2019-1

Save the Date for the 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy

You’re invited to the 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy on March 12, 2020! Join us for the largest annual celebration of local philanthropy as we pay tribute to the individuals and organizations that dedicate their time and resources to make our region a more vibrant, equitable, and inclusive place to live. Mix and mingle with our region’s top local philanthropists, nonprofits, business, government, and community leaders, while toasting to The Community Foundation’s impact and legacy of bringing people and resources together for community change.

Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Clark courtesy of the Clark Foundation.

Photo of Mr. and Mrs. Clark courtesy of the Clark Foundation.

At the Celebration, we are proud to present the 2020 Civic Spirit Award to the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation for its commitment to expanding opportunities for our neighbors and communities to thrive. Mr. and Mrs. Clark believed in quietly and generously giving back to local organizations serving the community where they lived, worked, and achieved their success. Now under the leadership of their daughter, Courtney Clark Pastrick, the Foundation continues this philanthropic legacy by investing in building connections between effort and opportunity to help people achieve their greatest ambitions.

You’ll also experience the region’s vibrant local arts community while enjoying delicious food, an open bar, and networking opportunities. You can choose from an incredible line up of pop up performances of live music, theater, poetry, and dance from some of the region's most exciting nonprofits and local artists supported by The Community Foundation and our community of givers. To learn more about performance opportunities, please click here.

When you purchase a ticket or sponsorship for this event, you are also giving back by supporting our critical work to build thriving communities in the Greater Washington region. Proceeds benefit The Community Foundation's Fund for Greater Washington which allows us to invest in high-impact nonprofits, incubate new solutions, address community issues, and conduct programmatic initiatives and advocacy.

 
 

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.


WHEN

Thursday, March 12, 2020
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

WHERE

New Location!

Andrew Mellon Auditorium
1301 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20240

TICKETS

Ticket sales will open in January 2020

General Admission: $200

Nonprofit and Emerging Philanthropists: $125

Business Attire

Apply to Perform or host an art station at the 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy

The Community Foundation is currently accepting proposals for performance and interactive art/activity stations at our 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy. The event will take place on Thursday, March 12, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium.

The Celebration of Philanthropy is a networking reception featuring pop-up performances and visual arts displays showcasing some of the region's most exciting artists and nonprofit arts organizations supported by The Community Foundation and our community of givers. Performances are staggered throughout the evening and across the venue, 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 seeking nonprofit arts and other organizations that showcase the diversity of the Greater Washington region (DC, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia, and Prince George’s County). We aim to feature new groups and/or performances every year. When selecting groups, we select groups that represent a wide variety of art forms (see examples below). Performances and art stations that feature interactive elements with audience members will also be prioritized.

The annual Celebration brings together more than 700 local philanthropists, nonprofits, business, government, and community leaders to honor their individual and collective contributions to making our region a more equitable, vibrant, and inclusive place to live.

This is an open call for proposals that demonstrate:

  • Performance art — Pop-up performances (10-15 minutes) of live music, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, or other performances featuring individuals and/or groups of artists of all disciplines and ages. Performances are scheduled throughout the evening and across the venue – most do NOT take place on a traditional stage. For examples of last year’s performances, click here.

  • Visual arts stations or interactive displays — Interactive and participatory displays or art stations that engage the audience as individuals or a group. Stations may run throughout the evening in various areas of the event space. Examples include live painting, jewelry making, photo or art exhibits, roving video interviews, and more.

Please note: The Celebration offers guests a festive atmosphere. It is a standing and roving reception and the noise level of the crowd can conflict with performance audio.

Eligibility Requirements

We will consider applications from artists and nonprofit organizations that 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 donor component funds; and

  • available the evening of Thursday, March 12, 2020, 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. Proposals are due, via the online form below, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 20, 2019.

Individuals and organizations selected for performance opportunities will be notified in mid-January 2020. 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.

Fill out my online form.

Ensuring an Equitable Future for Our Region Through a Fair and Accurate Census Count

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The 2020 Count DMV In Census Project is proud to announce its first round of grants to ensure an accurate, and complete census count in the Greater Washington region. Grants will support 20 local nonprofit organizations undertaking education, outreach, and assistance focused on hard-to-count communities in the region, ahead of the March 2020 census, with a goal of increasing census participation in those communities.

