Bringing Corporate Best Practices and Funding to D.C. Area Children’s Charities – An Interview With Capital for Children’s Dean D’Angelo

bannergraphicThere’s a slight chill is in the air, the children are back at school and everything is pumpkin flavored. That can mean only one thing – fall is approaching. And so is the annual ACG Golf Event.

Unlike previous years, the 2013 ACG Golf Event will be raising money for an outside charity organization called Capital for Children. The concept and mission of Capital for Children are both innovative and exciting, and the organization’s philanthropic activities can truly make a difference for young people in the National Capital region.

We recently caught up with one of the founders and current president of Capital for Children, Dean D’Angelo of Stellus Capital Management, to discuss the organization, its mission and why they’re a great fit for the ACG National Capital membership.

Here is what Dean had to say:

CGCS: What exactly does Capital for Children do in the Washington, D.C. area? Why do you feel like the organization’s mission is important in the National Capital region today?

Mr. D’Angelo: We’re a group of private equity and business executives that came together for two main reasons:

1) To support the area’s children in need with multiyear capital commitments that we couple with board of director level participation from our members.

2) To create a networking and career development venue for executives in the private equity world.

Everyone is asked for money and to contribute to a charity or a cause at some point. They pay to attend an annual gala or event and the profits go to a charity. We wanted to do something different.

What we thought would be really interesting would be not only making financial commitments to groups helping the areas neediest kids, but also contributing our knowledge and experienced gained in finding and then investing in middle market companies.

Before we choose a charity, we visit them multiple times and then, if it looks like a good fit, dig in like we’re doing due diligence on an investment. If we end up deciding to partner with an organization, it is typically a multiyear commitment of capital where we also have one of our members take an active role as a board member, bringing the best practices we employ in our respective firms’ investments.

Basically, we’re coupling our capital with real participation from business executives. This is an excellent opportunity for many of these charity organizations since their leadership are often very passionate, but lack the experience running an enterprise.

Right now we’re partnering with Beacon House, Horton’s Kids, Higher Achievement and the Sitar Arts Center. And we’re looking to add a couple more partner organizations this coming year.

CGCS: Where did the idea for the organization come from and how did it get started?

Mr. D’Angelo: Just like anything important, it started with a couple of friends – well established in their careers – sitting down and having some beers.

We were a group of individuals with the financial resources and a body of experience in the business world that equipped us to begin to help out in our community. We all had raised our kids in the D.C. area. We love this area and decided that we wanted to give back.

There are many people in need in the D.C. area and it was difficult to narrow down the focus of the organization’s philanthropic activities.

When choosing which organizations to support, we gravitated to those that work with children. We all had children of our own and were excited to have a chance to give local children the same opportunities that ours had.

CGCS: In the coming months, you’re going to be partnering with ACG National Capital on a fundraising event. How did that relationship form and why do you feel like Capital for Children is a good fit for ACG’s philanthropic pursuits?

Mr. D’Angelo: This is actually the first time that we’re accepting a large donation in addition to our own capital. ACG National Capital had been holding their annual golf outing each year and were looking for an opportunity to do more with the money raised and give more back to the community.

This is very logical fit for the two organizations. If you look at ACG National Capital, it really is the main association for individuals from operating companies, consulting firms and middle-market businesses across multiple industries in the D.C. area. Our group is all private equity professionals. These two communities are looking for opportunities to come together and network.

CGCS: You have two large fundraising events coming up – a Casino Night and the ACG Annual Golf Event. Can you tell us some more about these events? What can attendees expect?

Mr. D’Angelo: The ACG Golf Event is an annual golf tournament that ACG National Capital organizes. The event will be taking place at the Hidden Creek Country Club on Monday, September 30, 2013. It’s a day of golf, followed by an awards gala, where tournament winners are announced, prizes are awarded and players can network.

This year, profits from the golf event will be given to Capital for Children to aid in our philanthropic efforts.

On Saturday, October 5, 2013, Capital for Children will be sponsoring our fifth annual Casino Night, which is the predominant networking event for the middle-market private equity and M&A community. The event features table casino games, good food and networking opportunities and has helped to contribute to the over $700,000 we’ve donated to our partner charities since the organization began. All profits from the event go directly to the charities.

Both events promise a great time, excellent networking and the opportunity for the area’s business leaders to give back to their community.

For additional information about Capital for Children, visit their Website by clicking HERE. For additional information and to register for the ACG Golf Event or the Capital for Children Casino Night, click HERE and HERE.

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