Author: Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Survey looks at perceptions of public safety in the District

DISTRICT 
A newly-released survey of District residents aims to provide a baseline idea of perceptions of public safety throughout the city and encourage greater collaboration with neighborhood police. The report (by the Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC), the Council for Court Excellence, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation) finds that residents in Ward 8 feel the least safe compared to residents in other areas of the city. (PR Web, 6/28)

District of Columbia residents who live in Ward 8 feel the least safe of any in the city, are more likely to have observed or experienced a violent crime, and are least likely to trust police than others who live here.

[…]

The survey findings come amid heightened concern about rising rates of homicides in major cities nationally. While data from the DC Metropolitan Police Department show that property crime is down and violent crime is level in the District as compared to a year ago, there has been a troubling spike in homicides. According to a recent report for the Department, between 2014 and 2015, there was a 54% increase in the number of homicides across DC with the increase mostly concentrated in the Northeast and Southeast quadrants. Between January and May of 2016, the number of homicides in Ward 7 tripled from the rate during the same period a year ago.

The full report, Perceptions of Public Safety, can be found here.

HEALTH/COMMUNITY | Jennifer Schitter, principal health planner at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, shares the partnership between their Region Forward Committee and WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group on a collective, cross-sector approach to shed light on how social, economic, and environmental factors influence health at the zip code level. (Daily, 6/28)

Related: The Healthy Communities Working Group has also just released their Theory of Change, illustrating a vision toward a better region “where communities across all jurisdictions are thriving, and all people are living their lives to their fullest potential.”

PHILANTHROPY | On Exponent Philanthropy‘s blog, Katherine B. Wright, executive director of the Wright Family Foundation, shares how her family’s organization stepped into the policy arena and witnessed the power of the collective voice of philanthropy. (Philanthrofiles, 6/24)

AGING
– According to a Freddie Mac survey of the housing plans and perceptions of people born before 1961, over five million in this age group anticipate moving to rental units by 2020, further placing pressure on low-income rental inventories. (Freddie Mac, 6/28)

– So you’re thinking about retirement? Find out which areas in the region were recently named among the best cities to do so. (ARLNow, 6/27)

– Nonprofit Work After Retirement? Maybe You Can Make It Pay (NYT, 6/24)


It is with a mix of sadness and excitement that I must share that today will be my last day at WRAG and writing The Daily WRAG :(  Rebekah Seder will be taking over once again – on a modified schedule – as I will be making my transition to another organization in the WRAG family. Sincere thanks to anyone who has ever responded to any of the weird things that I’ve posted down here, or has sent a kind note to let us know they are reading. I will certainly miss my colleagues I’ve had the great privilege of working with over the past couple years and am so happy to say that I won’t be going far. 

– Ciara

Does your zip code determine how long you will live? WRAG and COG join forces to explore

By Jennifer Schitter
Principal Health Planner
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

What does housing, economy, education, transportation, public safety, environment, and land use have in common? They all have an impact on our health.

Inequalities in community health by location reflect the interplay of social, economic, and environmental factors that differentiate the quality and duration of life for residents from one Metro stop to another.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Region Forward Committee is partnering with the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) and its Healthy Communities Working Group (HCWG) to use a cross-sector approach to illuminate such disparities at the neighborhood level (Region Forward Sectors below). Once uncovered, both targeted policy and resource decisions by community stakeholders can have an impact on the lives of our communities. This collective approach to incorporate health considerations into decision-making is commonly referred to as Health in All Policies (HiAP).

In June, local health officials and health funders from across the region joined together to discuss the HiAP opportunities and challenges seen within their own efforts. A few of the comments are listed below:

 HiAP Opportunities:

“It offers the opportunity for people outside of the public health field to share a common objective and interest in health and well-being.”

“An equitable society where all citizens have an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

  HiAP Challenges:

 “Implementing HiAP often involves gaining buy-in and support from other sectors and definitely involves a multi-sector effort, all of which take time and rarely is there funding to do so.”

 “Probably the biggest barrier is the name itself – those outside of the health space are too easily confused. Too often they think HiAP is about clinical care because of the name – and reactions like ‘why should we care about healthcare in transportation polices’ become the norm.”

By COG and WRAG partnering to break down barriers by using cross-sector data, it will show just how where we live impacts the lives we live. This will ultimately assist policy makers in deciding where to invest their time, money, and resources for the greatest community benefit. Although there are some challenges, health officials, funders, and elected officials are optimistic in making health a priority across the metropolitan Washington region.

