Advancing Equity

Dear Friends,

Since the release of our 2015 strategic plan, the board and staff at the Meyer Foundation have explored what it would mean to fully incorporate a racial equity lens into all areas of our work. While acknowledging the urgency of equity, we also recognized the need to be intentional and deliberate about how to best incorporate this lens internally and externally, and with great reverence to the historic and present climate of the Greater Washington area.

To ensure our grantmaking activities are driven by our region, we’ve spent time in deep reflection; collecting input from the community; learning more about ourselves and from one another; and looking to our grantee partners for their expertise and our partners in philanthropy for inspiration and guidance as our work and approaches evolved. As we’re on this learning journey, this deep engagement throughout the region continues to make our priorities clearer and our grantmaking stronger.

Leading us here.

Advancing Equity, a restatement of Meyer’s strategy, makes clear our commitment to the people in our region, our vision for an equitable Greater Washington, and our approach to working toward that vision—using our grantmaking, our power to convene, our willingness to advocate, and our commitment to fostering collective action.

We recognize that this is difficult work, and racial disparities created over generations will not dissolve overnight. We also know for certain that without a clear commitment to racial equity, continuous listening and learning, and a strong plan, we will continue to be trapped within cycles of disenfranchisement, contributing to the very issues we seek to solve.

As always, we thank our many partners for being on this journey with us and for their tireless efforts—all in the name of advancing equity.


Nicky Goren
Nicky Goren
President and CEO

2017 Highlights

In 2017, the Meyer Foundation:

2017 Highlights
  • Disbursed nearly $7.5 million throughout the Greater Washington region.

  • Awarded two visionary nonprofit leaders and their organizations with Julie L. Rogers Sabbatical Program grants in the second year of the program’s implementation.

  • Participated in an external evaluation that assessed the impact of our capacity-building grant program in one of the largest and most comprehensive examinations of foundation capacity grantmaking ever conducted.

  • Continued an ongoing partnership with the Consumer Health Foundation to convene a series of community conversations with residents in Washington, DC to highlight opportunities for policy change.

  • Contributed to efforts that support affordable housing in our region with a $1 million program-related investment through Our Region, Your Investment. (Approved in 2016.)

  • Further developed the 2015 strategic plan for building an equitable Greater Washington community. This culminated in a restatement of our strategic plan that also serves as the inspiration behind our 2017 annual report, Advancing Equity.




In 2017, The Meyer Foundation disbursed nearly $7.5 million across the Greater Washington region.

Throughout the year, Meyer focused heavily on incorporating racial equity into organizational and programmatic work. The Foundation also had less money for grantmaking in 2017 than in 2016. Our endowment—which directly influences the amount of grant money we can award—was slightly smaller in 2017, due to lower returns on investments over the past three years. In addition, we had substantial prior-year commitments for both transition grants and multi-year grants.

This combination of factors meant that Meyer had almost no grant dollars in 2017 to support new work or to increase grants for current grantees. As a result, Meyer opted to conduct an invitation-only grant cycle in the second half of the year for existing grantee partners seeking to renew their grants.

Beyond Grantmaking

Beyond Grantmaking

Our vision of a just, connected, and inclusive Greater Washington community extends beyond grantmaking to include capacity building, collective action, and convening and advocacy. These strategies intersect to support our partner’s efforts to improve the lives of economically-disadvantaged people of color in our region.

  • Capacity Building

    Meyer invests in the capacity and sustainability of grantee organizations and their leaders. In 2017, we did this through:

    Leading for Impact

    Meyer continued its partnership with the nonprofit and consulting advisory firm, The Bridgespan Group, to provide training, coaching, and consulting support to the leadership teams at a total of 50 Washington region nonprofit organizations over the span of five years. The program gives the staff of locally-focused organizations the opportunity to hone strategic and organizational management skills and apply those skills to community projects with great impact.

    Capacity-Building Program (formerly known as our Organizational Effectiveness Program)

    In 2017, Meyer awarded 38 capacity-building grants as part of the Organizational Effectiveness Program totaling $1,054,200 in the Greater Washington region.

    Organizational Effectiveness Grants

    The Organizational Effectiveness Program provided grants to help nonprofits strengthen their management and leadership, assess and increase impact, expand their resources, and assisted organizations and networks in aligning to meet shared community goals.

    Organizational Effectiveness Partners Grants

    The Organizational Effectiveness Partners Program was a targeted, cohort-based, high-impact program that strengthened the organizational effectiveness of grantee partners and provided opportunities for shared learning and networking.

    Meyer’s capacity-building initiatives were also evaluated in 2017 in one of the largest and most comprehensive examinations of foundation capacity-building grants ever conducted.

    Julie L. Rogers Sabbatical Program

    The Julie L. Rogers Sabbatical Program, launched in 2014 in honor of Meyer’s outgoing president of 28 years, is aimed at replenishing the stores of energy and inspiration of visionary nonprofit leaders in the Greater Washington region and strengthening the organizations they lead.




  • Collective Action

    Meyer supports and participates in efforts to align the work of multiple organizations and sectors working toward shared goals and promotes collaborative approaches and work to attract additional capital to those efforts. In 2017, we supported:

    The Resilience Fund

    Formed in partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation, the Resilience Fund was established to fund the critical needs of nonprofits working to support the region’s vulnerable communities in light of changes in federal policy. The Fund has focused on changes in international travel, immigration, and deportation policies that have an impact on residents and families in the Greater Washington region. In the future, the Fund may focus on supporting policy analysis and advocacy around federal budget proposals that would have an adverse impact on the region.

    In 2017, the Fund surpassed its initial $500,000 fundraising goal, supporting organizations working in the areas of immigrant rights, grassroots community engagement, and anti-bullying and anti-bigotry.

