The Resilience Fund Combats Hate and Intolerance in the Greater Washington Region

Announces New Grants to Local Nonprofits Serving Immigrant and Muslim Communities

The Resilience Fund has announced $200,000 in grants to seven nonprofits supporting our neighbors experiencing hardship as a result of shifting federal policies and growing anti-other sentiment. The grant awards will enable these organizations to provide legal or medical services, conduct advocacy, and help protect the civil rights of immigrants, refugees, Muslims and other vulnerable communities in our region. 

“In light of recent tragedies from Pittsburgh to Louisville, we are reminded of both the strength and the vulnerability of our communities, including in the Greater Washington region,” said Tonia Wellons, VP of community investment for the Greater Washington Community Foundation, and Terri D. Wright, VP for program and community for the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, who co-chair the Fund’s Steering Committee. “The Resilience Fund is one tool to help stem the rising tide of intolerance, fear, bigotry, hate and anti-other sentiments that impact us locally. These grants will support the critical work of nonprofits responding to community needs to ensure our neighborhoods remain resilient, thriving, and more equitable and inclusive places to live.”

Grant Awards

The Resilience Fund’s latest grants will support:

  • DC Law Students in Court to expand immigration representation by leveraging hundreds of pro bono hours from student attorneys who will represent clients seeking release on bond before the Arlington Immigration Court. This will be the first legal clinical program of its kind in DC.

  • Identity, Inc. to help mitigate the negative consequences of new MCPS policies and practices on immigrant students and their families, including the visitor ID policy, Free and Reduced-Price Meals paper application, and high school athletics registration. Identity will advocate for policies that reduce barriers to equitable participation.

  • Jews United for Justice to conduct advocacy around the Montgomery County Trust Act, which would formalize rules preventing police and other local emergency services from cooperating with ICE; and the statewide Trust Act which will amend the Maryland Dream Act, so all young people have equal in-state tuition regardless of DACA status.

  • Justice for Muslims Collective to organize and empower Muslim communities to challenge federal anti-Muslim policies and societal bigotry. JMC will host community-building events, complete a DMV assessment on the needs of Muslim communities, organize rapid response mobilizations, and host community defense and wellness workshops.

  • League of Women Voters of Virginia to conduct voter services and voter education programs in Northern Virginia, specifically Arlington County, Fairfax area, Loudoun County, and Prince William area.

  • Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care to provide medical, dental, and behavioral health services to undocumented children separated from their parents at the border and receiving shelter in the region. Mary’s Center will provide behavioral health care in its School Based Mental Health program at 18 public schools, and wraparound care at its health centers.

  • The Fuller Project for International Reporting to counter hatred and intolerance by expanding its reporting, training, and raising awareness about the issues facing immigrant women, children, and their families.

About the Resilience Fund

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 supports the critical needs of nonprofits who are responding to changes in federal policy and budget priorities, as well as the climate of intolerance and hate, both of which are disproportionately impacting local people of color, and immigrant and refugee communities. 

Since the Fund’s inception, it has raised and leveraged more than $1 million and granted out $550,000 to organizations supporting our neighbors affected by changes to immigration and deportation policies, as well as efforts to build community cohesion and combat anti-other sentiment. Grants have supported immigrant-serving organizations providing advocacy, legal representation, medical services, training on legal and civil rights, and assistance with reuniting families separated at the border and detained in Maryland or Virginia. The Fund has also responded to increases in incidents of hate and intolerance in the region by supporting grassroots community engagement, voter education services, and the expansion of educational programs in local schools that teach news literacy as well as tolerance, respect and inclusion. 

Call for Proposals

The Resilience Fund is interested in identifying community-based solutions which respond to federal policy shifts impacting our region. Organizations located in or serving the Greater Washington region may submit a letter of inquiry for a rapid response grant to address current or emerging issues affecting our neighbors and communities. We will entertain inquiries linked to immigration, justice reform and civil rights roll-backs, and efforts that expand access to citizenship and democracy including voter registration and participation efforts (GOTV). New proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by the Resilience Fund Steering Committee in 2019. 

Grants may support special projects, programs, or include general operating support. Grant awards may range from $10,000-$30,000. For more details on proposal submission guidelines, click here. Letters of inquiry may be submitted through our online application system. Contact Melen Hagos with questions at

Join Us!

If you share our commitment to ensuring our communities are strong and resilient, we invite you to stand with us by contributing to the Resilience Fund.

