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Helping Out: Cardinal tournament funds health facility

Who: Kevin Reynolds, regional president of Cardinal Bank

Program: Raised $2.3 million through an annual golf and tennis tournament to support the Inova Kellar Center, a mental health facility for youth.

How do you define Cardinal Bank’s corporate philanthropy?

Cardinal Bank is in its 14th year. For us, our outcome statement is that communities are enriched one life at a time. Three years ago we started our community fund that allows us to give money to charities in the areas of youth, education, health and arts.

What were you doing before the fund?

Ten years ago we started our flagship charity event, the Cardinal Bank Classic, which is a golf and tennis tournament and dinner that raises money for the Inova Kellar Center. A portion of it goes to the center and the other portion to our community fund. Our first year, we raised $135,000. This past May we raised $265,000.

What was the impetus behind creating the fund?

In 2007, as we were reflecting on expansion of our footprint, our leadership team decided we needed a structure to give money throughout our branch network. That led to the creation of the community fund. Then there is a committee that meets once a quarter or as needed. It’s comprised of about six individuals throughout the bank. There’s also a grant application process.

How has the new structure helped?

Last year we gave out 22 grants and since the inception almost 45. It’s given us an ability to filter out requests. We get requests from wonderful organizations around the country. We want to give geographically where we are.

What do you look for in a nonprofit?

It has to have a direct linkage to our four areas of focus, located in our branch footprint area, and someone from Cardinal needs to advocate for the organization and be involved. We require a review of their financial statement, mission, vision, core values, budget and what the monies will be used for.

Why did you choose to support the Inova Kellar Center?

In 2003, when we were only about six years old, we were losing money and the management team decided we needed to do something to build the whole team at Cardinal. The Kellar Center made a presentation at one of our board meetings. I thought they were worthy recipient of a golf tournament.

Do you expect a specific return on your charitable contributions?

It’s difficult to put a metric on return on investment. We supported the Young Playwrights’ Theater where a young, talented artist got to perform at the White House. Those are the intangible impacts. Inova just graduated 17 kids inside their Cardinal Bank gymnasium. These are kids that were pretty close to being incarcerated but are now going to Georgetown or Ohio State and it’s restored their self-esteem and vision. To me, that is very impactful and a return on our investment.

Many businesses tend to create separate company foundations. Why have you decided to create a fund using a community foundation?

They manage our funds and handle the actual issuing of the checks. We send the grant requests to them and they do it. We knew the leadership. We’re in close proximity. Every dollar that goes into the fund gets distributed. There’s no overhead. It’s a donor advised fund. We can’t run expenses through there. It’s a passed through entity. They do all the record keeping. Having a foundation is a big responsibility so we know that it is run very professionally.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

Vanessa Small covers philanthropy and nonprofits for Capital Business. She also spotlights newly appointed executives in the New at the Top column, which chronicles their journeys to the top. Small was raised in Orange County, Ca. and graduated from Howard University.



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