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Meet the Catalogue’s New Intern!

The Catalogue is excited to welcome our new Nonprofit Management Intern, Zariah Tolman! Please allow her to introduce herself in this interview:

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  1. Tell us about yourself!

I am from a tiny town in Wyoming of only 50 people! I would drive twenty miles to my K-12 school each day. Attending Montana State University in the “big city” of Bozeman, Montana started out as a large challenge. The struggles I had growing up in rural Wyoming and trying to transition to college have greatly inspired my career interests: to address disparities that rural youth/teens experience!

I was a pre-med student at Montana State, double-majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry and double-minoring in Biomedical Engineering and Global Health! Over the course of college, I went from wanting to pursue medicine, to pursuing MD/PhD programs, to pursuing only grad school. I will be applying to Master’s and PhD programs this fall to study Social/Behavioral Intervention, Community Health, or Global Health!

  1. What made you interested in joining the Catalogue?

One of the experiences that has helped me realize I did not want to pursue medicine has been my journey in founding a nonprofit for rural youth/teens to help them be more connected to themselves and their communities. It started out as a side-project and has become the primary focus of my gap year! This experience has been influential in interesting me in the nonprofit sector as a whole.

Another life-changing experience I had was being awarded the Truman scholarship which, in addition to supporting graduate education, has a program called Summer Institute. The Trumans chose internships of choice from a massive list and luckily the Catalogue was number four on the list. After I read about the work that the Catalogue does, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team.

  1. What experience have you had with nonprofits?

I have volunteered with several nonprofits, and then I am starting my own. There is Health Equity Circle which addresses health disparities across Montana using community organizing principles, we also work closely with the Area Health Education Center to take those principles and interprofessional education principles to rural Montana. Thrive in Bozeman coordinated a mentorship between myself and a high schooler. The Atlas Culture Foundation, founded by a Bozeman-ite, took me to Morocco to teach French to village children. I conducted research in Uganda through Love Volunteers, and currently coordinate donors to support Ugandan education through It Takes a Village. I am consistently amazed at how many people are working to improve the lives of others, and I think all of these experiences have encouraged me to pursue a career that can increase collaborations and networking between organizations to further create impact.

  1. What are you looking forward to in this internship?

I am looking forward to so much! I am excited to learn more about how nonprofits work and how to create resources for nonprofits. This is also the first time I have been part of a professional team (vs a student-led campus organization), and I am looking forward to see how the team works together to accomplish their goals. I am also very grateful to learn more about effective story-telling. I learned over 3 years of molecular research and research in Uganda that even if you have compelling statistics, the way to truly reach people, garner support, and create empathy is through story-telling. The story-telling will also help me get to know the incredible work partners are doing, which will help me to be inspired!

  1. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to adventure, which manifests itself in motorcycling (always wearing a helmet, of course, as I whip around on my R6), snowboarding, pole-vaulting (I’ve gotten to coach high schoolers the last two years which was amazing), cliff jumping, camping (I was in Yosemite National Park for spring break with my boyfriend when California began to shut down from the pandemic), trail-running, travelling, you name it!

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An Update on Our Response to COVID-19

At the Catalogue for Philanthropy, it is our mission to shine a light on and support those organizations that are on the ground doing the hard work to help our neighbors in need and make the Greater Washington region a better place to live for everyone. With the spread of COVID-19, our partners, and the nonprofit community as whole, are confronted with an unprecedented challenge, one that threatens not only the critical services they provide, but also the organizations themselves. And the Catalogue stands ready to help.

To meet the immediate needs of our partners and to expand the reach of our work, the Catalogue will be making the following changes to our programming effective immediately:

