Category: WRAG announcement

WRAG Announcement: Dr. Madye Henson named President and CEO

Following a highly competitive national search and vetting process, the board of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is proud to announce the selection of Dr. Madye Henson as President and CEO. She will take the helm on April 15.

Madye steps into this role with over 20 years of cross-sector leadership and a distinguished reputation for building strong relationships. She is known as a visionary and strategic thinker with capacity-building and organizational management skills that have enhanced the teams she’s led within the business, education, and nonprofit sectors. Throughout her career, she has tackled effectively the significant and complex challenges facing the organizations she led with a blend of strategic, operational and cultural expertise admired by staff and stakeholders alike. Modeling leadership resiliency and courage, Madye has engaged in implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and developed lasting partnerships as cornerstones for mission success.

Most recently, Madye served as CEO of Covenant House Greater Washington, the region’s leading comprehensive nonprofit serving young people experiencing homelessness, disconnection, and exploitation. There, she partnered with the board to make important and intentional investments in the physical infrastructure that would help set Covenant House and its young people up for a future of success and initiated and helped lead advocacy efforts that led to the historic legislative change that transferred GEDs into high school diplomas for all DC graduates.

Prior to her role with Covenant House, Madye served as the deputy superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools where she was a leader in the system’s efforts to integrate school with community, and address issues of disproportionality and inequities in schools and learning. Madye also served for three years as President and CEO of HandsOn Greater DC Cares, reestablishing its financial security for the period of her tenure and building its reputation as a star affiliate in the HandsOn network, earning her a position on the national HandsOn board of trustees. Prior to DC Cares, Madye served as Vice President, Community Impact Development with United Way Worldwide, and before moving to the nonprofit arena she held leadership positions in and consulting relationships with several major corporations. Across her career, she has engaged with the philanthropic sector as a board member, grantee, funder, partner, and consultant and brings deep experience and insights into WRAG’s goals to better align philanthropic investments and nonprofit resources in support of positive change for communities in the Greater Washington area.

She earned her doctorate in management and her MBA from Webster University, as well as her Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a member of Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2010.

Madye will lead the design and implementation of WRAG’s vision for the future of the organization. We believe she has the expertise and experience needed to build upon WRAG’s current successes, engage new members and grow investment in the region, and advance the organization’s commitment to racial equity in the Greater Washington region.

The board and search committee extend their gratitude to their search firm partner in this process Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group. Please join the board and staff in welcoming Madye to WRAG.

Position Announcement: President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

By Yanique Redwood, PhD, MPH
Chair, Board of Directors, WRAG
President and CEO, Consumer Health Foundation

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to share the position announcement for the next president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers. We have partnered with Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group to launch a national search that will end with a final selection by spring 2019. The next president will succeed current president Tamara Copeland, who announced in July that she will retire after 12 years of brilliant leadership. Ms. Copeland will continue serving in her role until the new president has been named.

Ms. Copeland leaves WRAG in a strong position both financially and programatically. We are seeking a new leader who will build on WRAG’s momentum as a leading voice in the Washington, DC region on issues such as racial equity and continue to galvanize our membership base of independent, family, corporate, and community foundations, CSR offices, donor advised funds, philanthropic advisors, and philanthropic support organizations.

The search committee is being led by Meyer Foundation President Nicky Goren and also includes WRAG board members Amy Owen (Community Foundation for Loudon and Northern Fauquier Counties) and Craig Pascal (BB&T) as well as Doug Duncan (Leadership Greater Washington) and Hanh Le (Weissberg Foundation). Please share the position with strong potential candidates or send nominations to

If you have any questions about the search, please contact: Callie Carroll, or 202-265-0578.

Update on WRAG’s president search

The WRAG Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group (NPAG) has been retained to lead the search for WRAG’s next president and CEO. The firm will be working in partnership with a search committee comprised of a small group of WRAG board members and non-board members led by Nicky Goren of the Meyer Foundation.

In the coming weeks, NPAG will be interviewing board and staff members as well as leaders of WRAG’s working groups to gain insight into what the organization needs in the next president and CEO. At the end of that process, a position description will be released. At that time, we ask that the WRAG community respond by opening up your networks so that we can identify a strong pool of candidates from diverse backgrounds. This will be a national search.

Our current president, Tamara Copeland, has agreed to remain at WRAG until the new president and CEO has been named.

If you have any questions about the search, please contact: Callie Carroll, or 202-265-0578.

An announcement from WRAG’s president

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

I always heard from my friends that I would know when it was time.

They were right.  After a few years of carefully thinking it through, it is time for me to retire.  I have advised the WRAG Board and staff that I plan to retire at the end of the year.

