Community Benefit Projects

The Ausherman Family Foundation provides a variety of grants that catalyze new projects and assist nonprofit organizations in achieving new levels of effectiveness. The following are community benefit projects that have received large-scale grants from the Foundation.

The Frederick Speaker Series

In 2012, the Ausherman Family Foundation catalyzed The Frederick Speaker Series in partnership with Frederick County Public Libraries and the Weinberg Center for the Arts, Inc. The Speaker Series presents high quality, thought-provoking speakers at the Weinberg Center. Past luminaries have included journalist, anchorman and author Tom Brokaw, actress Jane Fonda, NPR host Diane Rehm and neurologist Dr. Ben Carson. The Series committee members choose presenters that hopefully will broaden our collective experience and allow us to see the world differently. Subscriptions to the entire series are available.

2019 Frederick Speaker Series

This year's gallery of speakers at the 2019 Frederick Speaker Series include Pulitzer-Prizing-winning associate of The Washington Post, Bob Woodward; American journalist, Ronan Farrow; transgender and equality adovcate, Laverne Cox; advocate and actor, LeVar Burton; and one of the creators of modern comics, Neil Gaiman.

New Spire Arts

The Ausherman Family Foundation gave a catalyzing grant of $5,026,095 to New Spire Arts, a performing arts education and presentation center for Frederick County. An exciting year began in on January 17, 2018 with a groundbreaking ceremony for a new 300-seat black box theatre on West Patrick Street, directly across from the Weinberg Center. 

This transformative year completed on January 19, 2019 with a tremendous grand opening performance featuring deaf advocate Nyle DiMarco, winner of America’s Next Top Model and Dancing With The Stars.  During that time, AFF leadership was on loan to help with the day to day management, governance, fundraising, marketing, and education.  We successfully helped to raise $1,460,017 dollars from State of Maryland, community members, philanthropic organizations, and local businesses.  The board grew to 13 talented community members committed to govern the organization into the future.  We are humbled that New Spire Arts has named the new black-box theatre “Ausherman Theatre” in honor of AFF’s catalyzing gift.

7th Street Fountain

The 7th Street Fountain Park Renovation Project includes the renovation of the fountain itself, park improvements resulting in more shade, better seating, more flexible open space for small events and a physical and visual barrier between the park and vehicle traffic.  The project will result in many intangible benefits including improved surroundings for adjacent businesses and the Bernard W Brown Community Center, a future placeholder for public art, a better space for community use, and will improve the visitor experience and attraction to the North Market Street neighborhood within Downtown Frederick.

In collaboration with the Downtown Frederick Partnership, AFF will fund the concept designs, approval/permit process and construction drawings up front. Fountain assessment and reconstruction/refurbishment as well as park renovations are scheduled to begin in 2019.

Barbara Fritchie House

The Barbara Fritchie House, part of the Civil War Trail, was purchased by the Ausherman Family Foundation in July 2015 to preserve the home as a historic landmark and museum. The downtown Frederick house was at risk for public auction when the nonprofit foundation stepped in.

Barbara Fritchie was a Frederick resident who, according to folklore, defiantly waved the Union flag from her second-story window as Confederate troops left the city in 1862. She was then 95. Dame Fritchie’s exploits were soon memorialized in a poem by John Whittier Greenleaf. Among the poem’s best-known lines is: “Shoot if you must, this old gray head, But spare your country’s flag, she said.”

The 1,200-square-foot house was reconstructed in 1927 from photos and documents of the original early 1800’s home. The museum is located at 154 W. Patrick Street along Carroll Creek.

The house is open on most Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. To inquire about other dates, please email

Frederick Rescue Mission – Faith House

The Frederick Rescue Mission is a faith-based organization providing “residential recovery programs to the homeless or chemically addicted, food to the hungry, clothing to the needy, and connection within our community through relationships.”  Most recently, the Ausherman Family Foundation provided grants to the Frederick Rescue Mission to assist them in purchasing the North Market Street building, which will become Faith House, a women’s shelter and program.  Past grants have been designated for kitchen upgrades, exterior security cameras, and a new heating and cooling system.

School-Based Health Center of Frederick

The School-Based Health Center of Frederick (SBHC) has been able to expand its offerings off seed money from the Ausherman Family Trust. The seed money helped catalyze SBHC's ability to obtain a large federal grant announced in August 2015. SBHC serves children and their siblings who are uninsured and ineligible for medical assistance at four Frederick County elementary schools.

YMCA Flood Relief

The YMCA of Frederick at 1000 North Market Street received a $500,000 matching grant from the Ausherman Family Foundation to conduct repairs from damages incurred during major flooding of the facility on Sept. 24, 2015. Damages totaled $2 million. Repairs were made and the facility reopened. Any public contributions to the flood relief will be matched by the Ausherman Family Foundation.