News & Event
Grantmaking is a large part of the Community Foundation’s role. In FY2019 (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019), $5 million was invested into our community through grants to local nonprofits, and other organizations such as civic and faith-based groups. Grants are both competitive and designated, meaning that some grants are created through a competitive application process, and other grants are “designated” by the donor specifically to support an organization or cause, and are provided annually. Our ability to do this starts with generous donors who want to make a difference and who use the Community Foundation as their conduit for their charitable giving.
Grantmaking is a process that comes with a variety of rewards and challenges. I recently talked with Dr. Amaris Little, Community Foundation trustee and grant committee chairperson, to get her perspective about our competitive grantmaking. Dr. Little has been a member of the grant committee since 2014 and has served as chairperson since 2017.
Reviewing competitive grant applications is the most complicated part of the process. “We see what great need there is in Frederick County, and we’re challenged to make difficult choices between many compelling grant applications and funding one program or another,” Dr. Little said. “We’re fortunate that our grant committee volunteers have a broad range of experience and expertise, which helps bridge the information gap. In addition, the number of applications increases each year, requesting larger dollar amounts. More organizations than ever before are relying on the Community Foundation for funding, and our board has stepped up and approved money from our reserve funds when needed.”
Our grantmaking process has evolved with the time, Dr. Little says. Technology has brought great advances in software and has helped streamline the review process and rating system dramatically. “The rating system is really important because it helps us answer the question about the request fitting the purpose of the fund providing the money,” she said. “Then, the group discussion and the perspectives shared help the committee determine how much impact a grant supporting one program or another can make for the benefit of the community.”
Our staff constantly reviews the grant process, and I asked Dr. Little what she thinks is unique about our grantmaking. “The Community Foundation has its finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the community and what’s coming up. We do our homework so that we can anticipate needs. We’re not stuck in one place doing the same things the same way every year.”
Finally, I asked Dr. Little what advice she would offer for organizations seeking grants, and what she believes that donors should know. “We want to fund great programs, so the content provided in the application is really important. Sometimes that’s all the information we have towards making the decision,” Dr. Little said regarding organizations that apply. “Attend the grant information sessions provided and learn how to make your application stronger.”
“Donors should know that there are many people involved in the grantmaking decision process,” Dr. Little went on to say. “The grant committee members invest a huge amount of time to ensure we make the best decisions and that the Community Foundation is a good steward of their charitable dollars because we all care about what’s happening in our community.”
Frederick County is rich in history, from the Revolutionary War forward. Originally, Memorial Day honored those who lost their lives fighting in the Civil War. As world wars and other conflicts evolved, the holiday became a way to honor all who have died serving their country. Annually on this weekend, we remember the men and women who have died while serving in the United States military to preserve our freedoms.
In addition to the funds created at the Community Foundation honoring individual military personnel who have given their lives, we hold funds that honor those who have served in specific conflicts. The Cresap's Rifles Post 78, 29th Division Fund provides grants to nonprofits, with a preference to those with programs serving veterans and military-related organizations. Grants have supported such organizations as Operation Second Chance, Wounded Warrior Projects, Fisher House, and more. The history of Cresap’s Rifles is an interesting Revolutionary War story. The Continental Congress requested ten rifle companies from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland to join George Washington and the Continental forces outside Boston. A group of men led by Michael Cresap marched 550 miles from Oldtown, Maryland to Boston and the rifle companies collectively are credited with helping to save Washington’s army when at their weakest point in the summer of 1775.
Also representing the Revolutionary War is The Sergeant Lawrence Everhart Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Fund. The Chapter, through its activities, brings attention to the patriotic, historical and educational importance of the Revolutionary War and its history in Frederick County. In 2012, the Chapter began organizing the Frederick Town Fife & Drum Corps for youth up to age 19. The corps members, garbed in historically based uniforms and equipment, bring to life the important role that the fife and drum corps played in the Revolutionary War, with the fifers and drummers providing music and sound signals that entertained our military units in camp and directed their maneuvers on the battlefield. Contributions to the fund have supported the fife and drum initiative and the group's current 18 and growing number of members and staff.
Finally, the Community Foundation holds The Col. William E. Weber Chapter 142 Korean War Veterans Association of Frederick County, MD, Inc. Fund. Scholarships from the fund are provided for students who are direct bloodline descendants of those who served in the U.S. Military and are eligible for Korean War Veterans Association membership. More than 30 scholarships have helped students achieve their post-secondary educational goals since 2004.
Many contributions and sacrifices have been made by those who have served and are serving our county. Our thanks to all, past and present.
FREDERICK, MD – October 1, 2019: The Community Foundation recently recognized its FY2020 Strategic Funding Partners. These donors financially support the Community Foundation’s strategic grantmaking areas of supporting families with children, responding to substance use disorder, preparing for an aging population, access to health care, services for the homeless and precariously housed, and school-readiness for children.
