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Celebration of Philanthropy goes "Virtual"
Renee Houston Zemanski Joins CFAAC
CFAAC has Moved

CFAAC has granted $219,000+ in Community Crisis Response Relief
Community Crisis Response Fund Cycle 5 is Now Accepting Applications

Women and Girls Fund is Now Accepting Applications
Environment Anne Arundel Fund is Now Accepting Applications
CFAAC Grants for Teachers Application Opens August 17
Help Our Neighbors Grant Application Opens September 1
Chaney Enterprises Foundation Fund Grant Cycle 2 is Now Open
Community Grants

Keep clients informed about stress on the social sector
Advocacy efforts accelerate and expand to help communities
IRS ruling helps employers and employees aid pandemic victims

CFAAC Celebrates 20 years of Philanthropy with 20 Awards on November 5

CFAAC's Celebration of Philanthropy is going to be a little different this year. In addition to its tradition of honoring five community philanthropists and volunteers, CFAAC has added 15 new categories, creating 20 awards to commemorate the 20th year for CFAAC’s Celebration of Philanthropy. Due to COVID-19-related social distancing and gathering restrictions, the November 5, 2020 award ceremony will be held virtually.

“It is our goal to make the day just as exciting for the awardees and the communities they serve,” said Mary Spencer, President & CEO of CFAAC. “Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the date.”

The nomination deadline has been extended through August 20, 2020. Celebration of Philanthropy awards recognize individuals, families, businesses, foundations, volunteer groups, nonprofit staff, and elected officials who demonstrate exceptional generosity by donating their time, talent, or financial resources to make a positive impact on philanthropy in Anne Arundel County.

The nomination and selection process will also look different. Nomination forms have been updated and simplified, allowing for an increased number of supporting documents as well as input from the nominees, their families, friends, and colleagues. The selection committee for the new awards will include nonprofit and community leaders, while the five original awards will be selected by previous years’ honorees.

“We are hoping that nonprofit organizations, community members, community advocates, and members of the faith communities nominate any group, business, family or individual who motivates others and steps up to take care of our community. It can be an outstanding group of volunteers, a public/private collaboration, a community leader, a young person, or a single staff member who goes above and beyond for a nonprofit,” added Spencer.

Do you know an individual, family, or business making a difference in Anne Arundel County who demonstrates exceptional generosity by donating their time, talent, or financial resources? Consider nominating them for a 2020 Celebration of Philanthropy Award. To learn more about the event, view the categories and descriptions, or to download a nomination form click here.

If you have questions, need assistance, or if you would like to discuss a nomination, please call Amy Francis at 410.280.1102. Email completed nomination forms, written statements, and supporting documents to

Celebration of Philanthropy - Learn More & Nominate

Renee Houston Zemanski Joins CFAAC

We are pleased to announce that Renee Houston Zemanski joined CFAAC as a Communications Specialist in July 2020. She works with the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, the Director of Development, and other members of the CFAAC staff to create and write marketing, communications, public relations, and event materials for the organization.

Renee is an award-winning editor and writer with more than 30 years editorial, writing, and public relations experience and is the author of thousands of online and print articles. For the past 22 years, Renee has owned and operated her own communications business offering her clients editorial and communication services, specializing in publication consulting and development. She has taken the lead on projects for the University of Florida, Kaiser-Permanente, the University of Maryland, and Personal Best. Renee was a regular columnist and contributing editor for several local magazines and newspapers.

Prior to starting her own business, Renee was the Strategic Communication Manager at USF&G Insurance in Baltimore, where she managed the company’s internal and external publications as well as consulted with the company’s departments to develop multi-media solutions.

Renee and her husband have lived in Anne Arundel County for 31 years, where they raised their three sons. During those years, she volunteered throughout the county, taking on many roles for various nonprofits. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University, and has continued her education through online classes.Renee can be reached at  

On July 6th, CFAAC officially moved to our new office, located at 900 Bestgate Road, Suite 400, Annapolis, MD 21401. Our phone number remains the same, 410.280.1102. 

We look forward to welcoming all of our friends and nonprofit colleagues as soon as possible. 



CFAAC continues to make an impact on Anne Arundel County’s nonprofit community by distributing more than $219,000 in Community Crisis Response Fund Grants

Since the start of the pandemic in March, CFAAC's Community Crisis Response Fund has rapidly funded more than 100 grants totaling $219,000 to county nonprofits. In its fourth and most recent grant cycle, the fund awarded $32,000 to 15 Anne Arundel County nonprofits serving the county’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations, including seniors, children, low-income or food-insecure families, and the recently unemployed.

As in previous cycles, the most recent grants provided funding for organizations to purchase and distribute food and essential items to maintain safe and healthy environments. Funding was also awarded to organizations providing scholarships for low-income children to attend summer camp in order for a parent to return to work, and assistance for individuals facing homelessness as a result of COVID-19. Click here to learn more about the 4th cycle grantees.

Community Crisis Response Fund Cycle 5 is Now Accepting Applications

The number of people affected by the COVID-19 virus in Anne Arundel County has continued to grow, and for some, the effects have been dire. Through its Community Crisis Response Fund, CFAAC will continue to assist local nonprofits addressing the increase in community needs and demand for services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Grants will be made in the following impact areas: food security, support for basic human needs, and housing insecurity and homelessness.

Grant applications are available through this Friday, August 14th at 6:00 p.m.

