Washington, DC Arts Forward Fund, a partnership between the Greater Washington Community Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and 10 other foundations and individual donors, is proud to announce new grants totaling nearly $1.7 million to 89 arts and culture organizations in the DC region.


Ten Local Funders Also Supporting New Funding Round in July

Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has awarded $1 million to the Greater Washington Community Foundation to support Arts Forward Fund, an equity-focused funder collaborative formed in 2020 by local funders to help arts and culture organizations in the DC region to stabilize, adapt, and thrive through the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift to Arts Forward Fund is one of 289 grants totaling $2.7 billion that Scott announced through a June 15 blog post on Medium.

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The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Extends Program Providing Operational Support to Hundreds of Area Nonprofits

WASHINGTON, DC — The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced that it is extending its partnership with Catchafire for a third year to provide hundreds of DC-area nonprofits access to services from skilled volunteers at no cost.  Since 2019, the Cafritz Foundation has given nonprofits access to Catchafire’s platform, connecting them to the professional help they need to build capacity.

During the first two years of the partnership, DC-area nonprofits completed more than $1.4 million in projects through their Catchafire memberships, representing more than 7,338 volunteer hours and over 430 projects.  In the last year especially, Catchafire’s virtual volunteers helped nonprofits meet critical needs as they responded to multiple crises.

“Throughout the pandemic, nonprofits have struggled with challenges such as operating with decreased volunteer support, shifting program delivery and dealing with event and fundraiser cancellations.  Some have experienced significant changes in demand, while others have reassessed how work should be done going forward,” said Tobi Printz-Platnick.  “Extending our partnership with Catchafire allows hundreds of nonprofits to access needed professional services at no cost, which helps them build capacity, continue to recover from this challenging year and better serve their communities.”

Catchafire helps to strengthen nonprofits by matching professionals who want to donate their time with organizations that need their help.  Through the partnership with The Cafritz Foundation, 250 nonprofits will have access to skills-based volunteers through Catchafire’s virtual platform.  This support empowers nonprofits to build capacity and strengthen their infrastructure.

“We’re excited to continue our work with DC area nonprofits to help them fulfill unmet needs,” said Catchafire CEO Rachael Chong. “With the support of the Cafritz Foundation, we’re able to help DC area nonprofits access expert professional services, saving them time and money so they can focus on serving their communities.”

Catchafire volunteers offer assistance on a wide variety of projects, including fundraising, data management, business systems development, translation, technical writing and graphic design.  All the volunteers are skilled professionals who apply to work on a nonprofit’s project and are matched if both parties agree to work together.  Local nonprofit organizations are reaping the rewards.

DC Special Education Cooperative, which works to ensure that all students with disabilities in the District of Columbia receive a rigorous, individualized and inclusive education preparing them for post-secondary success, has used Catchafire to improve internal systems.

“Catchafire support has helped our small nonprofit to address urgent matters and dig into projects that had been left on the back burner.  We have been so impressed with the level of expertise of Catchafire volunteers.  Their skill and dedication has freed up the Co-op team to focus on our mission.  This is a game-changing service for organizations like us,” said Julie Camerata, Executive Director at the DC Special Education Cooperative.

Greater Washington Community Foundation and Cafritz Foundation Launch $1 Million Arts Forward Fund

Washington, D.C. — Recognizing the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on arts and culture organizations throughout the region, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has joined with The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and eight other grantmakers to launch the Arts Forward Fund, a million-dollar initiative to provide critical support to help arts and culture organizations in the DC region to stabilize, adapt, and thrive despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Partners With Catchafire

Washington, D.C. — The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with Catchafire once again to bring time-sensitive capacity building support to nonprofits in the greater DC area. In the coming year, the Foundation will be increasing the number of nonprofits — from 120 to 250— that will have access to Catchafire’s virtual menu of projects, each with specific deliverables and project steps, to help them with their operational and capacity building needs.

Through this collaboration, 250 grantees will have access to skilled volunteers, empowering them to further their missions in the arts and humanities, community services, education, health and the environment.

“The Foundation is thrilled to offer the Catchafire platform to more of our grantees with smaller staff. Catchafire’s arrangement of volunteer support can help strengthen nonprofits’ infrastructure and build capacity while allowing teams to focus on achieving their organization’s programmatic goals,” says Tobi Printz-Platnick, Associate Director.

In our first year of partnership, the program saved nonprofits more than $450,000 by leveraging 2,168 hours from skill-based volunteers around the country on 135 projects. “It’s our first try with Catchafire and I can honestly say that in 20+ years of fundraising for small nonprofits, it’s the first time I’ve felt like something was really easy and helpful in getting the job done,” said Wendy B., at Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding, Inc., after matching with design volunteer Mary Kathleen who created a suite of event materials.