Strategic Funding Partner gifts to The Supporting Families with Children Strategic Initiatives Fund are: Steven and Pamala Barger, The Steve and PJ Barger Family Fund; Jeff Robertson, The Julie Ann Robertson Cashour Memorial Fund; Robert G. DeLauter, The Robert G. DeLauter Fund; The FoodPRO CORP Fund; Robert G. Hooper, The Robert G. Hooper Family Fund; Drs. Robert and Jane Ladner, The Robert C. and Jane E. Ladner Charitable Fund; Sally R. Lyons, The Lyons Family Fund; David and Kay Stauffer, The David and Kay Stauffer Family Fund; The Kiwanis Fund of Suburban Frederick Fund; Daniel and Jacqueline Ward, The Dan and Jackie Ward Family Fund; Elizabeth J. Brady; Marion D. Carmack, Jr.; Nancy N. Franck; Larry and Deborah Grove; Elizabeth K. Hale; Addie B. Null; Shirley R. Richardson; and Michael and Marlene Young.
Strategic Funding Partner gifts to The Preparing for an Aging Population Strategic Initiatives Fund were received from: Dr. Arthur Anderson and Julane Anderson; Steven and Pamala Barger, The Steve and PJ Barger Family Fund; The FoodPRO CORP Fund; Drs. Robert and Jane Ladner, The Robert C. and Jane E. Ladner Charitable Fund; Sally R. Lyons, The Lyons Family Fund; David and Kay Stauffer, The David and Kay Stauffer Family Fund; Daniel and Jacqueline Ward, The Dan and Jackie Ward Family Fund; Elizabeth J. Brady; Marion D. Carmack, Jr.; Dorothy L. Etzler; Nancy N. Franck; Elizabeth K. Hale; Donald and Rebecca Linton; Addie B. Null; and Shirley R. Richardson.
Strategic Funding Partner gifts to The Responding to Substance Use Disorder Strategic Initiatives Fund were received from: Steven and Pamala Barger, The Steve and PJ Barger Family Fund; James and Amy Clapp, The James H. and Amy N. Clapp Family Fund; The FoodPRO CORP Fund; Peggy Waxter, The Garrett R. Petronchak Memorial Fund; David and Kay Stauffer, The David and Kay Stauffer Family Fund; Daniel and Jacqueline Ward, The Dan and Jackie Ward Family Fund; Elizabeth J. Brady; Addie B. Null; and Shirley R. Richardson.
A gift to The Children and Youth Strategic Initiatives Fund was received from The PNC Fund and a gift to The Health Care Strategic Initiatives Fund was received from David G. and Karen L. Thomassen.
Gifts to The Strategic Initiatives Pass Through Fund were received from these Strategic Funding Partners: James and Caroline Atkins, The Caroline and Jimmy Atkins Fund; Joan Barrick, The Samuel W. and Joan J. Barrick Fund; Mark and Susan Butt, The Mark and Susan Butt Saturday Mornings Fund; The Frederick Mutual Insurance Company Donor-Advised Fund; Charles and Peggy Hoff, The Charles W. Hoff, III and Margaret O. Hoff Family Fund; Sally R. Lyons, The Lyons Family Fund; Robert K. Moler, The Robert and Ardeth Moler Family Fund; Philip and Erika Rauh, The Philip Rauh Family Endowment Fund; Virginia K. Brace and Jana M. Moberly; William H. Browning, Jr.; Bernard J. and Krista A. Davisson; Andrew P. and Anna P. Grossnickle; James and Wanda Hartley; Gabrielle Keller; Karlys Kline and Thomas Lynch; Jeanne R. Lee; Addie B. Null; Shirley R. Richardson; Tod and Barry Salisbury; Alfred and Patricia Shockley; Betty M. Waltz; De Walt Willard, Jr.; and Donald and Beverlie Wissner.
Did you know that Frederick County is one of the fastest growing counties in Maryland? Because of this, it is undergoing important demographic and social changes not only because of growth but also because of its role as a commuter suburb of the surrounding metropolitan areas.
This change affects all of us and brings more attention to pressing human needs in our community. In 2011, the Community Foundation and a group of sponsors commissioned the first Frederick County Human Needs Assessment. We wanted a solid, unbiased assessment to guide our grantmaking, and from that, we’ve been strategically focused on providing grants to organizations addressing health care, school-readiness, and homelessness. Last year, we commissioned another county-wide human needs assessment to update the 2011 study (again, via a third-party, unbiased source) to see if and how the most pressing areas of human need had changed. The data has just been released, showing that the most pressing needs have changed, but the needs from 2011 still exist and are contributing factors to the current issues. In this update, supporting families with children, preparing for an aging population, and responding to substance use disorder have risen to the top.
