The Community Foundation of Washington County MD was established as a permanent and growing philanthropic vehicle for charitably minded people and corporations to contribute financial resources that enrich the community’s quality of life. Income from our various funds offers financial support, in the form of grants, allowing us to meet current needs and prepare for the future. We support a wide-range of qualified nonprofit organizations and causes, primarily in Washington County, Maryland. Our grant making objectives include:

  • Support creative, focused, results-oriented responses to existing or emerging community challenges
  • Reward efforts that recognize and build on community strengths and assets
  • Improve the effectiveness and build the capacity of Washington County’s nonprofit organizations
  • Facilitate cooperation and collaboration among community organizations

We offer the following granting programs: Responsive Grants, the Mary K. Bowman Fine Arts Fund, the Forward Funding Challenge, the Women’s Giving Circle Fund and FANS Fund. Additionally, we facilitate work to meet the charitable goals of individual donors through donor-advised funds and scholarships.

The 2024 Responsive Grants are focused on the development of a stronger community through high impact programs and initiatives that promote the health and well-being of the children in our community.

Applicant organizations must be based in and primarily serving Washington County, Maryland, and have a current 501(c) (3) determination from the IRS. Organizations may apply for funding for more than one program; however, each program requires a separate grant application. The Community Foundation of Washington County MD does not fund endowment growth or capital campaigns. Grant requests for operating funds may be considered on a case by case basis provided the applicant organization makes a compelling case for such funding.

What We Do Not Fund
The Community Foundation usually will NOT approve grant requests for:

  • Funding annual operating expenses
  • Endowment campaigns
  • Projects that would ordinarily receive public tax support
  • Sectarian religious programs
  • Political activities or organizations
  • Special fundraising events/celebration functions
  • Scholarships or financial assistance for grades K-12
  • Deficit retirement
  • Capital campaigns
  • Any organization whose board of directors or programs are not primarily based in Washington County, MD

We review each application for completeness, clarity and eligibility. Then the Foundation’s Grants Committee evaluates the applications and directs grant money to specific nonprofit organizations with final approval from the board of trustees.

The Community Foundation makes financial commitments only one year at a time. Please direct any questions concerning grants to Sarah Burge, Director of Community Impact and Donor Engagement or Susan Buchanan, Community Impact Manager, at 301-745-5210.

The Community Foundation presented its 2023 responsive grants to 21 local nonprofits for a total of $129,901. The grants committee selected Washington County nonprofits and programs focused on the development of a stronger community through programs addressing family stability, youth development and arts, recreation and educational opportunities.

Resources for the responsive grants come from the growth and earnings of established Community Funds at the Foundation as well as a partnership with the Pauline Anderson Foundation. The Community Foundation presented grants to the following programs:

  • American Red Cross of Greater Shenandoah Valley: $5,000 to further increase family stability through their home fire campaign in Washington County.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County: $5,000 to support their Little Leadership Academy Group Mentoring Program.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Washington County: $10,000 to continue supporting academic success for boys and girls within their many programs.
  • Brook Lane Behavioral Services, Inc.: $9,277 to fund the installation of new school lockers in their on-campus Laurel Hall.
  • Children In Need: $6,000 to further support their monthly client visits and extended services.
  • Community Free Clinic, Inc.: $10,000 to continue supporting mental health care for community individuals.
  • Community Mediation Maryland – Mediation First: $7,500 to support their child access mediation and family court partnership programming.
  • Fort Ritchie Community Center: $1,500 to further develop their teen center.
  • Gatekeepers: $5,000 to support their Business of Living (BOL) program which assists sensible re-entry into the community after the criminal justice system.
  • Girls Inc. of Washington County: $5,000 to support their Leaps and Beats program.
  • Horizon Goodwill Industries: $15,000 to fund their Adolescent Clubhouse.
  • The Interfaith Service Coalition of Hancock, MD, Inc.: $5,000 to keep a senior safe and warm.
  • Leveling the Playing Field: $4,000 to support their pop-up sports equipment distributions.
  • Literacy Council of Washington County, Inc.: $5,300 to purchase materials used to tutor.
  • Potomac Case Management Services, Inc.: $7,000 to support their Youth Diversion program.
  • Reach of Washington County: $10,000 to fund their cold weather shelter case management’s Rapid Rehousing program.
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace, MD – Hagerstown Chapter: $5,000 to fund the purchase of mattresses and other materials preventing any kid from sleeping on the floor.
  • The Salvation Army Hagerstown: $6,000 for their Music for the Mind, Body and Soul program.
  • Washington County Commission on Aging, Inc.: $5,000 to support their Aging in Place programming.
  • Washington County Historical Society: $2,400 to fund their Travel Trunk educational program.
  • Women’s Club Foundation, Inc.: $924 to purchase a new electric stove for their tenant kitchen.