The 2020 Count DMV In Census Project recognizes that a complete and accurate census count is critical for advancing racial equity in our communities. Historically, the census count disproportionately left out communities of color, immigrants, young children, low-income, and rural households. It is estimated that more than 55,000 individuals were “undercounted” in this region in 2010. With that many people undercounted, the full picture of our communities and their needs cannot possibly be captured.

Video courtesy of the United Way of the National Capital Area, a funder of the 2020 Count DMV In Census Project.

When populations are undercounted in the census, communities are impacted in multiple ways, with communities of color the most adversely impacted. For example, the census count determines the number of representatives a region has in government. An undercount could mean less representation than necessary for some of our most hard-to-count populations, resulting in a loss of power, influence, and likely decreased focus and mismatched investments in their priorities and concerns, which will have real consequences for the next decade. Federal funding for social service programs – such as maternal and child health, Head Start, supplemental food programs, subsidized housing, and other human services (more than $24 billion to DC, Maryland, and Virginia combined!)— could be drastically reduced and fail to meet the full needs of our communities that are historically and persistently subjected to divestment. Businesses that are urgently needed – like grocery stores and healthcare providers – may fail to open in under-resourced neighborhoods because the data does not reflect current or potential for future demand.

With the importance of the census count in mind, we are proud to award a total of $287,000 to organizations committed to a fair and accurate count of all residents of the DMV. The organizations listed below are focusing on a variety of communities in our region, including people living with disabilities, communities of color, returning citizens, and more. These organizations also work with communities across the Greater Washington region, including DC, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Northern Virginia. We encourage you to read below to learn not only which organizations we funded, but also how they specifically plan to encourage historically undercounted communities to participate in the census and be heard.

Donors to the 2020 Count DMV In Census Project include Bainum Family Foundation, the Bauman Foundation, Consumer Health Foundation, Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, United Way of the National Capital Area, and Weissberg Foundation. The Greater Washington Community Foundation administers grants on behalf of the project and conducted a rigorous application review process to vet grantee organizations for funding.

2020 Count DMV In Census Project Grant Recipients

Arc of the District of Columbia, Inc. to engage and educate people living with disabilities to complete the census with appropriate and accessible supports in place.

Asian American LEAD (AALEAD) to support efforts in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County to reach hard-to-count Asian-Pacific American populations.

CASA de Maryland, Inc. to support a census outreach program specifically promoting the participation of low-income immigrants and Latinx families in Northern Virginia.

DC Action for Children to engage children as youth ambassadors to convince families, friends, and neighbors to complete the 2020 census form and ensure that all people living in their household are counted.

District of Columbia Baptist Convention to support residents served by District of Columbia Baptist Convention’s interfaith member congregations in the DMV region through educational and awareness campaigns.

Edu-Futuro to reach hard-to-count Latinx populations in the DMV region through Linea Directa, a half-hour Spanish language program focusing on the importance of participating in the census. 

Ethiopian Community Center, Inc. to ensure that newly arrived African-immigrant residents in Montgomery County, MD have the information and support they need to participate fully in the 2020 census, by engaging individuals and families with limited English proficiency.

Greater Washington Urban League to fulfill the needs of census outreach and participation for people of color in the District, specifically wards 5, 7, and 8.

Justice for Muslims Collective (Defending Rights and Dissent Inc.) to engage Arab, Middle East Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities and businesses through outreach and awareness building in the DMV region. 

La Clinica del Pueblo (Promotores) to support promotoras de salud (community health workers) who will conduct education and outreach to hard-to-reach Latinx populations to encourage participation in the 2020 census.

Latino Economic Development Corporation to educate and reach out to small businesses in DC on the importance of the census.

Montgomery College Foundation - Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center to support student ambassadors at Montgomery College to engage in strategic outreach in hard-to-count communities in Montgomery County, MD.

National Korean American Service and Education Consortium Inc. to support outreach activities including education and raising awareness of the census within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in Northern Virginia.

Prince George’s County Children’s Resource Center to advance census work in Prince George’s County to engage families and children ages 0-5.

Progressive Maryland Education Fund to engage low-income residents and communities of color in Prince George’s County on their participation in the 2020 census.

Restaurant Opportunities Centers ROC United, Inc. to support ROC DC’s efforts to incorporate census work in its outreach and education programs designed for low-wage restaurant workers.

Seabury Resources for Aging to support outreach to low- to moderate-income older adults in DC and Silver Spring, MD.

United Planning Organization to host information sessions for participants in their training programs for people of color in wards 5,7, and 8 and encourage students in its employment training programs to apply for positions in support of the census. 

