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The City Fund: First Round of Grant Awards Announced

April 16, 2014


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                              
CONTACT: Jenny Towns                                                                                                                          

Grants totaling over $3.5 million to be awarded 58 DC nonprofits

April 16, 2014 –The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region ( is pleased to announce grant awards to 58 nonprofit organizations for the first round of grantmaking from the City Fund. The $15 million City Fund, proposed by District Mayor Vincent C. Gray, supported unanimously by the DC Council, and funded by the District government, supports effective nonprofits that provide critical programs and services across the city. The City Fund seeks to advance the three broad goals as outlined in Mayor Gray’s One City Action Plan: grow and diversify the District’s economy; educate and prepare the workforce for the new economy; and improve the quality of life for all.  (The full list of grant recipients is included below.)
The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Administrator of the Fund, is implementing a grantmaking strategy over a three year period. Today’s announcement applies to the first round of the competitive process, which results in grants of up to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations for the following issue areas: arts, education, environment, health, job readiness, public safety and senior services. The Request for Proposals was released in October 2013, and 315 applications with requests totaling more than $30 million were submitted for consideration. The Community Foundation is awarding grants in excess of $3.5 million for this first round.
The Community Foundation is an independent, public charity, with an independent board of trustees and grant review committee comprised of individuals with no D.C. government affiliation. The Community Foundation will provide the donor (District of Columbia) and the community at-large ongoing reports of grantmaking from the fund, as well as evaluate the impact of the fund over time.
“The Community Foundation is so pleased to award these City Fund grants to organizations that are doing the essential work of improving our community,” said Terri Lee Freeman, President of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. “There is great need in our region, as evidenced by the outpouring of grant applications. We are honored to house this fund and help push resources out to the community where they can most effectively be used for good. The City Fund is providing a much-needed infusion of resources for our local nonprofits.”
“I’m deeply gratified to see the City Fund moving forward and begin its first round of grant-making,” said Mayor Gray. “When I initially came up with the idea, I had hoped we could find a partner to move this forward — and it’s clear that we found that partner in the Community Foundation.” 

Grant recipients include:

AARP Experience Corps DC
Academy of Hope
ACCESS Youth, Inc. 
ARCH Development Corporation
Atlas Performing Arts Center
Bread for the City
Bright Beginnings, Inc.
Building Bridges Across the River t/a THEARC
Calvary Women’s Services, Inc.
Casey Trees
Center for Inspired Teaching
Christ House
City Blossoms, Inc.
College Success Foundation
Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind
Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council
Council for Court Excellence
Covenant House Washington
Critical Exposure
Cultural Development Corporation of Columbia
Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries
DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative
DC Central Kitchen
DC Jazz Festival
DC Wheel Productions, Inc. / dba Dance Place
Euphemia L. Haynes Public Charter School (E.L. Haynes)
FAIR Fund Inc
Family Matters of Greater Washington, Inc.
Grupo De Artistas Latinoamericanos (GALA Theatre)
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Liberty’s Promise
Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc.
Mentoring Today
Metro TeenAIDS
National Building Museum
Neighborhood Legal Services
One World Education
Patricia M. Sitar Center for the Arts
PEN/Faulkner Foundation
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington
Project Create
Resources for Inner City Children
Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc.
Seabury Resources for Aging
SOME, Inc.
Step Afrika! USA, Inc.
Strive DC
The Ellington Fund
The Shakespeare Theatre
The Washington Middle School for Girls
TrueChild Inc.
Turnaround for Children, Inc.
University Legal Services
Urban Ed, Inc.
Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School
Year Up National Capital Region
Young Playwrights’ Theater, Inc
Young Women’s Project

For more information about the City Fund, please visit  


About The Community Foundation
The mission of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is to strengthen the Washington metropolitan region by encouraging and supporting effective giving and by providing leadership on critical issues in our community. The Foundation, and our two regional affiliate foundations – The Community Foundation for Montgomery County and The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County – are part of a network of some 700 community foundations nationwide, each a tax-exempt, public charity made up of charitable giving funds established by individuals, families, corporations and other organizations. We currently manage more than 700 donor funds with assets totaling more than $326 million. We are the largest funder of nonprofit organizations in the metropolitan Washington region, with annual grants of more than $90 million. 

Landmark Report Released on Adult Literacy in D.C.

April 4, 2014

The Community Foundation’s Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative is excited to announce the release of a landmark report by grantee DC Appleseed on the state of Adult Literacy services in the District of Columbia. The report, the first of its kind, urges District leaders to increase their investments in building the skills of more than 60,000 District adults who cannot read or do math at a basic level. The report makes a compelling case for boosting support for adult literacy given the large investments the District currently makes in job training programming, much of which requires eight grade reading and math skills, and education reform given the critical need for parents to play an active role in their child’s education. The report, highlighted today on WAMU, can be found here.


