Winter/Spring 2018 Site Visit Schedule

This calendar is exclusively for The Community Foundation's network of donors to learn about the needs of our region, discover great organizations, and share ideas with other donors looking to make an impact. Space at these events is limited. Please RSVP to rsvp@thecommunityfoundation.org. Directions and additional information about each visit will be sent to guests who have submitted an RSVP.

February 20, Montgomery County: Making A New United People

3:00PM – 4:00PM Making A New United People develops teen leaders social emotional and employment skills by providing them with supports, resources, and training to ensure that they are resilient, healthy, and contributing community members.

March 1, Montgomery County: IMPACT Silver Spring

6:00PM – 7:00PM Community networking programs and events focused on building intentional relationships among diverse peoples to foster trust, collaboration, and value exchange in the pursuit of healthier individuals, families, and neighborhoods. For this visit, we’ll get to hear from leaders who formed the Montgomery Community Investment Corporation (MCIC), a cooperative model that started a loan fund has raised over $90,000 from micro-entrepreneurs to support each other in expanding their businesses.

March 5, Montgomery County: Urban Alliance

3:30PM – 4:30PM Urban Alliance provides paid, professional internships, job skills training, and one-on-one mentoring to economically-disadvantaged high school seniors.

March 9, Montgomery County: Sunflower Bakery

10:30AM – 11:30AM Sunflower Bakery prepares individuals with developmental or other cognitive disabilities for employment in baking and related industries through on-the-job training.

March 13, Montgomery County: YMCA Youth and Family Services

3:00PM – 4:00PM YMCA Youth and Family Services provides mentoring, therapy, and case management programs geared to help children and adolescents, as well as their families, who are struggling with trauma, poverty, and food insecurity.

March 14, Montgomery County: Youth/Police Dialogue

3:00PM – 4:30PM Identity, Inc.— A series of discussions between youth and police geared to improve communication, understanding, and trust between youth and law enforcement.

March 15, Montgomery County: Manna’s Mobile Kitchen & Pop-Up

3:15PM – 4:15PM Manna’s Mobile Kitchen & Pop-Up Pantry provides access to healthy foods and nutrition education to low-income kids and seniors at risk of food insecurity.

March 20, Prince George’s: Greater Riverdale Career Empowerment Center Site Visit

10:00AM - 11:00AM The Central Kenilworth Avenue Revitalization Community Development Corporation (CKAR) implements projects throughout the Greater Riverdale community that include workforce training/job development, environmental sustainability, business retention, advocacy and economic and community development. To curb unemployment, CKAR has developed the Greater Riverdale Career Empowerment Center where they offer certified workforce training, career development programming and legal services.

March 22, Northern Virginia: Offender Aid and Restoration Site Visit

12:00PM - 1:00PM Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) is a community-based restorative justice organization that blends compassion and accountability to assist offenders in leading productive and responsible lives. OAR participants are invited to take responsibility for past actions and repair the damage done by giving back to the community and providing a service that enriches the lives of others.

March 22, Northern Virginia: Legal Aid Justice Center Site Visit

TBD Legal Aid Justice Center battles poverty and injustice by solving critical legal problems for individuals and communities. Housed in over 40 offices throughout Charlottesville, Falls Church, Petersburg and Richmond, they provide a full range of services to their clients, utilizing a mix of zealous individual representation, group and class litigation, community organizing, policy advocacy, and media relations.

April 12, Prince George’s: Housing Initiative Partnership Site Visit

10:00AM - 12:00PM Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. (HIP) is an innovative, green nonprofit developer and counseling agency dedicated to revitalizing neighborhoods. HIP creates housing and economic security for low- and moderate-income households and provides services that improve the quality of life in the communities they serve.

April 17, Prince George’s: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Site Visit

10:00AM – 12:00PM CASA, Inc. is a volunteer-based organization that partners with the juvenile court to improve the lives of children living in foster care who have suffered from abuse and neglect. With a strong commitment to diversity, CASA trains and supervises volunteers from the community who advocate for the best interest of children, recognizing and respecting each child’s individual needs.

May 11, Prince George's: Mistaken Identity Foundation

10:00AM - 12:00PM Mistaken Identity Foundation focuses on emotional education, workforce training and employment for teens and young adults. They also offer programs for adults re-entering society after short or long-term incarceration. Their intent is to help participants understand how to translate their frustrations, emotions, and fears into a productive lifestyle that benefits them and their community.


New grant opportunities from the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative

We are excited to share a new grant opportunity offered through the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, a partnership comprised of local foundations, philanthropists, and businesses. Our workforce investments help workers acquire the skills and credentials they need to launch successful, family-sustaining careers, and help businesses attract, retain, and advance the skilled workforce they need to provide critical services to our community and remain globally competitive. Our work is focused on low-income, underemployed, and unemployed residents of the Metropolitan Washington region.