    Raise DC

    Raise DC is a cross-sector partnership of local stakeholders formed to promote a culture shift from competition over Washington, DC resources, to collaboration in providing every youth with opportunities to succeed from cradle to career.

    Montgomery Moving Forward

    Montgomery Moving Forward builds on collective people power and talent in Montgomery County, MD to bring together committed and invested leaders from all of the county’s communities and professions to work together to solve problems.

    Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative

    The Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative, an initiative of the Greater Washington Community Foundation, is a coalition of local workforce investors with a common commitment to address poverty and income inequality by helping workers advance their skills and credentials to earn family-sustaining wages.

    Early Care and Education Collaborative

    The Early Care and Education Funders Collaborative, an initiative of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, is a multi-year, multi-million dollar collective funding effort to increase the quality and capacity of, and access to, early care and education in the Washington region.

    Thriving Germantown Community HUB

    The Thriving Germantown Community HUB provides an integrated response to increasing economic and social disparities found in Germantown, MD. The Community HUB acts as a central clearinghouse that assesses and tracks individual and family risk factors and establishes pathways for achieving measurable outcomes. The HUB has three areas of focus: Service Linkage, Resource Development, and Community Empowerment.



  • Convening and Advocacy

    Meyer leverages its knowledge and social capital to convene around issues that require bold leadership and action and is a regional voice on systemic racism and other barriers that prevent shared prosperity. In 2017, Meyer’s convening and advocacy efforts included:

    DC in Color: Advancing Health, Economic, and Racial Equity

    The Meyer Foundation and the Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) invited District residents, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders to gather at the Catholic University of America in an ongoing dialogue about shared challenges in the lives of residents and possible solutions toward a more equitable DC. The event was the culmination of a series of in-depth, ward-level community discussions in which residents from wards 3, 4, 5, 7, and 8 (wards with the largest numbers of residents of color) explored solutions to advancing racial equity in their communities. The event was also a follow-up to last year’s “DC in Color: Advancing Health, Economic, and Racial Equity,” where attendees unpacked the findings of the 2016 Urban Institute digital feature, A Vision for an Equitable DC, commissioned by Meyer and CHF.

    Communications and Social Media

    In 2017, Meyer continued using its platform to elevate urgent issues that challenged the Greater Washington region and beyond.

    Read 2017 messages from Meyer:




In 2017, the Meyer Foundation disbursed nearly $7.5 million across the Greater Washington region.

  • Financials

    2017 Grant Commitments

    Program Area Amount Number
    CFCBI $102,110 5
    Capacity Building $1,054,200 38
    DC $2,280,125 67
    MD $780,000 27
    VA $570,000 21
    Region $1,114,000 36
    Total $5,900,435 194

    Meyer Grant Commitments

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    Meyer Grant Payments

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    These totals exclude 2010-2016 commitments and payments for the Children and Family Capacity-Building Initiative (CFCBI); 2017 includes CFCBI.

    Statements of Financial Position (December 31, 2017 and 2016)

    Assets 2017 2016
    Cash and cash equivalents $3,158,535 $1,085,850
    Accounts and interest receivable $152,462 $165,670
    Prepaid expenses and deposits $170,163 $180,488
    Prepaid federal excise tax $38,183 $189,824
    Investments/cash - deferred compensation $134,329 $154,110
    Due from investment manager $262,012 $3,517,046
    Investments $222,112,535 $198,072,068
    Program related investments $1,000,000
    Property and equipment, net $423,066 $569,960
    Total assets $227,451,285 $203,935,016
    Liabilities and Net Assets 2017 2016
    Accounts payable and accrued expenses $157,902 $109,100
    Grants payable, net $1,470,500 $3,069,709
    Deferred revenue $66,343
    Deferred federal excise tax $1,238,047 $826,487
    Deferred rent $433,391 $535,693
    Deferred compensation $134,329 $154,110
    Total liabilities $3,434,169 $4,761,442
    Net Assets
    Unrestricted net assets $224,017,116 $199,146,474
    Temporarily restricted $27,100
    Total net assets $224,017,116 $199,173,574
    Total liabilities and net assets $227,451,285 $203,935,016

    Statements of Activities (December 31, 2017 and 2016)

    Support and Revenue Unrestricted Temp. Restricted Total 2017 Total 2016
    Dividends and interest on investments $2,754,396 $2,754,396 $3,072,202
    Net realized gains on sale of investments $12,978,192 $12,978,192 $4,957,967
    Unrealized gain (loss) on investments $20,578,015 $20,578,015 $4,669,187
    Less investment expenses $1,472,748 $1,472,748 $1,158,891
    Net investment return $34,837,855 $34,837,855 $11,540,465
    Other income $105,425 $105,425 $43,544
    Net assets released from restrictions $27,100 ($27,100)
    Total Support and Revenue $34,970,380 ($27,100) $34,943,280 $11,584,009
    Grant awards $5,893,226 $5,893,226 $8,455,375
    Direct charitable activities $2,812,302 $2,812,302 $2,780,131
    Operations and governance $831,009 $831,009 $772,752
    Federal excise tax $151,641 $151,641 $59,676
    (Benefit) provision for deferred federal excise tax $411,560 $411,560 $93,384
    Total Expenses $10,099,738 $10,099,738 $12,151,318
    Change in Net Assets $24,870,642 ($27,100) $24,843,542 ($567,309)
    Net Assets
    Beginning of year $199,146,474 $27,100 $199,173,574 $199,740,883
    End of year $224,017,116 $224,017,116 $199,173,574

    Download Our Financial Statements  

    View our 2016 990-PF Tax Return