Some question expansion as summer youth jobs program begins

WORKFORCE/REGION
D.C.’s summer youth jobs program kicks off with 12,000 participants, including those who were made eligible due to the city raising the age limit from 21 to 24 in 2015. Meanwhile, officials grapple over data proving whether or not the age increase has proven to be a financially feasible move. (WaPo, 6/26)

If the program can’t prove that it helps its oldest participants find jobs that last beyond the summer, it stands to lose the millions of dollars needed to maintain the expansion that began last summer.

[…]

Unemployment rates for D.C. residents between age 20 and 24 are almost double the average rate in the city and even higher for young black people. About 1,000 men and women between the ages of 22 and 24 were accepted to the 2016 program, the maximum number allowed.

But the additional funding came with stipulations. The council agreed to permanently expand funding for the new age division only if the program could show that at least 35 percent of the 22-to-24-year-olds had full-time jobs after they completed the six-week program.

– Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld to eliminate 500 jobs (WaPo, 6/27)

HIV/AIDS | An interactive map providing a visualization of new HIV cases across the District has been released along with a new report by AIDSVu. The data used come from the city and the CDC, and show that D.C.’s ward 7 was hit the hardest with new HIV cases. (DCist, 6/23)

Related: Washington AIDS Partnership is at the forefront of efforts to “end HIV” in the city with a new program connecting black heterosexual women (the second-highest group of new HIV infections) to pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, and the soon-to-be released “90/90/90/50 by 2020” plan. (Daily, 6/20)

POVERTY/DISTRICT | WAMU presents a series exploring poverty this week, focusing today on the Greater Washington region and the underlying challenges its many social profit organizations face in aiding the poor. Residents and local leaders chime in on this interview, including president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region Bruce McNamer, to discuss obstacles to combating poverty. (WAMU, 6/27)

EDUCATION | The D.C. government recently appealed a May ruling by the federal court that said the city is “providing inadequate services to young children with special needs who have yet to enter the school system.” (WaPo, 6/24)

COMMUNITY/REGION | Not far from the Greater Washington region, nearly 44 of West Virginia’s 55 counties have recently been hit hard by massive flooding. WRAG colleague organization Philanthropy West Virginia shares flood recovery response resources for those wishing to provide assistance.

LGBT | Gay Marriage in the United States, One Year Later (Atlantic, 6/26)

EQUITY | Many organizations and institutions are focusing their efforts around equity, but are they approaching equity…equitably? This blog post explores “meta-equity” and offers some suggestions for getting it right. (NWB, 6/27)


How much do you think it would cost to Uber across the country? This Fairfax filmmaker is about to find out

– Ciara

Friday roundup – June 20 through June 24, 2016

THIS WEEK IN RACIAL EQUITY 
– Marcela Brane, Herb Block Foundation president and CEO, shared this year’s winner of the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Be sure to check out the winning cartoon, “Racist EZCash,” by Mark Fiore(Daily, 6/20)

– The latest video in the Putting Racism on the Table series is live! The video features Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor, Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, on the experiences of non-black racial minorities in the United States. While you’re at it, stop by our website to find the viewing guide and discussion guide that accompany the video.

THIS WEEK IN THE WRAG COMMUNITY 
– WRAG’s summer intern Hudson Kaplan-Allen offered the key takeaways from the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” and the importance of cultivating authentic relationships among funders and grantees. The event featured keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas. (Daily, 6/21)

– PwC took home the Outstanding Corporate Citizen of the Year (Large Business) award at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards.

THIS WEEK IN THE DISTRICT
– Unemployment rates in D.C.’s ward 7 and 8 are at the lowest levels in several years, according to recent federal data from the Department of Employment Services. (WCP, 6/17)

THIS WEEK IN HOMELESSNESS
– Officials in Fairfax County are striving toward a more supportive community for the homeless with the opening of a new center. (WaPo, 6/22)

– According to data, more than 1.3 million U.S. students were homeless in 2013-2014. Advocates are looking to bring greater awareness and support to youth experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, and a new report surveying homeless youth reveals that many schools may be failing to help students. (WaPo, 6/17)


JOBS

Associate | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Research Assistant | Innovation Network, Inc. | Deadline: 07/01/2016
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente
Part Time Bookkeeper/Accountant | ACT for Alexandria
Associate Director | Arabella Advisors
Director, Corporate Philanthropy | Council on Foundations

WRAG’s Community Calendar

Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.


