#CFWeek:  Editorial, Amy Owen

#CFWeek: Editorial, Amy Owen

If I could, I’d introduce you to Mrs. Lopez. She’s a widow and in her late 70s. She has some health issues faced by many of us in that time of life. Mrs. Lopez is benefiting from innovation that our collective grantmaking dollars fostered here at the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. Mrs. Lopez is a patient of Loudoun’s local nonprofit community health center, Healthworks, serving thousands of low-income families. When Ms. Lopez’s physician asks about her diet, if that doctor gets any hint she isn’t getting the variety needed for a good diet, the doctor writes her a “prescription” to go downstairs and get her weekly “prescription” of fresh veggies. Meanwhile, Loudoun Hunger Relief delivers fresh vegetables to Healthworks just for this purpose. It’s a match made in heaven—made possible because of local philanthropy. This story—along with the countless others like it—demonstrates the importance of community foundations in Loudoun County and other communities across the country. We are uniquely situated to improve our communities by supporting innovative solutions and creating powerful partnerships. From Nov. 12 to 18, we celebrate Community Foundation Week, a time when we can share and reflect on the stories of impact over the last year. Though you may not yet know your local Community Foundation, you’ve likely felt our impact. We granted almost $1 million to more than 100 local charities last year. Still, our work is much more than funder.  We are conveners, workshop leaders, partnership builders, and champions of philanthropy. Have you come across our Faces of Loudoun community service campaign? It’s our way to introduce you to your neighbors through personal stories featuring real people. From hunger, to mental health struggles, to health, to...
#CFWeek – Recognizing the Impact of Community Foundations

#CFWeek – Recognizing the Impact of Community Foundations

During the week of November 12-18, 2018, The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties will join more than 795 community foundations across America celebrating Community Foundation Week. For 29 years, the effort has raised awareness about the increasingly important role of these philanthropic organizations in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges. Last week, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution, proclaiming November 12-18 as Community Foundation Week in Loudoun County.  Throughout the week, we will highlight the impact of Loudoun’s local community foundation with facts and information about the impact of community foundations. “We have seen the impact that community foundations across the country can have on the lives of those in their regions,” said Amy Owen, President of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. “We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems and advance the most promising of opportunities to benefit our residents.” Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits that are the heart of strong, vibrant communities. Locally, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties has demonstrated this leadership with initiatives such as the raising awareness of community needs through the Faces of Loudoun campaign, nonprofit training through the Nonprofit Academy, in partnership with the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, nonprofit leadership development through the Social Impact Institute, and increased philanthropic giving through the annual Give Choose day of giving in Loudoun County....
Entrepreneur of the Year – Amy Owen

Entrepreneur of the Year – Amy Owen

“And the winner is…” Last week, Amy Owen, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce 2018 Small Business Awards.  One of the top honors of this annual event, this prestigious award recognizes Owen’s hard work, dedication, and business savvy that has led the Community Foundation to incredible growth in her tenure as the organization’s leader. How did she do it?  “I followed the path that almost every entrepreneur follows: overtime galore; walking the balance beam between networking and must-do desk projects; establishing best practices and finding practical solutions; and wooing and cultivating the team willing to volunteer and own the vision,” Owen stated. Celebrating with over 500 of Loudoun’s small business leaders, Owen gave the following remarks during her acceptance speech: WOW!  In one of the most entrepreneurial communities ever, this is such a high honor. Thank you to the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, in the biggest way, for its culture of building its own reputation by showcasing the reputation and work of others.  And, thank you to the Chamber for recognizing that nonprofits are businesses and entrepreneurial, too. We do have one difference.  Nonprofits have volunteer Board of Directors that are part of the Leadership Team.  And, the Community Foundation’s Board is a starship enterprise.  This honor is shared with them. So many fellow nonprofits could share this stage.  Just like any business, it takes grit and ingenuity to keep a nonprofit running well.  That’s especially true in Loudoun County.  Did you know that Loudoun has some of our lowest household...
Summit Summary

Summit Summary

Philanthropy Summit 2018 was an informative day full of great resources, interesting data, and thought-provoking conversation.  With over 100 people in attendance, we appreciate all of our supporters and partners who spent the morning learning alongside with us.  Below you’ll find a summary of each presentation, along with some follow up items as requested through our Q&A sessions and evaluations.   Introductions and Putting Racism on the Table Amy Owen, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, provided an overview of the Community Foundation’s work and charitable giving in Loudoun County. Did you know that charitable giving in Loudoun lags behind our neighboring counties?  As requested, here is more information about charitable giving rates by county in Northern Virginia (including Loudoun): Loudoun County Giving Data We also continued our conversation from last year, Putting Racism on the Table, produced by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.  To view the article and video series introduced during this segment, visit: Putting Racism on the Table Robin DiAngelo:  White Fragility:  Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism Census 2020 Gary Bass, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Bauman Foundation, provided an overview of the challenges related to a fair and accurate count during the 2020 Census, the implications of these challenges, and recommendations for how to work together to ensure successful Census 2020 engagement in our community.  For more information, review Dr. Bass’ slides: Promoting a Fair and Accurate Census 2020 Count Panel 1:  Teen Wellness Suzie Bartel, Co-founder of the Ryan Bartel Foundation, moderated a panel discussion on Teen Wellness.  Suzie was...
Editorial:  Giving Power

