Employee Profiles

Marcus Gray
Senior Manager of Partner and Community Engagement

Describe your role at the Foundation.
In my role, I support the Foundation’s engagement efforts by building our capacity to best reach our target communities (for both our D.C. Wards 7 and 8 initiatives and our faith-based initiatives) and by leading the development, coordination and implementation of our community engagement strategy. I also lead other externally focused initiatives, including parent engagement and Early Childhood Share DC, an online resource for early learning providers in the District of Columbia.

How long have you worked here, and why do you choose to work here?
I’ve been part of the Foundation team for five years. As a resident of Ward 7 in the District, I really see the need for our mission firsthand — our early learning initiatives and how we’re tackling food insecurity through the Bainum Foundation Farm. I’m really excited about my role in helping support and connect partners.

Words to live by — what are yours and why?
“Make it a great day.” It’s something simple you can wake up to every morning and set as a basic goal.

What has been one of your most memorable moments at the Foundation?
We have an annual Tacky Sweater Holiday Party here, and a few years back, we had a white elephant gift exchange. One of our senior leaders got a box of homemade cookies that he wasn’t willing to part with, so in an attempt to stop everyone from stealing them, he bit several of the cookies. But someone stole them anyway.

What is one thing you keep at your desk?
A purple Care Bear. It was a gag gift from a former coworker, but it’s stayed with me through the years. (It’s the Harmony Bear, in case you were curious.)

What is one thing about you that would surprise people?
I used to live on a farm in Prentiss, Mississippi. So as a small child, I was surrounded by cows, pigs and horses…which is drastically different than my life now.

How have you grown personally and professionally since you’ve been here?
With my five years here, I’ve been able to take advantage of many opportunities, so I have many examples to choose from. A couple years ago, I earned my Nonprofit Management certificate through Georgetown University, and that really expanded my knowledge about my work and philanthropy as a whole.

Meet our Senior Leadership team here.