Community Investment

The Community Investment team focuses on The Community Foundation’s three community leadership priorities: education, workforce development, and safety net services. The Foundation launches initiatives and carries out responsive grantmaking to address challenges and respond to the pressing needs of our community. Our Community Investment team, experts in grantmaking and local issues, are highly knowledgeable about these issues and the most effective nonprofit organizations in the Washington metropolitan area working to affect positive change.

 

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Community Investment Associate

Melen Hagos

Melen Hagos joined the Greater Washington Community Foundation in January 2017 as the Community Investment Associate. She is responsible for coordinating all competitive and discretionary grantmaking across the region, in support of Community Investment Initiatives, and regional grantmaking efforts. Previously, she worked at the Brookings Institution, where she served as the Senior Center Coordinator working on public and private events, communications, and donor engagement for international education projects. Her previous experience also includes fellowships with She Should Run, a non-profit organization which works to elect female candidates to national political office, where she established partnerships in 45 states with organizations aiming to increase the number of women running for office.

Recently, Melen was selected to participate in the Young Professionals Program, an initiative of the Leadership Center for Excellence which invests in high-potential leaders in the DC Metropolitan area. This program provides the opportunity to develop new professional skills and capacities, while also acquiring the tools, visibility and network necessary to engage in their broader community. She holds a B.A. in International Development with minors in African and Middle Eastern studies from James Madison University located in Harrisonburg, Virginia. 


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Senior Community Investment Officer

Dawnn Leary

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community investment officer

Manon Matchett

Manon oversees the day-to-day operations for the City Fund.  She is responsible for ensuring that the purpose and spirit of the One City Action Plan and its goals via the City Fund are realized.  Manon manages all City Fund activities related to grant administration, stakeholder engagement and evaluation.


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Senior Director, Philanthropic Services

Benton Murphy

Benton currently serves as Senior Director of Philanthropic Services at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Washington-area’s largest philanthropic funder. Benton oversees The Community Foundation’s Economic Security portfolio, including all grantmaking and community leadership in the areas of education and workforce development.

Benton has more than a dozen years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, originally coming to The Community Foundation in January 2004 through the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington where he supported advocacy efforts on behalf of Washington’s nonprofit sector on issues including regional emergency preparedness and disaster relief.

Prior to his current role, Benton served as Senior Program Officer at The Community Foundation, supporting grantmaking and community initiatives including  the Walmart Washington@Work work readiness initiative, The Washington Area Partnership for Immigrants, The Common Ground Fund, and The Collaborative for Education Organizing.

Currently Benton leads the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, a coalition of local and national funders, corporations and private donors who pool their resources to support increased workforce development outcomes for low-income Washingtonians. From 2013-215, Benton served as co-chair of the Raise DC Youth Employment Change Network, the District’s youth workforce investment council. Currently, Benton is a member of the DC Workforce Investment Council, the Maryland Adult Literacy Advisory Council and the Maryland Governor’s Taskforce on Adult High Schools. Benton is a frequent lecturer on effective grantmaking and stewardship of philanthropic capital at the George Washington University, American University and the Foundation Center. Benton holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from The George Washington University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle.


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community investment officer

Alicia Reid

Alicia Reid came to The Greater Washington Community Foundation (The Community Foundation) in 2003, and is currently a Community Investment Officer. In this role, Alicia manages and administers the grant-making and investment selection processes for the Children and Family Legacy Fund and the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families. The Children and Family Legacy Fund and the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families provides support to organizations addressing the following program areas: Stable Homes Stable Families, Foster Care and Adoption, and Academic and Career Success.

Previously, Alicia served as the Director, Grants Administration at The Community Foundation. While in this role Alicia facilitated the grants management and administration for donor-advised funds, and initiative grant-making programs. Alicia’s tenure and service at The Community Foundation demonstrates her ardent commitment to philanthropy.


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Senior Community Investment Officer and Philanthropic Advisor

Silvana Straw

Silvana Straw is a senior philanthropic leader with over 25 years’ commitment to our community and social justice. She serves as philanthropic advisor to major donors and clients, facilitating their charitable giving and helping them invest strategically. She has developed and led major efforts focused on the safety net, homelessness/housing, youth development/civic engagement, arts and culture, nonprofit capacity building and advocacy/systems reform. In 2014, her leadership resulted in a groundbreaking study on affordable housing prepared by The Urban Institute entitled, Housing Security in Greater Washington.