Virginia Coalition for Immigrant Rights Inc. to support outreach efforts in Northern Virginia, specifically to Latinx, Asian, and African immigrant communities.

Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement to support outreach efforts to communities of color and immigrant communities in Northern Virginia.

New Tips for Your Year-End Charitable Giving

By Rebecca Rothey, Vice President of Development and Senior Philanthropic Advisor

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As the end of the year approaches, now is the time to plan for your charitable giving! The Community Foundation is here to help make your giving wise, simple, and fun. Here are a few tips of how our donors have maximized their assets to make powerful and meaningful gifts.

Tip One: Use Appreciated Assets to Diversify

If you own appreciated assets, such as stocks, that you’ve held for more than one year, consider gifting them first. When you make a gift of an appreciated asset you can benefit in the following ways:

  • Receive an income tax deduction for the fair market value of the transferred stock.

  • Avoid capital gains tax, regardless of how much your stock has appreciated.

For an added benefit, if you make a gift of stock rather than cash, you can use the cash you would have given to purchase more of the same stock. As a result, you will have made your gift and you still own the same stock—only now with a higher cost basis. Some donors who are concerned about a possible pending recession have used gifting to a charitable fund as an opportunity to diversify and create a pool of charitable assets, capturing gain into a fund ahead of a downturn and investing the charitable fund in cash to preserve value.

One of our long-time donors follows market activity closely. Rather than wait until year-end, he gives when he believes the market is likely at the highest it will go that year. Last year, he gave in August, gifting his stocks at their highest value before the market declined in September.

Tip Two: New Tax Laws Reward Cash Giving

Last year, one of our donors opened a substantial fund after selling her home. While she had a capital gains tax liability from the sale, the higher deduction for cash made the transaction a wash for income tax purposes.

If you are fortunate to be in a position to give a large sum in one year or over multiple years, speak with your accountant about the possible benefits of giving cash. Although it is usually better to gift appreciated assets because of the capital gains tax avoidance, under the new tax law you may now deduct up to 60% of your adjusted gross income for gifts of cash. Consider front-loading a charitable fund at The Community Foundation, maximizing our charitable income tax deduction in that year or up to five years using the carry-forward charitable deduction.

Tip Three: Unique Benefits from IRA Gifts

If you are over 70.5 and are not already doing so, consider making a gift directly to The Community Foundation from your IRA. While you may not make an IRA Charitable Rollover gift to a donor-advised fund, there are several options for establishing other types of funds that will help you achieve your charitable goals while simplifying your giving. Benefits of a charitable IRA gift include:

  • Reduce Your Taxable Income: By rolling over some or all your RMD from your IRA to charity, you can reduce your taxable income this year.

  • Lower Your Social Security Tax: Reducing your taxable income with an IRA rollover gift may also reduce the tax due on your social security payments.

  • Avoid IRS Tax Limits: IRA rollover gifts may be made over and above the normal cash gift limit mentioned above.

  • No Need to Itemize: If you do not itemize your deductions, you can still benefit from the reduction in income and tax resulting from an IRA rollover gift.

One of our donors shared that he and his wife are delighted to simplify their IRA giving through a fund at The Community Foundation. They have an additional donor-advised fund as well, for gifts outside their IRA giving.

Tip Four: Don’t Forget About Property

One of our donors is a couple who earned income from rental properties, but decided they no longer wished to manage them. Rather than sell the properties and pay the capital gains tax, they gifted two of their houses directly to a donor-advised fund at The Community Foundation. They were able to take a charitable income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the property and created a fund their children will advise when they’ve passed away.

If you own property, such as a second home, commercial, or rental properties, consider gifting all or a portion of the property directly to a charitable fund.

We hope these tips offer new ways to think about your charitable giving! Your giving is instrumental to making the Greater Washington region a more thriving, just and enriching place to live for all.

If you have questions or would like more information, contact Rebecca Rothey, rrothey@thecommunityfoundation.org or 202-263-476.

Disclaimer: The Community Foundation does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your advisor before making a gift.

Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP®, AEP®, gave an engaging presentation on Working with Professional Advisors to a packed room at the annual Practical Planned Giving Conference.

Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP®, AEP®, gave an engaging presentation on Working with Professional Advisors to a packed room at the annual Practical Planned Giving Conference.

