Tag: Brian Castrucci

How gentrification affects neighborhood segregation

RACE/HOUSING | Many recent studies have sought to explain the complicated relationship between gentrification, segregation, and displacement in U.S. cities. One researcher has found that, in some cases, white residents moving into predominantly black areas merely shifts the boundaries between predominantly white and black neighborhoods, rather than creating more diverse neighborhoods. (CityLab, 8/1)

Such findings about the nature of racial “boundary movements” could lead to some stark conclusions, especially in the context of the limited body of academic research into the processes behind neighborhood change.

“One of the arguments is that gentrification can’t be that bad if it serves to desegregate urban areas. And we have a lot of evidence that segregation is bad,” says [researcher Jonathan] Tannen… “But if gentrification continues to happen by boundary movements, then that means the block level is never going to desegregate.”

NONPROFITS | At last month’s Nonprofit Summer Learning Series event, grantmakers shared their perspectives on how grantees can foster relationships with their funders after receiving the check. (Daily, 8/2)

Related: Nonprofit staff/executives: Don’t miss the last event in this series on August 19! The topic is having tough conversations with funders. More info here.

CSR/COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Tim McClimon, head of the American Express Foundation and lead faculty member of the Institute for CSR, for being named to the Nonprofit Times’ 2016 Power & Influence Top 50 list!

HEALTH | In his latest column, the de Beaumont Foundation‘s Brian Castrucci points out the shortcomings of focusing only on health care, rather than health. (HuffPo, 8/1)

WORKFORCE/SOCIAL SECTOR | Here’s a great breakdown of the important new overtime law going in to effect in December, how nonprofits can be prepared, and how funders can support them. (NWB, 8/1)

PHILANTHROPY | Foundations Ask Public for Messages of Hope in Major Newspaper Buy (Chronicle, 7/31) Check out #ReasonsForHope on Twitter.

LOCAL | Major flooding destroyed much of downtown Ellicott City, MD, this weekend. Here’s a round up of ways you can help. (WBJ, 8/1)

Tired of heat and humidity? Then plug in your headphones and enjoy this quasi-virtual reality visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. It helps, a little.

WRAG’s staff is participating in a professional development opportunity over the next two days, so the (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday.

– Rebekah

For some, disparities in access to work benefits

A new study from the Center for American Progress finds dramatic disparities in African American and Latino workers’ access to flexible work schedules, paid leave, and vacation in comparison to their white counterparts. (HuffPo, 4/27)

[…]  when you compare a Latino worker with a white worker who is otherwise identical when it comes to educational attainment, type of job and earnings, the Latino worker is still less likely to have access to paid leave.

“This, to me, indicates that it’s not about trying harder, working harder, or going back to school to get a better job,” [report co-author, Sarah Jane] Glynn said. “This is someone’s ethnicity: They can’t work harder to get better access, it appears to be stacked against them.”

– A report from the Downtown Business Improvement District on the state of downtown D.C.’s real estate and economic activity finds that, while the area added jobs, office vacancy rates rose, downtown residency declined, and the number of people experiencing homelessness increased citywide (WCP, 4/27)

– More Funding Needed to End Chronic Homelessness (DCFPI, 4/27)

– The Crimsonbridge Foundation and the Georgetown Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL) have launched a new scholarship fund aimed at developing the leadership of Greater Washington region social profit organizations. The Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund will provide scholarships to CPNL’s Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program for leaders at locally-based and locally-serving organizations. Applications are due by May 2. More information can be found here. Contact the Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership with any questions at npmcert@georgetown.edu or (202) 687-5541.

– The DC Trust has announced their FY16 Summer Strong DC grant competition. High-performing, social profit youth development organizations in D.C. that serve youth between the ages of 5 and 24 with programming that addresses key developmental outcomes can apply for summer program funding.

– Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer of the de Beaumont Foundation, candidly shares his personal health challenges and progression in order to shed light on the privileges that afford some people the opportunity to improve their circumstances, while others have very limited options. (HuffPo, 4/26)

Whitman-Walker releases details on 14th Street project (WBJ, 4/27)

MASS INCARCERATIONWhen Parents Are in Prison, Children Suffer (NYT, 4/26)

ARTS | A global art movement is headed to D.C.’s NoMa neighborhood, featuring murals by local and international artists. (Washingtonian, 4/27)

– Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan writes about the five most pressing issues he sees facing U.S. foundation leaders and their boards. (CECP, 4/28)

–  A New Website Serves Up 500 Years of Philanthropic History (Chronicle, 4/26) Subscription required.

