Thank you for supporting our neighbors in need.

Dear Friends,

As we continue our thank-a-thon, we would like to recognize our “community of givers” for stepping up in times of great need. Today, I’d like to highlight one inspiring example.

Eight years ago, Cliff White was a new Community Foundation donor who joined our Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee for a “crash course” in the nonprofits addressing our county’s most pressing needs. At the time, the economic downturn had just started. Over and over, Cliff visited safety-net nonprofits that were experiencing skyrocketing demand while contributions were plummeting. The visit that really shocked him was to Manna Food, the county’s leading food bank, which saw a 40% increase in demand over just a few months.

Wondering how he could make a difference, Cliff turned to his Community Foundation team, challenging us to galvanize our whole network to make a difference. After a morning of brainstorming, we launched the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund to boost our investments in the safety-net nonprofits providing critical hunger-relief, shelter, clothing, and emergency support to people affected by the economic downturn. Inspired by the vision of this campaign, two anonymous Community Foundation families stepped up to provide $1 for $1 challenge matches, doubling the value of each gift received.

To date, the Neighbors in Need Montgomery Fund has given over $1.3 million, thanks to the generosity of hundreds of individuals, families, and businesses. Your gifts continue to help our most vulnerable neighbors stay in their homes, keep the lights on, and put food on the table. We are especially proud that these grant investments respond to immediate needs while fostering innovation so nonprofits can serve more people and help families lift themselves out of poverty.

Anna Hargrave
Executive Director, The Community Foundation in Montgomery County

Greater Washington Works Request for Proposal

On December 12, 2016, the Community Foundation shared Greater Washington Works: IT and Health Careers with Promise with over 125 nonprofit, funder, business and government stakeholders The report examines the state of our regional middle-skill IT and Healthcare talent pipeline including information on hiring challenges and factors keeping local worker from launching new careers in these high growth sectors. 

In addition to the launch of the report, a request for proposals, Greater Washington Works, was released to provide two-year grants of up to $250,000 to train and place local workers in high growth occupations in IT and/or Health.  Proposals, due on March 6, will seek to address the skills gap in those two sectors implementing the national best practice of sector partnerships. 

In her welcome remarks on December 12, Courtney Strauss, Executive Director and Senior Banker with JPMorgan Chase Private Bank, provided interested applicants the key ingredients of addressing the nation’s middle skills gap and effectively serving job seekers as well as employers.

Given the state of today’s labor market, here are three effective strategies we’ve seen for addressing the middle skills gap:
The first thing we have seen is that communities must have an effective strategy to engage employers.  We have to remember that the skills gap is as much, if not more, a demand side problem as it is a supply-side problem.  Many of these demand side problems are the result of what we call “weak signaling” – in other words, employers don’t do a very good job of communicating exactly what skills they need. Other problems are the result of a collection action challenge—employers don’t want to invest in training or collaborate with other firms in their sector because they are afraid a competitor will poach a worker they have just invested in.
Second, on the supply side, the challenge is most aptly captured by Labor Secretary Perez’s quip that the problem with the U.S. Workforce System is that is based on the principle of “train and pray”—invest in education and pray that there’s a job on the other side.  But around the country, we are seeing smart new programs that offer an antidote to training for training’s sake by aligning with employer demand, organizing around career pathways, and providing contextualized learning. 
One final category of activity to put on the list of strategies to build a talent pipeline is what I like to think of as the glue that holds it all together.  This is the information and infrastructure that enables ongoing alignment between labor market supply and demand.

Through its investments in local workforce development partnerships, Greater Washington Works seeks to support hundreds of local workers to launch new careers in IT and Healthcare. Funding applications are due no later than March 6, 2017 and are only accepted electronically at the link above. Interested applicants are encouraged to email or with any questions.

The Spirit of Giving


This is the time of the year when so many of us join with family to give thanks, take stock, and look for ways to give, big and small, to our neighbors and communities. In philanthropy, we call this “the giving season.” We also know that you – our donors, nonprofits, funding partners, and friends across the greater Washington region – embody this spirit of giving not just during this season, but all year long.

Today we want to celebrate Thanksgiving and the spirit of giving that so many of you forward and foster every day. We would like to introduce you to Neal Simon, the new Chairman of our Board of Trustees, and his wife Jennifer, and their family.