She served as lead staff for the Neighbors in Need Fund which invested in advocacy efforts to preserve the safety net; and emergency services for hundreds of thousands of people directly affected by the economic crisis. Her youth work has included the Greater Washington Youth Philanthropy Initiative—an award-winning youth civic engagement program. She also created and led the Creative Communities Initiative focused on advancing the work of artists in communities as catalysts for social change.

 

Development & Philanthropic Engagement

The Development team leads the Greater Washington Community Foundation's outreach to professional advisors, private foundations, and business leaders in the region. They provide strategic guidance on contributing closely-held, complex, or illiquid assets and on charitable legacy planning. They also staff the Professional Advisors Council and Young Professional Advisors Committee. Our Philanthropic Engagement team helps donors who have funds with The Community Foundation to fulfill their philanthropic visions. We provide customized services to help you discern your philanthropic values and dreams, involving your families and professional advisors if you so choose, to connect you with effective nonprofit organizations, and to ensure that your grant recommendations are processed efficiently.  We offer opportunities to connect with other donors through our Sharing program, annual galas, and other initiatives that maximize the collective impact of our community of givers. Our Marketing team ensures The Community Foundation clearly and effectively communicates its activities and impact, and is responsible for providing the strategic vision and supporting the tactical implementation of all external and internal communications and marketing functions across the organization.

 

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Title

Amina Anderson

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DONOR SERVICES ASSOCIATE

Emily Davis

Emily’s career at the Greater Washington Community Foundation began in November 2016, as a regional Donor Services Associate. Her role includes working with The Community Foundation’s Professional Advisor network (and specifically the Young Professional Advisors Committee, or YPAC), development and relationship management for the annual Celebration of Philanthropy, assisting with general donor services, and more!

Emily is proud that philanthropy is a passion she inherited – she grew up volunteering alongside her parents and sister across her hometown of Atlanta. During her time at The George Washington University, she was a member of the women's rugby team and fundraising chair of Relay For Life of GW, benefiting the GW Cancer Institute. After graduating with a degree in Interior Design, Emily worked with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council on their inaugural Green Apple Day of Service, combining her design background with her lifetime interest in philanthropy. She helped unite the organization's nationwide chapters for a day dedicated to making schools around the world healthier, safer, and more sustainable. Emily is also a 2016 graduate of The George Washington University School of Business Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Program, where she learned about the intersection between the sports industry and nonprofit world.


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Donor Services Associate, Montgomery County

Kevin Donnelly

Kevin Donnelly joined the Greater Washington Community Foundation staff in January of 2017 after serving as the Community Foundation in Montgomery County’s WRAG fellow in the fall of 2016. As Donor Services Associate, he is the primary point of contact for many donor and fund-related questions and is part of the team that helps donors map out and achieve their philanthropic goals. Kevin is responsible for the management of the Community Foundation in Montgomery County’s scholarship funds, helps to coordinate the Sharing Montgomery grant process, and assists the team in planning events like the quarterly Funders’ Roundtables and the annual Celebration of Giving. He is also part of the working group responsible for reviewing and updating the Community Foundation’s policies and procedures. His previous experience includes working in event planning and management for the University of Maryland’s Student Union, facilitating member engagement and education for ASHRAE, a trade association for HVAC and refrigeration engineers, and business and strategy development for a startup nonprofit that provided childcare services and education to veterans and their families. Kevin is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in Government and Politics and an MPP specializing in nonprofit management and leadership.


Executive director, prince george's county

Desiree Griffin-Moore

Desiree Griffin-Moore joined The Community Foundation in September 1998 as executive director of the Community Foundation in Prince George’s County where she has provided leadership of the Foundation’s strategic giving, development and donor engagement activities.  She serves as the Community Foundation’s primary point of contact for fund raising, donor services, program development and marketing in Prince George’s County.  Other positions held within the foundation include directing strategic donor engagement efforts throughout the Washington metropolitan region. 

Prior to joining The Community Foundation, Ms. Griffin-Moore led Freddie Mac Foundation’s Investments in Education grant-making portfolio, a new $5 million grants portfolio that doubled during her tenure.  She developed several major initiatives (including the JC Nalle Community School Initiative)  that synched public education in low-income communities with the company’s affordable housingobjectives.  A committed advocate of civil rights and social justice, Griffin-Moore has extensive experience in working with the non-profit sector to advance low-income and marginalized communities.  Other past positions held include the United Way of the National Capital Region and the District of Columbia Department of Human Services.  She holds a MSW in Planning and Policy Analysis from the University of Connecticut and BS in Criminal Justice Administration from American University. 


