandemic.

  • Welcoming new funds like America Remembers Fund, which supports the “In America: Remember” art exhibition that blanketed the National Mall with 660,000+ white flags, each honoring a person lost to COVID-19.

We were proud to welcome new and diverse leaders to our Board of Trustees, Advisory Boards, and staff.

This month, we are excited to release our new 10-year strategic vision with a sharpened focus on closing the racial wealth gap in our region's underinvested neighborhoods where racialized disparities are the greatest. As we begin this journey, our intent is to engage you and our entire community in conversation to inform our learning journey and align our understanding about the root causes and the most effective solutions for closing the racial wealth gap.

With the end of year approaching, our staff can assist with carrying out your philanthropic goals for 2021. Please be mindful of our December 17 deadline for your year-end grantmaking activities to ensure your nonprofit partners receive their funds by December 31.

Thank you for your continued partnership in serving our community’s needs today, and in building a better tomorrow for the Greater Washington region. 

Sincerely,
Tonia Wellons
President and CEO

Emerging Leaders Impact Fund Awards Inaugural Grants to Combat Chronic Absenteeism

The Emerging Leaders Impact Fund (ELIF), a new giving circle for young philanthropists in Prince George’s County, recently completed its inaugural cohort and culminating grant round. ELIF members – 40 young professionals from area colleges, businesses, and civic organizations – selected 5 Prince George’s County nonprofits to receive $11,500 in micro-grants to provide a broad range of services that are designed to address chronic absenteeism and high truancy rates in Prince George’s County schools.

School absenteeism, a problem that leads to learning loss and other negative outcomes, has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis and the need for a transition to remote learning. Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are less likely to be proficient readers by third grade. By sixth grade, those who miss more than 10 percent of school are more likely to drop out altogether. Frequent school absenteeism has long-term negative effects on academic performance, income, and health. The ELIF has partnered with five nonprofit organizations to address this pressing issue:

  • Jacob’s Ladder to support the Academic Enrichment Program that provides tutoring, basic literacy skills, one on one instructions, small group sessions, confidence building and mentoring to students that have low grades, high rates of truancy, absenteeism, suspensions, and behavioral issues.

  • L.E.E.P. to College Foundation to support pilot learning pods to enrich student learning, increase student engagement, and provide mentoring and emotional well-being support.

  • Mentoring Through Athletics to support tutoring services in mathematics, reading comprehension, and writing as well mentoring and physical activities.

  • S.E.A.C., Inc. (Seaton Empowering Action in the Community) to support the Math Achievers Program that provides individualized and/or small group instruction, consistent relationships between instructors and students, parental involvement, and reinforcing that learning math can be fun. 

  • Sisters4Sisters, Inc. to support the Daughters of Destiny mentoring program for girls which provides workshops focusing on leadership skills, career mentoring, developing self-esteem and avoiding peer pressure.

Jacob’s Ladder Founder and Executive Director Jarriel Jordan, Sr. talks about the organization’s mission and its Academic Enrichment Program.

L.E.E.P to College Foundation Founder and Executive Director Lisa Rowe talks about how ELIF funding will help create an academic enrichment program.

Mentoring Through Athletics supports kids and families on and off the field with mentoring, tutoring, food support, and athletic programming.

“School absenteeism and truancy threatens to undermine our children’s success. We’re pleased to be partnering with so many great organizations to address the issue. These grants will help ensure that every Prince Georgian has the opportunities necessary to reach their full potential,” said Davion Percy, Co-Chair, ELIF.

The strength of ELIF lies not just in how many grants it awards, but more importantly in its ability to bring a diverse group of people together to learn about issues affecting Prince George’s County residents and make investments in programs that can help transform our communities.

The ELIF enrollment period is now open to all emerging leaders (45 years of age and under) and others that support the County’s future leaders. If you’re interested in joining a diverse group of passionate people who use the power of philanthropy to make a positive difference in Prince George’s County, click here to learn more about ELIF and become a member today!

Recap from our 2021 Annual Meeting!

Sponsored By

Thank you for joining us at the intersection as part of our 2021 Annual Meeting! It was an incredibly powerful and inspiring conversation -- from Michelle Singletary sharing her reflections and personal experiences with misperceptions about race and inequality, to the stories of impact from our community, to the exciting preview of our new strategic vision. Together, we will chart a path toward a just, equitable, and thriving region where everyone prospers and thrives. 