Like many of our donors, Neal and Jennifer Simon came to The Community Foundation because they wanted a smart, tax-efficient vehicle to consolidate their giving. And they were also looking for a way for their whole family to give time, talent, and treasure to their community. Our team connected them to Interfaith Works, a Montgomery County-based nonprofit battling poverty and homelessness. The Simons started by becoming a friend and mentor to a single father raising young children. Before they knew it, they were involved in countless programs: serving meals, building the new clothing center, coaching people to look for jobs, and joining the visionary team behind the new strategic plan. Partners like the Simons have proven how rewarding and essential it is to invest in high-impact organizations helping our neighbors in need, and how the work of “giving back” doesn’t have to be daunting – in the words of Neal himself? “Just start.”

We are thrilled to welcome Neal as our new Board Chair, and give many thanks to our outgoing Chair, Martin Weinstein, for his leadership over these last three years. Over the coming weeks, we will share the stories of the amazing new folks who have joined our Board as well – click here to see the full board list. We can’t wait share their stories, and for all of us – staff and board – to work with you to make this community stronger and more vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous for everyone who lives here.

In this time of giving thanks – and throughout this entire this giving season – we offer our thanks to you, our partners and friends, for all you do for our community.

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and joyful holiday.

Bruce McNamer

Celebrating philanthropy in Montgomery County

On November 3, 2016, nearly 300 friends came out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Community Foundation in Montgomery County (CFMC). We were thrilled that the audience included the past and present CFMC Board members, business leaders, local foundation representatives, wealth advisors, elected officials, leaders from the region’s premier nonprofits, and many of the people who house their giving funds at The Community Foundation.

To mark this special evening, the CFMC Board made three special salutes.

Cliff and Camille Kendall were both honored for having the vision to open the first CFMC family fund and for Cliff’s leadership as the founding Board Chair. Cliff and Camille devote their “retirement” energy to causes dear to their hearts, with a special focus on scholarships for low-income students. Everyone was moved to hear from their scholarship recipients about how these life-changing scholarship investments propelled them to achieve both in and out of school. We are especially grateful for their ongoing leadership which launched the Sharing Montgomery Fund and its endowment, which supports low-income Montgomery County residents.

Sally Rudney, founding Executive Director, was honored for her 17 years of thoughtful leadership during which she helped hundreds of people and businesses establish their own funds and gain a deep sense of satisfaction by giving to the causes close to their hearts. Most importantly, Sally is a connector. In addition to listening to donors, she also engages in the community, strategizing about how philanthropy can have the greatest impact.

The final salute of the evening was to our entire network of donors. Today, over 300 of the 775 funds at The Community Foundation were created by people and businesses in Montgomery County. We are honored to serve as the facilitator of their giving to causes all around the world. This year, we are especially proud of the $88 million they have given to organizations working to make Montgomery County a healthy and vibrant place to live.

Thank you to our Celebration sponsors!

Lead Celebration Sponsor – Community Champion

Mary Pat and Darren Alcus
Bethesda Magazine
Clark Charitable Foundation
Clifford M. and Camille E. Kendall Fund
Leder Family Philanthropic Fund
Rick and Anne Rudman Family Fund
Cliff and Deborah White Family Fund

Brown Advisory
Patricia and Craig Ruppert Family Fund

Circle of Friends
Bainum Family Foundation
Scott and Patrice Brickman
Nancy G. Fax and Pasternak & Fidis, P.C.
Carl M. Freeman Foundation
AIM Charitable Foundation
John G. and Beverly A. Puente Advised Fund
Robert and Anna Trone and Total Wine and More

Mildred Beverly Memorial Family Fund
Charles and Lisa Claudy Fleischman
Stephen Z. Kaufman
The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
The Meltzer Group
Max and Tai Meltzer
Tom and Denise Murphy Fund
Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.
Arne and Ruth Sorenson
Bob and Linda Youngentob Family Foundation

Bailey Wealth Advisors
Virginia Cheung and Jeff Neeley
Okianer Christian Dark
Carole and Barry Forman
Susan, Chuck and Maddie Freed
Montgomery College
Tom Natelli
Pettit Family Charitable Foundation
Neal and Jennifer Simon
Sanford and Doris Slavin Foundation
Leslie K. Smith
Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC
Carol Trawick
Washington Gas
Wells Fargo Private Bank

