Joshua M. Freeman Foundation’s chairman Michelle Freeman on giving


View Photo Gallery: Eleven leading philanthropists spoke with The Washington Post’s Tom Heath about how much they have given in the past year, and their approach to charitable giving.

Eleven philanthropists spoke with the Post’s Tom Heath regarding how much they have given in the past year, and their strategy for giving.

Michelle Freeman is the chairman of the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation and a partner in Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Ted Leonsis-led sports holding company that owns the Verizon Center, NBA Wizards and NHL Capitals

How much do you give?The Carl M. Freeman Foundation gives grants of over $1.5 million a year.

Has the focus of your philanthropy changed since the recession? The reduction of programs that bring vitality to neighborhoods and hope to children and families is a concern. Giving where you live has become so much more important.

How about the amount?No.

How do you set your priorities? We have a program called FACES — it provides micro-grants to nonprofits with small budgets who are making great impact in neighborhoods. They start with sometimes not much more than hope and an idea on how to make the world a better place.

Do you make a point of separating your charity from your politics?Yes, philanthropy transcends political agendas. Although I can’t separate my giving from some spiritual beliefs I have: That everyone at some point in their life will come up against an adversity that they alone cannot handle and that people need to be a part of helping themselves.

Read more profiles in giving from On Giving:

Wendy Thompson Marquez

Cal Ripken

Mayor Jeffrey Slavin

David Falk

Debbie Marriott Harrison

Patty Alper

John Kane

Craig Ruppert

Jaylee Mead

Martin Weinstein

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