About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington is the region's only locally-focused guide to giving. We believe in the power of small nonprofits to spark big change. Our goal is to create visibility for our charities, fuel their growth with philanthropic dollars, and create a movement for social good in our region.

Since 2003, the Catalogue has raised more than $35 million for our network of vetted charities. Every charity in our network is evaluated for excellence by a team of over 120 local experts. They assess each organization for impact, cost effectiveness and transparency of finances.

We highlight the best local charities, and their work, to show what is possible when caring citizens connect with worthy causes, acting together on behalf of the greater good. Our vision is to transform our community, turning watchers into doers and bystanders into givers.


Created as a project of the Harman Family Foundation in 2003, the Catalogue for Philanthropy began out of a desire to help donors find and support community-based nonprofits those with great programming and sound finances, but little visibility, less voice, and limited capacity to tell their stories to a large audience. While national databases like Charity Navigator (2001) and Network for Good (2003) were beginning to emerge, there was still no source of vetted, trustworthy, smaller nonprofits (budgets < $3 million) especially one that was local in focus.

The inaugural print Catalogue, focused on the District, was released in 2003 and mailed to 30,000 households in the Washington region. It raised a half million dollars. In 2004 the scope expanded to cover nonprofits in nearby Maryland and Virginia counties as well. In 2006 the Catalogue became an independent public charity, and it now raises over $4 million annually for local nonprofits in the metropolitan Washington region.