Private donations boost innovations in Virginia
- March 1, 2015
Innovation frequently gets a push from private donations. That’s certainly the case in Virginia where generous businessmen and women support many causes, donating funds to hospitals, museums and schools.
In February, the family foundation of well-known commercial real estate mogul Milt Peterson agreed to donate $10 million towards an initiative in Fairfax County that could put Virginia on the cutting edge of the personalized health-care revolution.
Inova plans to build a multimillion Center for Personal Health on the 117-acre Exxon Mobil campus in Falls Church. Inova will lease the campus in a bid to launch an international center that could spark more economic development in the life sciences field, helping to replace jobs in NOVA lost as a result of budget cuts in federal defense.
Inova acknowledges that the center won’t happen without a lot of money and collaboration between the public and private sectors.
That story has been playing out around the state with donors stepping up to move projects forward. Roanoke College in Salem recently received the largest gift in its history: a $25 million pledge from the Mulheren Family foundation, a family with two generations of alumni from the college. The donation is part of a $200 million fundraising campaign that will enable the private liberal arts college to make capital improvements, among other goals. Artist P. Buckley Moss also made headlines when she gave $10 million to Virginia Tech for an arts center.
Corporate donations are vital as well with Virginia-based companies such as Altria Group, Dominion Resources and others donating millions every year for efforts ranging from student scholarships to the renovation of local performing arts centers.
Our section on philanthropy includes charts on individual, family and corporate donations and the nonprofits that benefit from their largesse. To read these pages is to come away with the knowledge that many people and organizations still find it better to give than to receive.