Meet the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year


On Thursday, November 1, 2018, The Community Foundation saluted Linda Youngentob as the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year at our annual Celebration of Giving.

Linda’s philanthropic journey was first shaped by her parents who emphasized tikkun olam, the belief that we all have a responsibility to heal the world.  While pursuing a busy career in the telecommunications field, Linda and her husband, Bob, always made giving and volunteerism a top priority for their girls, Lisa, Jamie, and Casey.  In addition to supporting numerous international causes, Linda spearheaded the first Mitzvah Day at Washington Hebrew Congregation in 1992, which galvanized hundreds of congregants to volunteer with local nonprofits and has since become a national model adopted by synagogues around the world. 

 As a faculty member of Montgomery College’s Macklin Business Institute, Linda proudly cheers on her students at graduation.

As a faculty member of Montgomery College’s Macklin Business Institute, Linda proudly cheers on her students at graduation.

More recently, Linda felt compelled to focus her professional, volunteer, and philanthropic resources on her main passion: empowering youth to achieve their higher education goals, attain professional success, and give back to the community.  She left a successful career in the private sector to become a Macklin Business Institute faculty member at Montgomery College, where she eventually joined the Montgomery College Foundation Board and now co-chairs its Capital Campaign.

While impressed by her students’ talent and drive, she was deeply troubled by the overwhelming barriers holding them back from completing a college degree.  To tackle these larger issues, she became a volunteer and board member for several youth-focused organizations: CollegeTracks, FutureLink, and Identity, Inc. She also tapped into her business acumen and networks for Compass, an organization that enables nonprofits to address pressing challenges in order to make a deeper impact. 

 Linda worked one-on-one with CollegeTracks students and served on the Board, helping the organization expand to serve hundreds more students dreaming of earning a college degree.

Linda worked one-on-one with CollegeTracks students and served on the Board, helping the organization expand to serve hundreds more students dreaming of earning a college degree.

In 2014, Linda and Bob took the next step in their philanthropic journey by opening a giving fund at The Community Foundation.  Linda quickly became an active member of our Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee, lending her keen analytical skills to assess high-impact nonprofits supporting our County’s low-income neighbors.  While connecting and learning from other inspiring philanthropists, Linda quickly found even more ways to activate her friends and family to experience the deep joy in giving back.

All of us at The Community Foundation express our deep appreciation to Linda for her thoughtful leadership, tireless advocacy, and strategic philanthropy which have touched the lives of so many throughout our community.  She is an inspiring example of the positive difference each of us can make when we give where we live.

Investing in Root Cause Solutions to Addressing Poverty

 The Green Clean Coop, photo courtesy of Impact Silver Spring

The Green Clean Coop, photo courtesy of Impact Silver Spring

Starting a business can be challenging under any circumstances, but especially when you are committed to doing it cooperatively. That was the challenge—and opportunity—when five Montgomery County residents came together under the auspices of the nonprofit IMPACT Silver Spring to start a worker-owned environmentally-friendly cleaning service. Cooperative members pooled their savings for start-up equipment and supplies while graphic design and marketing help were provided by connections made through the IMPACT network. The result: The Green Clean Cooperative.   

IMPACT also helped birth a financial lending cooperative, among other ventures. It’s an entrepreneurial model that attracted the attention of the Greater Washington Community Foundation and led to a grant from the Catalyst Fund. The new fund is focused on community-based efforts to support small business, mirco-enterprise development and entrepreneurship. In addition to IMPACT Silver Spring, grants ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 were awarded to CASA, Crossroads Community Food Network and Life Asset. Read more about these grants from the Catalyst Fund.

“The Catalyst Fund grants underscore the importance of investing in wealth-building and entrepreneurship and signal a need for more philanthropists and funders to invest in preparing workers for The Future of Work,” said Tonia Wellons, The Community Foundation’s Vice President of Community Investment. “The Community Foundation is making this one of the hallmarks of its strategy to disrupt poverty and build thriving communities across the Greater Washington region.”

According to the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the median net worth of business owners is almost 2.5 times higher than non-business owners. For people of color, the distinction is even greater. Just ask Amilcar Pena. As a worker-owner of the Green Clean Cooperative, he is taking home around $20 an hour, compared to the $10 to $12 he would earn working for a private company, he says.

“It’s heartening to see The Community Foundation investing in innovative strategies that go beyond managing symptoms to root cause solutions,” said IMPACT Silver Spring Executive Director Jayne Park. “While jobs can help people get out of poverty, they need assets to stay out of poverty.” 