Mozella Perry Ademiluyi, Love Is A Mountain LLC and Rising Sun Programs
Lena S. Barnett, Esq.
Hope Gleicher and Andy Burness
The Floyd E. Davis Family Foundation
Sol and Dorothy Graham
Anna Hargrave and Jimmy Hernandez
Intentional Philanthropy LLC
Rosalyn Levy Jonas
Jackie Judd
Jackie and Clay Ogg
Shulman Family Fund
Morgan Sullivan & and JLL
Miriam and Jason Tai
United Solutions
Peter and Linda Welber

2016 Civic Leadership Awards: Thank You, Prince George's County


Dear Friends,

Our 2016 Civic Leadership Award celebration was a huge success! To our honorees, supporters, partners, community leaders, and distinguished guests – we can’t thank you enough for making it possible. This year, we were so very proud to pay tribute to a group of civic stalwarts who fulfill the promise of a vibrant and prosperous Prince George’s County: Betty Buck, the Peterson Family Foundation, Gregory K. Wells, The Honorable Derrick Leon Davis, and The Honorable M.H. Jim Estepp.

Prince George’s County is the second largest county in the State of Maryland and has a diverse population of nearly 900,000 residents. In some areas of the county, families are prospering – but in others, families struggle to meet basic needs and achieve economic security. The Community Foundation works to correct this imbalance – bringing together donors, nonprofits, and community leaders to address the most critical issues facing our county and create healthier neighborhoods today and for generations to come. The Community Foundation is proud to be your partner – helping to make your giving, and our community, even greater.

Our deepest thanks to our incredible event co-chairs, Artis Hampshire-Cowan and Howard Stone, Jr., and our corporate chairs, James Coleman, CEO, Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation and Lorenzo Creighton, President, MGM National Harbor, for all they did to make this event possible. Our gratitude also goes out to everyone who joined the celebration! From all of us at The Community Foundation, thank you for making our county so great.

William (Bill) Shipp
Chairman, The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County

Desiree Griffin-Moore
Executive Director, The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County

Pictured: Tracey Wilkins, Artis Hampshire Cowan, Lauren Peterson Fellows, Danielle White, The Honorable James (Jim) Estepp, Bruce McNamer, Betty Buck, The Honorable Derrick Leon Davis, Bill Shipp, Desiree Griffin-Moore, Gregory Wells, Terese Taylor, Howard Stone, Maria Tildon and James Coleman.  

Pictured: Tracey Wilkins, Artis Hampshire Cowan, Lauren Peterson Fellows, Danielle White, The Honorable James (Jim) Estepp, Bruce McNamer, Betty Buck, The Honorable Derrick Leon Davis, Bill Shipp, Desiree Griffin-Moore, Gregory Wells, Terese Taylor, Howard Stone, Maria Tildon and James Coleman.

Pictured: Bruce McNamer, Terese Taylor, Desiree Griffin-Moore, Bill Shipp  

Pictured: Bruce McNamer, Terese Taylor, Desiree Griffin-Moore, Bill Shipp

An Open Thank You Letter

Dear Friends,

This year, we are marking the 20th anniversary of The Community Foundation in Montgomery County by extending a special and heartfelt thanks to the generous people who make up our Community Foundation family.

It is an honor to be a partner and facilitator with our many donors, helping them give to the causes they care about most deeply. Today, there are over 700 giving funds at The Community Foundation in the National Capital Region, 300 of which are under the care of the Montgomery County affiliate. Collectively, The Community Foundation’s funds have given a remarkable one billion dollars to organizations throughout the region and around the world.  This year in particular, we are proud of the $88 million our donors have given to nonprofits right here at home in Montgomery County.

Behind those numbers are stories of people who bring tremendous passion to their giving, leveraging their creativity and strategic thinking to help organizations deepen their impact.  Most importantly, their viral enthusiasm inspires friends and family members to learn more, get involved, and give.