In lieu of providing lunch for the meeting, we invited participants to help us select a hunger relief nonprofit to receive a special grant. Thanks to a generous challenge match by several Community Foundation Trustees -- Dr. Charlene Dukes (who instigated the challenge), David and Peggy Shiffrin, and Sarah Moore Johnson -- we are able to award grants of $2,500 each to Bread for the City, Capital Area Food Bank, Manna Food Center, and United Communities Against Poverty. What an incredibly inspiring act of generosity!

In case you missed the discussion, or would like to revisit the conversation, you can now watch a recording of the event. You can also learn more about your investment options as a fundholder on our website.

And finally, we hope you will join us on Friday, October 29 at 9:00 a.m. for our next quarterly book group discussion of Michelle Singletary's 10-part series for the Washington Post. Click here to register to join us for this continuing conversation.

We appreciate that you have entrusted us as your charitable giving partner. Thank you for sharing your passion for philanthropy and service with us.

If you have any questions, you can reach us at 202-955-5890 or email donorservices@thecommunityfoundation.org.

We remain committed to working with you to strengthen and support our region now and for the future.

Sincerely,
Tonia Wellons
President and CEO
Greater Washington Community Foundation

Arts Forward Fund Announces $1.7 Million in Grants to 89 Local Arts Groups Impacted by COVID-19

 
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Arts Forward Fund, a partnership between the Greater Washington Community Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and 10 other foundations and individual donors, is proud to announce new grants totaling nearly $1.7 million to 89 arts and culture organizations in the DC region.

These grants will help organizations address the challenges of reopening and recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 60 percent of grants and grant funding will go to organizations that are led by Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and predominantly BIPOC-serving. Based on feedback from a community advisory committee and last year’s applicants, these grants will support general operations rather than specific projects. Grant recipients include six theaters, nine dance schools and dance companies, five film and music festivals and more than 20 youth-serving organizations across DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

In response to a call for applications released in early July 2021, Arts Forward Fund received 131 applications totaling nearly $2.7 million. Thanks to a generous gift of $1 million from billionaire Mackenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett, Arts Forward Fund was able to support more than two-thirds of 2021 applicants and award more than 60% of total funds requested.

“Our region’s arts and culture organizations will take years to recover from the impact of this pandemic,” says Calvin Cafritz, President and CEO of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, which made a lead grant of $500,000 to establish Arts Forward Fund in 2020 and contributed an additional $400,000 in 2021. “As the region’s leading funder of arts and culture organizations, The Cafritz Foundation is honored to join so many of our funding colleagues in this remarkable collective effort to help our local cultural organizations reopen and thrive.”

“Through some of the darkest days of this crisis, many of our region’s arts and cultural organizations found innovative ways to inspire, uplift, and support our community. As we continue to recover from this crisis and adjust to a new normal, it is important to acknowledge that arts groups were disproportionately impacted and that recovery will take time and require sustained investment,” says Tonia Wellons, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. “We are proud to be part of this equity-focused funder collaborative investing in the stability of our region’s arts sector to contribute to the vitality of our region.”

Following is a list of Arts Forward Fund grant recipients. All grants support general operations.

1st Stage Theater

826DC

Actor's Center

Adventure Theatre

American Poetry Museum

American Youth Philharmonic

Anacostia Playhouse

Arlington Arts Center

Art Enables

Art of Noize

Art Works Now

Artivate

Arts Fairfax

Arts on the Block

ArtStream

Asian Pacific American Film

Atlas Performing Arts Center

Black Artists Of DC

BlackRock Center for the Arts

Capital Fringe

CapitalBop

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation

GB Youth Media

Church of the Epiphany

Ciesla Foundation

CityDance Viva School of Dance

Coalition For African Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA)

Critical Exposure

D.C. Creative Writing Workshop

Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company

Dance Institute of Washington

Dancemakers

Dance Place

DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative

DC Independent Film Festival

DC Jazz Festival

DC Palestinian Film & Arts Festival

DC Youth Orchestra Program

Docs in Progress

East of the River Boys & Girls Steel Band

Educarte

Encore Stage & Studio

Foundation for the Advancement of Music and Education

Friends Of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Gala Hispanic Theatre