The Catalyst Fund grew out of The Community Foundation’s long history of supporting job training and workforce development solutions, including through leading the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative for the last decade. It was created after an anonymous donor passed away in 2016, leaving a $6 million bequest for an endowed fund. His wish was to see the gift benefit the Greater Washington region—a place he called home for 50 years.

In his later years, the donor discussed with his financial advisor, Nicholas Durso of Sun Trust Bank, how best to create a lasting legacy. “He was a good man who wanted to help people who wanted to help themselves,” says Durso. The Community Foundation offered the perfect vehicle: a field of interest fund that allows donors to support organizations working within a specific geographic region toward a specific purpose.

“The Community Foundation offered the infrastructure and expertise and has been the perfect partner,” said Durso, who works closely with the staff. “In recommending grantees, they’ll say, ‘you knew the donor best, what are your thoughts?’ It’s a collaborative relationship.” The Catalyst Fund “is a reminder of what a great man he was,” says Durso of his client. 

The anonymous donor would undoubtedly be pleased to know that 10 months after the Green Clean Cooperative was launched, it already has 19 clients and is providing steady income for the worker-owners who share in profits and continue to put money back into the business every month.


Establishing a legacy fund with the Greater Washington Community Foundation is an excellent way to create a lasting impact. To learn more, please contact Director of Development Joanne Pipkin at 202-263-4781 or

Celebrate Giving in Montgomery County

2018 MC Banner-website.jpg


Thursday, November 1, 2018
6:30 - 9:30 pm
Hyatt Regency Bethesda

Join us on Thursday, November 1, as we celebrate the growing spirit of giving throughout our community and salute the 2018 Montgomery County Philanthropist of the Year, Linda Youngentob.


Thursday, November 1, 2018 6:30pm – 9:30pm


Hyatt Regency Bethesda
One Bethesda Metro Center
Bethesda, Maryland, 20814


Click here for more information about sponsorship opportunities.

Contact Bridget Hanagan at 301-496-3036 x 169 or to learn more about the event, sponsorship packages, and opportunities to give a personal message of congratulations in the program booklet. 


Helping local students pursue their higher education dreams

Donors across the region are helping to create pathways to success for more talented young people by opening scholarship funds at The Community Foundation. A scholarship fund is an opportunity to support local youth to further their education in nearly every area of study and at any level of education, from preschool to postgraduate work. Learn about some of our existing scholarship funds, funded by generous donors who believe in the value of education, and find out if this is the right approach for you.

Spivack Scholarship Fund


Each year, donor Jack Spivack, a long-time DC area resident, makes it possible for area students to achieve their academic dreams and career aspirations. Recognizing the higher education affordability challenge many DC area students face, Mr. Spivack partnered with The Community Foundation to provide assistance. Through his generosity and partnership with The Community Foundation, Mr. Spivack has a built a powerful legacy that will provide perpetual awards to graduating high school seniors interested in continuing their education. Now in its fourth year, The Spivack Scholarship Fund has awarded a total of 53 scholarships of $1,000 each to every District of Columbia Public High School (DCPS) valedictorian attending a post-secondary institution. The 2017 Spivack Scholars represent some of the District’s brightest students. These 15 young women and men will attend colleges and universities across the country and embark on studies and later careers in areas as diverse as psychology, political science education, and engineering. Read more

The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program


When Bernie Tetreault retired after 24 years of service as Executive Director of the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), he and some of his friends wanted to come up with a special way to celebrate and continue to give back to the community that he had served for so long. In 1995, they established the Bernie Education Fund, precursor to The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program, which is now a component fund of the Community Foundation for Montgomery County. Scholarships are given to high school students as they head toward college and to adults as they pursue career training and education to prepare for employment or better employment. All are low-income residents of subsidized rental housing in Montgomery County, MD. The program continues to grow and has provided 461 scholarships with $536,200, as of May 2017, to help 406 low-income scholars pursue their higher education goals. Read more

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.

