Letter from the President & CEO
I’m delighted to share with you our 2017 annual report. I continue to be inspired by the enthusiasm and generosity of the donors and partners across the region whom we are fortunate to work with and learn from. Together, we are supporting a thriving nonprofit sector that is better equipped to fight for equity, access and inclusion for all who call the Greater Washington region home.
Over the last two years, The Community Foundation made some important changes to ensure the long-term viability and sustainability of the organization. With renewed focus and new leadership, we embarked on a strategic planning effort to reflect on the role we play in our community and the lasting impact we want to leave on our region. After many internal discussions and conversations with our donors and partners, we developed a strategic vision and framework to guide our work in the following priority areas:
We are the community’s fundraiser, and our ability to inspire the generosity of our neighbors in support of our neighbors is essential to what we do. We will renew our focus on and investments in mobilizing and managing charitable assets. And we will work with corporate, government and philanthropic leaders to leverage those gifts for even broader reach.
Leading in the Community
For more than 40 years, The Community Foundation has brought together people and resources to tackle critical community issues. We have a powerful platform to work broadly for the common good – as a funder, convener, partner, incubator, and advocate. We will continue to leverage this platform to build on the successes of our Economic Opportunity initiatives, and we will play a more active role in emergent issues by finding innovative approaches to meet a broader range of community needs.
Operating with Excellence
To meet our goals, we must provide our donors and partners with high-quality service and engagement. We remain committed to transparency and accountability and operate with the highest standards of integrity and stewardship to ensure donor funds are effectively reinvested in improving the economic and social well-being of our community. And even as we continue to receive clean audits and are proud to be accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, we will invest substantially in upgrading our internal systems and processes.
The following pages will share stories that demonstrate how these important pillars have influenced our work in the community to ensure that our region is safe, vibrant, and thriving for all residents.
This work would not be possible without the support of our broad community of givers across D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. Thank you for devoting your time, talent and treasure to making the Greater Washington region a stronger and more inclusive place to live.
President and CEO,
Greater Washington Community Foundation
Here are a few examples of the myriad ways in which we inspire philanthropy in our community:
We celebrate philanthropy year-round through our signature gala events – held in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties each fall, and in DC each spring. These events shine a light on organizations and individuals in the Washington metropolitan area who work tirelessly to improve our community.
Celebration of Philanthropy in dc
In March, more than 700 nonprofit, philanthropic, business, and government leaders joined our Celebration of Philanthropy at Arena Stage helping to raise over $570,000 to support our efforts to tackle the critical issues in our community. We were thrilled to present the 2017 Civic Spirit Award to Patty Stonesifer and Martha’s Table for 35 years of work to support stronger children, stronger families, and stronger communities by increasing access to quality education programs, healthy food, and family supports. When accepting the award, Stonesifer shared her personal journey from growing up in a working-class family to running the world’s largest charity. She challenged guests on the topic of racial equity and white privilege, inviting them to pledge “a new level of advancing racial equity, a new level of learning, a new awareness of race and privilege, and then, together indeed, we will go far!” Watch Patty's full remarks below.
Celebration of giving in montgomery county
In November, nearly 300 friends came out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Community Foundation in Montgomery County (CFMC). We first honored Cliff and Camille Kendall with the Visionary Award for their leadership in creating the first family fund at CFMC and for Cliff’s service as the founding board chair. The Board then saluted Sally Rudney with the Inspired Leadership award for her role as founding Executive Director, and for helping hundreds of people and businesses set up philanthropic funds and find their giving passions. Our final salute of the evening was special and heartfelt thanks to the all of the generous people who make up our Community Foundation family. Since it would be impossible to tell those hundreds of different stories, we extended the celebration through a year-long “thank-a-thon” series to highlight the many creative ways our donors give and the collective impact we have made together – the series featured Kevin Beverly, Cliff White, Susan Freed, and Neal and Jennifer Simon.
civic leadership awards in prince george's county
In October, the Civic Leadership Awards brought together more than 300 people to “Experience the Greater in Giving” as we recognized, honored, and promoted outstanding community leadership in Prince George’s County. The award pays special tribute to individuals and organizations who fulfill the promise of a vibrant and prosperous Prince George’s County — those unsung heroes who have quietly, tirelessly, and unselfishly demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to improving and enhancing the quality of life in our community. We were proud to honor Betty Buck, the Peterson Family Foundation, and Gregory K. Wells. We also presented the Wayne K. Curry Award for Leadership and Public Service to the Honorable Derrick Leon Davis and the Lifetime Achievement Award to the Honorable M.H. Jim Estepp.