So today is apparently #TakeYourDogToWorkDay. Brace yourself for cuteness overload and click the hashtag to see some dogs hard at work.

– Ciara 

Watch Putting Racism on the Table | The Racial Mosaic of America, featuring Manuel Pastor

PUTTING RACISM ON THE TABLE/WRAG
The latest video in the Putting Racism on the Table series is now live! The video features Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor, Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, on the experiences of non-black racial minorities in the United States. After you’ve had a chance to view the video, we encourage you to share your thoughts via Twitter with the hashtag #PuttingRacismOnTheTable, or by commenting on WRAG’s Facebook page. We also suggest checking out the viewing guide and discussion guide to be used with the video. Both are available on our website.

CSR/COMMUNITY | Congratulations to PwC for taking home the Outstanding Corporate Citizen of the Year (Large Business) award at the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards!

HOMELESSNESS/REGION
– In Fairfax County, officials are working to build a more supportive community for the homeless and mend strained relationships with the opening of a new center. (WaPo, 6/22)

– Will D.C. General Stay Open Until 2020? Council Says Later Estimate Lacks ‘Credibility’ (WCP, 6/22)

WORKFORCE/DISTRICT | A new proposal before the D.C. Council aims to further protect low-wage retail workers from “just-in-time” scheduling practices. (WCP, 6/23)


Would you (or did you already) buy any of these strange products for your pet?

– Ciara

Annie E. Casey Foundation releases 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book

YOUTH
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released their 2016 KIDS COUNT Data Book, looking at children’s well-being across various indicators nationally and within each state. For youth in the District, the data show some gains and some losses (WCP, 6/21):

The analysis presents a mixed-bag for District youth, who have seen significantly higher rates of reading and math proficiency from 2007 to 2015 as well as a slight uptick in health-insurance enrollments from 2008 to 2014. Still, the portion of those living in poverty—26 percent, as of two years ago—remained the same as it was in 2008, with one in ten teens (roughly 3,000) neither in school nor working in 2014.

In the report‘s overall state rankings, Virginia comes in at number 11 and Maryland lands at number 16.

OpinionWhat does it mean when five D.C. kids are shot and there’s no outcry? (WaPo, 6/21)

– According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it costs a middle-income family (with two parents and no more than five children) $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013 in America from birth to 18-years-old. While 2013 is the most recent year for which data is available, you can use the interactive tool to see how those numbers have changed for low-, middle-, and high-income families since 1960. (WSJ, 6/22)

SOCIAL PROFITS/PHILANTHROPY | In the newest video in their Philanthropy Lessons video series, Exponent Philanthropy staff and grantees discuss the value of the all-important site visit. (Chronicle, 6/22)

IMMIGRATION/VIRGINIACounty Board Backs Resolution for Undocumented Immigrant Driver’s Licenses (ARLnow, 6/22)

CSR/COMMUNITY | The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has extended the deadline for the 17th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards submissions to June 30.  The 2016 winners will be announced at the Citizens Awards Gala on November 17 at the end of their annual conference.

EDUCATION 
– A new University of Virginia study asks the question, “Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?” and offers the first national glimpse at how expectations of the youngest students have changed quite a bit since 1998. (NPR, 6/21)

– Can ‘early warning systems’ keep children from dropping out of school? (WaPo, 6/21)


If you were in Reston yesterday, you saw nearly every type of weather there is. 

– Ciara

HUD proposes changes to federal housing vouchers in major markets

HOUSING/EQUITY
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently shared a proposed new rule that would adjust the maximum value of federal housing vouchers in several markets in order to account for variations in what it costs to live in certain neighborhoods (WaPo, 6/17):

Instead of setting “fair market rent” standards at the metropolitan level, in about 30 major metros including Washington, New York and Chicago, HUD will set them by ZIP code instead. That shift will mean significant change for a program that serves 2.2 million households, more than live in public housing projects.

The policy is designed to enable low-income families to use their housing aid to move to neighborhoods with less poverty, lower crime and better schools — an opportunity that research has shown can boost prospects for poor kids. Until now, the voucher program that was supposed to give families a chance to move out of deeply poor housing projects has largely concentrated them instead in deeply poor neighborhoods. In cities such as the District, a voucher just isn’t worth enough to afford entry into truly “high opportunity” places.

