Why We Give While We Live

In October 2020, the Woodard & Curran foundation marked a decade of doing good. The Foundation was born out of creative thinking and dedication of Woodard & Curran employees who wanted to contribute in a meaningful way to a sustainable future and further our vision of exemplary corporate citizenship. Since its establishment as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the Foundation has steadily grown, issuing a sum of $790,000 in grants to date, and leveraging the professional talents and personal passions of our community to position the Foundation as a leader in environmental nonprofit funding. At the heart of it all, Woodard & Curran employees donate and volunteer to help forward the Foundation’s mission.

A graphic totaling the impact Woodard &Curran Foundation has had in the past decade.

The Foundation’s grantmaking has grown from one $5,000 grant in 2011 to 13 grants totaling nearly $176,000 in 2020. Each year, Woodard & Curran employees pledge financial support of the Foundation. In 2020, the company also met its goal to match 100 percent of employee contributions – up from $17,000 in 2012 to a commitment of nearly $112,000 for 2021. The growth in giving is rooted in the Foundation’s “Giving While Living” philosophy to give away as much money as possible while still maintaining a healthy endowment. Annually, the Foundation issues two forms of grants:

  • One Impact Grant totaling $100,000 over the course of three years to support innovative projects to protect the water and environment; and
  • Numerous Giving While Living Grants awarded to employee-nominated organizations across the country dedicated to environmental issues.

The sixth Impact Grant was awarded last year, along with 10 Giving While Living Grants totaling $100,000.

Impact Grant recipients submit detailed applications that are vetted and reviewed by the Foundation’s Giving Committee. The competitive pool of candidates is narrowed down to a few finalists who are interviewed before the committee makes a recommendation to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. The Foundation hopes these Impact Grants will be donor-nominated in the future, while also continuing to seek employee nominations and voting on the Giving While Living Grant recipients.

As the Foundation and its giving has grown, so has the workload of the volunteer-led organization. The Foundation hired a part-time contractor in 2017 to handle administration, communication, and donor and grant recipient relations. The remainder of the Foundation’s work continues to be conducted by a group of dedicated volunteers. Past and present members of the Board, staff, and volunteers are eager to spread awareness of the Foundation’s giving and the impact each grant has on the communities where we work across the country.

To learn more about the Foundation, donate, or volunteer, visit

A graphic showing the increase in annual giving by the Woodard & Curran Foundation.


Barry Sheff

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