A professor wants to make you feel better about yourself through his non-traditional CV.

– Ciara

A shrinking middle class in the District

D.C. residents have experienced a growing income divide with a declining middle class since 2000, which begs the question – “What happens to a city when its middle class disappears?” (GGW, 3/17)

DC has become a textbook example of a place with a missing middle class.

The number of households making between $25,000 and $74,999 has gone down, and there are far less of them than both high-income ($150,000+) and low-income (less than $25,000) households. There has also been a big uptick in households making $100,000 or more.

Who Pays The Price When Child Care Subsidies Are Too Low? (DCFPI, 3/21)

HEALTH | Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer of the de Beaumont Foundation discusses the need for better collaboration between health care and public health in a recent blog post. (HuffPo, 3/10)

HOMELESSNESS | Take another look at last year’s figures on homelessness in the region based on statistics compiled by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. (Washington Times, 3/17)

EDUCATION/VIRGINIASeparate but equal? Wealthy county’s plan would concentrate low-income, Hispanic students (WaPo, 3/20)

ARTS | S&R Foundation has announced the launch of their new pilot Studios Program at the Fillmore School. The program offers six months of free studio space to local D.C.-based artists working in a variety of disciplines, who will have the opportunity take part in a public exhibition if accepted into the program. The deadline for applications is April 6.

Today is one busy day! If you haven’t planted a tree by now, you’re already behind!

– Ciara

Friday roundup – November 2 through November 6, 2015

– Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation shared four surprising things about the governmental public health workforce in his most recent blog post. (HuffPo, 10/29)

– A recent study predicts an influx in philanthropic funding in the U.S. over the next 20 years that will reach $8 trillion thanks in part to baby boomers who are using their retirement years to give back  (NYT, 11/1)

– Arts funders and dance companies look toward increasing the diversity of their next generation of talent as they hope to grow the diversity of their audiences as well. (NYT, 10/30)

– A growing number of art collectors who wish to donate their artwork are turning to smaller nonprofits rather than museums. (WSJ, 11/1)

– More and more options for adequate transportation in areas previously void of convenient transit are increasing accessibility for residents east of the Anacostia River. Some officials are hoping to further expand options for residents. (WAMU, 11/4)


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.

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How do you think?

– Ciara

Arthur Espinoza Jr. announced as new D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities executive director

The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities has named Arthur Espinoza Jr. as their new executive director. Previously, Espinoza served as managing director of the Washington Ballet. (WCP, 10/30)

Arthur Espinoza Jr., managing director of the Washington Ballet, has been named the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He takes over for Lisa Richards Toney, who has served as the commission’s interim executive director since March.

This winter, the District is taking a slightly different approach to housing homeless families by placing them in shelter further ahead of the freezing temperatures that bring on a more urgent need for assistance. Despite the new approach, the city will still face a number of challenges as demand for shelter surges. (WaPo, 10/31)

PUBLIC HEALTH | Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation shares four surprising things about the governmental public health workforce in his latest blog post. (HuffPo, 10/29)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The Rainmakers Giving Circle, affiliated with the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, is requesting proposals for its 2015-16 grant-making cycle from social profit organizations serving economically disadvantaged girls and young women living in D.C. Find out  more about the request for proposals and the Rainmakers Giving Circle.

PHILANTHROPY | Newer Foundations Focused on Regional Giving (Chronicle, 11/2)

JOBS | Northrop Grumman is seeking a Corporate Citizenship Specialist. Click here to find out more about the position.

ARTS & HUMANITIES/EQUALITY | Push for Diversity in Ballet Turns to Training the Next Generation (NYT, 10/30)

A brief history of the school backpack. Which one did you carry?

– Ciara

Philanthropy and its support of black-led social change efforts

Opinion: In this op-ed, Nat Chioke Williams, executive director of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, discusses the urgent need for philanthropy to ramp up efforts to propel the Black Lives Matter movement and other black-led grassroots efforts like it, and ways foundations like Hill-Snowdon are working to answer the call. (Chronicle, 8/27).

