February 25, 2010
By Betsy Nelson
Special to The Daily Record
four years, the world watches the Olympics to see the best athletes
excel in their chosen sport and compete for medals for being at the top
of their field.
For the world of charitable giving, we look to
the National Philanthropy Day celebration, hosted by the Association of
Fundraising Professionals (AFP-Maryland), as the event where awards are
presented yearly for being most philanthropic. Arthur B. and Patricia B. Modell were honored as AFP-Maryland's 2009 Outstanding Philanthropists of the Year and the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) was honored as the 2009 Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation of the Year.
and Pat Modell's leadership and vision have altered the philanthropic
landscape in Baltimore, having donated tens of millions of dollars to
over 20 nonprofits throughout the state. As owners of the Baltimore
Ravens, the Modells set an example for the team regarding community
Art Modell encouraged all Ravens players to get
involved in the community, pushed senior executives to join charitable
boards, and promoted the message of "giving back."
The Baltimore Community Foundation
has had a significant impact on our community since its founding in
1972. In 2009 alone, the foundation distributed $22 million to hundreds
of nonprofit organizations in the Baltimore region and beyond.
by a 32-member board of trustees consisting of a cross-section of
Baltimore and with assets of $148 million, BCF comprises more than 600
charitable funds. The foundation serves as a grantor, convener and
innovator, helping people and organizations carry out their individual
charitable plans with the common goal of improving the quality of life
in the Greater Baltimore region and beyond.
By connecting donors
with the wealth of expertise and information available at the
foundation and by creating a community of donors who share ideas and
aspirations, BCF is a leader in encouraging philanthropy in Baltimore.
part of the celebration, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and Baltimore
Business Journal also awarded the Maryland Business Philanthropy Awards
to three businesses whose philanthropic efforts have made Maryland a
better place to live, work and do business:
- Aircon Engineering
was the Small Employer Winner (1-100 employees). The family and
company are known throughout the Cumberland community for their
integrity, community generosity and leadership. With only 19 employees,
this company donated more than $38,000 in the last 12 months to various
- Merritt Properties was chosen as
the Medium Employer Winner (101-500 employees). Consistently ranking
among the most philanthropic firms in the Baltimore area, Merritt
Properties gave more than $4 million to organizations last year. In
addition, employees of this firm volunteered 3,000 hours in 2008 to
- W.R. Grace and Co. was the
Large Employer Winner (more than 501 employees). Each year, this
company's foundation donates more than $1 million to various charities,
with 30 percent to 40 percent going to Maryland agencies. Overall, the
community involvement philosophy of this firm encouraged employees to
donate more than 1,250 hours of volunteer time.
spirit of admiring those who are "best in show," we applaud these
award-winning philanthropists, foundations and corporations who make
such a difference in our community.
Betsy Nelson, President of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, writes every other week for The Daily Record. She can be reached at 410-727-1205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.