Thanks to all those who joined us at our 40th Anniversary Celebration!

April 2, 2014

A huge thank you to all the folks who came out to celebrate our 40th anniversary on March 17 – even an unexpected March snowstorm couldn’t stop the party! We were honored to feature performances from some of our region’s most exciting performing artists and nonprofits. Above all, we were so grateful to be able to connect with each of you personally – our nonprofit partners, donors, funding colleagues, and friends who help make our region so great.

That evening, I spoke to the audience about what this milestone means to me. When I came to The Community Foundation in 1996, we were giving out roughly $10 million a year in grants. In 2013, we distributed $10 million in December alone. This, in a nutshell, describes our 40 year history – GROWTH: growth in assets, growth in grants; growth in impact. A community foundation is so much more than an alliance of philanthropically-minded citizens. We’re the community’s philanthropic heart. A team of donors, partners, funders, neighbors, and organizations fighting to make our community stronger.  A network of givers committed to ensuring our region is one where equity, access, and opportunity are available to all of its residents.

This is big, hairy, audacious work. From everyone at The Community Foundation – past and present – thank you for helping us do it.

And thank you again to everyone who joined us at the celebration – we had so much fun that we’re already hatching plans for the next one!

Terri Lee Freeman

Emcee Kathy Park (ABC7),Martin Weinstein (Chair, Board of Trustees), Terri Lee Freeman (President), Gene Sachs (Chair, 40th Anniversary Task Force), Emcee Dr. Nicole Cutts

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Ticket Discount Extended: Join us March 17!

March 6, 2014

We are very pleased to announce that we are extending the $90 ticket rate for young professionals, students, and nonprofits through March 17!

This is possible thanks to this year’s sponsors, who have stepped up in new and big ways to make this event a place for nonprofits, funders, civic leaders, and community members to come together in one room to celebrate our community – and have a great time too! 

Monday, March 17th, 2014
6:00pm to 10:00pm

The Mead Center for American Theater, Home of Arena Stage
1101 Sixth Street SW | Washington, DC 20024



The evening features:

  • Performances by local nonprofits & artists –  Grammy-nominated musician Christylez Bacon; Maureen Andary of the award-winning duo The Sweater Set; spoken word artists and poets Regie Cabico, Patrick Washington, G. Yamazawa, Safia Elhillo, Silvana Straw, Gowri K., Drew Law, and 2DEEP; Adventure Theatre MTC; Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company; Joe’s Movement Emporium; Levine Music; and N Street Village. Multiple stages will feature performances throughout the evening – choose what you want to see! More on our fabulous artists here.
  • Networking with funders, colleagues, elected officials, community stakeholders, & friends
  • Open bar featuring spirits, wine, beer, & specialty cocktails
  • Passed hors d’oeuvres & delicious food stations including award-winning BBQ, plenty of vegetarian options, and corned beef and Guinness for St. Patty’s Day!

Fun and Festive Business Attire
$10 valet parking available
Metro access directly across the street


Food, Drinks, & Art for a Cause: Help us Celebrate 40 years!

March 5, 2014

For 40 years, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region – the region’s largest funder of nonprofits – has helped make Greater Washington a more stable, healthy, and vibrant place to live for all who call it home. On March 17, we are celebrating this history with a one-of-a-kind fundraising event at The Mead Center for American Theatre, home of Arena Stage. Performers include:

Admission includes passed hors d’oeuvres and delicious food stations (including award-winning BBQ, plenty of vegetarian options, and corned beef and Guinness for St. Patrick’s Day) and an open bar with spirits, wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. Attendees are invited to network, eat, and enjoy performances across the Mead Center complex in a festival-style atmosphere.  The event is open to the public. For the first time, The Community Foundation is offering a special $90 “Emerging Philanthropist” ticket for young professionals, students, and employees of nonprofits as well as their guests. Tickets at 

Proceeds from the 40th Anniversary Celebration will benefit The Community Foundation’s Fund for Greater Washington, which supports community investment to make the region a place where equity, access, and opportunity are available to all. The Foundation pursues this goal by investing in effective safety net, education, and workforce development programs to help low-income families and individuals gain the knowledge, skills, and security they need to be economically stable and engaged in community life.