[…] this movement is at risk if it doesn’t get the money it needs to build institutions that can capitalize on this social power. For far too many decades, black-led social-change organizations have received too little in donations to grow into the strong influencers on the American way life that they must be.

WRAG president Tamara Copeland had this to say of Mr. Williams’ op-ed and announcement:

“The Hill-Snowdon Foundation sets an important example for the philanthropic community with this announcement. Supporting black-led social change organizations sends a powerful message that needs to be heard at no time like the present. Leadership matters.”

HEALTH | Opinion: Brian Castrucci, chief program and strategy officer at the de Beaumont Foundation, writes about how real-time data on communities could work to dramatically change the way local health departments tackle neighborhood challenges. (HuffPo, 8/28)

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT | The District has been implementing expanded services for homeless individuals through year-round shelter placement in motels (as opposed to the usual practice of motel placement when temperatures fall below freezing) in an effort to better control the stream of homeless families seeking shelter in the winter months. (WaPo, 8/31)

HOUSING/POVERTY | When it comes to housing, terms like ‘affordable housing’ and ‘low-income housing’ are not even close to being synonymous. In a three-part series on housing in D.C., two authors take a look at why semantics are so important when we talk about those in need of secure housing.  (HuffPo, 8/25)

WORKFORCE/IMMIGRATION/VIRGINIA | In Virginia, labor advocates and officials are hoping to crack down on businesses that improperly classify immigrants as independent contract workers in an attempt to cut corners and save money. A growing number of industries in the state are engaging in the unfair practice, making enforcement difficult. (WaPo, 8/30)

– Montgomery County Public Schools are seeing record-high enrollment this year – a trend that began in 2007, and is expected to continue for years to come. Officials are calling for additional funding and higher taxes to meet growing needs. (WTOP, 9/1)

–  Report: Chronic school absenteeism is contributing to academic gaps (WaPo, 8/31)

ARTS | D.C.’s Historic Murals Are Disappearing (WCP, 8/31)

Here’s some little-known philanthropy history for the day.

– Ciara

Friday roundup – July 6 through July 10, 2015

Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) president and WRAG board member, Dr. Yanique Redwood, built upon a strong metaphor that was shared at the recent CHF annual meeting. (CHF, 7/6)

Opinion: Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation examined how the U.S. healthcare system tends to focus more on treatment over prevention. (HuffPo, 7/2)

Opinion: Paying People to Be Healthy Usually Works, if the Public Can Stomach It (NYT, 7/6)

– Data on student mobility in the District’s public schools shows that there are extraordinarily high rates of transient students, presenting a challenge for youth enrolled in DCPS. (WaPo, 7/4)

Poverty rates in every U.S. school district, in one map (WaPo, 7/8)

Opinion: In Search of the Magic Formula for Philanthropy (Chronicle, 7/6)


Loudoun Philanthropy: Next steps for developing a strong social sector (Open to the community)
Tuesday, July 14  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CEO Coffee & Conversation: Bruce McNamer, new president & CEO of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (WRAG Member CEOs and CEO-equivalents only)
Wednesday, July 15  9:00 am – 10:30 am

Do you like going to the beach, but hate the sand? Try this one instead.

– Ciara

Fixing the rapid rehousing program

As part of their new study, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) took a closer look at the rapid rehousing program and found it to only be a temporary fix for families in need, rather than a viable solution. While some agencies disagree with HUD’s findings, they can agree that more work could be done to improve the program. (NPR, 7/7)

“Rapid rehousing is not a magic solution,” [Jennifer Ho, senior adviser on housing and services at HUD] says.

Her agency has found that families that get rapid rehousing are just as likely later on to face the same housing problems as families that stay in shelters: Many of them end up returning to a homeless shelter, doubling up with family and friends or moving from place to place.


Laura Zeilinger, Washington, D.C.’s new director of human services, says some of the complaints about the program are legitimate. In the past, she says, the city sometimes used rapid rehousing in a punitive way, as a stick to motivate families to get work, even though they clearly needed more help.

She’s trying to change that, Zeilinger says, “to really support families differently, to say we really believe in your potential to be able to make it in the long run and we are here with you to support you in doing so.”

This includes providing other services, such as job training and education, that people need to be able to afford their own place.

