Reflecting on the Legacy of Vicki Sant

All of us at the Greater Washington Community Foundation were deeply saddened to learn of Victoria (“Vicki”) Sant’s passing on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Vicki was a long-standing champion of The Community Foundation’s ideals, having served as vice chair of the board, an emeritus board member, major donor, and President of the Summit Fund.

“The Community Foundation would not be the thriving organization and community leader that it is today if it wasn’t for Vicki Sant’s hands-on leadership and stewardship,” said Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “Vicki was instrumental to our early growth and success, and The Summit Fund provided major financial support which enabled us to address community needs and to develop as a community leader.”

Vicki began an over 35-year relationship with The Community Foundation in the early 80s when she and her husband, Roger — the co-founder of a global power company — established The Summit Fund as a donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation. As a board member, she chaired The Community Foundation’s grants and programs committee and served on the Steering Committee for the Creative Communities Initiative, focused on creating a strong support system for artists in the region. Vicki was eventually named a board member emeritus, a position of honor she shared with the late R. Robert Linowes.

The Summit Fund of Washington, established by Roger and Vicki Sant, was the first supporting organization of The Community Foundation. Vicki was the co-founder and president from 1993 to 2015, focused on two specific causes of importance to her: restoring and protecting the Anacostia River and reducing teen pregnancy in the District of Columbia. Her other passions included international population issues, global environmental issues and the arts.

“Vicki embodied the true spirit of philanthropy.  She became a mentor of mine in the early 90s when I was a young program officer just starting out at The Community Foundation, and her love and guidance made such a huge difference in my life. Her impact came not just from her strategic mind but also from her enormous heart and emotional intelligence,” said Silvana Straw, Senior Community Investment Officer and Philanthropic Advisor at The Community Foundation.

Vicki’s long history as a fundraiser for nonprofit organizations also gave her a unique nonprofit -friendly perspective on philanthropy. She once shared that, “Knowing the complexity of running a nonprofit has helped me enormously as a donor and helped me experience the partnership donors and grantees share as they each work toward the same common goal.”

“Vicki was my great friend—kind, caring and funny.  Most of all we shared a total commitment to children both here and around the world.  She was always an inspiration and had the attitude that anything good was possible, and that attitude meant that good came to pass,” said Charito Kruvant, a Community Foundation donor and former board member, and Founder and Chairperson of the Board of Creative Associates International. 

Underlying her commitment was a belief that, in her eloquent words, “our community’s greatest assets are its citizens, and that their creativity, ideas and energy are essential to the resolution of the challenges facing our community.”