Wealthy D.C. couple shifts their philanthropy, donates $100,000 to provide beds to poor

A Wider Circle

By Vanessa Small

The Washington power couple Donald and Ann Brown have long been known for their generosity, giving away millions of dollars to a wide range of large arts and education institutions in the region.

But the couple’s latest donation marked a change, and in the process they joined a growing group of wealthy donors backing good works where they can see tangible results.

The Browns gave $100,000 to provide beds to the needy.

The money is to support an effort by A Wider Circle, a Silver Spring nonprofit organization that provides various services to families living in poverty, such as providing furniture to families leaving shelters. One of the biggest requests the group gets is for beds. Last year alone, the group received 12,000 phone calls from people making the request. A Wider Circle could meet only about half the need.

The couple’s donation aims to fund a bed for everyone who asks. They have named the program Browns’ Beds.

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