    • Webinars and Workshops. We recognize that the challenges presented by COVID-19 affect not only our nonprofit partners, but also other small-to-midsized organizations struggling to find their footing in this new reality. To help all those organizations looking for guidance and resources, we will be temporarily making our webinars available for free to any nonprofit interested in taking advantage of the tools we have to offer. This includes our Core and Elective workshops, which we have converted to virtual learning opportunities. You can view a full listing of our upcoming webinars and virtual workshops along with registration links by clicking here.
    • New Webinar Offerings. Social distancing presents unique challenges not only for programs requiring in-person interaction, but for fundraising as well, especially for those organizations forced to postpone/cancel events as a result of COVID-19. To help our partners and other organizations develop alternative approaches, we have developed and will be hosting a series of webinars addressing these issues. They are included in the list of upcoming offerings linked to above.
    • One-on-One Consulting. Our nonprofit partners often reach out to us seeking advice on specific issues or scenarios with which they are faced and their need for this type of resource is even greater now. To help meet this need, next week we will begin publishing “office hours” during which Catalogue staff will set aside time to be available by telephone and Slack to provide this type of advice and guidance.
    • Virtual Event/Campaign. We understand that the most immediate need most of our nonprofits have right now is funds and resources that will enable them to ensure their programs continue both during this crisis and after it has ended. One of the Catalogue’s greatest strengths is our ability to connect our partners with those who can provide those resources and we are working on a plan to do just that. We are considering our options for a virtual event and/or campaign that features the work and needs of our partners. As plans for this advance we will share more information with you about the event and how you can help. In the meantime, if you would like to make a contribution to one or more of these wonderful organizations, needless to say, we would be most grateful. You can click here to find a cause or causes that speak to you.

As the COVID-19 spread continues, we will constantly evaluate other ways that the Catalogue can help our partners and the nonprofit community during these challenging times – and we will keep you abreast of our efforts.

Our hearts go out to clients being served by so many of our nonprofits – people who don’t have access to healthcare, don’t have stable housing, and otherwise lack the resources to protect themselves and their families. Our hearts also go out to all nonprofits whose programs may be at risk and whose staff is courageously continuing to serve our communities during this trying time.

We encourage donors to support these organizations as they continue to support the most vulnerable among us and keep this city safe and vibrant. We are very much aware that the volatility of the stock market may make philanthropy seem like a luxury. We assure you that it is not. The healthier this community stays – all of its members and all of its important programs and institutions – the healthier we all stay, in body and in mind.

We thank you for your support and for all that you make possible. And we wish you, your family, your friends, and co-workers all the best.

The Catalogue Team

A Note from the Catalogue about Our Response to COVID-19

Dear Friends,

We recognize these are tough times for members of this and other communities, and we wanted to take a moment to share with you what we are doing at the Catalogue to support our nonprofit partners and to keep everyone as safe as we can.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, we are moving our Learning Commons trainings and workshops online so that our partners can attend virtually. For those convenings that lend themselves to an in-person format only, we will postpone them and reschedule at a later date.
  • We will stay on top of the news to determine if it is appropriate to take any further actions related to our programming and will give our partners at least 24-hours’ notice of cancellation of any convening.
  • We will continue our regular webinar offerings and will expand access to any nonprofit (CFP network or not) as a way of better supporting all community organizations during this challenging time.
  • Our online review process for applicant nonprofits will proceed as usual.
  • Work on the 2020-21 print Catalogue will also continue as planned.

We encourage all of you to take care of yourselves. Doing just that is one of the best ways to prevent further spread of the virus and a great way to help take care of others. And please take seriously all of the precautions being recommended by the CDC, WHO, and the various local Departments of Health.

Our hearts go out to clients being served by so many of our nonprofits — people who don’t have access to healthcare, don’t have stable housing, and otherwise lack the resources to protect themselves and their families. Our hearts also go out to all nonprofits whose programs and events may be at risk, including arts organizations whose patrons may be fearful of attending events and whose very existence may be at risk. We encourage donors to support these organizations as they continue to support the most vulnerable among us and to keep this city, and this region, culturally alive. We are very much aware that the volatility of the stock market may make philanthropy seem like a luxury. We assure you that it is not. The healthier this community stays — all of its members and all of its important programs and institutions — the healthier we all stay, in body and in mind.

We are all in this together.
The Catalogue Team

New Intern at the Catalogue!

The Catalogue has a new team member! We’re very happy to welcome Julie von Foerster as our brand new Nonprofit Management Intern! She will be helping out our team with all aspects of our operations, including programming, development, and marketing. Please allow her to introduce herself:

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Tell us about yourself!

I’m a newcomer to D.C., having just moved to the city a month ago to start graduate school. I’m originally from Michigan, where I attended Michigan State University to study International Relations. Prior to my move, I was living in Detroit for 2 years and am proud to call it home. Living in a big city like D.C. is a new experience for me — getting used to taking the metro, learning to ride my bike through traffic, and meeting new people in a city where I knew only 2 people. So far, I’m loving it and I feel lucky to live in such a fun neighborhood on 14th street. I’m a full-time graduate student at George Washington University, studying International Development. My hope is to one day work at a nonprofit abroad.

What made you interested in joining the Catalogue?