What happens now? First, the 2018 data will be used by local nonprofits and government agencies as they review their programs and build new ones, and it will assist them in applying for grants from many funding sources. Second, the data will help the Community Foundation continue to do meaningful strategic grantmaking with a focus on the areas of greatest need. Our advocacy, leadership, collaboration, and education within the community will continue as we work with our nonprofit and government partners to create positive change within the newly identified areas.
An exciting new component of the 2018 Human Needs Assessment is the “visualization tool.” This online, interactive, dynamic tool allows users to examine important local, state, and national trends over the prior 20 years related to human needs in Frederick County. It’s based on the aggregation of many different official sources of demographics and statistics, including information from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census/American Community Survey. The visualization tool will continue to be updated as new data becomes available.
The complete 2018 Human Needs Assessment Report, executive summary, and the visualization tool can be accessed through our website at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/NeedsReport. I urge you to look at all the information available. The human needs discussed here pose significant challenges that will require broad community participation and support to secure Frederick County’s future.
A huge thank you to our co-sponsors of the 2018 report: Ausherman Family Foundation, The Joseph D. Baker Fund, Delaplaine Foundation, Frederick County Government, The Robert C. and Jane E. Ladner Charitable Fund, Helen J. Sirini Foundation, and United Way of Frederick County. Their generosity made possible the significant expansion of effort of this project.
There’s a story behind every fund created at the Community Foundation. Let’s start with one of the very first: the Smith Sisters, who created The Mary E. M. and Ruth E. Smith Scholarship Fund. They were dedicated schoolteachers and community volunteers who cared deeply about the children they taught and the community they lived in, and they left a legacy that’s benefited nearly 300 students pursuing education as a career.
If you attended Parkway Elementary in the 1940’s, 50’s, or first half of the 60’s, you’re not too old to remember these remarkable women. Mary and Ruth taught school for 42 and 44 years respectively. Mary was also an administrator, serving as principal of Parkway Elementary from 1940 to 1966. Early in her career, she spent 13 years as a “teaching principal” at Urbana Elementary, meaning she taught all seven grades and served as head administrator. Mary was the first teacher and principal in Frederick County to earn a master’s degree, and Ruth was the second elementary teacher to accomplish this.
In a June 1966 article by The Frederick News-Post covering Mary’s retirement, she said the key to a rewarding life is to identify with a cause that is bigger than yourself and then lose yourself in the cause. As devoted teachers, education was the cause to which Mary and Ruth “lost” themselves during their lifetime. After their lifetime, they wanted to help others be successful teachers and administrators. Through their fund, they have continued to support their cause and build their legacy.
Each year, approximately a dozen students receive a college scholarship from this fund that helps them pursue their dream of becoming a teacher and getting “lost in their cause” by positively influencing the lives of young learners. Some have returned to teach in Frederick County, but no matter where they’ve gone, the impact of Mary and Ruth’s scholarship has gone with them.
This fund also holds a significant place in the Community Foundation’s history, as it was the first large endowment fund to be managed by the board of trustees. It was originally established with Fredericktown Bank and Trust Company and then transferred in 1987, just one year after the Community Foundation was incorporated as a public charity. It is still one of the largest endowed scholarship funds under management and contributes significantly to the $1 million total of all scholarships presented annually.
What are the causes in which you can “lose” yourself? How can your efforts make a difference? What kind of legacy do you wish to leave? Only you know the answer to the first question. The Community Foundation can help you answer the others. You don’t have to be wealthy to create a lasting legacy. All you need is the desire to something meaningful with the resources you have.
Sometimes legacies are a surprise. The notice from The Office of the Register of Wills stating that the Community Foundation was named as an interested party in the estate of Calvin Murray was routine. As the story unfolded, we learned that Mr. Murray wished to establish a charitable fund supporting two nonprofits: The Howard Chapel Ridgeville United Methodist Church (UMC), and Frederick Memorial Hospital. The surprise? Mr. Murray wasn’t known to us, nor had he let us know in advance that he wished to create funds benefitting his church and the hospital. Even more surprising was the estimated size of the estate – more than $20 million.
We’re always sorry to hear of someone’s death, of course, and establishing a charitable fund with proceeds from the estate is not unusual. A well -respected resident of Mount Airy, Maryland, Mr. Murray was described as a quiet individual who was always in touch with local news. He lived and worked on the family farm his entire life. As a youth, he received numerous awards from 4-H for raising and showing farm animals. His prize cattle awards provided the opportunity to serve as a Maryland delegate to the National 4-H Conference in 1946. He also received top honors for his animal projects from Future Farmers of America. After graduating from high school, he continued working on his family’s farm, and other land acquired nearby.
