Upper Marlboro developer creates $600,000 fund for nonprofits -- Gazette.Net


Prince George’s County nonprofits will have 600,000 more reasons to apply for grants in the coming spring thanks to Westphalia developer The Walton Group of Companies.

The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County and Walton announced Tuesday a three-year fund totaling $600,000. The Walton Community Fund is targeted toward Prince George’s County nonprofits that focus on education and children’s programs, said Desiree Griffin-Moore, executive director of The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County.

The Community Foundation is an organization that connects nonprofits to resources, such as grant money, to keep those organizations running effectively.

Funding will come in three $200,000 installments and will be distributed through foundation, Griffin-Moore said. The foundation handles a similar type of fund with National Harbor, Griffin-Moore said.

Griffin-Moore said the fund is a demonstration of Walton’s desire to improve the community.

“I think it is important that a big company is committing to seeing Prince George’s County grow,” Griffin-Moore said.

Walton, the developer of the $2 billion Westphalia project in Upper Marlboro, does this in every community it develops in, said Walton CEO Bill Doherty.

“It is not just about receiving, it is about giving,” Doherty said. “We do this everywhere we do business. It is something instilled in me.”

A grant review committee, compromised of seven community members ranging from county business leaders to a pastor, has been formed and it will meet and begin discussing more specific logistics on distributing the money, Griffin-Moore said.

Nonprofits seeking the money must meet a set of criteria of serving in Prince George’s County, having at least a three-year track record and operating as a 501(c)(3) outfit, according to the grant requirements.

Preference will be given to education projects and nonprofits that operate in south county as Walton has a significant investment there and has a relationship with organizations in that area, said Rick Abbruzzese, a Walton spokesman.

Doherty said the three-year plan gives Walton an opportunity to see how its money is used, Doherty said. He said it was “highly likely” that the fund will continue longer than the three years.

“We are very excited to be working with Prince George’s County and to see which foundations request funds,” he said.

Rob Howze, executive director of Mentoring to Manhood, said he plans to apply for some of the money from the Walton Fund. His Bowie-based nonprofit focuses on tutoring and mentoring Prince George’s County youths ages 12 to 18. The nonprofit wants to continue expanding its tutoring from group sessions to include individual checkups with students during the week that could be possible with money from the Walton Fund, Howze said.

“We need it. It is imperative,” Howze said. “Without the support funds, we can’t bring in academic support.”