When I came across the Catalogue in my search for internships, I knew right away it was what I was looking for. The mission of the Catalogue and the nonprofits it supports resonated with me. I have a passion for working within the nonprofit sector, so gaining experience in nonprofit management was the perfect fit. This passion comes from my desire to help those in need and give back to the communities that I live in. The internship listing stressed the importance of gaining real-life skills and professional development, not just filing paperwork or fetching coffee, which really stood out to me.

What experience have you had with nonprofits?

My experience with nonprofits started during my undergraduate career. I had my first internship at a nonprofit focused on education and improving literacy rates within Michigan, which was such a rewarding experience. The experience that made me realize that the nonprofit sector was my calling was my internship at a refugee center in Cape Town, South Africa. Meeting refugees from all over Africa opened my eyes to the vulnerable populations all over the world. From there, my interests have mostly been focused on working with refugee populations. Prior to this role, I worked as a case manager and volunteer coordinator at a refugee resettlement agency in Michigan. I also love to volunteer and am always looking for more nonprofit experience! My past volunteer experiences have been working with the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Red Cross of Michigan, and with a Detroit city council member.

What are you looking forward to in this internship?

I’m looking forward to collaborating with the entire team at the Catalogue on different projects. I can already tell that they are a great team that works closely together and are passionate about the work they do. My projects will include providing support for our upcoming Community Changemakers event, working on our Learning Commons program, and helping our team promote this year’s GivingTuesday campaign. I’m excited for this immersive experience into the nonprofit world of Greater Washington. I’m also very much looking forward to getting to know the nonprofits that we work with and learning more about their missions. I hope to be able to visit at least a few during my time here.

Tell us one fun fact about you!

If I could spend every day traveling, I would! I have been to 52 countries and am always looking to visit more. I have lived in Germany, South Africa, and Thailand — all different but rewarding experiences! The photo below was taken last year on a trip to Morocco, where I stayed overnight in the Sahara Desert.

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The Child & Family Network Centers Holds Annual School Supply Drive


The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC) is holding its annual School Supply Drive during the summer months before the start of the new school year on September 5, 2018. CFNC is collecting hundreds of school supplies to stock our 8 pre-kindergarten classrooms across the city of Alexandria. These supplies will give 138 disadvantaged children what they need to be successful in school, starting on day one.

Community members can donate new school supplies and classroom materials by dropping them at CFNC’s headquarters — 3700 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304. CFNC is also happy to arrange pick up of supplies. The wish list includes basic school supplies such as paper, glue, and folders, as well as other items that are consumed frequently, such as tissues and paper towels.

“This drive allows many less fortunate children in our community to have the supplies they need to start the school year on the right foot,” said CFNC Executive Director Lisa Carter. “Unfortunately many of the families we serve cannot afford or prioritize purchasing school supplies, despite their understanding that they are sorely needed. The school supply drive supports not only the child, but their families and their teachers as well.”

CFNC’s school supply list can be found on their website. All donations of school supplies are tax-deductible.


About CFNC
The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC) provides free preschool education for 138 children and families living at or below 250% of the poverty line, who earn too much to qualify for Head Start but not enough to afford their children with a private preschool education. Providing a unique blend of preschool education and family support services including free health services, in-home visits and counseling, CFNC currently operates 8 classrooms in apartment complexes, recreational centers and other locations throughout Alexandria where these families live. Learn more.

Registration Open for 6th Annual Teddy Bear 5K & 1K Walk/Run!

Group-Running resized for web

Registration is currently open for runners and walkers of all ages for the 6th AnnualTeddy Bear 5K & 1K Walk/Run?on Sunday, September 23, 2018. The race that awards all participants a pint-size teddy bear when they cross the finish line this year moves to the morning with the 5K starting at 8 a.m. and the 1K starting at 9:15 a.m.

To register to run or walk, or to volunteer at the event, go to

Note that children under 12 must be accompanied by a registered adult in either the 1K or the 5K. The 5K also includes a stroller division.

The 5K course takes runners through the shaded Pimmit Hills neighborhood, west of Falls Church City. Runners are urged to check in at the registration booth behind the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center at 7230 Idylwood Road and participate in the Teddy Bear parade at 7:45 pm to the 5K Start/Finish Line in Pimmit Hills Park, between Arch Drive and Griffith Road.

The 1K course follows awards to 5K winners, starting on the field behind the Children’s Center (also home of Lemon Road Elementary School.)