Footprints Scholarship Fund


After losing her mother to cancer and later her father to a heart attack, Renee Morgan of Hyattsville, MD faced staggering challenges. During this time, Renée was fortunate to receive overwhelming support from her family, friends and the community to maintain high academic achievement throughout high school and beyond. Later in life, aware that higher education is increasingly difficult for families to afford, Renee wanted to help youth who have endured similar challenges. In 2011, she connected with The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County to create the Footprints Scholarship Fund which supports access to post-secondary education for students who have lost a biological parent. Renee, along with close friends Omar Boulware, Courtney DeRamus, and a following of corporate givers, has raised more than $100,000 through the Footprints Scholarship Fund. In 2015, the fund awarded a total of $40,000 to support three young women to attend the college of their dreams. Learn more

Starting a scholarship fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation is easy and rewarding and the best part, is that students, their families and communities will benefit from your generosity for years to come. For more information about creating a scholarship fund at The Community Foundation, please contact us at 202-955-5890 or

A Framework for Building Thriving Communities

Dear friends and community members,

As a community foundation, having a finger on the pulse of our community is central to who we are and our ability to make a difference in the lives of those who call our region their home. Last year, in partnership with Urban Institute, we launched Voices of the Community: DC, MD, VA (VoicesDMV) to connect directly with the people and communities we serve and understand our neighbors’ experiences in their neighborhoods, jobs, schools, with local government, and with each other — and to identify the role philanthropy can play in enhancing or improving those experiences.

VoicesDMV revealed a region in which, while separated by income, education or geographic boundaries, all of us share similar hopes and dreams. We all want a better overall quality of life for ourselves and our families, including the opportunity to live in a safe and welcoming environment, obtain a quality education, earn a living wage, and build assets for a secure future. And yet, as prosperous as our region is, our survey found that deep disparities in income and opportunity persist and the gap continues to widen, preventing many of our neighbors, particularly people of color due to historical discrimination, from accessing the region’s economic growth and prosperity.

A decade ago, our Economic Security Framework was created as a direct response to the economic crisis and its impact on the region, with a focus on workforce development, safety-net services, and education. But the nature of today’s challenges requires a different approach, one that goes deeper toward addressing systemic issues to improve the economic and social well-being of people and communities who have long been marginalized, particularly communities of color. While economic security will remain part of our work going forward, we have taken this opportunity to refresh our focus areas to fully capture the range of efforts that are critical to building thriving communities. Our new Building Thriving Communities Framework will broaden our work with donors and partners across the region to disrupt poverty, deepen human connection, and prepare for the future of work.

With this refresh, we seek to deepen and expand existing work by leveraging new tools, prioritizing strategic partnerships across sectors, and developing innovative approaches to addressing the region’s most pressing challenges. This includes a new partnership with the District of Columbia Interagency Council on Homelessness to launch a broader public-private partnership that will build off the District’s plans to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring by making critical investments to accelerate our community’s response.

We are also deliberately centering racial equity and community voice in our community leadership efforts and in our grantmaking. For example, as our Workforce Development Collaborative celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, the focus will remain on supporting programs and policies which help workers advance their skills and credentials, but with a special emphasis on eliminating inequities based on race, ethnicity or gender and providing new career pathways and wealth-building opportunities.

We hope you see a connection between our Building Thriving Communities Framework and your own charitable giving plans. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss how The Community Foundation can support your broader interests. You can also make an unrestricted gift to the Fund for Greater Washington to support our ongoing community change work across the region. Your continued partnership and support are crucial as we seek to build thriving communities today and for generations to come.


 Bruce McNamer, President and CEO

Bruce McNamer, President and CEO

 Tonia Wellons, VP of Community Investment

Tonia Wellons, VP of Community Investment


Closing the Achievement Gap in Montgomery County

The Children’s Opportunity Fund champions and supports strategic investments to improve the lives of low-income children and families in Montgomery County. The Fund was launched jointly by the Montgomery County Government and Montgomery County Public Schools to identify priority areas for investment based on unmet need and to help align resources toward effective multi-sector collaborations serving the County’s most vulnerable youth and their families. In July 2017, the Fund made its inaugural grants which were leveraged against matching dollars to launch and expand innovative, evidence-informed programs throughout the county. We are pleased to report that the Fund recently made another $623,000 in grants to these high-impact organizations to further support their vital work:

Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) works to create high-quality learning opportunities for the children who need them most, mobilizing schools and communities to expand learning time beyond the traditional school day and school year. The 2017 grant from the Children’s Opportunity Fund supported BELL’s Summer program which provided educational services to 1,134 rising 3-5th graders. For six and one-half hours per day, five days a week, the program blended academics with nutrition, enrichment, and mentorship at no cost to lower income families. The result was an increase in the average scholar’s literacy by 1.5 months and math skills by 3 months, increased self-confidence for 98% of scholars, and improved scholar attitudes about school which led to a 93% average daily attendance rate. Read about Bell’s efforts to prevent the ‘summer slide’ in an op-ed for the Baltimore Sun.

