Sharing DC: Immersive Grantmaking


What if you could visit a nonprofit, talk with key staff, and get a behind the scenes tour before deciding to give? What if you could get together with like-minded individuals to share your observations and learn about important issues facing Washingtonians every day? Sharing DC, an initiative of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, provides an opportunity to do just that. It allows donors and stakeholders alike to experience philanthropy in a visceral and meaningful way.

Meeting in early spring, the Sharing DC Committee gathers to learn about pressing community issues in the District. A lively discussion among members is facilitated by The Community Foundation’s dedicated Community Investment team, and a decision is made about which issue to focus on for the year.

This year, the Committee’s focus area is homelessness prevention and intervention. Our goal is to help single adults, families and youth exit homelessness and move to permanent housing by providing funds to help them meet key needs and address barriers to homelessness.

Starting in late September, Committee Members will travel across Washington, DC to visit nine amazing organizations that have been selected to apply for funding. The Committee will meet one last time, in early December, to share feedback and learnings and collectively make funding decisions.

The Sharing DC process helps answer our most fundamental questions about philanthropy: what are the most pressing issues in the District, what questions should I be asking of an organization I’d like to support, how can I ensure that my grant will have a meaningful impact? These are some of the questions we explore through Sharing DC’s hands-on, collaborative and donor-centered approach. This is the perfect opportunity for anyone who may wonder if they are making wise investments to immerse themselves in a grant review process.

Sharing DC is a remarkable program. Just ask the many participants who join us each year on visits to some of DC’s most promising programs, or read about one of our grantee organizations and its mission to provide DC youth with technology-driven education, information and skill development for sustained futures. This is but one example of The Community Foundation’s efforts to encourage philanthropy in our region and to bring people together. Collectively, we’re making a real difference in the lives of our neighbors and communities.

To join us for one or more visits, please contact Gisela Shanfeld.