Through Catchafire’s innovative web-based platform and programming, nonprofits can advertise opportunities to a network of more than 10 million volunteers (pro-bono professionals) to help them with operational needs such as developing a website, building a strategic plan, designing a brochure, providing professional development and other areas of critical work.

Nonprofits post their immediate needs choosing from over 140 projects, already outlined with steps and deliverables. Talented professionals apply to complete these tasks. Organizations then select a professional to do the work. Through these engagements, volunteers become deeply connected to the mission of these nonprofits, often creating relationships that last long after the assignment is complete.

We are seeing that now, more than ever, nonprofits are leveraging Catchafire to help them with their COVID-19 related needs. Grantees like Common Good City Farm, an urban farm in DC, is engaging skills-based volunteers through Catchafire who are taking on the daily administrative work like writing thank you letters, budgeting, and copywriting, so the Common Good City Farm team can prioritize designing new programming that adheres to social distancing, and fundraising to make that possible.

Grantees that are selected to be part of this program will be learning more about how to take advantage of this resource in the coming weeks.

About The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is the largest private, independent, local foundation focused exclusively on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Foundation is the legacy of Morris Cafritz, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920’s to the mid-60’s. An outstanding civic leader known for his generosity, Morris Cafritz established the Foundation in 1948. His wife, Gwendolyn, one of Washington’s leading hostesses in the post-World War II years, was President of the Foundation from 1964 to 1988. In December 1988, Calvin Cafritz was elected to the Board of Directors and since February 1989, has served as Board Chairman. In July 1993, he was elected President and CEO of the Foundation.

Since 1970, when electronic record keeping was initiated, awards totaling more than $507 million have been granted. In the last 10 years, $194 million has been awarded to more than 985 organizations in the areas of Community Services, Arts and Humanities, Education, Health and the Environment. Since Mr. Cafritz’s leadership began, the Foundation has awarded more than $454 million to 10,433 projects.

The Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of the Washington, D.C. area.

About Catchafire

Catchafire is a full service, on-demand solution designed to address the wide-ranging and complex needs of nonprofits by connecting them with talented pro bono professionals. Through Catchafire’s innovative web-based platform and network of more than 10 million professionals, nonprofits have access to people with expert skills who can help them with operational needs such as developing a website, building a strategic plan, designing a brochure, professional development, and other areas of critical work. Catchafire’s scalable and cost-effective model makes it possible for grantmakers to provide a full suite of capacity building services to any nonprofit that the foundation seeks to serve. Catchafire and its foundation partners are not only helping nonprofits improve their capacity, sustainability, and effectiveness, but also leveling the playing field by making capacity building available to any nonprofit or changemaker.

Mardell Moffett Named Executive Director of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Washington, D.C. – Calvin Cafritz, Chairman of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, announced that Mardell Moffett has been named the Executive Director of the Foundation.

Ms. Moffett joined the Foundation in 1993. Over the years, she rose through the ranks, most recently serving as Associate Executive Director. According to Mr. Cafritz, “Mardell brings to her new role decades of proven leadership and extensive knowledge of the Washington region and the nonprofit community. Going forward, she will represent the Foundation well.”

During her tenure, Ms. Moffett has worked with organizations in each of the Foundation’s programmatic areas: the arts and humanities, health, education, community services and the environment. In addition to active participation with groups such as the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network and the former Community Development Support Collaborative, she has held numerous leadership positions with the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and the Washington AIDS Partnership. Currently, she is also serving on the Steering Committee of the Resilience Fund.

“I am truly honored to be appointed Executive Director. The Foundation has always been such an important part of the community. I welcome the opportunity to work with Mr. Cafritz, the Foundation Board and staff — and, following in the footsteps of Rose Ann Cleveland and Anne Allen, to continue supporting the region’s nonprofit organizations,” she commented.

Ms. Moffett has also worked for area nonprofits, including the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland (The Clarice) and the Washington National Opera in Washington, DC.

She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. In addition, Ms. Moffett has a Certificate in Integrative Nutrition and Health Counseling from Columbia University’s Union Teachers College.

Ms. Moffett succeeds Dr. Rose Ann Cleveland in this role. Dr. Cleveland joined the Foundation in 2005 and has served as Executive Director since 2006. She is retiring at the end of October 2017.

Founded in 1948, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is the largest private foundation serving the Washington area. For more information regarding this announcement, call Tobi Printz-Platnick, Senior Program Officer, at 202-223-3100.