Girls Rock DC

Greater Reston Arts Center

Heritage Signature Chorale

IN Series

Inlight Magazine

Joe's Movement Emporium

Kalanidhi Dance

Life Pieces to Masterpieces

Live It Learn It

McLean Project for the Arts

Music for Life

New Orchestra of Washington

Northeast Performing Arts Group

One Common Unity

Oyé Palaver Hut

Pan American Symphony Orchestra

PEN Faulkner

Prince George's Arts and Humanities Council

Princess Mhoon Dance Institute

Project Create

Pyramid Atlantic

Ragbaby Exchange

Sandy Spring Museum

Shout Mouse Press

Sitar Arts Center

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts

Sole Defined

Split This Rock

Step Afrika!

The Essential Theatre

The MusicianShip

Theatre Lab School of the Dramatic Arts

Transformer

UrbanArias

Washington Area Lawyers For the Arts

Washington Bach Consort

Washington Chorus

Washington DC International Film Festival

Washington Project For the Arts

Words Beats And Life

Young Artists of America

Young Playwrights Theater

Zora Neale Hurston Richard Wright Foundation

About Arts Forward Fund

Launched in July 2020 with lead grants from The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Harman Family Foundation, the Weissberg Foundation, and and more than a dozen other funders, Arts Forward Fund is an equity-focused funder collaborative housed at and administered by the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Additional supporters in 2021 include Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation, Lois and Richard England Family Foundation, Linowitz Family Fund, Nancy Peery Marriott Foundation, Robin B. Martin Family Foundation, Howard and Geraldine Polinger Family Foundation, and other individual contributors.

Senior Nonprofit Leader Joins Our Prince George's County Team

We are thrilled to welcome Darcelle Wilson as our new Senior Director for Prince George’s County.

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Darcelle brings deep expertise in fundraising and community engagement. Darcelle has worked with some of the leading nonprofit organizations in our region including Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, and University of Maryland. She’s helped raise millions of dollars to address community needs, and we couldn’t be more excited that she has joined our team.

As the new Senior Director in Prince George’s County, Darcelle will work with donors to explore opportunities for achieving their philanthropic goals and facilitating their commitment on critical community issues affecting county residents. She will also prioritize developing and deepening relationships with community leaders and organizations throughout the county.

This leadership change in Prince George’s County is occurring because our beloved colleague Amina Anderson is leaving The Community Foundation after 14 years to spend more time with family and friends and work on special projects.

Our President and CEO Tonia Wellons shared, “Amina’s contributions to the Greater Washington Community Foundation have been numerous. She started as a program lead in Prince George’s County, then shifted to working with and understanding the priorities of our DC-based fundholders, before returning to Prince George’s County two years ago and elevating our presence there. Amina moves seamlessly with a keen thoughtfulness and quiet power that is incredibly valued and will be sorely missed.”

Please join us in welcoming Darcelle Wilson and wishing Amina Anderson all the best on her new adventures!

Our 2020 - 2021 Year in Review

Over the past 18 months, we have all been impacted in some way by COVID-19. Although our experiences may be different, our community came together -– as neighbors helping neighbors -– to support each other through this crisis.

Since March 2020, we have mobilized over $40 million in community support to help our neighbors facing hardship. Thanks to the incredible donors, nonprofit partners, and community leaders who stepped up to meet this challenge, our collective response demonstrated the power of what our community can accomplish by coming together. 

Our Annual Report features the impact that The Community Foundation, our donors, and partners have had on this region from April 2020 – March 2021, and beyond.

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Read our Annual Report

Deepening Our Impact: 8 Highlights from the Past Year

Along with the release of our annual report, we’re celebrating our most impactful stories from the past year--from helping launch the Black Voices for Black Justice DMV Fellowship, continuing our work to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, to advancing housing justice in partnership with Flock DC’s birdSEED Fund. Read on for stories of meaningful collaboration and coordination that helped make a difference in our community. 

Uniting for Change

We believe true change rises from strong alliances. We’re proud to share stories about how our community partnerships have helped make a difference.

 
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Introducing the Black Voices for Black Justice DMV Fellows

Launched last fall (2020) in partnership with the DC-based nonprofit GOODProjects, and with seed funding from Bridge Alliance Education Fund, the Black Voices for Black Justice DMV Fellowship supports activists, organizers, and leaders who are on the front lines of advancing social justice and racial equity. Each Fellow received a $30,000 grant to support their racial justice work in our region, and beyond. Meet these inspiring change-makers, and learn what fuels their fight for justice.