2019 Year End Gifts & Grantmaking

As we near the end of the year, we would like to recognize our donors and their generosity throughout 2019. You’ve continued to demonstrate a strong philanthropic spirit by maintaining and establishing new funds, and recommending thousands of grants to local and national nonprofit organizations.

In an effort to assist you with carrying out your end-of-year philanthropic goals, please see below for The Community Foundation’s deadlines regarding year-end giving and grantmaking activities:

RECOMMENDING GRANTS FROM YOUR FUND

Grant recommendations submitted by December 16 will be processed by December 31, provided the grantee organization meets The Community Foundation’s due diligence requirements. Due to increased volume, we cannot guarantee that grant recommendations submitted after December 16 will be processed and mailed in 2019.

PLEASE NOTE: Grants submitted prior to December 16, 2019 must also be approved (meeting The Community Foundation’s due diligence requirements) to be processed and mailed by December 31, 2019.

Grant recommendations should be submitted through your Donor Central account. Questions regarding Donor Central can be forwarded to Emily Davis (202-973-2501, edavis@thecommunityfoundation.org).

MAKING GIFTS TO THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Stock and cash gifts (check, wire, online) submitted to The Community Foundation by December 31 will be earmarked as a 2019 contribution. Please note: The gift must be in The Community Foundation’s account by this day to be eligible for a 2019 tax deduction.

Gifts made online:

Gifts can be made online at www.thecommunityfoundation.org/donate. 

Gifts made via check can be sent to:          

Attn: Finance Department
Greater Washington Community Foundation
1325 G Street NW
Suite 480
Washington, DC 20005

*Please include the name of the fund in the memo line of the check. 

**Checks sent by US Postal Service mail can be earmarked as a 2019 contribution if postmarked by the US Postal Service on or before December 31.

Gifts of cash or securities made via wire transfer:

Please see the instructions for making gifts of cash or securities by wire transfer.  Please contact the Finance Department at 202-955-5890 if there are any questions. Monies must be in The Community Foundation’s account by December 31, to be earmarked as a 2019 contribution.

Gifts made via transfer from mutual funds:

In order for gifts made from mutual funds submitted to The Community Foundation to be received by December 31 and earmarked as a 2019 contribution, the transfer must be initiated by December 6, 2019.

Black and Brown Coalition Announces Vision to End Inequities in Montgomery County Public Schools

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

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“Everyone wins if we can tackle the achievement gap,” said Diego Uriburu, the Executive Director of Identity and a key leader in the Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity and Excellence.

As I sat in the auditorium at Gaithersburg High School for the Black and Brown Forum for Educational Equity and Excellence on the night of October 15, I was amazed by the power and energy in the room. The Black and Brown Coalition—a group of nonprofit partners led by Identity, a Montgomery County nonprofit serving Latino youth and families, and the NAACP of Montgomery County — shared moving data points, told stories, and led the audience to understand how black and brown children do not have access to the same opportunities as their peers.

Their data came from the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system, where educators commissioned a resource study that showed three dramatic inequities:

  • Black and Latino students in MCPS from low-income families are 1.5 times more likely to have a novice teacher than their peers.

  • Lower-income elementary and middle schools are much more likely to attend schools led by novice principals. In Title 1 elementary schools, more than half of the principals have less than 3 years of experience in MCPS, and more than 60% of low-income middle schools have a novice principal.

  • Black and Latino students are less likely to have access to the most rigorous curriculum than their peers.

In addition to these powerful statistics, students shared stories about how this inequality affected their own educational experiences. Giankarlo Vera, an MCPS graduate, shared how he once dreamed of becoming a doctor. Despite an excellent GPA in honors classes, none of the counselors ever encouraged him to look at four-year universities or provided guidance on how to pursue his dream. He reflected,

“Where was all the support that I was promised when I enrolled in MCPS schools?”

Education is a key factor that impacts all aspects of life. A great education can pull an individual out of poverty. It is especially important in Montgomery County, a county with a reputation for an excellent school system, that everyone benefits.

One especially moving moment occurred when Ruby Rubens, a long-time education activist, shared that a group of concerned parents named 1977 made similar requests of MCPS 42 years ago. Despite a positive response from the administration at the time, not much has improved.

The time to act is now. Approximately 1,000 people attended the event on a Tuesday night – including elected officials, community organizations, parents, students, educators, and other groups of concerned citizens. They sent a message, loud and clear, that the Montgomery County community cares about equity in education.

