2018-2

Thank you and happy new year!

Greetings!

Reflecting on 2018, I am so thankful for the generosity of our donors and 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.

From our work on various community impact initiatives focusing on education, homelessness, and workforce development, The Community Foundation is dedicated to partnering with you to continue as caretakers of our community. And, I am so proud of what we have accomplished together over the last year alone – here are a few highlights:

  • Did you know that we have granted out more than $1.2 billion in our 45-year history? In FY18, we administered 8,450 grants worth more than $96 million in total, making us the largest local funder of nonprofits in the Greater Washington region. We are proud to have partnered with and provided funding to more than 2,600 nonprofits through our community grants. The majority of these grants support nonprofits who share our mission for Building Thriving Communities in DC, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George’s County.

  • Data from our VoicesDMV community engagement initiative, which surveyed more than 3,400 local residents on their experiences in their communities, guided a refresh of our strategic approach and the launch of our Building Thriving Communities framework. This refresh allows us to deepen and expand existing work and more fully captures the range of efforts The Community Foundation, our donors and partners collectively undertake across the region to address poverty, deepen culture and human connection, and prepare for the future of work.

  • As we are preparing to launch new community impact initiatives throughout the region, we have started building a public-private partnership focused on ending homelessness in DC. On any given night, nearly 7,000 people in DC sleep outside or in shelters, including 2,000 children. We believe that homelessness is a complex issue that is solvable, but it requires businesses, individuals, local government, and nonprofits working together to find solutions. You can learn more about these efforts in an article I authored for the Washington Business Journal’s annual Giving Guide. Please contact Angela Willingham if you are interested in learning more about or supporting the Partnership to End Homelessness.

  • We were pleased to renew our accreditation with the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations, a voluntary and rigorous program administered by the Council on Foundations to represent the highest standards of operational excellence and integrity in community philanthropy. We are among 500 of the nation’s largest community foundations who participate and meet the benchmarks for quality in operations, accountability and impact.

Now as we enter 2019, I am hopeful and filled with excitement for the possibilities of what we can do together. With your support, we can build thriving communities that are ripe with opportunity for everyone—good schools and enrichment programs for our kids, a sense of safety and security in our neighborhoods, well-paying jobs, affordable housing, vibrant cultural options, and a sense of fairness and justice for all.

Cheers to a happy and healthy new year!

Bruce McNamer,

President & CEO

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.”

Year-End Giving Tips from Leslie Smith of Chevy Chase Trust

With the end of the year quickly approaching, professional advisor Leslie Smith hopes individuals, families and businesses recognize that expertly managed and cost-effective donor-advised funds offer numerous financial advantages. Leslie, Senior Managing Director with Chevy Chase Trust, notes that a fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation offers a special opportunity to learn about the issues facing the community and can support worthy causes, such as providing scholarships for students or helping to create a brighter future for vulnerable neighbors. There’s no better time to consider the financial benefits than in the last days of December.

Leslie has a long history with The Community Foundation—including as co-chair of The Foundation’s Professional Advisors Council and serving on The Community Foundation’s Advisory Board in Montgomery County and its Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee.

“I quickly went from having an academic understanding to comprehending the tremendous benefits of community foundations and donor-advised funds,” she says. “The bottom line is private foundations are not a very efficient option for most donors.” 

Leslie estimates that she and her colleagues have helped dozens, if not 100 or more clients set up donor-advised funds over the years. One client told Leslie that she wanted to focus on her own charitable giving after her husband passed away. A volunteer with the Literacy Council, the client was personally moved by stories of her immigrant neighbors who were determined to learn English while raising their families and working full-time, usually at low paid jobs. She wanted to find a way to help their children go to college. Leslie introduced her to Anna Hargrave, executive director of The Community Foundation’s local office for Montgomery County. Anna arranged a meeting with staff from the Literacy Council and Future Links, a nonprofit that provides academic support, internships and scholarships to underserved high school students. Fast forward four years: Leslie’s client has provided scholarships to three students, so far. 