Responding When Disaster Strikes
Community members were devastated when an explosion and fire leveled an apartment complex in the Long Branch neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD in August 2016. Tragically, 7 people died, more than 30 were injured, and over 100 were left homeless. Our local leaders and nonprofit partners immediately sprang into action, galvanizing support from individuals and businesses to collect and leverage funding to help those affected.
In response to an emergency housing situation at the Lynnhill Condominiums in Temple Hills, Maryland in November 2016, The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County mobilized our community to support the immediate needs of approximately 77 families who were affected by a power shut-off beyond their control. Because of the community’s deep generosity, we collected close to $50,000 in donations, which were granted to the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services for case management services for affected families. County agencies assisted 127 households with relocation services and security deposits, rent, moving costs, renters’ insurance and utility deposits.
Supporting Resilient Communities
In February 2017, The Community Foundation partnered with the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation to launch the Resilience Fund, with an initial goal of $500,000, to ensure our region’s communities remain resilient and supported in the face of federal policy and budget shifts. The Fund will respond to the critical and urgent needs of nonprofits working to address changes that are disproportionately impacting people of color, immigrant and refugee communities. It will initially focus on changes in international travel, immigration, and deportation policies that are affecting residents and families in the Greater Washington region. In the future, it could support policy analysis and advocacy around federal budget proposals that would have an adverse impact on our region. At the time of writing this report, the fund had already surpassed its initial goal, and set a new target to raise $1 million in gifts and commitments.
Creating a Lasting Legacy
Establishing a legacy fund with the Greater Washington Community Foundation is an excellent way to create lasting impact by supporting our efforts to improve the region for current and future generations. One such fund was established by an anonymous donor who passed away in 2016 leaving a $6 million bequest for an endowed fund with The Community Foundation. This donor’s wish was to see this gift benefit the community that he loved, a place not of his birth but one that he called home for more than 50 years. His dream is now becoming a reality as The Community Foundation stewards his support toward human services organizations, from education to healthcare, that provide for neighbors in need across the region.
Leading in the Community
Through Sharing Funds in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County, and Community Investment grants, The Community Foundation focuses on three community leadership priorities: education, workforce development, and safety net services. Here are some examples of our work in the community:
Addressing Youth Mental Health in DC
Sharing DC is a donor-led funding process that leverages the collective giving from generous donors across the District to maximize community impact. Donors learn about the challenges facing Washington’s most vulnerable residents and engage in a grant review process for investing in organizations that support low-income children, youth, adults and families in DC. In 2016 the Sharing DC Committee focused on youth mental health issues. Grants totaling more than $100,000 were awarded to the following organizations:
Building Bridges Across the River hired two licensed social workers to expand direct mental health services housed in the Children's Health Center at THEARC, which offers comprehensive assessments, therapy, medication management, and testing for children and adolescents.
Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc. provided more children with access to behavioral health services at school, as well as provided workshops, individual consultations, and trainings to school personnel on children's responses to trauma.
Safe Shores – The DC Children’s Advocacy Center, through its Clinical Services Program, provided specialized, trauma-focused mental health services, including short- and long-term play, art, sand and talk therapy.
Turnaround for Children Inc. provided additional student support, teacher training, and leadership engagement at four DCPS locations in Wards 6, 7 and 8, to produce environments that accelerate healthy student development and academic achievement.
William Wendt Center for Loss and Healing expanded its evidence-based mental health services for youth ages 12-21 who are suffering the adverse consequences of trauma exposure, particularly within low-incom e communities throughout the District of C olumbia.
Helping Neighbors in Need in montgomery county
The Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund was established by The Community Foundation in Montgomery County in 2008 to respond to the economic crisis and its deep impact on our County’s residents. Given the rapidly growing demand for emergency services, the Fund initially supported critical direct services and efforts to reach the most vulnerable and isolated populations, especially residents living in parts of the County with the highest poverty levels. Last year, the steering committee decided to focus dollars on both responding to the immediate needs while also investing in strategic solutions that would improve our safety-net system and help neighbors build pathways out of poverty. Our 2016 grants totaling $140,500 were awarded to the following organizations:
Crossroads Community Food Network expanded the Microenterprise Training program and developed a new Community Kitchen to incubate start-ups so that low-income and minority entrepreneurs can grow successful food businesses.