5K runners, boys and girls in 6 age groups for children, from ages 6 to 18, and males and females in 7 age groups for adults, will be eligible for prizes from local businesses, including gift certificates to: Panjshir Restaurant and Hilton Garden Inn of Falls Church; The Greek Taverna, Assaggi Osteria, Cafe Oggi, and Kazan Restaurant of McLean. For kids: A shopping spree at Doodlehopper Toy Store, a Soccer Party with Golden Boot, and more.

Proceeds of the event support Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a high-quality, nonprofit preschool dedicated to giving young children from low- and moderate-income, working families the strong start they need to be ready for success in school and in life.

Several local individuals and businesses are generously sponsoring the event including Ric and Jean Edelman, Anne Kanter, State Farm Insurance Agent Lynn Heinrichs, VA Delegate Marcus Simon, Hyphen Group, Chain Bridge Bank, Net E, Senior Housing Analytics, Susan and Donald Poretz, Powell Piper Radomsky, Berman & Lee Orthodontics, Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, Drs. Love and Miller, Digital Office Products, and VA 529. Sponsorships are still available by calling 703/534-4907 before August 30 to have logos printed on runner t-shirts.

Founded in 1969, Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center is celebrating its 50th year of providing an affordable, comprehensive, full-time early childhood education program designed to give all children, regardless of their family’s financial resources, a strong foundation on which to build the rest of their lives. For inquiries about openings this fall, call 703/534-4907.

Catalogue for Philanthropy in the News

Recognize a familiar face in this week’s Washington Post Magazine? The Catalogue’s founder, Barbara Harman, was recently interviewed for Joe Heim’s weekly Q&A column, “Just Asking.” In 2003, Barbara — with the support of the Harman Family Foundation — created the Catalogue for Philanthropy to shine a light on our region’s best community-based nonprofits. As we begin producing our 14th Catalogue, we’re grateful to Barbara for her vision and leadership, which has helped raised more than $32 million for local charities. You can learn more about the Catalogue’s history here, and sign up to receive your complimentary copy here!

Below is the interview in full, which can also be viewed on the Washington Post’s website.


By Joe Heim Writer and editor June 2 at 7:00 AM

Barbara Harman, 69, is the founder and president of the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington and is executive director of the Harman Family Foundation. She splits her time between Washington and Boston.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy is really essential in helping people find lesser-known, worthy local organizations that need money. But it’s not the most exciting name.
Yeah, I’ve kind of heard that from people. Have you got a better idea?

How about Fork It Over?
I love it. I think the name is a little stuffy. But when something catches on, as the Catalogue seems to have caught on here, it’s hard to let go of the name. But I have to say it’s something we’re thinking about.

I can ask readers to submit suggestions.
That would be awesome.

Is there one gift you’ve been able to make that stands out to you?
It’s a hard question. I can think of so many extraordinary charities doing amazing work here on education, on youth arts, on homelessness. I guess the thing that has struck me the most with all of the organizations that I give to is what a radical difference there is between the lives that most of us lead and the lives of some of the other people who live in this city, whose neighborhoods and whose circumstances really are unimaginable to most of us. I’ve been in communities where the average annual income is $9,100 a year. And then you see the work that these small nonprofits are doing to make these kids’ lives better, and it’s really a pretty extraordinary experience.

Your father was Sidney Harman, and he was a huge contributor to the Shakespeare Theatre Company and many other causes. Did your parents create a family culture that emphasized giving?
Absolutely. It was very much a part of my growing up. It was very clear to all of us that it was his sense, and should be our sense, that a family in a position to give should be a giving family.

What percentage of my income should I be donating in order to feel like a good human being?
I think it’s a really personal choice. I’m sure you’ve heard about the giving pledge. This is a pledge that Warren Buffett and others have signed where they are giving away the vast majority of their income.

Warren and I are in slightly different tax brackets.
Yeah, same here. Some people think tithing is the right way to approach this: 10 percent of your income. I don’t think that a lot of people give 10 percent of their income, and I guess I don’t really think there is a number. I think what’s important is to find the things that really resonate for you. Then I think the giving grows over time, and it becomes a different kind of engagement than just writing a check.

washingtonlife_junebhThe Catalogue also received coverage in Washington Life Magazine’s June issue! The article focused on individuals in the community working for the greater good – and our very own Barbara Harman was one of the profiles in the issue (profile text shown in full below). To see the issue, view the Washington Life digital edition.