 

DC Cares Program: $5M Undocumented Workers Relief Package

Thousands of immigrants in Greater Washington were excluded from federal stimulus efforts due to their documentation status. Together with our partners at Events DC and the Executive Office of the Mayor, we launched the DC Cares Program in summer 2020, disbursing a total of $5 million in direct cash assistance to excluded workers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. In January 2021, we launched Phase II of the program, providing over $8 million in relief funding.

 
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$1 Million Arts Forward Fund

In partnership with the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and eight other funders, we launched Arts Forward Fund to provide critical support to local arts and culture organizations impacted by COVID-19. In October 2020, we awarded over $1 million in grants to 43 arts organizations. Currently, we’re reviewing a second round of proposals, supported by a generous $1 million gift from MacKenzie Scott.

Investing for Impact 

Learn about some of our most impactful investments this year.

 
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Legacy Fund for Small Business Development

Seeded with a $1 million gift from a generous donor, the Legacy Fund for Small Business Development provides critically needed access to capital for small businesses in Prince George’s County. It’s part of our work in Prince George’s County’s to advance equity and economic mobility by eliminating social and economic disparities in the County. In November, we awarded relief funding to 173 small businesses in Prince George’s County to help minimize business closures and retain 650 jobs.

“Ninety-five percent of all businesses in [Prince George’s County] are small businesses and they contribute nearly half of all jobs in the county. Through the Legacy Fund, we hope to preserve the small business infrastructure, ensure job retention, drive economic development, and enable the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next, leaving a lasting legacy for families and Prince George’s County.” --Tonia Wellons, President and CEO of the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

 
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Fund for Children, Youth, and Families Awards $1.99 Million

At the end of last year, the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families (FFCYF)awarded nearly $2 million in grants to 49 nonprofits serving disadvantaged children, youth, and families. Local WDVM covered the announcement, highlighting the investment’s focus on closing the achievement gap, supporting children in foster care, and helping families experiencing homelessness.

Jana-Lynn Louis, Community Foundation program officer for FFCYF, said:  “It’s all about supporting where our region needs help the most and trying to fill in those gaps that often fall by the wayside.”

Community Connections

Oftentimes, it's our staff and partners who say it best. These guest posts highlight different voices and perspectives in our community on the issues that matter most.

 
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How to reconstruct an equitable future for our region

How can we reconstruct an equitable future for our region coming out of the COVID-19 crisis? In an opinion piece for the Washington Post, our CEO Tonia Wellons and Ursula Wright explore a new framework to respond to emerging needs, re-engage our community, and reconstruct and shape a new normal for this region.

 
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Flock DC: Down payment Grants for a more just future

BirdSEED Fund, launched in partnership with local real estate firm Flock DC, helps advance housing justice by providing down payment grants for first-time Black and Brown home buyers. In her guest-authored blog, Flock DC founder and CEO Lisa Wise shares her passion for justice and why she believes it’s crucial we work together to reimagine a more equitable future.

 
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Food for Montgomery: A Community-Wide Response to the Rise in Hunger

As our community’s need for food skyrocketed during 2020, our Montgomery County leaders, community stakeholders, and The Community Foundation teamed up to create Food for Montgomery. Anna Hargrave, Executive Director for Montgomery County, shares how this remarkable public-private partnership is helping prevent food insecurity in the County, and ensure no residents go hungry.

Hungry for other Community Foundation impact stories? Check out ‘A Year of Impact: Our Top 10 Stories of 2020,’ published as an annual wrap-up last December. 

Quarterly Community Update

Dear Community Foundation Fundholders,

I hope you and your family are enjoying a safe and happy summer break!

Last quarter, thanks to the continued generosity and care of our community of givers, we collectively awarded nearly $24 million in grants to nonprofits working to strengthen our region and beyond.

At The Community Foundation, we remain focused on supporting our community through the COVID-19 crisis and ensuring an equitable recovery now and for the future. Last quarter, our work leading the region’s coordinated philanthropic response effort included:

As we are wrapping up our strategic planning process and preparing to release our new strategic vision to the community, we are also updating some of our policies and procedures to ensure greater alignment and clear purpose. As a social justice organization with a mission to build equitable and thriving communities for all, we have adopted an anti-hate group policy that is consistent with how our peers are prohibiting funding to organizations designated as hate groups. We have also updated and clarified our policies and procedures for funds that participate in fundraising to better support your efforts to mobilize resources for the causes that matter most to you. 