As part of our anniversary, we are launching a year-long “thank-a-thon” series to share the stories of our donors and the collective impact we have made together.  To kick it off, we want to introduce you to you to Susan Freed. Susan is a wealth advisor by day who wanted to find a fun way to teach her young daughter, Maddie, about the importance of giving time, talent, and treasure to our hometown community. As a member of the Sharing Montgomery Grants Committee, Susan got a close-up look at the many needs in the county and then asked the Foundation to replicate that experience for her daughter and friends.  Through a giving circle, the girls learned the value of helping others and explored strategies to make a difference. As you will see in this video, Susan and Maddie demonstrate how philanthropy can be fun and profoundly rewarding for the whole family.

As you hear about other stories of our donors throughout the year, we hope you too feel proud of how our philanthropic investments play a unique and vital role in making Montgomery County a stronger community where all of our neighbors can thrive.  Looking forward, we are confident that your example will inspire many others to “give where we live.”


Anna Hargrave, Executive Director
The Community Foundation in Montgomery County

Montgomery’s Children’s Opportunity Fund initiated by Councilmember Navarro selects leadership team and creates new partnership

New executive director, Community Foundation representatives and steering committee establish strategic framework to help children and families

ROCKVILLE, Md., Sept. 29, 2016—Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro today applauded the progress made by community partners and public policy leaders to create the professional structure needed to fully implement the mission of the Children’s Opportunity Fund (COF) in the County. Mala B. Thakur began work as executive director on June 27; a key partnership has been established with the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region; and new members have been appointed to the COF Steering Committee.

The overarching goal of the COF is to champion, plan and fund strategic investments that improve the lives of children and families in the County with a focus on innovative, evidence-based efforts targeted at closing the opportunity gap.

In 2014, Councilmember Navarro created the Children’s Opportunity Fund as a mechanism to ensure a long-term, strategic approach and a dedicated funding stream for early childhood education and interventions aimed at closing the achievement gap. In Fiscal Year 2016, at Councilmember Navarro’s request, County Executive Ike Leggett earmarked $250,000 in the Department of Health and Human Services’ budget and the Council approved it as part of the budget process. Montgomery County Public Schools also provided $125,000. Funding for the COF was increased to $375,000 in FY17.

In addition to support from the County, private funds are necessary to meet the long-term goals of the COF and the growing need for services. The COF leadership team will seek private funding to support the fund and leverage County resources.

“I am delighted with the progress that has been made so far and excited about the new leadership that will guide the operations of the COF because there is much work we need to do on behalf of our County’s children,” said Councilmember Navarro, who chairs the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and is a member of its Education Committee. “Partnering with the Community Foundation, having Ms. Thakur as executive director of the COF and convening a talented steering committee will enable us to grow this initiative so that all of our children will have the opportunity to thrive.”

“This is an important initiative and I fully support it,” said County Executive Leggett.  “I look forward to the progress we make as a community in closing the achievement gap.”

Ms. Thakur said she plans to focus on the COF’s three goals: identifying priority areas for investment based on unmet need; aligning resources toward effective inter-agency collaborations serving the County’s most vulnerable youth and their families; and seeking new funding sources for innovative evidence-based efforts targeting interventions that help to close the achievement gap.

Ms. Thakur has spent her career building coalitions, developing policies and identifying practices that support comprehensive approaches to closing the achievement gap and expanding opportunities for underserved populations. Before joining the COF, Ms. Thakur served in a number of leadership roles including as executive director of the National Youth Employment Coalition, as director of workforce development at the New York Citywide School to Work Alliance and as director of public policy at the National Puerto Rican Forum. She also serves on the board of directors for the National Human Services Assembly and the Latin American Youth Center Career Academy.

“I salute Councilmember Nancy Navarro for her vision in creating the Children’s Opportunity Fund,” said Montgomery County Board of Education President Michael Durso. “As we work with our communities and partners to address the persistent achievement gap in our classrooms, institutions like the Children’s Opportunity Fund will be crucial in reaching across traditional walls that separate partners and resources to provide the appropriate supports to meet our children’s needs. The Board of Education looks forward to working with the Children’s opportunity Fund’s Executive Director Mala B. Thakur and other key stakeholders to design and implement strategic initiatives that provide a nurturing and equitable space for all children in our classrooms.”

“Narrowing the opportunity gap is critical work, and we look forward to working with Ms. Thakur to ensure that our children receive necessary supports and resources so that they can flourish in their academic pursuits,” said Jack R. Smith, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools. “The Children’s Opportunity Fund will provide valuable interventions for the children who need it most. We very much look forward to this new partnership.”

