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Becoming a Member

Interested In Joining The Board of Visitors?

Membership is comprised of exceptional women dedicated to preserving the vital role of Children’s National Hospital in our community. That is, to provide the best health care staff, services and technology for EVERY child who enters its doors.

A member of the Board of Visitors (BOV) is anything but typical. Volunteers have full-time and part-time careers, businesses and consultancies.  Many work in or from home or are retired professionals. Some are mothers with children at home; many are grandmothers. Members primarily reside in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.  Thanks to recent technology, participation is not limited by geography. There are those members whose children or the children of  family, colleagues or neighbors have been treated at the Hospital.  Some BOV volunteers were simply attracted to support the Hospital because its mandate impacts so many people.

Most importantly, the shared characteristics of BOV  membership may be best described as  “hardworking, resourceful, understanding, and compassionate.”  At the day’s end, each volunteer prioritizes her time, resources, energy and spirit on behalf of the most worthy Children’s National Hospital to help create and support healthy outcomes for the children it serves.

About the Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors has been a vital force since the Hospital’s founding. In 1870, twenty women pledged their time and energy to help furnish and support the District of Columbia’s original Children’s Hospital. Those founding Board of Visitors members brought in 12 cribs, infant bedding, and towels to the hospital’s first location. Today, the BOV contributes to Children’s National through volunteer service, ongoing fundraising initiatives, and its Annual Grants and Major Gift Programs. All funds raised by the BOV are given directly to Children’s National through its Annual Grants and Major Gift Programs. To date, the BOV has given more than $16.5 million for research, patient life improvements, family support, medical equipment, and professional development.

Annual Grants

The BOV invites people from throughout Children’s Hospital to submit grant proposals each fall.  Funding requests are wide ranging, from $900 to $35,000, and address diverse needs — from innovative research to lab and clinical equipment to specialized feeding bibs, night lights, toys and dress-up costumes.  Proposals are carefully reviewed by BOV members and approximately $350,000 is awarded in the spring.

Major Gifts

Funds raised by the BOV have launched, established or enriched a wide range of Children’s Hospital services including the Telemedicine CenterSeacrest Studio, Cancer Immunotherapy Research, the Simulation Learning Center, the Cerebral Palsy Prevention Program and the Get-Well Network.

A Vintage Affair

Established in 1996, A Vintage Affair has become the BOV’s signature annual fundraiser.  Guests enjoy fine wines paired with exceptional cuisine while bidding for unique items featured in silent and live auctions.

How to Become a Member?

Attendance at three meetings is one of the requirements for membership consideration. To learn more please complete the Membership Inquiries form below:


A General Overview of Member Requirements

  • Attend monthly board meetings from September to June at the Hospital
  • Actively participate in the planning and management of A Vintage Affair, including the procurement of sponsorships and auction items
  • Pay annual membership dues

Membership Inquiries

A board member will be in touch shortly to answer your questions about The Board of Visitors.

    Board members together after a race

    I’ve been on several philanthropic boards but nothing like this one. This is an amazing group of bright and energized women who can roll up their sleeves, get to work and accomplish anything we set out to do. I have so much respect and admiration for our dedicated Board who, simply put, make things happen.

    – Sandy, Honorary Member since 1985