The Workforce Collaborative seeks qualified nonprofits to provide workforce development services to residents of the area within a one-mile radius of 965 Florida Avenue, NW. This area encompasses most of ANCs 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 2B, 2F, 2C, and 5C. Proposals from invited nonprofit organizations to support the following activities will be considered:

Education, Training, and Employment programs that help older youth (16-24) and adults who are residents of the targeted neighborhoods improve their basic skills, employment prospects, and earnings. Eligible programming includes:

·     Work Readiness Programs

·     Adult Basic Education and Literacy Instruction

·     English for Speakers of Other Languages

·     Job Training and Placement Programs

Please contact Benton Murphy with questions at bmurphy@thecommuntiyfoundation.org.

2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year Nominations Now Open!

Nomination Guidelines

Purpose: To honor an individual who has made a positive impact in our community through giving, and whose philanthropic leadership sets an inspiring example for us all. 

Nomination Process:

Complete the official nomination form and a letter explaining why your nominee should be selected as the Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year. 

Please note that the cover form must be completed in its entirety in order for the nomination to be eligible. The Awards Committee will not accept nominations which rely solely on resumes, newspaper articles, annual reports or the like in substitution for concise responses to the criteria outlined below. Pending review by the Philanthropist of the Year Selection Committee, The Community Foundation staff may contact you for additional information. 

For inspiration, look no further than our past honorees.


Eligibility Criteria: 

All nominees must…

  • Be a resident of Montgomery County
  • Have a demonstrated track record of charitable giving to one or more nonprofit organizations based in and working in Montgomery County
  • Have made a positive impact in the lives of county residents through their giving
  • Encourage/motivate others to become philanthropic

Note: The level of charitable dollars given is secondary to its impact and potential to inspire others to follow suit. Creative approaches to philanthropy are welcome!  Nominees may be of any age.

In exceptional circumstances, the Award Committee may consider a former resident, a family unit, or a philanthropist who is deceased. 

Deadline: March 23, 2018

The nomination form and letter must be postmarked or emailed by close of business on Friday, March 23, 2018 to:

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County

Attn: Bridget Hanagan

8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 202

Silver Spring, MD 20910

bhanagan@thecommunityfoundation.org

The Community Foundation in Montgomery County will contact the selected awardee and her/his nominator by the end of May. All other nominations will remain confidential.

Questions: Contact Bridget Hanagan at bhanagan@thecommunityfoundation.org or 301-495-3036 x169.

Reflecting on the Significance of MLK Day in 2018

The arrival of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year seems particularly urgent.  We have come so far as a country since Dr. King lived and died. Yet here we are, in 2018, in a society still so beset and with new permission for intolerance, divisiveness, and racism. Overt acts of injustice and discriminatory policies chip away at the highest ideals that our country was founded on and at the very fabric – the people – who make it great. But the daily negative images, narratives, and rhetoric that allow us to rationalize inequity and injustice are particularly oppressive to people of color and to our national conscience.

On this MLK Day, as we acknowledge these challenges, we must also reflect on and commit anew to Dr. King’s vision and belief that while "the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends towards justice." We must not forget the important role we play, along with you our community of givers, to every day be the “benders”.  

Today, we once again affirm our unwavering commitment to this community and to all who call the Greater Washington region home, including our most vulnerable neighbors. We aim to remove barriers and facilitate access so that children and families can live in a safe environment, earn a living wage, and build assets for a secure future. For a region that is free of discrimination and preordained disadvantage based on race, income, gender, or zip code. In order to accomplish this vision, we will be even more deliberate and intentional about creating effective partnerships that work to disrupt generational poverty that is rooted in historical inequity; to foster solutions alongside those most impacted; and to adjust our proposed interventions responsively, based on current context, need, and opportunities. 

In our work, and particularly on this day, we are inspired by the courage, commitment, and indomitability of Dr. King. Working alongside donors, nonprofits, and community members, we see the promise and potential to realize Dr. King's dream for what a great America could really mean.

We invite you to learn more about our community investment work and initiatives which inspire neighbors – donors, community organizations, government, and the private sector – to work together to improve the economic conditions and social well-being of our entire community. Through them we invest directly in people, nonprofit organizations, communities, and changing systems to solve social problems and improve lives. 

Thank you for your continued support of our work to strengthen the Greater Washington region.

Sincerely,
Bruce McNamer
President and CEO

Journey to Security: An Immigrant Woman's Path to Launching a Career in IT

When Betty Gebremariam, an Ethiopian immigrant, sought a new position in the US to support her family, she knew a few challenges lay ahead. Most of her work experience was in Ethiopia, and English was her second language. And, though educated at Admas College in Ethiopia, Betty had no United States based training or education. Her husband was employed, but with two children, the family still struggled financially.

