Sharing Prince George’s County: Individuals and families connect with nonprofits to understand local needs

The Sharing Prince George’s County initiative gives us the opportunity to conduct Site Visits with several nonprofits in the County. Those who join us include our board members, donor advisors, business leaders and other nonprofit professionals. Last week we asked one of our participants, a donor with a charitable fund at the Community Foundation, to describe how site visits help families shape their philanthropic goals to meet local needs. Check out the responses below.

  1. Why did you choose to engage in these site visits? The Sharing Prince George’s County site visits offer a way for me to increase my understanding of key issues and nonprofits in Prince George’s County. By joining a site visit already scheduled I can engage in a way that respects valuable staff time for nonprofit leaders.
  2. What aspect(s) of the visit was most valuable to you? First, I am always interested in how individual nonprofits fit into the broader community context. This is especially true for those programs that address challenges common to those in need across our region’s jurisdictional lines. There is great work happening throughout the area and much to learn from each other.   The Training Source is the go-to workforce development nonprofit in Prince George’s County. The site visit gave me a chance to see their program in action, meet key staff, board members and clients, and get a much better sense of their individual impact as well as potential to be part of a broader effort connecting people to opportunity throughout the region.   Second, I find the dialogue between the nonprofit leadership and guests from different philanthropic organizations definitely enriches what I may have taken away from an individual meeting. By making it a group conversation, new connections, ideas and resources are offered and shared.
  3. What do you see as a critical action step that needs to happen to help this nonprofit carry out its goals? I was very taken with the outcomes for the Training Source. They seem to provide an excellent program to the clients they are able to serve. Unfortunately the need is tremendous. So for me, the question is how do they grow without jeopardizing impact?
  4. How will visits like this help you carry out your philanthropic goals? As a fund holder at the Community Foundation, we can pursue our individual family philanthropic goals while at the same time be part of a larger community of givers. Site visits like those offered through Sharing Prince George’s County initiative offer us a chance to simply be better neighbors. We walk away better informed about pressing needs in the DC area and local efforts stepping up to address them. Moreover, seeing and hearing how other donors evaluate grantees stimulates thinking about our own grantmaking. No matter where you enter the world of charitable giving, there is always more to learn and the Community Foundation is a great resource to leverage.
  5. What advice can you offer to aspiring philanthropists or nonprofit professionals?   None of us can address community needs alone or in a vacuum. Embrace opportunities for dialogue with leaders in the nonprofit community, among current and potential donors, and with those we serve.   Hopefully with honest and open dialog we can develop strategic and sustainable partnerships enhancing community life for all of us.