Profiles in Philanthropy:
Barbara Harman Founder & President Catalogue for Philanthropy &
Executive Director Harman Family Foundation

by Catherine Trifiletti

“I really wanted to give money away, but I didn’t know where to give it,” is a statement Barbara Harman has heard from wealthy individuals more times that she can count. In her first year acting as executive director for the Harman Family Foundation, founded by her father Sidney Harman, she was disappointed to find a dearth of resources for philanthropists in the Washington area. In an effort to change the course of giving around town, Harman created a catalogue providing information about small nonprofits and grassroots organizations covering a wide range of missions. She calls her creation a “piece of philanthropic infrastructure” that has shined a light on small local charities lacking the funds to get their causes out on the frontlines.

Before moving to Washington in 2000 to run a family foundation, Harman was a professor for Wellesley College in Massachusetts for 25 years. Considering her background, the writing aspect of the catalogue was an essential element. As “writer and chief” Harman made sure to write from the heart in a really down-to-earth language that ordinary donors would understand.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy, or as Harman refers to it, her “labor of love,” has since grown into its own independent charity with a multitude of resources that extend beyond the print catalogue itself. Before being published and distributed to 30,000 high net-worth individuals in the area, each charity included in the catalogue undergoes a highly thorough screening process (including a 120-person review board, site visit and financial assessment) to ensure its contributions to the community are legitimate. Harman says although it might be “crazy,” the catalogue follows a “purity principle” and does not charge for any of the services offered to charities — free application, free membership that includes a four-year partnership and no fee attached to online donations.

The portfolio Harman manages at the family foundation includes recognizable organizations like the Shakespeare Theatre, Aspen Institute, and the Washington Ballet, to name a few. Smaller grants focused on education and arts for at-risk youth are sources from the best resource in town — the Catalogue for Philanthropy itself.

Day to day, Harman often confronts enormous wealth disparity in the Washington region and hopes her work at the Catalogue and family foundation will help tighten the gap. “All of us want a city in which there is equal access to opportunity and for me, that’s what philanthropy ought to be about.”

Congratulations to Many Hands grantees!

logo-many-handsThe Catalogue is excited to learn that 4 charities in our network are the recipients of grants from Many Hands!

Many Hands is a women’s grantmaking organization committed to making a lasting impact on the lives of Washington, DC area women, children, and families in need and to helping its members become well-informed donors.

Each year, Many Hands makes one $100,000 grant to help an area nonprofit expand its mission. In addition, this year, three finalists were each awarded $28,000 grants. Fundraising has steadily increased each year since Many Hands was founded in 2004. In those twelve years, Many Hands has granted just under $1,000,000 to area nonprofits.

  • $100,000 Education Grant: Reach Incorporated, Washington, D.C.: Reach prepares teens to serve as reading tutors and role models for younger students, resulting in improved literacy outcomes for both. Reach will use the $100,000 Many Hands grant to support expansion of its highly effective after school program. They will serve 75 additional participants, publish four new books authored by DC teens, distribute more than 1,000 of these books for free, and issue two scholarships of at least $2000 to teens pursuing higher education at a four year institution.
  • $28,000 Health Grant: DC Diaper Bank, Washington, D.C.: DC Diaper Bank is the region’s leading resource for providing a free and reliable supply of diapers, baby care items, and other hygiene essentials to vulnerable families.
  • $28,000 Housing Grant: Homestretch, Falls Church, Va. Homestretch works to help homeless families secure permanent housing and attain the skills, knowledge and hope they need to achieve lasting self‐sufficiency.
  • $28,000 Job Readiness Grant: Joe’s Movement Emporium, Mount Rainier, Md.: Joe’s Movement Emporium’s Theater Tech Program prepares under-resourced youth with the necessary skills to secure employment and prepare for higher education with the goal of ending intergenerational poverty.

Congratulations to all!

Congratulations to Sitar Arts Center!


Congratulations to Sitar Arts Center, who was just named the recipient of The Washington Post 2015 Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management!

This prestigious award is a program of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, sponsored by The Washington Post, which recognizes top nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metro area that exemplify outstanding achievement and organizational management determined through a competitive application process and panel review.

Congratulations are also in order for two finalists, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and Calvary Women’s Services, which also happen to be members of the Catalogue for Philanthropy!

Help VA Students Go Back to School!

NO TAXES….on back to school supplies this weekend (8/1 – 8/3) in Virginia! Help students in need get ready for school by adding an extra item to your cart — whether online or in-store — or find an opportunity to help sort & pack up donated supplies so backpacks are full and ready for the first day of school!
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