Motivated and determined, Betty decided to focus her energy not only on getting a job, but on launching a career with longevity and financial security for her family. She knew that the IT industry was in-demand and saw many opportunities in the field, so Betty set her sights on a position as a help desk technician.

In February 2016, Betty turned to the Skillsource Group, a nonprofit organization that offers employment and training services to Northern Virginia area employers, job seekers and youth. The Northern Virginia IT Employment (NVITE) Partnership, led by Skillsource, was one of three grantees selected by The Community Foundation’s Workforce Collaborative to provide unemployed and underemployed low-income job seekers with intensive case management, employment coaching and skills training to launch or advance them into entry-level Information Technology living wage careers as Computer User Support Specialists.

That May, Betty started training at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and earned a JAVA programming certification. Intellectual Point, a technology company in Reston, had an open position for a help desk technician. Betty’s case manager submitted her resume, now equipped with a new skillset, for the On-the-Job Training (OJT) opportunity, and Betty was hired after interviewing with the owner. She excelled and retained employment with Intellectual Point, earning $15 an hour.

“I am so grateful to Skillsource Group for assisting me in training and job placement. I am now starting my dream job path,” Betty says. “I have been energized to traverse the road ahead in success.” Betty adds her financial distress is gone, and remarks how patient and helpful Skillsource Group and her new employer Intellectual Point were in her journey.

The Workforce Collaborative congratulates Betty on her new career — Betty is the very first job candidate to graduate and achieve a job placement through the Collaborative’s Greater Washington Works initiative.

The Workforce Collaborative is a coalition of local workforce investors who share a common commitment to addressing poverty and income inequality by helping workers advance their skills and credentials so they can earn family-sustaining wages. Current Collaborative partners include The Community Foundation, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Consumer Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, the Moriah Fund, Northern Virginia Health Foundation, the Weiss Fagen Fund, the Marian Osterweis Fund, United Way of the National Capital Area, and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Greater Washington Works is a $1 million grantmaking initiative of the Collaborative designed to address local employer hiring challenges by meeting the talent needs of local IT and Healthcare employers. Greater Washington Works will support at least 250 local workers to launch living-wage careers in the IT and Healthcare sectors.

To learn more about The Workforce Collaborative, visit www.gwwdc.org.

A Season to Give Thanks to Our Valued Friends and Partners

As 2017 comes to a close, we are so thankful for the generosity of The Community Foundation's donors and for the commitment of our nonprofit partners who make our community development work possible. Together, we are contributing to a more vibrant, equitable, and inclusive community for all who call the Greater Washington region home.

For going on 45 years, The Community Foundation has brought together people and resources to tackle critical community issues. We want to acknowledge and extend our deepest thanks this holiday season to the amazing nonprofit partners that work tirelessly to help strengthen the Greater Washington region.

We are excited to share with you the robust list of organizations who were rigorously vetted and selected to receive one of the nearly 200 grant awards issued through our competitive and discretionary grant rounds during our current fiscal year to date! These grants, totaling in excess of $6 million, include investments across the region focused on a diverse set of issues from education and workforce development, support for immigrant communities, strengthening the safety net, and preserving the natural environment.

On behalf of everyone here at The Community Foundation, we look forward to continuing to work with you in the new year to strengthen the Greater Washington region.

Sincerely,
Tonia Wellons,
VP Community Investment

The Resilience Fund Announces New Grants Targeting the Climate of Hate and Intolerance in the Greater Washington Region

The Resilience Fund, a component fund of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, today announced $135,000 in new grants to organizations working to address the recent increase in hate, intolerance and incivility in the Greater Washington region. With this new round of grants, the Resilience Fund is supporting several local grassroots organizations working to build community cohesion through powerful conversations and neighbor-to-neighbor engagement. This round also invests in national organizations offering local anti-bullying/anti-bigotry interventions and techniques for teaching young people how to identify “fake news.” 

  • $50,000 grant to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to expand the number of schools in the region benefitting from the No Place for Hate program, which provides an organizing framework for combating bias, bullying, and bigotry, leading to long-term solutions for creating and maintaining a positive school climate.
  • $25,000 grant to the News Literacy Project to expand the reach of its checkology® virtual classroom – an online platform for teaching middle and high school students how to sort fact from falsehood in the digital age – and to co-sponsor a NewsLitCamp that places educators in a local newsroom for training and workshops with journalists.
  • $20,000 grant to IMPACT Silver Spring to strengthen social cohesion and bridge racial and socio-economic divides in diverse communities by hosting a series of events and community conversations to raise individual awareness and understanding of the connection between historical and structural racism and today’s challenges.
  • $15,000 grant to Progressive Maryland to expand staffing capacity to train and mobilize a newly-expanded volunteer base of Maryland residents who are ready to build community cohesion by acting to ensure fair elections, increase the minimum wage, and improve access to healthcare.
  • $15,000 grant to Many Languages, One Voice (MLOV) to support monthly "Community Center Sundays" as part of the DC Immigrant Organizing Center, providing cultural celebration, healing, and information and education sessions for community members. 
  • $10,000 grant to the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund to support its Seat at the Table program, an effort to strengthen community and a path to progress by creating space to discuss issues that matter most to Prince George’s County residents.