I was proud to participate and represent the Children’s Opportunity Fund to pledge our support to strengthen education for all Montgomery County students. The Children’s Opportunity Fund is a proud partner, planner, and supporter of the Coalition’s work, including this forum. Through the Children’s Opportunity Fund, we will continue to invest in evidence-informed solutions to drive our community toward better outcomes for all. We recognize that no one person or organization can do this work alone. There is power in numbers.

We can no longer stand idly by and wait for others to get this right. We need to get loud. We need to push. We need to influence and demand positive change. The Children’s Opportunity Fund is ready to catalyze this change. In partnership with the Black and Brown Coalition, the Children’s Opportunity Fund will continue working to amplify community voice and ensure that county officials understand the importance of closing the achievement gap for all students in Montgomery County.

If you have questions or would like to support with the Children’s Opportunity Fund, please contact Kimberly Rusnak, Project Director for the Children's Opportunity Fund at krusnak@thecommunityfoundation.org.

New Cohort of Nonprofit Leaders Selected for Leadership Development Award

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, Jorge Figueredo, Markus Larsson, Lecester Johnson, and Alex Orfinger pose together at the awards presentation.

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, Jorge Figueredo, Markus Larsson, Lecester Johnson, and Alex Orfinger pose together at the awards presentation.

We’re excited to announce the second cohort of the David Bradt Nonprofit Leadership Award: Shannon Babe-Thomas, Jorge Figueredo, Lecester Johnson, and Markus Larsson. These four nonprofit leaders were selected from among an impressive group of more than 45 applications and nominations. They will be awarded a grant to invest in their own professional development to enhance their leadership, creative thinking, strategy, management skills, and networks. We see this award as an investment in their future, and in the future of our nonprofit sector.

The award was named after and established in honor of David Bradt, a quietly effective leader and champion of the Greater Washington region’s nonprofit sector for several decades. A few years ago, his friend Alex Orfinger wanted to find a meaningful way to salute David’s many years of service to our local community. Teaming up with David’s wife, Diane Tipton, Alex and Diane invited friends and family to join them in establishing the David Bradt Nonprofit Education Fund at the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Their vision was to provide an annual award to enable nonprofit leaders in the Greater Washington region to attend an intensive executive training program. Through investments in leadership development, the David Bradt Nonprofit Education Fund will have a long-lasting, tangible impact on our community by enhancing the capacity and influence of the region’s most effective nonprofits. Learn about the award’s first cohort: Lauren Biel, Patricia Funegra, and Adam Rocap.

With facilitation by The Community Foundation staff, the steering committee recently selected the following awardees:

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Shannon Babe-Thomas, and Diane Tipton.

Shannon Babe-Thomas, Executive Director of Community Bridges

Community Bridges serves immigrant and minority girls, grades 4-12, and their families living at or below the federal poverty line in Montgomery County. By addressing the development needs of these girls, Community Bridges empowers them to become exception students, positive leaders, and healthy young women. Since Shannon became the executive director three years ago, Community Bridges has almost tripled the number of girls served to over 340 and doubled its cohort of mentors to 46. More than an executive director, Shannon is also a civic leader who listens to the community and thinks strategically about how Community Bridges can constantly improve to meet the evolving needs of its clients. Shannon plans to attend Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

David Bradt, Jorge Figueredo, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Jorge Figueredo, and Diane Tipton.

Jorge Figueredo, Executive Director of Edu-Futuro

Edu-Futuro was established in 1998 to serve immigrant youth and families in Northern Virginia through its Emerging Leaders academic enrichment program for youth, its parent empowerment services, and its language enrichment programs for children. Since becoming Edu-Futuro’s executive director four years ago, Jorge has helped triple the number of clients served through Edu-Futuro’s programs to 1,694 and has been instrumental in growing the organization’s capacity. Jorge sets a tone of integrity, innovation, and creativity that will pave the way for Edu-Futuro’s success into the future. Jorge plans to attend Harvard Business Schools’ Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program.

David Bradt, Lecester Johnson, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Lecester Johnson, and Diane Tipton.

Lecester Johnson, CEO of Academy of Hope Adult Public Charter School

Academy of Hope provides adult learners with the instructional programs and services they need to earn their high school credential, obtain workforce training, or continue onto advanced training or college. In her 13 years as CEO, Lecester has overseen Academy of Hope’s transition from a small, community-based volunteer literacy organization to an adult public charter school with Middle States Accreditation. She also helped to start and led the DC Adult and Family Literacy Coalition for three years, which advocated for resources that have helped move the needle for adult learners across the District, including the career pathways innovation fund and a fund for much-needed transportation support. Lecester plans to attend Stanford’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

David Bradt, Markus Larsson, and Diane Tipton.

