Category: WRAG member announcement

Inspiring Philanthropy in Loudoun County, for Loudoun County

by Katy Moore, Managing Director, Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
and Amy Owen, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties

Meet Susan. She represents the average donor in Loudoun County and the type of resident that a dedicated, cross-sector group of county leaders is actively working to reach and influence. We want Susan to invest her time and philanthropic resources in Loudoun and encourage her neighbors to do the same.

Here’s the challenge:

Like 53 percent of her fellow residents, Susan leaves Loudoun County every day for work, loosening her ties to her community. Like a substantive majority of other households in the county, Susan’s income is about $120,000 – a good quality of life in one of the “happiest” counties in the U.S. Unfortunately, like many of her fellow residents, Susan doesn’t think much about charitable giving. She donates about 2 percent of her discretionary income – a full 1 percent behind the national average – partly because many of Loudoun County’s needs are “hidden” from Susan:

• Although there were 134 county residents experiencing homelessness at the last Point in Time study, Susan has never met one and rarely, if ever, hears about the challenges of homelessness in the county.

• Susan doesn’t see hungry people as she dines at the county’s many restaurants and shops at the many farmers markets, even though Loudoun Interfaith Relief – the county’s largest local food pantry – served more than 17,000 people last year.

• Loudoun Cares, the local information and referral hotline, processed more than 4,000 referrals in 2015 from people seeking help in rent and utility assistance, clothing, and more. But, those folks don’t call Susan.

• 315 low-income households receive supplemental day-care support from Loudoun County Department of Family services, and, as of last November, more than 500 families were on the department’s waiting list. Susan doesn’t think she knows those people and she doesn’t see or hear about them in the media.

Susan’s situation – strong household income, but moderate charitable giving – is a common combination across America. Those who don’t see or come into immediate contact with “need” tend to give less. But, WRAG and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties are working to change that pattern in Loudoun.

Since WRAG’s 2015 Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, an impressive group of cross-sector leaders has been working together to identify needs and gaps in the county and explore strategies to tackle them. The group is currently working on a robust community awareness campaign to elevate the face of need in Loudoun and encourage increased and more effective philanthropic investments from residents. The campaign is currently set to launch in early 2017. This collaborative effort is generously supported by the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

If you’d like more information or want to get involved, please contact Amy Owen at

Why We’re Getting on the Map: The Northern Virginia Health Foundation

Lately we’ve been highlighting some of the reasons why WRAG members are committing to “get on the map” by e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center. The data will populate WRAG’s Foundation Map, a data mapping and visualization platform that will allow members to explore who is giving to what and where across the Greater Washington region.

The Northern Virginia Health Foundation signed on to this initiative from the start. Says Patricia Mathews, foundation president and CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors,

“The Northern Virginia Health Foundation is pleased to participate in this important effort to improve the data infrastructure of the WRAG community. As a health funder, it is critical for us to understand how our investments intersect with our colleagues’ funding toward other issues that impact the health and wellness of Northern Virginians, like housing affordability, education, and the environment. We anticipate that WRAG’s Foundation Map will be an important tool in our efforts to align our grantmaking in support of creating healthier communities across Northern Virginia. We encourage all of our fellow WRAG members to contribute their data to make this tool as powerful as it can be. This could truly be a way to work toward achieving a healthy region.”

Get on the Map is an initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grants data for and about funders. WRAG Members: To learn more about the platform and how to contribute your data, watch this recent webinar or sign up for the next webinar on April 9.

Why We’re Getting on the Map: The Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust

More funders are getting on the map. Last week, Angela Jones Hackley and Ben Murphy explained why the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is sharing their grantmaking data to help build WRAG’s Foundation Map.

One of the latest funders to participate in this effort is the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust.