Editorial: Giving Power

The following editorial was published by Loudoun Now on October 11, 2018. Next week in Ashburn, Loudoun leaders will gather for the county’s annual Philanthropy Summit. ​This is not a forum for nonprofit managers to compare notes on the overwhelming challenges of meeting growing needs on ever-shrinking budgets. This is the opportunity for a community conversation on the importance of charitable giving and the very tangible results those investments are having. It’s not just that these organizations—largely fueled by volunteers—improve lives of our neighbors in need; in many cases they are saving lives. ​This year’s program will have a particular focus on behavioral health, teen wellness and substance abuse. After years of alarming increases, the community’s efforts to combat suicide and opioid abuse are gaining traction. Those results powerfully demonstrate what can be achieved when the community invests money and time into solving critical challenges. ​The conversation occurs in an environment in which the level of charitable giving in Loudoun continues to lag behind that of neighboring counties—and even the statewide average. Is there any other income-related statistic in which Loudoun performs below the state average? Even just matching Virginia’s average giving levels would add more than $150 million annually to build a stronger local safety net. ​Want to better understand why philanthropy matters? What to see the difference you can make in the community? The summit runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Loudoun County School Administration Building in Broadlands. It’s free. Register at communityfoundationlf.org....
PAW Fund:  Local Veterinarians Start New Giving Circle to Give Back to Loudoun’s Animals

PAW Fund: Local Veterinarians Start New Giving Circle to Give Back to Loudoun’s Animals

We are pleased to announce this week a newly created giving circle to benefit animal-serving organizations. The PAW Fund (Pay-it-Forward Animal Welfare Fund) will support nonprofit organizations focusing on animal safety, education, adoption, health, and overall animal welfare, as well as animal-based human therapy organizations. As a giving circle, the PAW Fund will pool together donations made by individuals and businesses to make grants to eligible organizations. Donors contributing to the PAW Fund will have a seat at the table during the grantmaking process. The PAW Fund was created by a group of local veterinarians of the Loudoun County Veterinary Medical Association, led by local veterinarian, Dr. Bill Tyrrell. Tyrrell and the PAW Fund founders saw great need in the community that trickled down to the pets in their care. They wanted to find a way to give back to the community in which they practice, and to the pets, service animals, horses, and livestock in Loudoun County. Tyrrell previously participated another local giving circle within the Community Foundation, and experienced firsthand how giving circles provide an opportunity to make high-impact grants to local organizations. “We never want someone to have to decide between feeding their family or caring for their pet. Also, many organizations utilize animals as therapy for children and adults with special needs or who have suffered a traumatic event,” said Tyrrell. “The aim of this giving circle under the Community Foundation is to help provide some very needed funding for the nonprofit organizations that support these animal related causes.” The PAW Fund joins our portfolio of giving circles. “Giving circles amplify support for causes its...
100WomenStrong Now Accepting Letters of Intent for 2019 Grant Funding consideration

100WomenStrong Now Accepting Letters of Intent for 2019 Grant Funding consideration

 100WomenStrong, a group of concerned philanthropists seeking to strategically invest in organizations and programs that enrich the lives of Loudoun County residents, will begin accepting Letters of Intent from area nonprofits on October 1 for 2019 grants. Organizations that are headquartered or operate in Loudoun County and wish to receive 2019 grant funds from 100WomenStrong for programs in the areas of health, hunger, education and shelter, must file a preliminary Letter of Intent between 7 a.m. on Monday, October 1, 2018, and 5 p.m. on Friday, November 1, 2018. According to 100WomenStrong member Stephanie Place, Letters of Intent should be no more than one page long, should be in 11-point font or larger and should include: Name and purpose of nonprofit organization – must be based in or have programs in Loudoun County Dollar amount of grant request What the money will fund – outline how you would utilize the grant money Why this project(s) is important to those you serve and to Loudoun County and its residents Letters should be emailed to LettersofIntent@onehundredwomenstrong.org as a .pdf attachment with the name of the organization in the subject line of the email. Every applicant will receive an email confirming receipt of the Letter of Intent. If an email confirmation is not received, double check to ensure that your email was addressed correctly. Nonprofits who submit a Letter of Intent will be notified of the status of their applications on or before 12/14/2018. Only those nonprofits invited to apply will be requested to submit a full grant proposal by January 18, 2019. Visit http://www.onehundredwomenstrong.org/grants/application-process/ to learn more. Questions about the grant process can be directed...
Join Us: Philanthropy Summit 2018

