Founder and Board member Ann Marie Habershaw reflects on her giving

Invest Your Philanthropy Locally

The end of the year is approaching, and as we give thanks and celebrate with our friends and family, we all are also thinking about how we can help those in need. In my mind I think about this not as making a donation to a worthy cause, but targeting my resources to programs that provide opportunities and options to those in my community, particularly young women.

As many of you know, in addition to being a proud member of the Bully Pulpit Interactive team, I am a co-founder of the Lever Fund, a nonprofit that fights poverty in D.C., suburban Maryland, and northern Virginia. We do this by identifying and investing in organizations in the DMV that will have the greatest impact on the economically disadvantaged.

One initiative I care deeply about is called Keys to Success, run by Family Services Inc. in Montgomery Country, Maryland. Keys to Success helps young mothers to find the resources and support to finish high school and get a shot at college, from childcare and tutoring to transportation assistance. These supports are essential to these young women during a time where they are often overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to take care of another person—and figure out their lives.

In the past year, the Lever Fund’s support has provided tutoring to 18 high school students—of the five seniors, four have graduated. One graduates this month, and she plans to continue with her schooling. I am excited to think of how many more young women in our community we can help finish high school and go beyond, creating opportunity for themselves and their young children.

Keys to Success is one of four organizations the Lever Fund has invested in over the past year. With your support I hope we can continue to identify and invest in organizations that are expanding the options of people across the DMV.

In order to continue our work, we need your support, so please take a moment to consider a contribution to the Lever Fund. I have had the opportunity to work throughout my career with people who focus each and every day on creating equality of opportunity for all. It is why I was inspired by a group of like-minded people to help start the Lever Fund and why I ask for your support today.

Do think about it, and thank you.