In a recent Roanoke Times editorial on the improving local arts and cultural scene ("Voting with their wallets," June 21) you note that while individual charitable contributions are up, the “old-fashioned philanthropy” of the corporate sector is diminishing. Roanoke Valley should know that philanthropy - a modern, vibrant version - is alive and well at The Roanoke Women’s Foundation.
Last year we sponsored a panel discussion on “Why Fund the Arts,” emphasizing the role of the arts as an economic engine, as well as an opportunity for personal growth and enrichment. Arts and Culture is one of four focus areas targeted by our members to receive our annual high-impact grants. We have funded Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke Children’s Theatre, the Grandin Theatre Foundation and Cultural Arts For Excellence, to name a few.
In addition to the arts, we care about, and regularly fund, projects affecting the health, education and environment of Roanoke Valley citizens. We have invested over $3 million in local nonprofit organizations since our inception. Collective giving circles such as RWF have been popping up all across the country in recent years, and we are proud to be a part of this movement that encourages women to pool their money in order to make a larger impact with their grants. Our organization welcomes all women committed to strengthening our community through collective giving.