–  A radical idea to compensate black homeowners harmed by racial bias (WaPo, 6/17)

WRAG/WRAG COMMUNITY
– WRAG’s summer intern Hudson Kaplan-Allen reflects on the key takeaways from the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” and the importance of cultivating authentic relationships among funders and grantees. The event featured keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas. (Daily, 6/21)

– Daniel Solomon of the Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation will be leading DC Vote as the interim executive director. Solomon is a founder and board member of the organization.

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | Neurological research on child brain development following traumatic experiences has inspired some educators to rethink past approaches to zero-tolerance discipline. Schools in the District are investing in better strategies to help students overcome persistent stress. (WaPo, 6/18)

VIRGINIAMeasure to improve police trust, transparency up for vote in Fairfax (WaPo, 6/21)


A glimpse at public libraries across the country.

– Ciara

Authentic relationships are key to fundraising success

by Hudson Kaplan-Allen 
WRAG’s 2016 Summer Intern

How important is it for funders and grantees to have authentic relationships? Very important, according to the “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series. Keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas shared advice ranging from how to initiate a partnership with a grantmaker to how to craft an effective proposal.

Nonprofits often view funders as if they were an ATM machine, trying to figure out the right pin, Moyers said. It is a game of cracking the code with the hope that the prize will be a blank check. Fifteen years ago, Moyers was an eager nonprofit leader looking to increase support from his biggest funder. Moyers found himself at a reception with the executive director of the foundation. His first instinct was to approach the E.D. and get straight to the point – and that is exactly what he did. Fast forward to the present, Moyers has, on occasion, found himself in his former funder’s shoes. Interactions like these are never authentic. Conversations should not be about a transaction, but about cultivating a common vision for the future. It’s important, too, to be a good listener.

Moyers and others addressed the question that every nonprofit leader has contemplated: what is the most common reason grant requests get turned down? Funn responded that if a funder truly believes in a program, they will find the money or try to connect the applicant with another potential funder. Murphy pointed out that if there is a great project hidden behind a poor proposal, it deserves a chance. Baer-Cooper noted that requests are frequently turned down by small family foundations because they don’t have enough resources to fund everything that comes their way.

Participants asked about strategies and practices for approaching grantmakers. Nonprofits should have an idea of what the foundation is looking for, the panelists said. No one wants to receive a generic cookie-cutter email. It’s frustrating to sit down with someone who hasn’t done his or her homework.

Moyers concluded where he began, with a discussion of authentic relationships between funders and grantees. To Murphy, authenticity is about reaching a point in the relationship where he and his grantees can have honest conversations and work hand-in-hand to effectively address organizational and societal challenges. Baer-Cooper defines authenticity as transparency and honesty. Funn emphasized the importance of being true to your values. “Don’t change who you are, just bring me into your world,” she said. Ultimately, programs that connect authentically are the ones that will succeed.


To learn more about the 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, please check out our recent announcement in The Daily WRAG. To register for the next two events in the series (July 14 and August 19), please visit WRAG’s online event calendar.

First citywide program for connecting black women with HIV prevention drugs coming to DC

HIV/AIDS 
A $1 million investment from the MAC AIDS Fund will go toward making D.C. the first major city to get a program that will connect black heterosexual women (the second-highest group of new HIV infections) in the District with pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP. (Slate, 6/17)

In 2009, D.C. declared an HIV epidemic that rivaled those in many African nations, with around 3 percent of the city’s residents living with HIV. In some areas and age groups, it was closer to 5 percent. Though targeted prevention efforts have cut D.C.’s new-diagnosis rate by almost 60 percent since then, the city still has an HIV rate nearly twice as high as the state with the next highest rate, Louisiana, and nearly 4 percent of black residents are infected. In D.C. and across the country, HIV is a racialized epidemic among women: As of 2012, 92 percent of D.C. women living with HIV were black.

Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership, which is at the forefront of these efforts, had this to say:

The Washington AIDS Partnership is excited to be at the center of Washington, D.C.’s goal to “end HIV” through the soon-to-be released “90/90/90/50 by 2020” plan, and innovative HIV prevention strategies such as  Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for women. Stay tuned for a major announcement with more details on June 30!

