The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and its newly formed Loudoun Community Cabinet have announced the recipients of the Cabinet’s first grant cycle, awarding three Loudoun-based nonprofits $160,000 in COVID-19 relief funding.
The Cabinet was established with seed funding from the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation in late 2019 through the efforts of its executive director J. Lambert, who helped to bring local philanthropic investors together. Each made a personal gift of $100,000.
Loudoun’s charitable giving rates historically trend lower than national and state averages. The Cabinet aimed to take that challenge head-on.
“Members of the Loudoun Community Cabinet are dedicated to collaborative approaches to building public-private partnerships in Loudoun County to address unmet human service needs, improving the culture of Loudoun’s philanthropy, and strengthening nonprofit service delivery,” stated Cabinet Chairman Dr. William Hazel.
Hazel joined the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation as senior deputy executive director in March 2020. He previously served for eight years as Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources, overseeing 11 state agencies under Governors Bob McDonnell and Terry McAuliffe, as well as serving as the senior advisor for innovation for George Mason University’s Office of the Provost.
“This is a distinguished group of philanthropists committed to effective, strategic philanthropy in Loudoun,” said Hazel. “These are people who care deeply about Loudoun and are willing to invest here in their own backyard.”
Concerned about the pandemic’s effects on nonprofits, Community Foundation released the Cabinet’s first Request for Proposals in July to Loudoun-based human service nonprofits experiencing significant financial hardship due to the pandemic. Ultimately three grants were awarded.
ECHO was awarded $100,000 to support the organization’s operating expenses, to sustain its mission to empower individuals with disabilities through skills building, job placement, day support, and transportation. The organization’s reimbursement-based income model has been deeply affected during the pandemic, with its services disrupted by necessary social distancing requirements, which can be particularly important to the vulnerable population it serves.
The Loudoun Literacy Council was awarded $38,718 to Loudoun Literacy Council to support the organization’s operating expenses, and to address new demands related to COVID-19 to enrich home-based learning and education through online workshops and literacy trainings serving a vulnerable population in Loudoun.
And Volunteers of America Chesapeake and Carolinas, headquartered in Lanham, MD, was awarded $21,285 to support its operation of the Leesburg-based Loudoun Homeless Services Center and rapid-rehousing program, in response to increased numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Loudoun during the pandemic.
“We realized during this time of financial crisis nonprofits were very vulnerable—and that their loss of income ends up affecting thousands of Loudoun residents who will need their help,” stated Loudoun resident Teresa Wheeler, a member of the Cabinet and recognized philanthropist. “I hope everyone will realize how important this time is to give, and to give locally. Every gift, no matter the size, makes the difference.”
To learn more about the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, visit CommunityFoundationLF.org.