In the fall, we look forward to sharing with you our new 10-year strategic plan with the goal of increasing our impact on this community now and long into the future. This moment in time demands that we leverage our leadership capacity and ability to mobilize resources to ensure an equitable recovery and a brighter future for our region.

Thank you for your continued partnership in serving our community’s needs today, and in building a better tomorrow for the Greater Washington region. 

Sincerely,
Tonia Wellons
President and CEO

Introducing Our New Advisory Board Members

The Greater Washington Community Foundation welcomes Anna Behnam, Christopher J. Martin, and Ana Morales to its Montgomery County Advisory Board, and Glenda Wilson to its Prince George’s County Advisory Board. 

These individuals join a diverse group of passionate and dedicated advisory board members. They, along with their colleagues, are responsible for advising The Community Foundation on the challenges and opportunities specific to their respective counties, and sharing their knowledge on issues of community leadership for greater impact.

Meet our Newest Montgomery County Advisory Board Members

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Anna Behnam
Behnam & Associates

Anna has worked 22 years in the financial advisory business and is the managing director and active financial advisor with Behnam & Associates. Anna is an active member of The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce. She has co-chaired committees such as the Chamber’s annual gala, The Big Event and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors. Anna is also a member of the Chamber’s Elite Forum Club. In addition to the BCC Chamber, she has served on the board of Coral Reef CPR and Dast2Dast.

Anna graduated from George Mason University with a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. in Biology. She also has a Certificate in Financial Planning from Georgetown University. Anna lives in Bethesda with her husband, and two children. Her family puts great emphasis on charitable actions and giving back to the community. In her spare time, Anna enjoys photography, painting and reading.

Christopher J. Martin
C. J. Martin Law Group

Christopher J. Martin is a seasoned attorney, experienced in helping individuals, families and small business owners with their legacy planning needs. Chris works closely with his clients to create and implement plans to benefit their families and communities through various methods including both lifetime gifting and postmortem wealth transfers. In addition to his work with individual clients, Chris regularly speaks to both public and private organizations and has contributed to numerous publications including articles for the National Business Institute and The Business Monthly.

Formerly, Chris worked for a boutique estate planning firm in Montgomery County, Maryland, overseeing a variety of estate planning and probate matters and managed a solo estate planning practice. Chris also had the pleasure of serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, Chief Administrative Judge for the 7th Circuit of Maryland.

Chris earned his law degree from Howard University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from Saint Louis University, from which he graduated magna cum laude and was on the Dean’s List.

Ana Morales
United Bank

Ana is Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Commercial Services at United Bank. Her Team is responsible for driving commercial deposit growth throughout United Bank’s footprint, which comprises of 223 offices across Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Ana has been in the financial industry for 22 years and has worked in various areas of banking, including International Banking, Private Banking, Retail Management and Treasury Sales.

Ana serves on the Board of Directors for NAMI-MC (National Alliance on Mental Illness – Montgomery County) and the Catholic Business Network of Montgomery County. She collaborates with Catholic Charities’ Financial Stability Network to organize financial literacy workshops in Spanish, and volunteers as a financial mentor. Ana previously served on the Board of Cornerstone Montgomery and Liberty’s Promise. She also served on the Business Engagement Committee for Imagination Stage.

Ana was born in Guatemala and moved to Montgomery County with her parents and 3 sisters when she was 9 years old. She lives in Kensington with her husband, daughter, and English Bulldog.

“Anna, Chris, and Ana share our commitment toward building thriving communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive,” says Anna Hargrave, Executive Director for Montgomery County at The Community Foundation. “We are thrilled they will bring their knowledge, creative thinking, and community leadership experience to the Advisory Board as we seek to help our community rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and build a stronger, more equitable Montgomery County for the future.”