RACISM/INEQUALITY | Marcela Brane, Herb Block Foundation president and CEO, shares with WRAG this year’s winner of the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize for Editorial Cartooning, and the enduring impact and significance of the political cartoonist in society. Check out the winning cartoon, “Racist EZCash,” by Mark Fiore(Daily, 6/20)

REGION | Leaders of Washington’s former bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics are said to be keeping up the momentum of their efforts by continuing to meet to discuss objectives for further regional cooperation, even without the possibility of the summer games. (WBJ, 6/17)

DISTRICT
Unemployment rates in D.C.’s ward 7 and 8 are at the lowest levels in several years, according to newly-released federal data from the Department of Employment Services. (WCP, 6/17)

– A report by the District’s Office of Revenue Analysis examines the gender pay gap among the city’s workforce. While men make more than women for the same work in most industries, D.C.’s nonprofit sector is shown to be one area where women often make more than men in similar positions. (WBJ, 6/17)

–  This Is The Insane Amount of Money it Takes To Be Considered “Wealthy” in DC (Washingtonian, 6/17)

EDUCATION
Montgomery County schools have adopted a new budget officials hope will narrow the school system’s achievement gap and lower class sizes. (WaPo, 6/17)

– Data show that more than 1.3 million U.S. students were homeless in 2013-2014. Advocates are looking to bring greater awareness and support to youth experiencing homelessness and extreme poverty, and a new report surveying homeless youth reveals that many schools may be failing to help students. (WaPo, 6/17)

HEALTH/YOUTH
– According to estimates, there are still 37 million homes in the U.S. that contain lead-based paint and 6 million that recieve drinking water through lead pipes. With children shown to absorb more lead than adults, the American Academy of Pediatrics is urging physicians to be more proactive about testing children for exposure. (NPR, 6/20)

Video: Can the U.S. End Teen Pregnancy? (Atlantic, 6/14)


Just in case you haven’t heard, Clevelanders are very, very happy today.

– Ciara

Revealing truth through art

Artists are the gatekeepers of truth. They are civilization’s radical voice and moral compass.
– Paul Robeson


by Marcela Brane
President/CEO
The Herb Block Foundation

The Herb Block Foundation was asked by Tamara Lucas Copeland to comment on the Foundation’s annual Herblock Prize winner for Editorial Cartooning, specifically on the “Racist EZCash” cartoon shown here. The Herblock Prize is for distinguished examples of editorial cartooning that exemplify the courageous standard set by Herblock, reinforcing his lifelong fight against abuses by the powerful and the freedom to express it. The prize is awarded to the best portfolio of 10-15 cartoons, and this year’s winner, Mark Fiore, is the first animated cartoonist to win.

Fiore’s cartoons cover subjects like refugees, immigration, xenophobia, and gun violence, as well as politics and other subjects. Whether race, religion, government transparency, or environmental concerns, cartoons use both a sense of humor and a sense of outrage to inform. The cartoon “Racist EZCash” is about how our country profits from structural racism. It lists startling statistics about Ferguson, MO, and how it is representative of other police departments across the country.

One of the three Herblock Prize judges, Kevin Kallaugher, said:

Mark Fiore’s entry contained an engaging and powerful collection of visual commentaries. Fiore demonstrated a great use of parody, adept writing, great visualizations, and solid journalism, to deliver thought-provoking editorials. Like a good Herblock cartoon, Mark’s work displayed a consistent and determined passion to fight against society’s ills and absurdities. It is his skilled and masterful cartoon craftsmanship steeped with determined political convictions that make Fiore’s animations worthy of the Herblock Prize.

When we were asked to comment on why the Foundation and our committee chose a portfolio like Mark Fiore’s with a piece like “Racist EZCash” for recognition, the answer was easy – because for the political cartoonist, it is their role to speak for the other guy or to call out the injustices. As Mr. Block said, “There are no super men or women, there are only you and I and others who believe in democracy, think about the other guy, and do something about it.”

The Putting Racism on the Table series really broadened the scope of our discussions in the office. It connected me with others and presented me with greater awareness of structural racism and implicit bias, presenting the challenge to press this lens within myself, my family, and The Herb Block Foundation. For six months during the series, grantmakers and their trustees gathered to “think about the other guy.” I believe that was a great start. Now, let’s start doing.