Even if you didn’t know these donors before, you’ve undoubtedly benefited from their influence on the Washington community.
Ted and Annette Lerner
It’s hard to miss the Lerner influence on real estate, sports, and community ventures in the metro area. Ranking at an admirable 316 on the 2010 Forbes 400 list with an estimated net worth of $3 billion, Ted Lerner, who is the principle owner of the Washington Nationals, reliably gives as much as $4 million away every year. Local and international donations include a $3 million gift in 2009 to The George Washington Law School, $8.5 million to build a sports complex in Israel, and various donations to such projects as Bethesda’s Imagination Stage children’s theater and their Chevy Chase synagogue, Ohr Kodesh.
Ted and Lynne Leonsis
In addition to owning the Washington Capitals and Mystics, Ted Leonsis recently bought the majority share of the Washington Wizards and Verizon Center from the Pollin family, gaining unprecedented control over several Washington area sports franchises and their home arena. Leonsis has a personal goal to give away $100 million in his lifetime, and he’s well on his way. He’s a founding investor of Venture Philanthropy Partners and is an active donor to organizations including Hoop Dreams, See Forever Foundation, and YouthAIDS.
With a last name recognizable around the world, the Marriotts currently manage the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation with assets estimated at $350 million. The foundation is instrumental in the success of local human service organizations including the Capital Area Food Bank, D.C. Central Kitchen, Food & Friends, and Teach for America, as well as various hospitality programs and universities throughout the country. Recently, the Marriotts donated over $500,000 to the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund when the devastating earthquake shattered the beleaguered Caribbean nation.
Catherine B. Reynolds
With a net worth estimated at $600 million, Catherine Reynolds has had a hand in some of the top philanthropic ventures in the Washington, D.C. area. While not all press has been positive (she recalled her $38 million gift to the Smithsonian Institution after backlash over her personal involvement in how it would be spent), she has continued hersupport of arts and education through the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation.
Dan and Tanya Snyder
It’s safe to say 2009 was not a banner year for Dan Snyder, but with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion, the Redskins owner still gave generously. He donated his private plane to help the Red Cross’s disaster relief efforts and to help transport resources to Haiti in 2010. Snyder is also know for his philanthropic donations to Children’s National Medical Center, where he donated $6 million after the premature birth of his daughter, and to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina victims.