Meet our Newest Prince George’s County Advisory Board Member

Glenda Moore Wilson
Vice President, LEARN Foundation

Ms. Glenda Moore Wilson has been in service to Prince George’s County for over three decades.  She was appointed Chief of Staff, in 2011, by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III.  She guided and facilitated the implementation of the Baker Administration’s vision and mission in the core areas of economic development, public safety, education, and healthcare. Ms. Wilson was a pivotal team member in the development of the unprecedented Prince George’s and MGM Community Benefit Agreement associated with the $1.2 billion MGM National Harbor Casino Project.  

Previously, Ms. Wilson served as Senior Advisor and Chief of Staff during the administration of Wayne K. Curry, the County’s first African American elected County Executive. During that eight-year tenure, she played a critical role in Mr. Curry’s transformative accomplishments that turned Prince George’s County into a regional economic hub.  

Ms. Wilson is actively engaged in the county, but she has an unparalleled dedication to the LEARN Foundation, established during the Curry Administration as part of the Redskins Stadium project to relocate the team to Prince George’s County. The LEARN Foundation awards scholarships to youth in the stadium impact zone and grants to nonprofit organizations serving the impact area.

Ms. Wilson is a graduate of South Carolina State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is the recipient of numerous awards and a member of Leadership Greater Washington.

“Glenda shares our deep commitment to improving the quality of life for Prince George’s County residents. Her work very much aligns with our goals to increase philanthropy and ensure equity and economic mobility,” says Amina Anderson, senior director for Prince George’s County at The Community Foundation. “We are grateful that she continues to serve the county in a myriad of ways and honored that she has chosen to work with The Community Foundation. We look forward to partnering with Glenda to ensure that each and every Prince Georgian has an opportunity to achieve their full potential.”

A Community Transformed: The Visionary Leadership of Milton V. Peterson

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing of Milton (Milt) V. Peterson, founder of the local real estate development firm Peterson Companies.  He was a business leader who never lost sight of the need to give back and support our communities and people in need. While Milt Peterson may be best known for his vision and the creation of National Harbor, we will remember him for his caring spirit, generosity, and deep commitment to Prince George’s County and the region. 

Peterson Companies joined The Community Foundation family of donors in 2007, establishing the National Harbor Community Outreach Grant Fund to support community, civic, religious, educational, and recreational organizations serving the residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland. Thanks to Peterson Companies, we were able to support the work of 128 nonprofit organizations working to increase economic security in the areas of education, workforce development, and safety net services in Prince George’s County.  

Peterson Companies has continued to support and partner with The Community Foundation, most notably through our Civic Leadership Awards, which recognizes, honors, and promotes outstanding community leadership in Prince George's County. The Peterson Family Foundation also recently supported our Food for Montgomery Fund to improve food security in Montgomery County and our Neighbors in Need and Equity Funds to help Prince George’s County residents facing economic hardship. 

 “The Community Foundation could not be more proud of our long-standing partnership with Peterson Companies. The National Harbor Community Outreach Grant Fund, and more, is a testament to Milt Peterson’s vision of what our region could truly be. His generosity has contributed greatly to our mission to build thriving communities,” said Tonia Wellons, President and CEO. 

We send our heartfelt condolences to the Peterson family and all those touched by Milt’s work, civic engagement, and philanthropy. Milt Peterson has forever transformed our community, and helped improve the lives of countless residents throughout the Greater Washington region. He will be sorely missed, but has left an enduring legacy. 

The memorial service for Milt Peterson will be live streamed on Wednesday, June 9 at 1 p.m. ET. Click here to watch the service.

Apply Today For The 2021 LEARN Scholarship

The Landover Educational Athletic Recreational Nonprofit (LEARN) was established in 1996 to support education programs for Prince George's County youth residing in the vicinity of FedEx Field stadium. Since its inception, the LEARN Foundation has awarded close to $1 million in scholarships and grants to Prince George’s County students and community organizations.  Embedded in the foundation’s mission is the belief that the future is now, and that through partnerships and collaboration young people residing in the targeted areas can benefit through post-secondary education opportunities. 

In 2002, the LEARN Foundation became a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Since that time, hundreds of students have benefited from scholarship awards toward college and other career preparation opportunities.The fund is now accepting applications for 2020 awards. Interested high school seniors must apply by Saturday, April 24, 2021.

For more information please contact The LEARN Foundation at learnfoundation18@gmail.com.