Mr. Murray and his parents were life-long members of The Howard Chapel Ridgeville UMC, and he participated in the youth group and served the church in his younger years through various volunteer roles. Mr. Murray’s extended family said the bequest to the church was a direct reflection of his parent’s dedication to the church and their very active involvement.
He was kind and cared about others, even those he didn’t know. Mr. Murray decided to name Frederick Memorial Hospital as a grant recipient because he received excellent care when admitted with a health issue. He knew that others in the community might need hospital care but may not be able to afford it, and he wanted to use his resources to help.
Mr. Murray passed away in January 2012. The Calvin Murray Charitable Fund was established, and in August 2014, the first grants were presented to The Howard Chapel Ridgeville UMC and Frederick Memorial Hospital. The church used its initial grant towards an addition to the building and updating other parts of the building to be compliant with the American with Disabilities Act. Representatives from the church anticipated future grants to provide support of mission projects in the Mount Airy, Maryland area, as well as other places in the United States and the world.
Frederick Memorial Hospital used its first grant towards The James M. Stockman Cancer Institute, which was under construction at the time. This state of the art facility that opened in the summer of 2017, now provides diagnosis, treatment, cancer patient follow-up, and support services under one roof. The annual grant now supports other programs and projects at the hospital.
Calvin Murray left a legacy that will positively impact countless people in perpetuity as annually, each entity will receive a grant that will support their programs. Fortunately, he had specified his wishes via his attorney in advance, and we were able to create his fund to carry out his charitable wishes exactly as he wanted. But because we didn’t know of his charitable intentions in advance of his death, we weren’t able to say thank you, and that’s sad.
We realize that Mr. Murray’s estate, in its size, is the exception rather than the rule. It’s important to know that no matter the size of your estate, every gift creates impact in the community. If you decide you would like to create a charitable fund with the Community Foundation that becomes active after your passing, we encourage you to talk with your professional advisors and us in advance, rather than to make it a surprise. That way, we understand what you wish to do and the legacy you’d like to leave. And, we can thank you personally for your vision and plans to help Frederick County be its best.
In this holiday season, some families, friends, and co-workers have “Secret Santa” exchanges where holiday gifts are given anonymously. Each person has the name of another person in the group and provides a gift for them. It’s a fun way to celebrate the season and make memories.
Based on the “Secret Santa” idea, a donor came to us in 2010 and said he wanted to create a fund to provide small grants that would help people with special situations. He knew that small obstacles sometimes reduced the quality of life, and other aspects of life would improve ten-fold if the smaller obstacle could be overcome. This donor also knew the Community Foundation often received requests of this kind but didn’t always have grant money available.
The Secret Santa Fund was born. Early in its life, the Community Foundation received a request from Citizens Care & Rehabilitation Center. A resident needed new tires on her power wheelchair. Her insurance would not cover the cost, and she could not pay out of pocket. The power wheelchair was her only means to be independent, navigate the facility, and participate in resident activities. The grant was made, and this resident was again enjoying life.
Several grants have been requested by SOAR Frederick County (Supporting Older Adults through Resources, Inc.). SOAR’s mission is to assist older adults in Frederick County to help meet their essential needs confidentially and respectfully. A Frederick resident undergoing treatment at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore needed reliable, regular transportation. A Secret Santa grant helped purchase a car. Another Frederick County resident had no functioning appliances in his home and was living on prepared foods. His wife was receiving care in a nursing home, and his income was very limited. The Secret Santa Fund assisted with a grant that purchased gently used appliances and a grocery gift card to help stock the refrigerator and freezer with food. Another grant request from SOAR helped an elderly man who was deaf replace an old computer that stopped working. The computer was his only way of communicating with the outside world, schedule appointments, and more. A replacement computer ended his isolation and depression.
Other grants from the fund include helping another Frederick County senior with power chair repairs, and a church that purchased gift cards for its Angel Tree program at Christmas so that six children would have Christmas gifts.
Recently, grants from The Secret Santa Fund have supported The Federated Charities Rapid Response Program. This program’s purpose of assisting residents who are experiencing hardships with a small grant that could positively change their situation aligns with the purpose of the fund. To date, grants have helped with gas gift cards so that medical appointments could be kept, groceries, medical equipment, gift cards for clothing at Goodwill and Select Seconds, utility bills, and more.
While gift-giving for most of us takes place in a concentrated time frame at the end of the year, The Secret Santa Fund gives throughout the year. The situations that were improved with grants from the fund made a huge difference in the lives of those who benefited. The donor’s vision in setting up the fund to provide a “hand-up” to those needing assistance is a wonderful example of giving and creating great impact within Frederick County.
If you’re interested in supporting this fund, tax-deductible contributions are accepted at www.FrederickCountyGives.org/SecretSanta.
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