Amy Owen is the Executive Director of the Community Foundation for Northern & Fauquier Counties, as well as the Co-Chair of the Non-Profit Initiative here at the Chamber. Thanks for chatting with us, Amy!
1. What is your job at the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties and what does the foundation do?
I’m the Executive Director. We work with local donors to build grant-making funds and permanent endowment that rolls back out into our community as grants and scholarships. We make it easy for donors to create their own foundations without the paperwork hassles plus, its fantastically affordable, as we asses a 1% overhead.
2. What is your favorite success story from the Foundation and the work it does with non-profits?
We’ve empowered some of Loudoun County’s most dedicated philanthropists, like 100 WomenStrong, as they use the Community Foundation for their giving circle. We’ve been a causeway for Gabriella Miller’s cause, to crack the cure for childhood brain cancer, with her foundation, Smashing Walnuts.
- What led you to this career in the NPO world? Have you always wanted to work in this field?
I’ve been involved in nonprofit work almost all of my caree. The Community Foundation is my dream job, building bridges and awareness among people who care with causes here at home that matter. I like to say that local philanthropy is something you can see and touch and be part of. Helping donors make those connections, and helping charities thrive, is a huge reward.
- What is your involvement in the Chamber?
I’ve attended many of the fantastically varied programs hosted by the Chamber: its Annual Meeting, Valor Awards, Leadership Sessions, after-hour mixers, Holiday Party, Breakfast meetings, a Ribbon Cutting or two. Its been a great place to get connected and feel invited. I’m the co-chair of the Nonprofit Initiative that gathers nonprofit leaders monthly to network — plus hear from a new speaker each session. I also coordinate the Nonprofit Academy, a series of workshops and training programs for nonprofit Chamber members. Its really quality programming at an incredibly affordable rate. We’ve had fantastic talent from around the region present and teach our charitable leaders. We’re diligent about getting evaluations, and they speak strongly for the valuable material offered.
- Tell us about the Non-Profit Initiative and the Non-Profit Academy that the Chamber offers?
I’d characterize the Nonprofit Initiative as an excellent networking meeting with and for nonprofits, that also offers up stimulating topics by local speakers.
The Nonprofit Academy digs deeper, offering in-depth material lasting a half day to full day on key issues like fundraising, accounting and finance, and branding and public relations—things that make strong nonprofit “businesses”.
Remember, Loudoun County’s nonprofits employ as many as our local financial and investment sector! We are part of the economic engine. The Chamber recognizes our value to the community. The Nonprofit Initiative and its Academy support growth and investment in that sector.
- What do you think is the most beneficial thing for a Non-Profit in going through the NPI Academy program?
Leaders who pursue it receive a certificate of accomplishment after attending 36 hours of workshops and Chamber programs. Its one more way a local leader can point to their commitment in excellence.
- What is your favorite thing to do in Loudoun on the weekends?
I live in western Loudoun in a new house Don and I built. It keeps me in the happily (mostly) in garden. (I’m looking forward to the Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival). I just attended Oatlands Point to Point—that was fun. And, I’m not immune to the many vineyard opportunities! Did I mention we’re planting 12 hops plants this weekend?
- What is your favorite app?
Stocks! As a community investor building permanent endowment, watching the stock market is part of the deal!
Thanks so much, Amy!
If you’re interested in getting more involved with our Non-Profit Initiative here at the Chamber, feel free to attend a meeting: contact Amy – firstname.lastname@example.org