Anne Arundel County

Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County awards Annapolis couple Philanthropist of the Year

John and Jan Magnolia were named the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County’s Philanthropists of the Year Thursday at the organization’s 20th Celebration of Philanthropy awards ceremony.


The couple established the Magnolia Family Fund at the foundation in 2009. Since then, the Magnolias have been one of the foundation’s largest fundholders and donors with contributions totaling more than $1.7 million over the last 11 years.

Through the Magnolia Family Fund at CFAAC, the family’s philanthropy has supported multiple local nonprofits including Anne Arundel Medical Center, YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Hospice of the Chesapeake, St. Mary’s High School, Boys & Girls Club of Annapolis, Annapolis Area Christian School, Our Lady of the Fields, South River Athletic Association and GiGi’s Playhouse.


Last year, the couple made a gift that helped the foundation receive a $300,000 matching grant for Fund for Anne Arundel, a fund that was created to help meet critical needs and improve the quality of life for county residents. The focus of the fund was important to John because of his commitment to providing opportunities for the children of Anne Arundel County to be healthy, thriving, and successful.

In addition to numerous Anne Arundel County nonprofits, the Magnolia Family Fund provides operating and program support to more than 30 different organizations throughout the Washington D.C. area. Another philanthropic priority for the couple is providing scholarships and financial aid to underprivileged students. John currently serves on CFAAC’s Board of Trustees, and as a trustee of St. John’s College High School. He was the co-capital chair for renewing the Light for St. Mary’s in Annapolis, and a former president of the Royal Blue Club which provides financial aid to students.

“Our community has seen far too many men, women and children suffer from homelessness, hunger, drug, alcohol abuse, mental health and behavioral issues,” John said. “It is our mission to have the foundation funds directly contribute to the needs of the community, specifically in the areas of medical assistance, tuition assistance, homelessness, hunger, basic life skill training, career path guidance, trade school education and programs assisting the inner city.”

This year was unique because of the coronavirus pandemic, so the foundation’s award ceremony was held online and had over 130 viewers during the live stream.

Organizers also added more categories this year, so they could give 20 awards for the 20 year anniversary celebration.

CFAAC distributed $3 million through more than 500 grants and scholarships in 2020 so far. They gave out 12 scholarships to Anne Arundel County High School seniors. During the pandemic, CFAAC started the community crisis response fund that has provided 139 grants totaling $296,561 to 66 unique nonprofit organizations.

Other awards winners Thursday were:

  • Crosby Marketing Communications, Corporate Philanthropist of the Year
  • Annapolis Musicians Fund for Musicians, AMFM Foundation, Foundation of the Year
  • Vanessa Carter, Volunteer of the Year
  • Haley Havard, Young Volunteer of the Year
  • Susana Cruz, Boots on the Ground Award
  • Yevola Peters, Carroll H. Hynson Jr. Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Philanthropy
  • Atlas Container, Outstanding Small Business Award
  • Henry “Hank” Libby, Carol Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Banneker-Douglass Museum, Community Collaborators Award
  • Ellen Shiery, Emerging Philanthropist Award
  • Creating Communities, Innovation Award
  • Taylor Pyles, Leadership in Philanthropy Award
  • Cherie Loustaunau, Legacy Award for Planned Giving
  • Kristina Mitchell, Nonprofit MVP Award
  • Hope for All, Outstanding Nonprofit Award
  • Jan Wood, Outstanding Professional Fundraiser Award
  • Anne Arundel Medical Center Auxiliary, Outstanding Volunteer Group Award
  • Kid Changemakers, Outstanding Youth Group Award
  • Jan Atwood, Unsung Hero Award