Community Crisis Response Fund - Learn More & Apply

CFAAC is committed to helping our community by providing emergency funding to local nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continually adapt and expand our grantmaking efforts based on the needs of the community, for as long as funding is available. Please consider making a gift to CFAAC's Community Crisis Response Fund so that we are prepared with funding as the needs in the community evolve.

Donate to the Community Crisis Response Fund


CFAAC Women and Girls Fund is Now Accepting Applications

Grants from the Women and Girls Fund will be used to support nonprofits that help women and girls pursue positive, productive lives by helping remove barriers, increase their economic security, enhance their well-being and safety, and empower them to make positive life decisions for themselves and their families.

The Women and Girls Fund will award one or two $3000 to $5000 grants, based on available funding. Grants will be made to non-profit organizations working to improve the lives of vulnerable women and girls living in Anne Arundel through:

  • Education
  • Expanding Opportunities
  • Health and Wellness

The grant application deadline is September 15, 2020.

Women & Girls Fund - Learn More & Apply

CFAAC Environment Anne Arundel Fund is Now Accepting Applications

CFAAC Environment Anne Arundel Fund, established in 2014, supports Anne Arundel County nonprofit organizations working to protect and improve the environment in Anne Arundel County and the Chesapeake Bay.

Successful grant applicants will support projects that improve and green communities, address environmental issues such as stormwater, and/or increase student awareness and involvement in the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay, local streams and rivers, and other natural areas. Local nonprofits, including schools operating in Anne Arundel County, will be eligible to apply for these funds.

The Environment Anne Arundel Fund will award one or two $3000 to $5000 grants, based on available funding. Applications should demonstrate the non-profits’ ability to

  • educate the public on protecting the natural environment,
  • raise awareness of the impact of public and private actions on the natural environment,
  • engage citizens to help improve and protect the natural environment.

The grant application deadline is September 15, 2020.

Environment Anne Arundel Fund - Learn More & Apply

CFAAC Grants for Teachers Application Opening August 17th

The purpose of the CFAAC Grants 4 Teachers program is to fund highly creative ideas that would otherwise be impossible due to school system funding constraints. Under the circumstances of the pandemic, this grant is meant to help fund teachers' ideas to stimulate and inspire our students learning in the virtual environment.

The Grants 4 Teachers grants committee awards grants ranging from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $500. Applications are due on September 30, 2020. 

Grants 4 Teachers - Learn More

CFAAC Help Our Neighbors Grant Application Opening September 1st

CFAAC's Help Our Neighbors Fund was created in 2008, to support local nonprofits working with Anne Arundel County's most vulnerable community members. The fund assists with living expenses like paying rent to prevent eviction, utilities to prevent shut-off, fees for transportation to work or car repair, or for essential medication and medical care to return to or maintain health. CFAAC will be attentive to differences within populations experiencing emergency needs due to COVID-19 and those who are at a heightened risk for or are experiencing long-term housing, employment, and food insecurity. Applications are due on September 30, 2020.  

Help Our Neighbors - Learn More

Chaney Enterprises Foundation Fund Grant Cycle 2 is Now Open

The Chaney Foundation’s mission is "to make a concrete contribution to positively affect the well-being of the communities we serve by investing human and financial resources ... because we believe it's the right thing to do." The Chaney Foundation exemplifies this mission by generously supporting a plethora of local nonprofits in the communities where the company does business, and where the Chaney families and company employees live.

The Chaney Foundation was named the 2019 Foundation of the Year at the annual CFAAC Celebration of Philanthropy Awards Luncheon. Last year, the Fund made grants to more than 45 nonprofits throughout communities where the company does business in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia, in the impact areas of Education & Workforce, Environment, Health, Arts & Culture, and promoting a Safe Workplace.

To date, the Chaney Enterprises Foundation Fund has awarded more than $185,000 to 15 organizations throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Grant applications for cycle 2 are open to all nonprofits in the Chaney Enterprises service area, including Anne Arundel County nonprofits, and will be accepted through August 30, 2020.

Chaney Grants - Learn More & Apply

Community Grants

Anne Arundel Small Business Grant Fund available for Nonprofits

Anne Arundel County’s Small Business Customer and Employee Protection (CEP) Grant Program is now open. Qualified small businesses, including nonprofit organizations, may apply for up to $10,000 for the reimbursement or purchase of products and services that can help them pivot their business as the economy reopens and implement safety measures for customers and employees. Details on qualifications, instructions, and access to the application are on the CEP grant page.


Keep clients informed about stress on the social sector

Early evidence shows that total 2020 giving will decline significantly. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, giving declined six percent during the first quarter of 2020, which translates to $5 billion in lost revenue to nonprofit organizations. One of the most important ways you can help your clients support the charities they care about is to do everything you can to keep clients informed about the increasing challenges faced by the social sector. Read more on our blog for professional advisors.

Advocacy efforts accelerate and expand to help communities

A silver lining of the pandemic and struggling economy is an unprecedented effort by philanthropic leaders to ensure that communities stay supported through fiscal and tax incentives for nonprofits and charitable giving. We encourage you to seek out and share examples of what’s going on in the philanthropic sector to help ease the burden of COVID-19. Read more on our blog for professional advisors.

IRS ruling helps employers and employees aid pandemic victims 

In Notice 2020-46, the IRS said compensation treatment will not be triggered when an employer makes cash payments to a charitable organization based on employees’ forgoing vacation, personal, or sick days. So-called “leave donation programs” are becoming popular ways for employees to make meaningful contributions to organizations in need. Read more on our blog for professional advisors.


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