I joined WRAG in September 2006. Twelve years have passed quickly. Over those years, I learned to use my voice and the platform that I had more effectively to elevate issues that were/are important to me and to the region. I am proud of the work we have done, particularly in the areas of housing affordability and racial equity. I am confident that WRAG is positioned to continue to do great work to positively impact the region with a core staff complement and a board that are truly exceptional.

Some have asked if this is the right time for the organization even if it is the right time for me. I believe it is. Next year, WRAG will undertake a process to determine its direction moving forward. That next strategic vision will be announced at the 2019 Annual Meeting. I remember how important it was for me to participate in the 2007 Year of Engagement as we listened to the views of members in developing our strategic plan for 2008-2011. Next year will also be the year in which several organizations come together to host a regional summit on race, racism and the future of Greater Washington. This is not, as some might think, a culminating event, but the launch of the next phase of the work to broaden the region’s commitment to racial equity. I feel that it is critical that WRAG’s next leader be in place for this event and for the strategic planning process.

Now, what will I do? I’m really not sure. I just know that my inner voice says it is time to enter that next phase of my life. Whatever that next perch is – even if it is just sitting by the Bay for a bit – I hope to be a contributor to the greatness of this wonderful city/region that I call home. Thank you for being such an important part of my life’s journey.

Note: The Executive Committee of the WRAG Board will meet soon regarding next steps. Stay tuned.

National League of Cities & WRAG Partner to Advance Racial Equity in the Greater Washington Region

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is pleased to announce that it will partner with the Racial Equity and Leadership (REAL) Initiative of the National League of Cities (NLC) to host a regional summit in 2019, tentatively called Race, Racism and the Future of Greater Washington.

Although the initiative is in its early stages, WRAG and REAL are excited for the chance to further racial equity in the region. Tamara Copeland, president of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, shared her delight with the partnership with REAL. “We’ve been working at WRAG since late 2015 to position our region to engage in difficult conversations on race and racism. While learning was critical, it was never learning for learning’s sake. We have been strategically preparing philanthropy to be change agents and thought leaders. Now we are ready for action and want to engage with a much broader community to define and work toward a racially equitable region. We welcome the involvement of REAL.”

Both organizations have understood from the beginning of their respective work that neither the National League of Cities’ REAL initiative nor WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series alone would lead to racial equity. This partnership, however, is the seed of a larger idea to bring together people from multiple sectors – government, business, nonprofits, clergy, philanthropy, and academia – and other walks of life to examine the reality of structural racism in Greater Washington and to begin deep conversations and action to effect change.

“I believe that WRAG has laid a solid foundation with philanthropy and has now broadened into other sectors with its Putting Racism on the Table: Expanding the Table for Racial Equity initiative,” said Leon Andrews, director of Race, Equity and Leadership at NLC. “What happens in Greater Washington can be a model for how you build a multi-sector, informed cadre of leaders committed to and working for racial justice. We want to explore this approach for other cities and regions around the country. What better place to start than in the nation’s capital region?”

The work of both WRAG and REAL to promote racial equity was born from racially-charged incidents of violence. Following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and the subsequent unrest, the National League of Cities created the Race, Equity and Leadership initiative to strengthen local leaders’ knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Similarly following the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, the leaders of WRAG committed to extensive learning to better understand the depth, breadth, and impact of structural racism and implicit bias and to work for racial equity through its Putting Racism on the Table effort.

Broad conversations about parameters and vision for the 2019 summit will begin in June 2018, to be followed by the establishment of a planning committee with a one-year window. In 2019, the first regional summit on race and racism will launch a much deeper body of work to advance racial equity in the Greater Washington region.

The Daily WRAG is daily once again

By Rebekah Seder
Senior Program Manager

If you’re reading this post, you probably know why the Daily WRAG is the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ most highly valued resource. And, you might guess that it takes a considerable amount of effort to produce. This year, WRAG and the Daily have benefited from a healthy dose of philanthropic cooperation in order to get this publication delivered to our readers’ inboxes at 1pm.

Earlier this year, WRAG’s Daily editor of over two years, Ciara Myers, left WRAG. While we were sad to see her go, we were thrilled that she wasn’t going far as she took on the position of communications manager at the Meyer Foundation.

To help keep the Daily, albeit not quite “daily,” going, WRAG had the good fortune of being able to leverage our strong ties with our colleague regional associations of grantmakers. Until yesterday, Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, who formerly headed up communications for the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, served as co-editor of the Daily. We are deeply grateful for her excellent work over the past few months.

Today, we are excited to introduce Kendra Allen as the new editor of the Daily WRAG – and to announce that the Daily is now back on a truly daily schedule. Kendra may be a familiar face to some readers as she also serves as the administrative and communications assistant at the Consumer Health Foundation (conveniently located right down the hall from WRAG’s office). With her experience at CHF and degree in journalism, we know that Kendra will be a great Daily editor. Thanks to WRAG and CHF’s long-standing and strong relationship, Kendra will be serving in a shared position with both organizations. We think that is real philanthropic cooperation!