Join Us: Philanthropy Summit 2018

Join us on October 18, 2018 for a series of conversations with needs and solutions in mind. Learn more from our nonprofit and human service leaders as we explore our community’s roadmap to behavioral health, teen wellness, and substance abuse. Be a part of the dialogue about why philanthropy matters, and how we can work together to strengthen our community. Summit Details Date:  October 18, 2018 Time:  9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Location:  Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building, 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA 20148 Registration:  There is no cost to attend; however, registration required.  Register Here Summit Preview Registration 9:00 to 9:30. Program 9:30 to 1:00. Census 2020: Gary Bass, Executive Director of the Bauman Foundation, will kick off our morning with an overview of the importance and challenges of a fair and accurate count during the 2020 Census, and collaborative strategies to overcome those hurdles. Teen Wellness: Suzy Bartel of the Ryan Bartel Foundation will introduce us to practitioners who aid teens in our community. Panelists include Dr. John Walker (Loudoun County Department of Family Services), Tom Sweitzer (A Place to Be), and Jennifer Wall (Loudoun County Public Schools). Substance Abuse:Stacey Metcalfe of Inova Health System will moderate a panel discussion focusing on trends and resources in our community to address substance abuse. Panelists include: Dan Luczak (Loudoun Club 12), Amy Paratore (HCA StoneSprings Hospital Center), and Jim Freeman (Loudoun County Community Corrections). Behavioral Health: Carol Jameson of HealthWorks for Northern Virginia will help us understand some of the behavioral health services in our community. Panelists include: Joey Coburn (Friends of Loudoun Mental Health), Michelle Mullany (Inova Health System), and Margaret...
Philanthropy Loses.  Again.

Philanthropy Loses. Again.

Last week’s Washington Post Headline caught my eye—as it must for every other U.S. tax payer, “New estimate: GOP’s second tax cuts would add $3.8 trillion to deficit.” Regardless of your views on politics, tax cuts, and deficits, this newly proposed legislation further erodes incentives for one of America’s most bipartisan and long-held values: charity. As many Loudoun County residents know, we face some of the most lackluster charitable giving rates in the U.S.  Blinded by the fresh paint on the homes and businesses in one of the fastest growing and high-income counties in America, our residents don’t see the need that is, in fact, here. But, this is larger than what we face here in our community. Take, for instance, the estate tax: one of the most pro-social engines to establish legacy gifts in the U.S. Newly proposed legislation offers even deeper cuts to the estate tax paid by only 5,000 of the wealthiest families in America. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ratified in December 2017 made the first changes to how Americans report their charitable gifts.  Philanthropic researchers at Philanthropy Outlook have scoured existing data to anticipate how these new laws may affect charitable giving.  Consider that, in years prior, 30% of U.S. households itemized their taxes, providing a vehicle to reduce taxes liability with each charitable gift reported. With the new standard deduction rules beginning in 2018, the number of households that will qualify for itemization is expected to be reduced to 5% from 12.5%.  It will be the larger income earners in our nation who continue to have the option to itemize. And, if...
Donor Advised Funds:  Teaching a tradition of giving from one generation to the next

Donor Advised Funds: Teaching a tradition of giving from one generation to the next

In our backyard, there are two families who are likely to never meet.  The first just lost the transmission in their car and depend upon three jobs to make ends meet. Thankfully, there are a number of nonprofit organizations that will help them stretch their dollars until they are back on the feet.  The other family has been fortunate here in Loudoun County. They are eager to give back. As President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, my job brings me into contact with both. We often say that our work is to “connect donors who care with causes that matter.” It is what inspires our FacesofLoudoun.org community service campaign. It is what makes Loudoun County such a great place to grow up and grow old. We have a number of fund “instruments” to help our donors fulfill their charitable vision.  One of the most well-known, donor advised funds or DAFs, are a philanthropic tool used by many different entities.  In our organization, they play an important role in our community. The fact is, over our 19 years serving Loudoun County, we have developed deep expertise in our nonprofit landscape and keen understanding of our community’s needs. DAFs allow us to work directly with caring individuals who seek to philanthropically invest in our community to ensure their gifts achieve the greatest good. Donor advised funds are very nimble and flexible. This is critical when a crisis hits or unexpected opportunities arise: whether it’s advancing a newly identified need or responding to a natural disaster.  What’s more, DAFs are actively invested alongside our community endowments allowing...