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Community Foundation provides grants, handles endowments

September 24, 2006

The Community Foundation of Washington County MD gives grants to other nonprofit organizations and manages charitable endowment funds for groups and individuals.

The Community Foundation was started in 1997 with less than $10,000. By 2006, that had grown to about $11 million.

Individuals, families, corporations, institutions, courts, bequests, private foundations and charitable organizations may establish funds through the Community Foundation.

Each fund must begin with a minimum donation of $1,000 in cash or property. The individual or group must pledge to increase the fund balance to $5,000 in contributions within five years.

Each year, the Community Foundation recognizes noteworthy volunteers by establishing three $5,000 endowment funds in what is known as the People's Choice Awards.

Each of the three award honorees designates a charity to benefit from his or her fund.

In 2005, the Community Foundation of Washington County MD accepted an invitation to take part in a $10 million matching-grant program called the Waltersdorf Henson Endowment Challenge.

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The John M. Waltersdorf family and the Richard A. Henson Foundation have offered to match up to $5 million raised by 16 agencies connected to the Community Foundation of Washington County MD.

The foundation's executive director is Bradley Sell. His e-mail address is brads@hagcomfound.org.

The foundation's phone number is 301-745-5210. It can be found on the Internet at www.hagcomfound.org.

Sell said the Web site and e-mail address are expected to change in November.

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