In June 1996, Terri Lee Freeman joined The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region as President (then known as Foundation for the National Capital Region). After 18 years of service to our region, Terri is resigning that post.
Throughout her tenure, Terri has spearheaded dramatic growth for the Foundation. In 2000, we had just over 200 component funds totaling $94 million. Today, we have 786 component funds totaling $328 million. At our recent 40th anniversary celebration, Terri told the crowd: “When I came to The Community Foundation in 1996, we were giving out roughly $10 million a year in grants. In 2013, we distributed $10 million in December alone! This, in a nutshell, describes our history – GROWTH: growth in assets; growth in grants; growth in impact.”
“Growth in impact” has been a cornerstone of Terri’s leadership. During her tenure, The Community Foundation has moved from simply making grants to moving an agenda – one where equity, access, and opportunity are available to all residents of the metropolitan Washington region: helping lead the formation of Raise DC and serving as the backbone organization for its collective impact education work; working with local corporations to support workforce development efforts in the District of Columbia; forming the Greater Washington Workforce Collaborative, which has made grants totaling $1.9 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the region; and most recently, releasing “Housing Security in the Washington Region,” a first-of-its-kind study on affordable housing.
Terri’s leadership and collaborative style have helped our community through difficult times. After September 11, 2001, she moved quickly to establish the Survivors’ Fund to benefit those affected by the attack at the Pentagon. And again, in 2005, the Katrina Open Arms Fund was established to support New Orleans natives relocating to this region. In 2008, when the economy was turned upside down, Terri urged the Board to redirect funding to establish the Neighbors In Need Fund to provide emergency funding to safety net organizations throughout the region. What began as a $250,000 investment made grants totaling nearly $5 million over a two-year period to organizations that provided emergency support to residents across our region.
“I’d like to think that I have worked to improve the quality of life for the region’s citizens in the best of times – like new funding for nonprofit organizations through the City Fund – and the worst of times – like the Navy Yard shootings. It’s been my hope that my work has contributed to the development of a far more caring and sophisticated philanthropic community, as well as helped make this community one that readily meets the needs of its residents,” said Terri. “But what I will miss the most are the incredible people I’ve worked with at the staff, Board, and community levels.”
Terri leaves the Community Foundation to pursue her passion for civil rights and social justice as the President of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
“It is an understatement to say that we will miss Terri. Her contributions to this Foundation and this community have been many and have made our region a better place to live. I have no doubt that her commitment to social justice will find a perfect home at the National Civil Rights Museum. As Terri begins this next phase of her career, The Community Foundation will continue to grow, thrive, and be the community’s go-to partner in philanthropy,” said Board chairman Martin Weinstein. “We will be establishing a search committee over the next several weeks. In the meantime, we are happy to have Angela Jones Hackley serve as our interim President.”
Terri will be with The Community Foundation until mid to late September.
– The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region