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

Over the summer, the Resilience Fund awarded its first grants — three grants totaling $110,000 — to community organizations working throughout the region to support residents and families affected by changes in international travel, immigration, and deportation policies. The grants supported the region’s networks of immigrant-serving organizations to expand their collaborative work to ensure that community members understand their legal and civil rights, take precautions to stabilize their families in the event they are detained, and receive legal representation.

In early September, following the President’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Fund announced a $25,000 emergency response grant to Ayuda. The grant helped Ayuda address the urgent and immediate need for emergency clinics to prepare and file DACA renewal applications in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland before the October 5 filing deadline. Ayuda also provided legal services and consultations to advise DACA recipients regarding possible avenues of relief that may be available to them.

“A recent study from the Greater Washington Community Foundation and Urban Institute found that although our region is diverse and generally more accepting of people from different backgrounds, discrimination remains a very real concern for many residents,” said Tonia Wellons, VP of Community Investment for The Community Foundation. “The Resilience Fund is responding to community needs to ensure our neighborhoods remain resilient, thriving, and more equitable and inclusive places to live despite the implications of policy shifts and ‘anti-other’ sentiments that impact us locally. We invite those who are concerned about what is happening in our communities to stand with us against hate and intolerance by contributing to this Fund today.”

The current round of grants reflects the Resilience Fund’s interest in supporting broader efforts across the region to address the climate of hate and intolerance, and the uptick in violent incidents linked to race, religion, national origin, and other differences. Grantee organizations were identified through an open call for ideas conducted by the Fund’s Steering Committee to identify community-based solutions that work to limit intolerance and build community cohesion.

The Fund has raised more than $500,000 to date, and has expanded its goal to reach $1 million by March 2018. More information is available online at www.thecommunityfoundation.org/resiliencefund


The Resilience Fund Steering Committee

Greater Washington Community Foundation
Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
Harman Family Foundation
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
June Linowitz
Elaine Reuben
Rob and Sheri Rosenfeld
Mauri Ziff and Jeff Hamond

DMV Residents Reveal a Tale of Two Regions in New Report

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The Greater Washington Community Foundation is pleased to release the findings from Voices of the Community: DC, Maryland, Virginia (VoicesDMV). This new community engagement initiative, conducted in partnership with the Urban Institute, is lifting up residents’ stories and perceptions of the quality of life in the Greater Washington region to accelerate effective community-driven improvement.

The Community Foundation created VoicesDMV to serve as a catalyst for community investments that will ensure a more equitable, just, and thriving region for all residents. The initiative specifically seeks to shed light on the region’s challenges and opportunities related to housing, transportation, safety, economic security, race relations and community well-being. 

While the Greater Washington region is undeniably prosperous, the VoicesDMV findings show that the region’s economic growth and prosperity are not evenly distributed:

  • The survey found that 18 percent of respondents did not have enough money for either food or housing at some point in the past 12 months. Even further, 29 percent of respondents said they knew someone in the region who was forced to leave their jurisdiction in the past two years for a reason other than their own choice. High housing costs (58 percent) and job loss (23 percent) were the most common reasons for moving.
  • Despite the sense that the DMV is more inclusive than other places, one in four people surveyed said they had felt discriminated against in the region in the past year, and 82 percent of these individuals felt discriminated against because of their race or ethnicity.
  • Residents have clear priorities for their local governments, such as protecting people from crime, making sure children get a quality education and maintaining local infrastructure; and the majority of residents trust their elected leaders. But 79 percent of respondents felt they had “little” or “no” influence over local government decisionmaking.

To capture the experiences and sentiments of community members from all walks of life, The Community Foundation and the Urban Institute conducted an extensive survey of more than 3,000 residents; held focus groups with Spanish-speaking immigrants, disconnected youth (youth not connected to either school or work), middle-class individuals, Muslims, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and members of the LGBTQ community; and engaged residents through community conversations in Prince George’s County, Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, and DC.

The result is a collection of rich, local data that provide a roadmap to inform and inspire local government, philanthropy, businesses, and community-based organizations to develop responsive strategies and make more strategic investments that better serve the needs of our communities.

The full report is available at https://www.thecommunityfoundation.org/voicesdmv, along with interactive data tables and jurisdiction-focused two-pagers that allow for deeper engagement with the data.