“Every time we meet, she talks about those students and her terrific experience with The Community Foundation,” Leslie says. “Of course we also talk about her portfolio, but it’s her charitable giving and those scholarships that really make her light up.”

Leslie and her colleagues at Chevy Chase Trust not only refer clients to The Community Foundation, they also host learning events for clients on topics like hunger and poverty and roll up their sleeves and volunteer in the community. They are not alone. The Community Foundation partners with many corporations, professional advisors and financial institutions throughout the region who have demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing the community’s greatest challenges. 

Leslie recognizes that giving through The Community Foundation makes it possible to maximize the tax benefits and impact of philanthropy. As the year comes to a close, Leslie offers these five tips for end-of-the-year giving:

  • As you are considering your tax situation, you may find the cap of the deduction for state and local income tax as well as property taxes (a $10,000 deduction limit for all) results in higher than expected taxes, despite the reduction in federal rates. It may make sense to give more to charity, or to accelerate charitable giving into the current year.

  • Always consider gifting appreciated securities rather than cash, to avoid the capital gain on the securities. 

  • If you want to take advantage of the standard deduction rather than itemize, it could make sense to bunch charitable giving into alternate years so that one year you itemize and the next you use the standard deduction. 

  • If you don't want to make larger gifts to your usual charities in one year, a donor-advised fund can provide the mechanism to make a large deductible gift now, then take your time deciding how it will be used to benefit the community in the future.

  • If you are at least 70 1/2 years old, consider using your IRA to make a direct contribution to charity. You may give up to $100,000, which can include your Required Minimum Distribution. A donor-advised fund does not qualify for these donations, however, The Community Foundation offers other giving vehicles that allow you to take advantage of this type of gift.

Leapfrogging Inequity in Montgomery County

Guest post by Kimberly Rusnak, Project Director for the Children's Opportunity Fund

What is leapfrogging in education? The concept was explored with a group of Community Foundation donors at our most recent President’s Forum in Montgomery County. It is the ability to jump ahead or disrupt existing paradigms to make rapid and non-linear progress. It is the possibility to transform what and how children learn so that young people can develop a broad set of skills needed to thrive. The concept is discussed by Rebecca Winthrop, a Senior Fellow and the Director of the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institute, in her new book, Leapfrogging Inequality: Remaking Education to Help Young People Thrive

The first major point covered during the talk sought to answer a critical question: What is the goal of education? Though it seems like such a simple question, the answers in the room were vastly different. Some of the answers were: the goal is to teach basic skills of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. This was countered with the goal to ensure sustainable employment. Or is the goal to provide young people with the tools for a fulfilling life and to encourage active civic participation? Or all of the above?

The answer posed to the group by Ms. Winthrop was called, “Academic +,” also known as The Breadth-of-Skills-Movement. While an education system must prioritize knowledge acquisition, there must also be a strong emphasis on developing skills needed to use that knowledge in different settings overtime. This includes academic subjects, plus globally relevant topics, communication skills, problem solving skills; and trying to prepare students for the future. It’s a tough job—and no single approach is the perfect solution because learning happens everywhere—at home, at school, in the community. 

In an average year, an elementary school student only spends 14% of their time in school (based on a 7-hour school day, 180 days  per year). Roughly 33% of a student’s time is spent sleeping, and 53% of their time is spent awake and out of school. If the majority (53%) of learning happens at home, in the community and among peers, think about what that means. 

For many families that cannot afford quality early learning and pre-K access, fee-based out of school programs, private tutoring and costly summer camps, the opportunities and exposure to academic and non-academic skills and knowledge are very different compared to affluent families who can. The families who cannot afford expensive out-of-school supports are often immigrants and people of color; which is why the opportunity gap and racial inequity exists in almost every county and city in the United States.  Race and poverty are not the same thing, but there are strong correlations in the world of education.  As Kevin Beverly, a Trustee of The Community Foundation reflected:

“Encouraging educators to open the aperture and look beyond the standard approaches is a key to helping our at-risk youth excel.” 

