On Wednesday, October 18, we celebrated the Venable Foundation’s anniversary at our headquarters in Washington, DC, commemorating four decades of commitment, philanthropy, and giving back to the communities our attorneys, professionals, and clients call home. Leaders of the Venable Foundation, including board president Lindsay B. Meyer, vice president Robert L. Waldman, director Michael Bigley, and Venable chairman Stuart P. Ingis, reflected on the Foundation’s history and how its impact has evolved since 1983.
In the Foundation’s first year of operation, the first round of grants totaled $100,000 and supported 35 organizations in Baltimore and Washington. Last year, the Venable Foundation supported 427 nonprofits in six cities, donating $4 million to groups that reached 46 million people with their services.
“The formation of the Foundation not only reflected the firm’s values, culture, and commitment to our communities, but was also a statement on the need for assistance in our cities and the respect the firm had for the great work your organizations were doing to address it,” Bigley said at the event.
The Venable Foundation also awarded its 2023 impact grant funding at the anniversary celebration. Meyer surprised Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an organization providing social and legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States, with an impact grant totaling $250,000 to benefit the social services support for KIND’s clients residing in Washington, Los Angeles, Maryland, New York, San Francisco, and Virginia.
“KIND is deeply honored to be selected for the Venable Foundation’s $250,000 impact grant,” said KIND’s regional director for social services, Jasiel Fernandez. “This grant will give thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children across the country access to critical aid and the opportunity to pursue safe and promising futures. On behalf of the children we serve, thank you for the Venable Foundation’s generous commitment to Kids in Need of Defense.”
The unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children KIND serves have complex psychosocial needs stemming from trauma experienced before, during, and after their journeys to the United States. Many also require assistance with basic needs, including food, housing, and healthcare. All need help navigating the U.S. immigration and child welfare systems. KIND's holistic approach works to ensure clients' needs are met by complementing their legal representation with comprehensive social services.
“Unaccompanied and separated immigrant children deserve an advocate and a voice,” said Meyer, president of the Venable Foundation since 2015. “The Foundation’s funding will directly impact thousands of children in search of safety, a new life, and a future.”
After eight years of leading the firm’s philanthropic arm, Meyer plans to retire at the end of this year and step down from her role as the Foundation’s president. In honor of her hard work, dedication, and many contributions to the Foundation, she was presented with a plaque at the event.