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.

Responsive Grants

Applications are were recently accepted for the 2023 Responsive Grants with a deadline of November 15th. This year’s grants focus on the development of a stronger community through high impact programs and initiatives within the following areas: Family stability, including elderly care, safety and security, mental healthcare for children and family units; youth development with a focus on mentoring and advocacy, including childcare; arts, recreation and educational opportunities for our community’s youth and the underserved.

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 grants and donor relations, at 301-745-5210.

The Community Foundation presented its 2022 responsive grants to 28 local nonprofits for a total of $175,377. 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: $15,000 to further increase family stability through their home fire campaign in Washington County.
    • The Arc of Washington County: $10,000 to fund their Stepping Stones program.
    • Boys & Girls Club of Washington County: $10,000 to continue supporting academic success for boys and girls within their many programs.
    • C & O Canal Trust: $5,000 to support their Canal For All Washington County program.
    • Camp Ritchie Museum, Inc.: $2,200 to fund their museum.
    • CASA Citizens Assisting & Sheltering the Abused, Inc.: $10,000 to fund The Mulberry House / emergency shelter and transitional programs.
    • Children in Need: $5,000 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.
    • Discovery Station at Hagerstown, Inc.: $2,500 to fund this second year of their Common Cents Community Building Initiative.
    • Doleman Black Heritage Museum: $3,500 for endangered artifacts conservation.
    • Education Foundation of Washington County Public Schools (WCPS): $7,000 to support their Agricultural Innovative grants program.
    • Gatekeepers: $7,500 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: $8,000 to support their Action for Safety program.
    • Hospice of Washington County, Inc.: $2,500 to support their Dove Tales Grief Camp.
    • Leveling the Playing Field: $2,500 to support their pop-up sports equipment distributions.
    • Mediation First, Inc.: $5,000 to support their community mediation services for housing conflict.
    • Office of Consumer Advocates: $10,000 to support their crisis response programs.
    • Open Mind, Inc.: $10,000 to support their Open Mind: Head Start of Washington County wellness program.
    • Reach of Washington County: $10,000 to fund professional security for their cold weather shelter.
    • San Mar Family and Community Services: $5,000 to support their Dream Fund
    • The Salvation Army Hagerstown: $10,000 to continue developing their Teen Enrichment Center.
    • University of Maryland (UMD) Extension Master Gardeners of Washington County: $5,590 to support their inclusive sensory garden at Boonsboro’s Free Library.
    • Washington County Commission on Aging, Inc.: $3,500 to support their Aging in Place programming.
    • Washington County Historical Society: $2,500 to support their free family fun workshops.
    • Williamsport Volunteer Fire & Emergency Medical Services, Inc.: $1,000 to fund the purchase of gas meter & calibration equipment.
    • Women of Valor Ministries, Inc.: $5,350 to support “ASPIRE”, their partnership between Valor Ministries and CASA.
    • Women’s Club Foundation, Inc.: $2,737 to purchase and install a keyless entry system.
    • YMCA of Hagerstown: $4,000 to provide increased access to youth sports programs.