Inaugural WV Spirit of Philanthropy Grants Announced

The legacy of revered and impactful state leader Susan Stevenson Landis was recently honored by Philanthropy West Virginia with the inaugural Susan S. Landis – WV Spirit of Philanthropy grant awards.

These grant awards made possible through the Susan S. Landis – WV Spirit of Philanthropy Endowment was created in 2018 in memory of the late Daniels, WV resident.

Ms. Landis was the former Executive Director of the Beckley Area Foundation. She was a decades long advocate for WV artisans, nonprofits, community foundations, and communities. “Susan’s generosity of spirit, knowledge, and all things West Virginia inspired anyone that knew her. Upon her passing her friends and colleagues across the philanthropy community and state donated to create a permanent memorial with this endowment in 2018,” shares Paul D. Daugherty, president & CEO of Philanthropy West Virginia.

He added, “The generosity of many of her friends and colleagues has resulted in the endowment being large enough to award the first class of mini-grants in her honor benefiting a variety of community causes. We are thankful for all of the donors.” Landis served as executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation for over twenty years, a distinguished board member of major statewide and national arts and nonprofit organizations, and a proud mother and grandmother.

The grant recipients are selected by the WV Spirit of Philanthropy honorees that were presented in November 2019 during Philanthropy WV’s Annual Conference. The WV Spirit of Philanthropy awards are the state’s highest honor in recognizing philanthropic impact and each award honoree selects a nonprofit to receive the mini-grant. The six inaugural grant recipients include:

– Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia for general community needs (Morgantown) pictured above receiving their award from Paul Daugherty of Philanthropy WV

– Foundation for the Tri-State Community for community & revitalization programs (Huntington)

– Nicholas County Youth Soccer League (Summersville) pictured below receiving their award from Tamara Mullins of the Nicholas County Foundation

– Community Foundation for the Ohio Valley for community needs (Wheeling)

– Friends of Wetzel County (New Martinsville) for hunger programs and basic human needs

– WV Child Advocacy Network (Charleston) for helping children and families affected by abuse

“The Beckley Area Foundation is honored to carry on Susan’s legacy for generations to come by stewarding this endowment for Philanthropy WV. Those who cherished memories of Susan and her impact can still contribute to the endowment to further this important work,” shares Dena Cushman, executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation and Philanthropy WV board member.

Philanthropy WV will open nominations for the 14th Annual WV Spirit of Philanthropy Awards program in April 2020 which honors individual citizens, foundations, and corporations for philanthropic impact. 2020 is the fourteenth year for these premier awards. For more information about the endowment, contact the Beckley Area Foundation at or 304.253.3806. For more information about the awards program, please contact Philanthropy WV at or calling 304.517.1450.