The four Focus Area Committees–Economic Empowerment, Education, Health, and Housing–will form in early January. This year we are pleased to be able to bring back two in person committees, while still offering two fully virtual committees for those who prefer an online option. We have made a number of changes in the FAC signup process as well. Please read on to learn about the signup process and committee guidelines. We also urge you to join us for our Coffee & Conversation on January 9, where we will answer all of your FAC questions!

Focus Area Committee Signup Window: Monday, January 10-Wednesday, January 12

If you are a member as of December 31, you will receive an email on Monday, January 10 inviting you to sign up for a Focus Area Committee. The email will contain a link to a signup form that will remain open for 48 hours, beginning at noon on Monday, January 10 and concluding at noon on Wednesday, January 12. Unlike in prior years, signup will not be on a first-come, first-served basis, and there will be no priority given for early signups. Instead, at any time during the signup window you will have the opportunity to complete the signup form ranking your committee preferences. You will also be able to indicate any committees you could not participate in. Our goal is to ensure that every member who wishes to serve on a committee has the opportunity to do so in a way that works for her. The committee schedule is as follows:

Economic Empowerment Committee
Where: Chevy Chase, MD (in person)
When: Thursday, 8:30 am-10:00 am

Education Committee
Where: Zoom
When: Tuesday, 7:00 pm-8:30 pm

Health Committee
Where: Zoom
When: Wednesday, 8:30 am-10:00 am

Housing Committee
Where: Bethesda, MD (in person)
When: Tuesday, 9:15 am-10:45 am

General FAC Considerations:

  • Committees usually meet half a dozen times from late January through April. In addition, site visits take place from late February through March. The question of whether site visits will be in person or virtual will be decided on a case by case basis, taking into account the preferences of the applicable committee members and the organizations to be visited, and the status of the pandemic at the time.
  • To ensure the integrity and smooth functioning of the FAC process, we expect committee members to commit to attend the majority of meetings.
  • If you or any immediate family members are employed by or serve on the board of an organization that has applied for a 2022 Many Hands grant, you will not be able to serve on the FAC considering that organization’s application.

Additional In Person Committee Considerations:

  • All in person FAC members will be required to provide proof of vaccination against Covid-19. All in person FAC chairs and all members of the host households are fully vaccinated.
  • Those who elect to serve on an in person FAC should plan to attend meetings in person. As always, FAC chairs will strive to accommodate members who need to call in to meetings on occasion.
  • Committee members will be asked to stay home if they are, or any member of their household is, experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Many Hands will follow, at a minimum, the policy of the Montgomery County Council, acting in its role as the Board of Heath, when deciding whether and how in person FACs shall be held. If the Montgomery County Council imposes stay at home restrictions we will convert in person FACs accordingly.

UPDATE (1/3/22): Unfortunately, due to the current outbreak of COVID cases we have made the difficult decision to begin the in-person committees via Zoom and will transition to in-person meetings when safety permits.

Please contact Kathryn Zecca and Charis Keitelman at with any questions about the FAC process.