The MARPAT Foundation’s lessons learned from investing in wards 7 and 8

PHILANTHROPY | The MARPAT Foundation has invested more than $5 million in wards 7 and 8 between 2008 and 2012 to support social and youth services organizations. The Foundation documented the process and has released a new publication, “Investing East of the River: Lessons Learned from the MARPAT Foundation’s Wards 7 and 8 Initiative in Washington, DC.” Some lessons learned include:

Approach the work as a learner and peer. Having an open-minded, learning approach allowed MARPAT to build balanced and close relationships with its grantees. With an open approach, grantmakers are flexible and willing to make modifications to their program, while grantees feel comfortable sharing ideas and challenges.

Know your risk tolerance. Donors investing in a geographic area or sector with which they have little experience should be willing to take some level of risk and anticipate making misjudgments. To balance their inexperience, funders should know how much uncertainty they can accept and be willing to support efforts that are yet to be proven.

– Philanthropy has a diversity problem. This article tells us how to begin to fix it. (NPQ, 12/16)

– After attending the most recent training in WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series, which focused on communicating about race with white family, friends, and colleagues, Nina Weissberg, trustee of the Weissberg Foundation, reflects on the importance of engaging in self-analysis and open critique when having conversations on race. (Daily, 12/19)

-Today, the electoral college will cast their votes for our next president. Check out WRAG’s video, “The Pernicious Compromise“, to refresh your knowledge on the origins of the electoral college.

WORKFORCE | TightShift, a D.C. worker-owner cooperative co-founded by a returning citizen, is growing and helping other returning citizens. (DCist, 12/16)

TRANSIT | Metro requests more funds from D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia to improve the system. (WBJ, 12/19/16)

CHILDREN & FAMILIES | Finding a suitable childcare facility and reserving a spot on their list is so difficult in D.C. that parents are paying for or subletting spots before their children are even born. (WaPo, 12/18)

IMMIGRATION | The Consumer Health Foundation and La Clinica del Pueblo have partnered to release a new resource that explores the relationship between immigration status and health, called “Immigration Status as a Social Determinant of Health.”

EDUCATION | Arlington, Virginia high school students speak out against a school board vote to redraw boundaries for three high schools. Students believe the new boundaries will lead to more economic and racial segregation. (WaPo, 12/16)

JUSTICE | Lost girls: Young women face harsher punishment in Maryland’s juvenile justice system (Baltimore Sun, 12/16)

To fans of shows of people flipping houses, get ready to watch a D.C.-centered one in January. Check out a preview here