Transformative gifts

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Philanthropy can change lives and transform institutions. That fact is evident in this year’s Generous Virginians issue.

In 2005, James and Frances McGlothlin of Bristol made a $30 million donation and bequeathed their American art collection to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.  The timing of the gift was “absolutely essential” to the success of a campaign to build a $150 million addition to the museum, says executive director Alex Nyerges.

Likewise, a $25 million gift from the McGlothlins to the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine was critical in its effort to erect a $158 million medical education building training students in innovative approaches to treating diseases.

Well-known Virginia artist P. Buckley Moss gave $10 million to Virginia Tech for its new arts center. The gift is symbolic of her personal philanthropic crusade to support arts education, especially for children who, like her, face challenges learning in a traditional school environment.

Philanthropy also played a key role in the decision to merge two Richmond museums dealing with the Civil War, the Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center. Major donors encouraged the organizations to combine. Those donors then supplied much of the money needed to expand the American Civil War Center’s existing facility on the James River to accommodate the Museum of the Confederacy’s vast collection of artifacts.

The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk recently completed a $24 million expansion and renovation, part of a $45 million capital campaign. The changes will provide the museum with more gallery space, allowing it to display many works that had been kept in storage while also making the facility more attractive for art loaned by private collectors.

Also in Norfolk, the Hampton Roads Community Foundation is showing that a philanthropic organization can go beyond making grants in helping to improve its region. The foundation is facilitating discussions on ways to improve the economy of Hampton Roads.

In addition to these stories, the section includes lists of major donations made by individuals, corporations and foundations.

Virginia Business’ Generous Virginians Project has tracked trends in philanthropy in the commonwealth since 2010.

In compiling lists of major donations, Virginia Business contacted more than 600 companies and nonprofit organizations. In addition, the magazine reviewed many public records, including nonprofit annual reports and forms filed by foundations with the IRS (form 990). Virginia Business asked businesses and grant-making foundations to provide their top 15 donations of at least $25,000 during 2013. The magazine likewise asked nonprofit organizations to identify the top 15 donations they had received last year.  While the survey did not include gifts made since Jan. 1, 2014, a number of major recent gifts are noted. 

More than philanthropy
Hampton Roads Community Foundation tackles economic issues. by Elizabeth Cooper

chart: Grants by community foundations

A more perfect union
Civil War museums combine in a common cause. by Betty Joyce Nash

Recent gifts 
Donations by independent foundations, groups

The art of giving back
Artist P. Buckley Moss caps a lifetime of generosity with a $10 million gift to Virginia Tech. by Heather B. Hayes

Donations by individuals and family foundations

‘We take care of our own’
Windy Hill Foundation expands its reach in forming development company. by M.J. McAteer

Total corporate donations
Donations by companies and corporate foundations

Polishing the ‘jewel’
Capital campaign allows Chrysler Museum to renovate and expand. by Joan Tupponce

The ‘dream’ donors
McGlothlins’ gifts have been crucial in causes large and small. by Robert Powell

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