Here’s why they’re getting on the map, according to executive manager Lori Jackson:

“As the sole staff person of the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust, I don’t have a lot of time to meet with colleague funders or do extensive research on the local funding landscape. Having immediate and easy access to my WRAG colleagues’ grantmaking data – and their having access to our data – will help make it easier to find out who else is funding our grantees and potential grantees, and to identify possible new areas of funding alignment or collaboration. We all want be strategic and effective in our giving, and WRAG’s Foundation Map promises to be a tool to help do this. I hope that my colleagues will share their data to make this tool as powerful as possible.”

Get on the Map is an initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grants data for and about funders. By e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center, WRAG members will help to build an interactive mapping platform that will allow members to see who is funding what and where in our region. To learn more about the platform and how to contribute your data, watch this recent webinar or sign up for the next webinar on April 9.

Why We’re Getting on the Map: The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region

A few weeks ago, Tamara Copeland asked WRAG members to “get on the map” by sharing their grants data with the Foundation Center. That data will populate WRAG’s Foundation Maps platform, an interactive, searchable mapping tool for members that will visualize philanthropy in the Greater Washington region. Rick Moyers recently explained how having this data readily accessible will enable the Meyer Foundation to more thoughtfully and strategically collaborate with their colleagues, making them more effective grantmakers.

We’re excited to report that the list of funders getting on the map by electronically reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center is growing. One of the latest foundations to participate is The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

Here’s why they’re getting on the map, according to Angela Jones Hackley, Interim President:

“The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is happy to be able to support this initiative to improve the quality and timeliness of data for the region’s philanthropic community. As the biggest grantmaker in the region in terms of giving, it’s critical that our data is on the map and available to our funding colleagues.”

According to Benton Murphy, Senior Director of Philanthropic Services and a “self-professed data nerd,”

“Having timely data on philanthropy in the region will help us be more strategic in our grantmaking, helping us see where great work is already happening and may be primed for partnership opportunities. I’m also excited that it will help demonstrate the impact and reach of CFNCR’s and our donors’ funding in communities around the region!”

WRAG Members: Learn more about the Get on the Map campaign and the Foundation Maps platform on our website. For more info on e-reporting and a demo of the platform, register for the next how-to webinar on April 9. Don’t want to wait that long to get on the map? Check out a recording of the last webinar. Questions? Contact Rebekah Seder.

Anne Allen passes away at 88

We are very sad to let you know that Anne Allen, former Executive Director of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, passed away peacefully in the early morning of May 30, 2013. She was 88 years old.

Anne Allen was a founding member of early efforts that led to the creation of Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and she served on the WRAG board after its founding.

From 1989 to 2005, Anne served as Executive Director of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation. During that time, she worked on 3,500 grants, totaling $166 million, and helped to broaden the Foundation’s giving in the arts and humanities, education, community services, healthcare, and the environment. After her retirement from the position of Executive Director, she continued to serve on the Foundation’s Advisory Board until 2012.

Rose Ann Cleveland, current Executive Director of the Cafritz Foundation, notes that, before every board meeting, Foundation staff members still invoke Anne’s guiding words for presenting their grants recommendations for review. “Her wisdom, good humor, common sense and knack for asking probing questions are legacies that we hold dear.”

As Calvin Cafritz, President, CEO and Chairman of the Cafritz Foundation, remarked on Anne’s retirement in 2012 from the Foundation’s Advisory Board: “your accomplishments will long be celebrated. . . Truly, for many years, you worked successfully to improve the lives of DC-area residents. You have had a substantial impact on the city of Washington.”

Service details have not yet been announced. We will share them in The Daily WRAG when they become available.

Funders collaborate to bring Richmond-based budget advocacy group to NoVA

Today, we want to share with you a collaboration between WRAG members designed to take a successful District model and replicate it in Northern Virginia.

With the DC Fiscal Policy Institute’s excellent results advocating on behalf of nonprofits in mind, Rubie Coles from the Moriah Fund and Sarah Oldmixon from the Greater Washington Workforce Development Collaborative at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region developed a plan to expand the similarly-focused Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis to Northern Virginia.