In May, the COF established a strategic partnership with the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, which “works to ensure access and opportunity for all residents in the Washington metropolitan area.” Known as the “hub of philanthropy,” the mission of the organization is to strengthen the region by supporting charitable giving and by providing effective leadership on critical community issues.

“We know that low-income youth do not have the same access to supports and opportunities to succeed as their more affluent peers do. The Children’s Opportunity Fund is critical to addressing this problem in Montgomery County,” said Bruce McNamer, president and chief executive officer of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. “The Community Foundation brings together different sectors and community entities to solve problems, and this fund is a shining example of that. All of us must be engaged in the effort to close the achievement gap. Our young people are depending on us.”

The COF also has expanded its steering committee, which oversees operations. The committee includes key community leaders in philanthropy, business, health and children and youth experts. These steering committee includes:

  • Uma Ahluwalia, director, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Maria Navarro, chief academic officer, Montgomery County Public Schools
  • Anna Hargrave, executive director, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region in Montgomery County
  • April Kaplan, executive director, Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families
  • Gabriel Albornoz, director, Department of Recreation
  • Kevin Beverly, president and CEO, Social and Scientific Systems
  • Agnes Leshner, board member, Montgomery’s Kids
  • David Asai, senior director of science education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Through the COF, Councilmember Navarro was able to create a partnership with the Norman R. and Ruth Rales Foundation to help the County fund the Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) summer program, which focuses on closing the achievement gap. The Rales Foundation pledged $3 million over four years, which is matched by public funding, to bring the BELL program to the County. This summer marked the first class of BELL scholars in Montgomery County Public Schools.

BELL is a data-driven summer program that serves rising third and fourth graders to help prevent the knowledge drop, or “summer slide,” that occurs among students during the summer months. It is expected that the BELL program will serve 4,200 students in the County during a four-year period.

“In July, I had the opportunity to visit with students in the BELL program at Weller Road Elementary School in Silver Spring,” said Councilmember Navarro. “I experienced how the program fosters a child’s love of learning. I know that this innovative program along with other early interventions and wrap-around services are necessary for all of our children to have the opportunity to succeed. I appreciate the work of our community partners who pulled together through the COF to make a difference.”

Help to the Victims of the Long Branch Fire

On Thursday morning, our community was shocked to discover a gas explosion leveled an apartment complex in the Long Branch neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD.  At this stage, 2 people have died, 34 were injured, and others are still missing.   On top of that, over 100 people were left homeless, having fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

We’re grateful that our nonprofits sprang into action immediately, coordinating with County agencies to help those affected by the tragedy.  If you would like to get involved, please check out the nonprofit partners below who are providing support.  Or, if you can’t pick just one, make a gift (or grant from your fund) to the Neighbors in Need Disaster Relief Fund.  The Community Foundation will coordinate with the County to steward those dollars once the greatest needs are identified.
➣Montgomery Housing Partnership is accepting cash donations to help families rebounding from this tragedy.  To contribute, give online or mail a check to:

Montgomery Housing Partnership
12200 Tech Road, Suite 250
Silver Spring, MD 20904

Be sure to put “Attn: Long Branch Fire” in the memo line of the check or the comment box of the online donation form.

➣IMPACT Silver Spring is coordinating a multilingual outreach effort to ensure that families can connect to the support they need.  They are especially seeking Spanish, Amharic, and French volunteers to help out.  Contact them at (301) 298-5117 to sign up or learn more at

➣The CASA Welcome Center is accepting toiletries and clothing.  Please note that CASA received a huge influx of donations from local neighbors in the first 24 hours.  Visit the website to find out what items are needed at this time or sign up to help organize the contributions.

➣Manna Food is collecting non-perishable food.  Learn more at

➣Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington is accepting clothing, houseware items, toiletries, blankets, sheets, etc. (No furniture.)  Learn more at

➣A Wider Circle is collecting furniture to help the families rebuild their homes.  Visit to learn more or call 301-608-3504 to donate furniture.

➣YMCA’s Youth & Family Services division is coordinating the back-to-school effort for the children who have been displaced by the fire.   Find out more at

Local clinics are offering free health care to those affected.  Learn more about Mary’s Center at and Community Clinic, Inc. at