Family Matters Announces Largest Donation in the Organization History

Funding to Go Toward Establishment of Trust to further Organization’s Mission of Serving Individuals, Families and Communities in Need

Washington, DC – Family Matters of Greater Washington, one of the nation’s oldest, nationally-accredited social services organizations, held a press conference today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to announce that they have received $28 million from the estate of philanthropist Richard A. Herman.  They were joined at the event by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray; Ms. Betsy Paull, a representative of the Herman family; Walter Woods with the AARP Foundation; and Susan Dreyfus with the Alliance for Children and Families. A longtime donor, Mr. Herman began supporting the organization in 1967. This is the largest donation ever received by the organization, which recently celebrated its 130th year of serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

The bulk of the funding will go toward the establishment of the Richard A. Herman Charitable Trust, which will be used to further Family Matters’ mission of improving the family and community lives of those less fortunate, as well as help launch a new series of innovative arts programs for District seniors and youth. The arts programs are being launched in partnership with a number of nationally renowned arts institutions.

“I applaud Family Matters for this remarkable achievement and know that they will be great stewards of this gift,” noted District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray.  “I also want to thank Mr. Herman for his support and recognition for the city in which he lived.  His gift will help improve the lives of District residents for years to come.”

“Family Matters of Greater Washington is truly grateful for this extraordinary gift,” said Thomas L. Johnson, Board Chairman for Family Matters. “This historic donation will provide the necessary funding for us to pursue our mission of serving families, as well as ensure that any future donations will go primarily toward essential programs and services. This gift comes at a challenging time for many non-profits, making it a testament to the work of our organization and a lasting gift for the communities we serve.”

“Thanks to Mr. Herman’s generosity, we now have the opportunity to provide for the Greater Washington community for years to come,” noted Tonya Jackson Smallwood, President and Chief Executive Officer of Family Matters.  “Our programs have helped serve as an essential safety net for District youth, families and seniors for more than a century, and we are thrilled to add the healing power of the arts to the list of programming we provide.”

“Richard’s philanthropy and love of the arts was well-known throughout the Washington, D.C. community, but less known was his longtime support for Family Matters and the important social services that they provide to low-income families and seniors,” commented Betsy Paull, his cousin.  “I can think of no better tribute to his memory than to ensure the future of this worthy organization and the development of new arts programming that will help nurture the talent of seniors and the next generation of artists.”

Family Matters of Greater Washington, formerly Family and Child Services of Washington, D.C., Inc., was founded in 1882 and has been an integral part of the Washington, D.C. community for more than 130 years.  Serving low-income children, families and seniors living in the Greater Washington D.C. area, Family Matters provides a broad range of programming, including mental health and counseling, child welfare, youth development, services for teen mothers, financial counseling and credit rehabilitation, senior social services, and retired and senior volunteer programs. The organization’s mission is to create brighter futures for all District residents by improving individual, family, and community life through professional services and programs for those less fortunate.

Over its 130 year history, Family Matters has a legacy of firsts including establishing the first Boy’s Club in the District in 1901, opening the first camp for African-American mothers and children in 1907, drafting the first national Social Security program, and launching the first daycare program for children of working parents during World War II.

About Family Matters of Greater Washington (https://www.familymattersdc.org)
Family Matters of Greater Washington is a non-government, nonprofit organization accredited by the Council on Accreditation Services for Families and Children, Inc. and the American Camping Association.  Formerly known as Family and Child Services of Washington, D.C., Inc., Family Matters was founded in 1882 and has been an integral part of the Washington, D.C. community for more than 130 years. One of the oldest, nationally accredited social services organizations in the nation, Family Matters provides comprehensive, accessible, low-fee services to thousands of residents of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Family Matters of Greater Washington is a member of the Child Welfare League of America and the Alliance for Children and Families.
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RICHARD A. HERMAN CHARITABLE TRUST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: Who was Richard A. Herman?
A: Richard A. Herman was a Washington, D.C.-based philanthropist who passed away November 13, 2012 at the age of 100.

Q: What was Mr. Herman’s connection to the organization?
A: We have traced his connection to two of our Board Members who served in the late 1960s and early 1970s who likely reached out to him as a donor.  He has been a steady donor to our organization since 1967.

Q: How much did he bequeath to the organization?
A: He bequeathed $27 million to our organization, the largest gift ever received by Family Matters.

Q: What will the money be used for?
A: The money will go toward the establishment of the Richard A. Herman Charitable Trust, which will provide the necessary funding for Family Matters to pursue its mission of improving the family and community lives of those less fortunate, as well as help launch a new series of innovative arts programs for District seniors and youth. The arts programs are being launched in partnership with several prestigious arts institutions.  We will be announcing additional details on this program in the weeks and months to come.

Q: How will this funding change the programs you offer and the communities you serve?
A: It will ensure that Family Matters can continue to serve its mission and possibly expand its vital work in and for the District well into the future.  It will also ensure our efficacy as an organization and make it possible for future donations to go primarily to programs and services.  This makes Family Matters unique among social service organizations.

Media Contact
Jennifer Devlin (703) 876-1714, jennifer.devlin@cox.net