More at

A Wider Circle founder Mark Bergel named a 2014 CNN Hero

March 4, 2014


By Mark Bergel

I’ve had the honor of being called a “hero” twice since I founded A Wider Circle 13 years ago. The first time was when The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region presented me with a Linowes Leadership Award in 2008, honoring me along with three other “unsung heroes” in our community. It was a defining moment for me and for A Wider Circle, one that gave us confidence, connections, visibility and financial support at a critical time in the life of the organization.

I thought back to that moment this week when CNN announced that I had been selected as a 2014 CNN Hero – one of only about 25 people from around the world who will receive the honor this year. While the recognition will certainly bring national – and even international – attention to our organization, more importantly, it will shine a spotlight on the tremendous needs in the Greater Washington area.

At A Wider Circle, we are dedicated to ending poverty. Some may think that is overly ambitious, unrealistic or downright impossible. But much like the men and women who founded The Community Foundation 40 years ago, our staff, volunteers and many community partners will not give up until everyone in our region has, in the words of The Community Foundation, “equity, access and opportunity.”

How do we get there?  By providing families basic need items such as beds, couches and dining room tables; through comprehensive education and job preparedness support; and by creating connections for long-term support for children and adults transitioning out of homelessness, escaping domestic violence or simply living in poverty.

Every day, A Wider Circle’s staff and volunteers witness how important something as simple as a bed can be in the lives of those it serves. In the words of Tanja Peace, who lost everything in a house fire: “I remember the day we got our beds. It was six months after the fire. Today, I’m just thankful and blessed for what we do have. You take that for granted when you are able to provide for yourself. I have always been someone who was quick to help someone in need. Now I know what it feels like to be the recipient of that kindness.”

We recently launched our “EveryBODY Needs a Bed” campaign, seeking 10,000 beds by the end of 2014. In addition, on March 29, we will sponsor the National Conference on Ending Poverty, in collaboration with Montgomery County’s Office of Community Partnerships. Local, national and global leaders – all heroes in the campaign to end poverty – will be on hand to share successful and innovative approaches. I hope to see you there.

Mark Bergel is founder of A Wider Circle. For more information about A Wider Circle, visit For information about CNN Heroes, visit

40th Anniversary Celebration Spotlight: Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company

February 6, 2014

Our 40th Anniversary Celebration on March 17 will feature a variety of live music, theatre, poetry, and dance performances from some of the region’s most exciting nonprofits and local artists. We’re featuring Artist Spotlights on our blog over the coming month to introduce you to our artists and give you a sneak preview of what you’ll see on the 17th! Buy tickets and learn more at


ImageBy Dana Tai Soon Burgess (Artistic Director, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company)

I was honored to be asked recently to participate in The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s 40th Anniversary Gala.  Along with spoken word artists, musicians, and visual artists, Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company will perform at the Foundation’s anniversary event on March 17 at The Mead Center for American Theatre, Home of Arena Stage.

For 40 years, The Community Foundation and its donors have supported causes that are important to this region – from housing and food to education and job training. So where does a dance company fit into that mission?

Throughout its history, The Community Foundation and its donors have also provided critical funding to local arts organizations.  Think about institutions such as Levine Music, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Glen Echo Park and the Atlas Performing Arts Center. My own home-grown dance company, now celebrating its 22nd season, would not exist if not for support from the local community.

Philanthropic support from The Community Foundation and its donors, as well as other local funders, sustained us through our early years, into our second decade, and through the economic downturn, which was particularly hard on arts organizations, as resources were understandably redirected to the safety net. We are grateful to Community Foundation donors like Sheri and Rob Rosenfeld, who recognize the value in having a professional contemporary dance company in the region and have therefore invested in us year after year. Even when the recession threatened our survival, the Rosenfelds and other generous funders ensured we were able to create and perform new works and mentor the next generation through our Asian American Youth Program.

There is no doubt that the arts make this region a wonderful place to live and work. No one understood that better than the late Jaylee Mead who said:  “Whether supporting theatre or other art forms, education or other valuable endeavors, it has always been important to me to give where I live, while I live, so I can see what a difference philanthropy can make. Every gift I make…generates positive economic impact in those communities.”

Whether your passion is dance, theater, music or another art form, whether you are able to fund a major theater project, like the Meads, or support dancer’s salaries like the Rosenfelds, your support of a local arts organization does indeed have a positive economic impact in our region.

I hope to see you March 17 at Arena Stage. In the meantime, if you want a sneak preview of that performance, come support us at The Kennedy Center this weekend, Feb. 7-8.  I promise you will leave wanting more. Come see for yourself.

Dana Tai Soon Burgess is the Smithsonian’s first ever choreographer-in-residence in 2014.


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