In order to make major strides and changes in education, we must take big leaps and major calculated risks to achieve greater change for children and address this inequity. We must do our work differently so that we can achieve different results. Incremental change is not enough; we must find ways to leapfrog. As Shirley Brandman, an Education Advocate in Montgomery County reflected:

“Our commitment to equity will only become real when we can invest in tangible strategies that catch students up and keep them on track academically.  Making more than a year's worth of progress in a year of schooling is key and the insights shared about how we can harness innovation to leapfrog or accelerate learning should inspire us to rededicate our efforts.” 

There were several examples of this idea shared at the President’s Forum last week.  An initiative called, LEMA (Literacy and Math Education Labs) has created board games that teach literacy, numeracy, teamwork and collaboration at the same time. Another example was Wonderschool in California who works with families, educators and childcare providers to helps individuals start their own businesses by assisting with licensing, marketing and everything in between. 

I have spent my entire career working in education and the field of out of school time.  I am excited for the opportunity to take my experiences and knowledge and put them to work in Montgomery County through the Children’s Opportunity Fund. It is our goal to help every child succeed.  The Fund focuses on supporting and scaling evidence-based initiatives that are meeting gaps in Montgomery County. 

Thank you to Rebecca Winthrop for sharing her knowledge and expertise.  Our community will use these learnings and others to help investigate opportunities to innovate and address inequity in education in Montgomery County, and across the region. 


Kimberly joined The Community Foundation in the summer of 2018.  Through her previous experience as a Program Officer with the Social Innovation Fund, she oversaw a portfolio of innovative interventions ranging from cradle to career.  Kimberly came to The Community Foundation well-versed in program development, nonprofit management and community development.  She is a passionate advocate for young people and believes it is critical that we provide equal opportunities to all. 

Thank You for Supporting the 2018 Celebration of Giving

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Thank you for supporting the 2018 Montgomery County Celebration of Giving! 

We were proud to bring together more than 350 people to recognize the donors, nonprofits, and local leaders who make up our community of givers and doers in Montgomery County and to salute our 2018 Philanthropist of the Year, Linda Youngentob. 

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As we head into the holiday season, we hope you will remember Linda’s story and the three epiphanies which guided her own philanthropic journey:

  • You can have impact when you help one person at a time,

  • That impact will have a ripple effect, and

  • Every one of us can have this impact right here in our own community.

We wish to extend a special thank you to the Celebration Sponsors, Host Committee, and everyone who contributed to making the night a success. Proceeds raised will help The Community Foundation in Montgomery County to meet its goal of addressing critical community needs by investing in high-impact nonprofit organizations and inspiring more people to give!

We couldn’t have done it without you!

With deep gratitude,

Anna Hargrave

P.S. Watch Linda's salute video and visit our Celebration page to see additional photos from the event. 

Apply to Perform or Exhibit at the 2019 Celebration of Philanthropy

We are currently accepting proposal submissions for performance opportunities at The Community Foundation’s 2019 Celebration of Philanthropy. The event will take place Monday, March 25, from 6:00-9:00 pm at Arena Stage. The annual Celebration brings together about 800 local philanthropists, nonprofits, business and community leaders to honor their individual and collective contributions to ensuring our region is a more equitable, vibrant and inclusive place to live. This is the largest annual celebration of local philanthropy in our region, providing an opportunity to celebrate The Community Foundation’s impact and legacy of bringing people and resources together for community change.

The Celebration of Philanthropy is a unique experience — it is structured like a community arts festival featuring performances and exhibits showcasing some of the region's most exciting artists and nonprofit arts organizations supported by The Community Foundation and its community of givers. Performances are staggered throughout the evening and across all three levels of Arena Stage, allowing guests to experience the region’s vibrant local arts community while enjoying delicious food, an open bar, and networking opportunities with friends and colleagues.