David Bradt, Markus Larsson, and Diane Tipton.

Markus Larsson, Founder and Executive Director of Life Asset

Markus founded Life Asset to fill an unmet need for microloans and training for low-income entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington region. Since its creation, Life Asset has become the second largest Small Business Administration microlender in terms of number of loans under $50,000 in the country. In 2018, Life Asset provided 800 microloans and trained 1,600 entrepreneurs. Markus is known for his collaborative spirit and the learning culture he has created at Life Asset, which has helped it create a model for other microlenders. Markus is exploring management and entrepreneurship programs from Stanford, George Washington, and Georgetown.


For more information about the awards, please contact Kate Daniel, Donor Services Associate.

The Impact of the City Fund's Investments in DC

By Tonia Wellons, Interim President and CEO

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Imagine someone gave you $15 million to invest in local programs to help improve lives. Where would you invest those dollars? What information would you need to help make those decisions? How would you know if that $15 million was well spent?

While this sounds like a fantasy scenario for a foundation, these are some of the hard questions the Greater Washington Community Foundation had to ask when the District of Columbia entrusted us to lead the City Fund.

The City Fund was established in 2013 via legislation passed by the DC City Council to support former Mayor Vincent Gray’s One City Action Plan to grow and diversity the District’s economy, educate and prepare the workforce for the new economy, and improve the quality of life for all DC residents. It was designed as a five-year initiative, with the final round of City Fund grantmaking concluding in 2018. The City Fund was an unprecedented government/philanthropic partnership for our region. For the first three years, the City Fund was focused on driving community improvement around seven priority issue areas—the arts, education, the environment, health, public safety, senior and disability services, and workforce development. Over time, the City Fund’s focus shifted to support Mayor Bowser’s Safer, Stronger initiative with investments focused on improving the lives of individuals and families in District neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by inequities related to social determinants of health, including access to educational, economic, and job opportunities; access to health care services; quality of education and job training; and recurring exposure to violent crime.

The Community Foundation worked with Mayor Gray as a trusted local philanthropic partner to design a rigorous, transparent, independent, and community-informed grantmaking process to support dozens of excellent nonprofits working in all 8 wards throughout the District. The grantmaking program focused on investments in programs and building the capacity of nonprofits to provide quality services that will make the District a more healthy, stable, and vibrant place to live for all its residents. Over the course of several grant rounds, The Community Foundation’s staff engaged community members—including issue area experts, Community Foundation board members, and other vital stakeholders—to help us make funding decisions.

District of Columbia Youth Orchestra, one of the City Fund's grantees, performing at the White House in 2016.

District of Columbia Youth Orchestra, one of the City Fund's grantees, performing at the White House in 2016.

We are proud today to unveil a final online report to the community that encompasses the breadth and depth of our City Fund initiative. We have partnered with mySidewalk to create the City Fund Dashboard. The Dashboard provides an analysis of the scope of the City Fund’s investments, the impact of our nonprofit partners, and the context in which the investments were made. By exploring the dashboard, we are hopeful you will learn something new about our community and the incredible work that our nonprofit partners undertake each and every day to make our community stronger. In doing so, you will follow in the footsteps of the dozens of community stakeholders, issue-area experts, and partners who contributed their expertise and lived experience to this initiative. We thank them for their service to our community!

With a fund this large, it can be difficult to realize the impact on individuals in our city. We invite you to read the story of Chloe [name changed], an 11-year-old who found a home before she became a victim of sex trafficking. She was assisted by FAIR Girls, who used funding from the City Fund to hire a youth case manager whose full-time job is to serve trafficked and exploited children in the nation’s capital. You can read more about FAIR Girls and Chloe’s story here.

The City Fund is just one example of how The Community Foundation partners with local governments as a trusted grantmaking partner. The Community Foundation thanks the District of Columbia government, the Council of the District of Columbia, Mayors Bowser and Gray, and all the fantastic grantees who made the City Fund initiative a success.

For more information about the City Fund, or how you can partner with The Community Foundation, please contact Benton Murphy, Associate Vice President of Community Investment, at bmurphy@thecommunityfoundation.org.