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Executive Director, Montgomery County

Anna Hargrave

Anna Hargrave joined The Community Foundation staff in February, 2006. Through her previous experience at the Office of the Montgomery County Executive, Montgomery Youth Works, and the Jewish Social Service Agency, Anna came to the Foundation well-versed in program management, community outreach, and project development. She recently completed her service on the Board of Directors for Leadership Montgomery, an organization which brings together current and emerging leaders interested in making Montgomery County a better place to live and work.  A graduate of Kenyon College, Anna earned her BA in Spanish Area Studies and Drama.

In her eleven years at The Community Foundation, she has worn many hats. She spearheaded planning for the annual Celebration of Giving event as well as numerous learning and networking opportunities for donors, including the creation of the Foundation’s Taste of Philanthropy series in Montgomery County, which enables donors and philanthropic friends to connect with each other, learn about the community, and share their own ideas for making a deeper impact. She has also led the Sharing Montgomery grant process, which engages donors in vetting 50+ high-impact organizations serving the County’s low-income neighbors.  Most importantly, Anna has worked 1:1 with hundreds of Montgomery County donors to provide them with the tools, resources, and support needed for them to give to all the causes they care about deeply, here and around the world.


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DONOR SERVICES OFFICER, Montgomery County

Bridget Hanagan

Bridget Hanagan joined The Community Foundation in May 2012.  As Donor Services Officer she is part of a team providing customer service to the Foundation’s Montgomery County donors, in support of each donors’ charitable giving goals.  She also leads the coordination of The Sharing Montgomery Fund and Neighbors in Need Montgomery and helps plan Montgomery County’s donor engagement events such as the Celebration of Giving, Funders’ Roundtable, and Taste of Philanthropy series.  Bridget’s prior experience includes a year as an Americorps Volunteer serving as a Youth Leadership Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club of Woburn and Account Manager and Lead Trainer at a software start-up firm.  She is particularly passionate about providing college access for all, and currently volunteers as a mentor for Community Bridges.


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Director of Development

Joanne Pipkin

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Donor Services Associate, Prince George's County

Mustafa Rahin

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Donor Services Associate

Gisela Shanfeld

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Brand & Impact Manager

Amber J. Simmons

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Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Danielle Yates

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Finance & Accounting

The Finance and Accounting team uses strategy and experience to responsibly steward The Foundation’s assets. Our finance team also disperses funds and financial reports to donors, advisors, partners, and grantees. With more than 30 years of proven experience in sound financial stewardship, our expertise enables you to make the most of your investment. We manage all donor funds according to the highest standards of accountability. An annual audit is conducted and an additional independent committee of professionals reviews the results. At the end of each fiscal quarter, donors receive a financial report on the investment returns and grantmaking activity of their fund.

 

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Staff Accountant

Kimberly Arriola

Kimberly Arriola joined The Community Foundation in February 2013 as an Administrative Associate. Currently she is the Staff Accountant who reviews and processes gifts, grants, accounts payable, and separate managed assets. She was born and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


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Grants Associate

Kesha Chandler

Kesha Chandler is a native Marylander, born and raised in College Park, MD. She has a B.S. in History and Government from Bowie State University, and an M.S.A. in Nonprofit Management from Trinity Washington University. She joined the Greater Washington Community Foundation in September 2012 and works in the Finance Department as the Grants Associate.


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Grants manager

Kathy Matthews

Kathy Matthews joined The Community Foundation in 2002, and currently serves as the Grants Manager. In this role, she coordinates and supervises the financial and administrative operations and functions of grant awards for the Foundation.  She is responsible for ensuring that the grantmaking process serves grantees and potential grantees with the highest quality of customer service while maintaining The Community Foundation’s mission and values.  Her primary areas of responsibility include financial reporting, budget oversight, administrative/financial data processing systems, and grant compliance. As a native Washingtonian, Kathy has a passion for community initiatives and actively participates in community service activities.


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Senior Director of Finance

Juliana Mitrojorgji

With over 13 years of considerable cross-functional experience across multiple business environments in both the private and public accounting sectors, Juliana Mitrojorgji, MBA, joined The Community Foundation in September 2011 and is the Senior Director of Finance. She is responsible for and specializes in managing The Community Foundation’s quarterly and annual financial reporting process, managing and overseeing all investments’ related activities, auditing financial data for accuracy and compliance with GAAP and the Foundation’s internal policies and procedures, and communicating accurate financial information to individual donors, organizations, and other interested parties. Furthermore, she manages and oversees the internal work associated with the annual independent audit process for the Foundation (GAAP and GAGAS audits).