Introducing the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows

(Top Row: Anisha Boucher, Anne Wagner, Catie Oidtman; Bottom Row: Delisha Thompson, Kevin Donnelly, Nicole Rodriguez)

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows! Six students from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute (formerly known as the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership) are working at five WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Anisha Boucher is supporting communications and development with Amina Anderson at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
  • Anne Wagner is  supporting the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s Safety Net Initiative and grantmaking programs with Silvana Straw.
  • Catie Oidtman is working on grants administration and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation Scholars program with Crystal Townsend at HIF for a second year.
  • Delisha Thompson is a public policy fellow working with Maggie Osborn at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
  • Kevin Donnelly is supporting donor services and grants administration at the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, working with Bridget Hanagan.
  • Nicole Rodriguez is working with Tanya Edelin and the Community Benefit department at Kaiser Permanente.

These students are gaining valuable professional experience in philanthropy, making new connections in the community, and bringing fresh ideas and energy to their host organizations. To learn more about each fellow, click here. Check out our website to learn more about WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program.

We Did It!

By Gretchen Greiner-Lott
Vice President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

We did it! Our Region, Your Investment has surpassed its $5 million goal!

That’s right. Since Enterprise Community Loan Fund and the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers officially launched this impact investing initiative earlier this year, we’ve talked with and presented to regional grantmakers, community members, and local stakeholders about this investment opportunity. The results? Not only foundations, but nonprofit organizations, banks, and local residents have invested almost $7 million in this initiative to preserve and produce affordable housing around the region.

What does this mean? Loans have been made to a variety of projects like Clarendon Court in Arlington that will preserve 103 affordable homes in this prime spot in Northern Virginia within blocks of a metro station. Fifty-nine apartments at Fort Steven Place in DC will be updated and improved to meet green building standards, resulting in healthier homes and reduced utility bills for families. The bottom line is that residents will stay in their homes and their communities and will not be overburdened by the cost of their housing.

The need is massive and more projects are in the pipeline; so we can’t stop now. This isn’t a final report. This is a celebratory update.

Passing the $5 million milestone – and by so much – is a testament to what can be done when our community pulls together around an issue that impacts so many families in our region. Won’t you join us?

If you would like to learn more about how you and your organization can earn money on an investment to address the Greater Washington region’s housing crisis, please contact Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG’s Vice President, at or 202-939-3433 to schedule a meeting or presentation. In addition, Enterprise and WRAG will host several webinars this fall. Please watch the WRAG calendar for dates and details.

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.

Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation Invests $500,000 for Affordable Homes in Greater Washington Region

Our Region, Your Investment Gets Traction with Local Investors

Since its launch in January, Our Region, Your Investment has been presented to community members and local stakeholders as an investment opportunity to end the housing crisis in the Greater Washington region. Recent news coverage has featured our leadership in addressing the region’s housing crisis, and research has stated that a lack of affordable housing threatens our region’s economic competitiveness. Our Region, Your Investment provides an actionable step that concerned citizens and organizations can take to be part of the solution.

So far, individuals, nonprofit organizations, and foundations have made investments to provide affordable homes in the region. The most recent investment came from the Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation, which invested $500,000 to further the impact we are already having.

The Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation is working to address the deficit in housing affordability in the D.C. area. An investment in the Enterprise Community Impact Note aligns our investment strategy with our mission and leverages our impact.  We are grateful for the opportunity that Our Region, Your Investment has created to invest funds in ways that promote additional investment in housing solutions.

Joshua Bernstein, President, Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation

Along with other investments, this money is hard at work supporting projects such as Fort Stevens Place in Washington, D.C. and Clarendon Court in Arlington, VA. Combined, these investments have ensured that 160 families are not forced to leave our community due to unhealthy living conditions and/or unaffordable rents.

If you are interested in making an investment that provides a blended social and financial return, contact Rachel Reilly Carroll and visit the Impact Note webpage to learn more about Our Region, Your Investment!

Disclosure: The Enterprise Community Impact Note is offered by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. It is guaranteed by Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation. The Enterprise Community Impact Note is not FDIC or SIPC insured and is only available in states where authorized. This brochure is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of an offer to buy these securities. The offering is made only by the prospectus, which can only be delivered by eligible employees of Enterprise Community Loan Fund, and should be read before investing. WRAG is not affiliated with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. or Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. WRAG is not offering to sell nor soliciting an offer to buy these securities. WRAG is not providing advice, receiving compensation, or making any suitability determinations in respect to you.