Celebration of Community Champions

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On Thursday, May 20 at 6 p.m., join us for an hour of inspiration and celebration of our collective efforts and impact. As a champion for your community, we want to uplift you and the everyday heroes - including the donors, nonprofit partners, corporate supporters, and local government advisors - who stepped up to help our community navigate this crisis.

This virtual Celebration will share the incredible stories of neighbors helping neighbors that have continued to inspire us. You will also enjoy special performances from local artists and arts organizations, supported by the Arts Forward Fund, representing a range of creative expression including music, theater, visual arts, and dance.

Save the date for May 20 to recognize and honor our community of changemakers.

Registration opens in early April and is free to our community (though donations are appreciated!).

Equity Fund Awards $440,000 to Address Critical Needs in Prince George’s County

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is pleased to announce $440,000 in grants from the Equity Fund to 19 nonprofit organizations serving Prince George’s County, MD. Selected nonprofits will receive up to $25,000 in funding to support work to advance food security, affordable childcare, and workforce equity in Prince George’s County. These grants were made possible thanks to a generous gift from the Ikea U.S. Community Foundation. 

Nourishing A Community In Need

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Senior citizens have been among our region’s most impacted populations—especially in terms of food security. Through our Equity Fund, we awarded $115,000 to six food assistance programs serving seniors and families in Prince George’s County. Thanks to these providers, families have access to healthy food through prepared food from local restaurants, fresh food from local farmers, and shelf-stable food.  

“This grant has helped Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) maintain and expand its services during the pandemic,” said Lisa Walker, Chair of the HAP Board of Directors. “As we struggled to provide services while guarding the health of our neighbors, the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s grant not only helped HAP deliver needed support and services to seniors in need, it also spurred HAP to build deeper connections with other programs in our community.”

Ensuring Affordable Childcare for Families

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COVID-19 has devastated the childcare provider community, forcing the closure of 40% of childcare programs, and resulting in the loss of more than 8,000 childcare slots. The Prince George’s Child Resource Center received a $25,000 grant from the Equity Fund to help ensure the sustainability of childcare providers in the County.

"Through The Community Foundation's Equity Fund, we are able to provide advocacy and support for the childcare workforce. Ensuring strong, high quality childcare means employment for thousands in Prince George's County; children are in safe environments where they are learning; and parents can go back to work with confidence,” said Jennifer Iverson, Executive Director, Prince George’s Child Resource Center. “Access to childcare is essential for families seeking employment and absolutely critical for those still fortunate enough to have a job.”

Curbing the Impact of Unemployment

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Fifty percent of the jobs created in Prince George’s County over the past five years were lost in the first two weeks of COVID. Through the Equity Fund, we awarded $300,000 to 14 organizations to help mitigate the impact of unemployment, reduced wages, and lost work. These grants will help prepare workers for meaningful employment and ensure that people facing barriers to employment can access high-quality education and job opportunities, which pay a family-sustaining wage. 

Kim Rhim, Executive Director of The Training Source, said:

“The Equity Fund grant was a life saver for us and so many already marginalized people who were further impacted by COVID-19. Many workers will never return to their jobs, and those who previously struggled to find work will find it much more difficult to secure employment. They will have to learn new skills and adapt to entirely new work environments, including the now vast telework environment. [This support from The Community Foundation] will help them do just that.” 

2020 Equity Fund Grantees

Asylum Seeker Assistance Project to provide wraparound employment services and support to asylum-seeking adults residing in Prince George’s County.

Community Outreach and Development CDC to purchase food and support food pantry operations including food deliveries and assisting persons to apply for SNAP food benefits. 

Community Support Systems, Inc. to support food pantries that benefit residents in Southern Prince George’s County. 

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/ Prince George's County, Inc. to help youth overcome the hurdles they face as a result of the traumas they endured as children by focusing on workforce readiness, education, and skills development.

Eckerd Youth Alternatives to mitigate barriers, attain critical workforce skills, and navigate a pathway to gainful employment for youth who are disconnected from employment or educational opportunities.

Food & Friends to provide health and nutrition education workshops, individualized assessments, and the preparation and delivery of medically tailored meals to individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or another critical illness, as well as children and caregivers. 

Hyattsville Aging in Place, Inc. (HAP) to help seniors by delivering food, providing transportation to food sources, and assisting with access to financial resources. 

Joe's Movement Emporium to create a pipeline of diverse, skilled workers by providing young adults with training in digital media and technical theatre, experience with regional employers, and one-on-one coaching and counseling.  

Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, Inc. to support households living at or below the poverty line that are working to increase their earnings and achieve economic mobility.

Life Asset, Inc. to create temporary and seasonal jobs by providing microloans coupled with ongoing business training to low-income entrepreneurs.

Mission of Love Charities, Inc. to help people become Water Treatment Technicians and Certified Nursing Assistants by providing requisite training and employability skills and job search assistance. 

Ourspace World, Inc. to recruit, train, and mentor young people to be competitive in the green jobs sector. 

Prince George's Child Resource Center, Inc. to provide support to family childcare providers to ensure the provision of a safe and nurturing environment for children and the sustainability of the childcare sector. 

Prince George's Community College to support curriculum design and digital literacy training for students and faculty.

Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland Inc. to provide consumer protections to help individuals avoid crippling judgments, wage garnishments, and impossible choices between rent, medical care, and food for their families.

Solutions In Hometown Connections Corp. to connect low-income refugee and immigrant women with critical services and resources that minimize barriers to self-sufficiency. 

Sowing Empowerment & Economic Development, Inc. (SEED) to serve as a food hub providing supplemental food to seven pantries in Prince George’s County.

The Training Source, Inc. to help residents secure and retain well-paying employment through comprehensive training, job readiness, and community supportive services.

TranZed Apprenticeship Ventures, LLC to secure new employer partnerships and placement in Prince George’s County for apprentices.

University of Maryland SAFE Center for Human Trafficking Survivors to initiate a “First Step into Employment” program that includes an hourly stipend for young adult trafficking survivors in need of meaningful employment experience, training, skills development, and a supportive mentor.                                                            

About The Equity Fund

The Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Equity Fund seeks to eliminate social and economic disparities in Prince George’s County by ensuring that every Prince Georgian is afforded the opportunities necessary to reach their full human potential. The focus areas for the 2020 grant round were food security, childcare, and workforce equity. Grants were awarded to high impact organizations and innovative programs working to create pathways to success for county residents.

Visit us at https://www.thecommunityfoundation.org/princegeorges to learn more about our impact and work in Prince George’s County

Quarterly Update to the Community

Dear friends of The Community Foundation,

I hope this finds you enjoying a happy and healthy start to your new year. Thanks to the continued care for our community, last quarter our community of givers awarded more than $23+ million in grants to organizations serving our region and beyond.

The Community Foundation remains focused on meeting our community’s evolving needs through leading critical community impact initiatives. Last quarter, our activities included:

  • Issuing an additional $2 million in grants from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, for a total of $10 million to address the public health and economic crisis.

  • Funding equity hub scholarships through the Children’s Opportunity Fund for low-income families in Montgomery County to receive childcare and remote learning support in a safe environment.

  • In partnership with FSC First, distributing more than $1 million in emergency relief to support 173 small businesses in Prince George’s County through the Legacy Fund.

  • Celebrating the Power of Our Community with virtual convenings reflecting on the heart and spirit of our communities in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

  • Welcoming experts on racial equity and community building to our board and staff, including new Trustee Dr. Rashawn Ray and new Managing Director of Community Investment Ronnie Galvin.

Our collective efforts have been recognized with several notable awards. I was proud to represent all of you when accepting the Washington Business Journal’s Nonprofit Leader of the Year award and I was humbled to be named a Hero of the Crisis by Washingtonian Magazine. And, our partnership with CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield received the Washington Business Journal's 2020 Citizenship Award for our efforts to distribute thousands of PPE units to frontline workers at qualified health clinics across the region.

As our community continues to recover from this crisis, we are working to build a more equitable and resilient future for our region. With this in mind, we have embarked on a strategic planning process to identify ways to develop a fresh roadmap for the organization and how we serve this community.

Over the next several months, we will examine and fine-tune our organizational processes to serve our fundholders and our community with strengthened excellence and efficiency. We will also get crystal clear about our strategy, how to best center racial equity, and what it means to be a regional organization with the need for local, jurisdictional, and community nuance. And we will look at how we partner with our donors and fundholders so that we can fully and thoughtfully leverage your philanthropic passions into lasting community impact. 

I look forward to sharing an update with you soon. Thank you for being our partner in strengthening our communities now and for the future.

Sincerely,
Tonia Wellons
President and CEO