We are specifically looking for:

  • Performance art — Live music, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, or other performances (individuals or groups of artists of all disciplines and ages) that run for about 10-15 minutes. Performances do NOT take place on stages or in theaters, so submissions must be conducive to an open but limited performance space.

  • Visual art — Interactive and participatory exhibits or roving experience/activities that engage the audience as individuals or a group. Stations may run throughout the evening on various levels of the event space.

Please note: The Celebration offers guests a very festive party atmosphere. It is a standing and roving reception and, because the space is very open, the noise level can conflict with performance audio.

Eligibility Requirements

We will consider applications from artists and nonprofit organizations which are:

  • located in and/or serving residents of the Greater Washington region, including DC, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George’s County;

  • current or past grantees of The Community Foundation and/or its component funds;

  • available the evening of Monday, March 25, 2019, from roughly 4:00-9:00 pm, and for a pre-scheduled walk through and rehearsal prior to the event.

You may submit as many ideas as you’d like for consideration. Applications are due, via the online form below, no later than 5:00 pm on December 21, 2018.

Individuals and organizations selected for performance opportunities will be notified in mid-January 2019. Selected individuals/organizations will receive a $500 honorarium (one per performance) and up to two tickets for staff or guests to attend the event. Please send your questions to marketing@thecommunityfoundation.org.

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Save the Date for the 2019 Celebration of Philanthropy

 
 

It's time to celebrate! You’re invited to the 2019 Celebration of Philanthropy on March 25, 2019! This is the largest annual celebration of local philanthropy in our region. It is a true celebration of what makes our community remarkable—including the individuals and organizations who dedicate their time and resources to public service, philanthropy, and nonprofits to drive the area’s tremendous giving spirit and make our region a more vibrant, equitable and inclusive place to live. This is also an opportunity to celebrate The Community Foundation’s impact in our region and reflect on our legacy of bringing people and resources together for community change.

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At the Celebration, we will present the 2019 Civic Spirit Award to former Mayor Anthony Williams. Anthony Williams is a long-time champion for a thriving DC, having served as CFO, Mayor, and now as CEO of the Federal City Council. During more than a decade of service in local government, he is widely credited with leading the City out of bankruptcy and for initiating a period of sustained economic growth leading DC to the economically vibrant place it is today. He has continued his civic contribution and leadership at the Federal City Council, engaging the business community in investments in infrastructure and more equitable development, most recently with the launch of the Washington Housing Initiative. 

Attending the Celebration of Philanthropy is an experience unlike any other! You’ll take part in a cocktail reception and community festival featuring live music, theater, poetry, and dance performances from some of the region's most exciting nonprofits and local artists who are supported by The Community Foundation and our community of givers. These showcases are staggered throughout the evening and across the venue, allowing you to choose from a line-up of incredible acts while enjoying delicious food, an open bar, and networking with friends and colleagues. 

 
 

When you purchase a ticket or sponsorship for this event, you are also giving back to your community by supporting our efforts to build thriving communities throughout the region. Proceeds benefit The Community Foundation's Fund for Greater Washington, enabling us to make grants to effective nonprofits, incubate new ideas, convene partners to address community issues, and conduct programmatic initiatives and advocacy. Through this Fund, The Community Foundation invests in effective solutions to help our marginalized neighbors find pathways out of poverty, create diverse and inclusive spaces to deepen human connection, and prepare workers to succeed in our region’s changing economy.

Sponsorship Packages

We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities for organizations of all sizes and for individuals who want to celebrate with us and share their great work with an audience of 700+ community, philanthropic, local government, and business leaders— contact Emily Davis for more details.

We hope you will join us on March 25! This is truly a special celebration that you will not want to miss!


WHEN

Monday, March 25, 2019
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

WHERE

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater
1101 Sixth Street SW | Washington, DC 20024

TICKETS

Ticket sales will open in January 2019

Business Attire

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Make a Contribution

 
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