The Commonwealth Institute is based in Richmond, but Rubie and Sarah recognized that Northern Virginia has distinct differences from the state as a whole – and needs affecting the Greater Washington Region. In a video interview, they talk about the initiative and their interest in bringing other funders to the table.

The video also features the Commonwealth Institute’s president and CEO, Michael Cassidy, and Reston Interfaith’s Kerrie Wilson, a Nonprofit Roundtable board member, discussing the value proposition of the new endeavor.

Mario Morino’s new book released today…High rates of students in remedial community college courses…Talking with new DHCD head [News, 5.19.11]

COMMUNITY | Today Venture Philanthropy Partners, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, are launching their latest publication, Leap of Reason: Managing Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity, by Mario Morino. The book calls on funders to empower their grantees to focus on impact and outcomes, rather than onerous reporting requirements, particularly during the current economic downturn when maximizing nonprofits’ impact is especially important.

BUDGETS | Yesterday advocates demonstrated to protest the cuts to services for the homeless in the District’s FY2012 budget. They seem to have gotten their message across: Council Chairman Kwame Brown told the crowd that he would “do everything I can to restore all of the homeless services” in the budget, though he said he wouldn’t be doing it by raising the income tax. (WAMU, 5/19)

– A new report shows that significant segments of students at the region’s community colleges have to enroll in remedial English, math, and English as a second language courses. (Examiner, 5/19)

– Jay Matthews takes a look at the controversy around an extremely rigorous new DC charter school, which opponents think won’t adequately meet the needs of special education students and students learning English as a second language. (WaPo, 5/12)

Closing more bad charters sooner (WaPo, 5/15)

– D.C. schools investigate security breaches in 2011 tests. (Examiner, 5/19)

HOUSING | John Hall, the new director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, talks about his plans and priorities for his new position, particularly with regard to ensuring a supply of affordable housing. (City Paper, 5/17)

ENVIRONMENT | New technology being acquired by DC’s Wastewater Treatment Plant will be the “largest source of clean renewable energy in Washington, D.C.,” according to George Hawkins, the head of DC’s Water and Sewer Authority. (WAMU, 5/17)

– The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is inviting nominations of exceptional youth and young adult leaders for its 2011 Linowes Leadership Award. The foundation awards four people annually, with one award specifically recognizing a young person, age 18 or younger. Nominations must be in by May 25. More information is available here.

– Greater DC Cares’ 2011 Impact Summit, where regional business, nonprofit, and volunteer leaders who have made an impact in philanthropy, volunteerism, and service will be recognized, is coming up on June 15. The is an open call for nominations in each category. Nominations are due by May 27. Forms and more information can be found here.

GIVING | Today is the Dulles Greenway’s annual “Drive for Charity” day. 100% of the tolls collected today will be donated to five Loudoun County nonprofits. If you’re wondering how much one day of tolls amounts to, last year’s Drive for Charity day raised $226,427.

Today’s news round-up by Rebekah.

New: Northern Virginia Health and Wellness Directory

The Northern Virginia Health Foundation developed the Health and Wellness Directory (.pdf) as a resource for all who share the vision of a community with the capacity to be and stay healthy. It includes programs that are open to the public and located in and serving Northern Virginia.  (If you would like to be included in any future directory, please contact Julia Howard at

In times of great economic uncertainty and demographic change, Northern Virginia is under tremendous pressure to offer the most efficient and accessible health and wellness programs. The directory will facilitates and support strategic partnerships and key alliances among these and other groups.

VPP accepting applications for “youthCONNECT” initiative

Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) is now accepting applications for its youthCONNECT initiative, funded in part through the federal Social Innovation Fund (SIF), which aims to create a network of high-performing nonprofits in the National Capital Region working to improve opportunities for low-income youth, ages 14-24. Up to four nonprofit organizations will be selected through the open competition. The RFPP is available for download on VPP’s website, along with additional information on youthCONNECT and the guidelines and processes of the open competition. The deadline for submission to VPP is October 12, 2010 at 5:00pm.