On July 17, 2020, the Baltimore Business Journal recognized the Venable Foundation, Inc. among its Better Baltimore awardees for corporate philanthropy, and featured a profile on the foundation in which Lindsay Meyer and Bob Waldman discuss its focus on strategic giving.
Inspired by the paper's former Corporate Philanthropy Awards, the Better Baltimore Awards celebrate companies of varying sizes that have left their mark on Baltimore in the last year, particularly in the region's greatest time of need as it works toward recovering from COVID-19. The Venable Foundation was recognized among the top fifteen corporate philanthropists in the large/extra large-sized category.
"Over the last several years, we've tried to become a lot more strategic in our grant making, thinking about particular projects that would be important or helpful in our various communities," said Meyer, who serves as president of the Venable Foundation.
Meyer and Waldman, the foundation's vice chairman, said the local input can help decide where money will have the most impact. The foundation is funded by the partners of Venable LLP, the largest law firm in Baltimore, with nearly 200 attorneys.
In Baltimore, the Venable Foundation gave just over $1 million in 2019, which included 99 grants to local organizations. Baltimore giving accounts for approximately 31% of the foundation's total grant making. The three largest grant recipients last year were the Maryland Food Bank, which received $100,000; Maryland Legal Aid, which received $50,000; and the Maryland Family Network, which received $30,000.
In addition to giving, Venable staff and attorneys donated 5,380 pro bono hours to Baltimore-area organizations in 2019. "We know that our communities must stay strong if we are to succeed," said Waldman.