Interfaith Works provided both emergency support to keep families from being evicted as well as wrap-around supports to enable people to lift themselves out of poverty.
Manna Food Center purchased and renovated a bus, turning it into a mobile market and kitchen on wheels in order to bring both healthy food and nutrition ed ucation programs to low-income families and isolated seniors throughout the county.
Transforming Neighborhoods in Prince George’s County
The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County partners with government, corporations and nonprofit organizations to make a difference in the lives of youth and their families. A few examples of our work in the county include:
The Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative Fund (TNI) was established in 2014 by The Office of the Prince George's County Executive and Prince George’s County Public Schools to support community-based organizations providing quality free and/or affordable out-of-school time programming for youth and families. In 2016, the fund recognized nine nonprofit organizations with a total of $142,000 in grant funding from the TNI Fund for Community Innovation.
Prince George’s County, through the Department of Family Services, established the Domestic Violence Community Grants Fund in March 2017 to award mini-grants to domestic violence prevention nonprofit organizations. Grants assist individuals, families and survivors of domestic violence in achieving a greater level of independence, strengthen the family’s ability to cope with healing, and rebuild the family unit by removing various challenges which inhibit self-sufficiency. In total, grants of more than $260,000 were awarded to four organizations including Family Crisis Center of Prince George’s County, House of Ruth Maryland, Affiliated Sante Group, and Community Advocates for Family and Youth.
The Walton Group of Companies, a privately-owned real estate investment and development group, established the Walton Community Fund for Prince George’s County in 2014 to provide support for community service organizations in the county. In 2016, the Walton Fund distributed a total of $188,000 to 14 local organizations to meet the basic and educational needs of children and families in Prince George’s County by supporting and strengthening the delivery of essential safety net services.
As part of a community benefit agreement between MGM National Harbor and Prince George’s County, the National Harbor Community Fund was established in 2016 to provide grant support to organizations serving Prince George’s County residents. The agreement provides support to the community through a $150,000 annual contribution to the Community F oundation in Prince George’s County for distribution.
Building a Stronger Workforce
The Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative convenes local foundations, individual philanthropists, and businesses around a shared vision for a Metropolitan Washington region where every individual has an opportunity to realize their full potential. In December 2016, JP Morgan Chase & Co. sponsored the release of a landmark study, Greater Washington Works: IT and Health Careers with Promise. The report focuses on how our region can address the skills gap and lift more of our neighbors out of poverty through careers in IT and Healthcare. These findings provided the foundation for a new funding initiative—Greater Washington Works—that will invest nearly $1 million over the next two years in work to bridge the skills gap that is keeping workers in low-wage jobs, reinforcing income inequality, and keeping local business from finding the best local candidates for open job opportunities. Collaborative partners include JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, the Consumer Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, the Meyer Foundation, the Cafritz Foundation, the Moriah Fund, the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, Patricia Weiss Fagen, the Scheidel Foundation, the United Way of the National Capital Area, and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
Building a stronger Safety net
The Community Foundation has focused its Safety Net Initiative on homelessness and housing since releasing the landmark study, Housing Security in the Washington Region in 2014. These efforts are focused on homelessness prevention and intervention and increasing access to affordable housing, particularly for vulnerable and low-income populations. The Community Foundation addresses these issues through investments in research, advocacy, direct services and systems change. In partnership with the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Community Foundation hosted a special event to release the District’s first-ever strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness, which is also the first data-driven youth homelessness plan in the country. The Community Foundation is also a co-convener of the Housing Leaders Group (HLG), along with Citi Community Development, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and the Enterprise Community Partners. HLG works to elevate the visibility of, and broaden support for, bold, thoughtful solutions for housing affordability. HLG convenes leaders across sectors and jurisdictions, to look differently at solving the housing affordability challenge facing the region.