I have been inspired by Montgomery County’s commitment to equity in education. Families and MCPS educators have advocated for increasing access to the BELL Summer program with evidence-based instruction and engaging resources to accelerate scholars’ learning year-round. The Children Opportunity Fund’s visionary investment in BELL Summer has helped us double this collective impact in summer 2018 and serve 2,100 young people across 11 Title I MCPS schools!
— Damon Johnson, Vice President, Partner Impact, BELL

Family Service’s Thriving Germantown Collaboration. As Germantown has grown and become more diverse, so has the rate of increased poverty (16% versus 6% countywide) and the economic, health, and educational disparities for the most vulnerable residents. Over 20 community nonprofit partners established a five-year collective impact initiative, Thriving Germantown Community HUB, designed to help Germantown families connect to health care, early child care, adult education, employment, and more. Family Services, Inc. was selected to provide leadership for this multi-sector, multi-generational care coordination initiative to improve student/family health and wellness outcomes, achieve academic success, and ensure that children have safe, stable and nurturing environments in which to live. A grant from the Children’s Opportunity Fund supported the coordination of work around early childhood care and education. In its first year, Thriving Germantown provided 99 comprehensive family risk assessments and facilitated referrals and linkages to appropriate resources and services for 131 children, adults and families. Read more about the school and leaders behind the Thriving Germantown collaboration in Bethesda Magazine’s 2017 December cover story, “Hope Lives Here.”

TG families.jpg
Partnerships are at the heart of Thriving Germantown – with families from the Daly School community, school staff, and over a dozen community health and social services organizations. The investments from COF are particularly helpful in supporting our early care and academic related service coordination. We’re excited to include as goals for the new year deepening our reach into the community, enhancing data sharing and collaboration with our partners, and developing a permanent shared nonprofit services facility for the Germantown community.
— Kylie McCleaf, CEO Family Services, Inc.

Urban Alliance is committed to helping underserved youth gain the experience, support, and training necessary to compete in the labor market and embark on a pathway to self-sufficiency. With the grant from the Children’s Opportunity Fund, Urban Alliance expanded its High School Internship Program into Montgomery County to provide career preparation and internships to high school seniors in the East County area. Through the program, students had the opportunity to gain significant professional development training, one-on-one mentoring from adult professionals, and paid, real-world work experience. The program placed 30 interns at worksites around the county, with a 100% retention rate – all youth who began the program in the fall are still actively enrolled. While their post high school plans are still in progress, all Montgomery interns have applied to college, all have been accepted to at least one institution, and all have completed a resume.

 Anna Hargrave, Executive Director of the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, poses with Urban Alliance Scholars.

Anna Hargrave, Executive Director of the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, poses with Urban Alliance Scholars.

“The Children’s Opportunity Fund is making it possible for Urban Alliance to provide even more young people in Montgomery County with early, meaningful work experience and professional development to help them succeed in adulthood. We’re so grateful to the Greater Washington Community Foundation for their dedication to improving outcomes for underserved youth by helping us to sustain and grow our program here in the county.”
— Eshauna Smith, CEO of Urban Alliance

Paying Tribute to Nancy Fax

It is with great sadness that we share news of loss of The Community Foundation’s long-time friend, Nancy Fax, who passed away Monday, June 4 after a brief illness.

Nancy had a long-standing relationship with The Community Foundation in Montgomery County. She was a two-time member of the Advisory Board, and chair from April 2004 to March 2006. She also co-chaired The Community Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council for many years. During her Board tenure, she was responsible for significant growth in The Community Foundation’s charitable assets and giving.

Her leadership was also pivotal to Sharing Montgomery, our strategic, donor-led funding effort to support organizations serving the County’s growing population of low-income children, families, and seniors. Each year, it educates people about the nonprofit community serving Montgomery County, engages donors in strategic grantmaking, and supports nonprofit capacity building. This spring, thanks to the contributions for many people and businesses, Sharing Montgomery granted $375,000 to 60 organizations.

A memorial service honoring Nancy's life will be held at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, June 26th in the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Maryland). In lieu of flowers, the family invites Nancy's friends and colleagues to make a contribution to one of the following organizations:

Please contact Anna Hargrave (Executive Director, The Community Foundation in Montgomery County) at if you have questions about the memorial service or other ways to donate in Nancy’s memory. 


Fill out my online form.