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