Improving the Quality of Life in the District
Since October 2013, The Community Foundation has served as the City Fund Administrator implementing its competitive and rigorous grantmaking strategy. The City Fund Safer, Stronger DC Community Opportunity Grant initiative seeks to provide funding to nonprofits that help improve the lives of individuals and families living in District neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by inequities related to social determinants of health. The fourth round of the grantmaking process culminated in 2017 with the selection of 37 nonprofit organizations to receive $1.3 million in grants. Receiving a one-year grant of $50,000 from the City Fund provided the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative an opportunity to create a Community Impact Center for residents to further develop their skills sets and teach others in their community those same skills.
Supporting Underserved Children, Youth and Families
The Community Foundation began administering the Fund for Children, Youth and Families five-year grantmaking strategy with the inaugural round in 2016. It was established to invest in the betterment of underserved children, youth, and families in the region. In 2016, the Fund awarded $1.97 million in grants to 46 nonprofit organizations for work addressing the following issue areas: Stable Homes and Stable Families, Foster Care and Adoption, and Academic and Career Success. Through its grantmaking, the Fund supports effective organizations working to make the community healthy and stable.
Youth Mentoring Through Community Engagement
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) announced the launch of the Credible Messenger Initiative in September 2016 as part of the Safer, Stronger DC public safety agenda. Credible messengers are neighborhood leaders, experienced youth advocates and individuals with relevant life experiences whose role is to help youth transform attitudes and behaviors around violence. The Community Foundation was selected to administer the competitive grants process, including organizing the application process, providing technical assistance for applicants, and supporting evaluation of the application process. To support better outcomes for young people who have had interactions the juvenile justice system in the District, six community based organizations were selected to receive more than $1 million in grants, including East of The River Clergy Police Community Partnership Inc., East River Family Strengthening Collaborative, Good Projects, Inner City Collaborative Community Development Corporation, Sasha Bruce Youthwork, and Life Deeds.
Closing the Achievement Gap in Montgomery County
The Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF) was created in 2014 by the Montgomery County Council, the County Executive and Montgomery County Public Schools as a mechanism to seed a long-term, strategic approach and build a dedicated funding stream for early childhood education and interventions aimed at closing the achievement gap. Funded jointly by the government of Montgomery County, Maryland, and Montgomery County Public Schools to leverage public funds to attract private investment, COF champions, plans and funds strategic investments that improve the lives of low-income children and families in the county. In 2016, it became a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation and its local office in Montgomery County. The Community Foundation added the professional structure needed to fully implement its mission by hiring Mala B. Thakur as the Executive Director in June.
Operating with Excellence
Welcoming New and Diverse Leadership
In 2016, we welcomed several new local community leaders to our board and staff, adding new capacity and diverse experience to our leadership.
Additions to the Board included:
Denise Roth is a leader with more than 18 years of public service experience. She was the 21st Senate-confirmed Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), leading GSA’s efforts to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to government and the American people.
Sterling Speirn is a nationally recognized philanthropic leader with experience serving as the President and CEO of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Peninsula Community Foundation (now the Silicon Valley Community Foundation), and the Stupski Foundation.
Cliff White is a business leader and investor with a long history supporting The Community Foundation. In addition to sitting on the Board and housing his family foundation at The Community Foundation, Mr. White is also on the Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee and is the founder and chair of the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund.
New Senior Leadership Team Members
Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP, is an expert in planned giving with experience helping generous people make our communities better places through philanthropy. As Vice President of Development and Senior Philanthropic Advisor, she leads outreach to professional advisors, private foundations, and business leaders in the region.
Shannon Scott has spent much of her career in the nonprofit sector and has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting, financial services, and social services. As CFO, she leads the accounting, investments, financial planning and reporting, tax, budget and treasury functions in addition to overseeing human resources and IT.
Tonia Wellons has over 20 years of experience spanning senior leadership roles at the Peace Corps and the World Bank Group to social entrepreneurship for a community-based fund that she founded. She is Vice President of Community Investment, which includes competitive and discretionary grant-making, community engagement efforts, and strategic partnerships.
Nancy Withbroe, CFRE, brings decades of experience in fundraising, strategy, board management and organizational development consulting. As the Vice President of Philanthropic Engagement and Chief of Staff, she leads the donor services team in engaging individuals, corporations, and foundations to realize their philanthropic goals and facilitates organization-wide planning processes.