“With Many Hands’ support, we have been able to expand our programs significantly this year, becoming a reliable source of baby essentials for thousands more parents in our region,” reports Corinne Cannon, founder and executive director of Greater DC Diaper Bank (GDCDB), which received a 2019 Many Hands Partner Grant. GDCDB seeks to provide in-need families throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia with an adequate and reliable source for basic baby needs and personal hygiene products. Thanks to the Many Hands grant, GDCDB was able to expand its physical footprint by 50%, and, ultimately, serve more than 24,000 families each year–triple the number of families Diaper Bank served in 2019.

Corinne chatted with Many Hands Board member Robin Berkley about her experience as a grantee. Here’s what she had to say:

How have MH grants helped Greater DC Area Diaper Bank fulfill its goals to make a deeper impact?

We have been the grateful recipients of two Many Hands grants–the first in 2016 for $28,000 and recently in 2019 for $58,000. Both grants were catalysts for massive growth and positive change in our organization and our work.

In 2016, we used the grant to fully commit to a new data philosophy and process, which allowed us to more effectively show our impact and make a more compelling and winning case for additional funding from foundations and individuals.

In 2019, Many Hands funds helped us accelerate our warehouse expansion and staff growth–adding 50% more space and adding to our data and evaluation team. Today, with help from Many Hands, we have the space and the appropriate staff to respond aggressively to the pandemic. In 2020, we more than tripled our output of products, served 200% more families, and created partnerships with an additional 30 social service agencies and local governments. The investment Many Hands made in our work at critical points has meant far more than the dollars.

What makes the Many Hands grant process a unique opportunity for an organization like GDCDB?

I have rarely encountered a single funder or a funding group as dedicated and educated as Many Hands. Folks came with incredibly deep knowledge of the nonprofit sector, of the needs of economically vulnerable families, and of the pain points for providing services. The two site visits we held with Many Hands stand out in my mind because of the depth of conversation and the focus on pragmatic and achievable goals for our work and for the region as a whole. Having facetime with a large group of committed philanthropists who truly understand the issues is every executive director’s dream! We have been so happy to continue our relationship with Many Hands and to see members coming in to volunteer as a group and as individuals with their families.

What advice or feedback can you give current and prospective members of Many Hands?

Dive in! You will not find a more committed, passionate, and driven group of women. This is a chance to learn about the region and have a positive, transformative change in our community.