She and others in the field take issue with some of HUD’s findings, noting that the study looks at only 12 communities, over a limited time period. And, Zeilinger says, there are few alternatives. Ho, of HUD, agrees that the goal is to improve rapid rehousing, not to replace it.

– On the heels of their recent annual meeting, Consumer Health Foundation president and WRAG board member, Dr. Yanique Redwood, builds on a powerful metaphor that was presented at the event about systemic racism and its far-reaching and long-lasting effects. (CHF, 7/6)

– A new report from the Women Donors Network finds significant gender and racial disparities in the number of local and state prosecutors across the country. The study comes about at a time when much attention has been given to the lack of diversity in many police forces, while very little has been placed on the lack of diversity elsewhere within the criminal justice system. (NYT, 7/7)

HEALTH | Opinion: Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation looks at the U.S. healthcare system’s tendency to focus on treatment over prevention and how illness is all too often incentivized. (HuffPo, 7/2)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: In Search of the Magic Formula for Philanthropy (Chronicle, 7/6)

Have you ever wondered who started referring to the greater Washington area as the “DMV?”

– Ciara


Regional cooperation needed for future of Metro

Washington City Paper has an extensive look at the current state of the beleaguered Metro system and asks the question on many rider’s minds: will it ever get better? The outlook is bleak without a regional vision for the future of transit in the area. (WCP, 2/4)

The trouble […] is that there are considerable structural impediments to expanding the Metro system in step with the District’s needs. No matter how big the city gets, how maxed out its roads, how high the demand, how keen the desire for expansion to underserved neighborhoods, Metro won’t be able to keep up.

Partly, it’s the unwillingness of suburban jurisdictions to sign on to (and help pay for) any new stations or lines. If they’re getting grumpy about funding the operating expenses needed to maintain the meager status quo, good luck getting a green light for expanded service in the District.

COMMUNITY | Today WRAG announced the launch of Get on the Map, a major new initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of data for and about funders in the Greater Washington region. By e-reporting grants data to the Foundation Center, funders will populate a custom version of Foundation Maps, a highly interactive, searchable mapping platform that will visualize grantmaking in the Greater Washington region. WRAG members, click here to learn more.

HEALTH | Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation delves deep into the similarities between our nation’s bridges and the public health system. They’re more alike than you may think! (HuffPo, 2/3)

ARTS |  A plan for a contemporary art museum at the District’s Franklin School building, that would be known as the Institute for Contemporary Expression, may be put on hold as officials and proponents clash over fundraising and timelines. (WaPo, 2/5)

POVERTY | A writer shares his experience going through a memorable poverty simulation exercise supported by Kaiser Permanente during the recent New Partners for Smart Growth conference that proved to be – in a word – sobering. (City Lab, 2/5)

FOOD/AGING | With many older adults in the District living in poverty and on their own, nonprofits and officials in the area are working together to find unique ways to fight against senior hunger. (WaPo, 2/4)

DISTRICT | D.C., where blacks are no longer a majority, has a new African American affairs director (WaPo, 2/4)

HOMELESSNESS | Giving housing to the homeless is three times cheaper than leaving them on the streets (Vox, 2/4)

From now on, I will think of Lulea, Sweden every time I’m about to complain about winter weather.

– Ciara

New reports on absenteeism in D.C.’s Head Start programs

The Urban Institute has released two companion reports on the absenteeism in Head Start programs in D.C. Public Schools. According to the reports, more than 25 percent of the students enrolled last school year were chronically absent, having missed at least 10 percent of the year. (WaPo, 1/26)

Overall, less than half – 44 percent – of the school system’s Head Start students had what one report called “satisfactory attendance,” which is missing 5 percent or less of the school year.

Research shows that early attendance problems often persist, putting children at greater risk of performing poorly on math or reading tests in elementary school, repeating a grade or dropping out of school.

The newly released reports are Absenteeism in DC Public Schools Early Education Program and Insights into Absenteeism in DCPS Early Childhood Program.

PHILANTHROPY | As we move full speed ahead into the new year, thought leaders including WRAG’s own Tamara Copeland, Rosie Allen-Herring of United Way of the National Capital Area, and Vikki Spruill of the Council on Foundations offer their insights on what they think lies ahead this year for philanthropy in the Washington region. (WaPo, 1/25)

ARTS/EQUITY | While THEARC in D.C.’s Ward 8 celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, advocates and admirers of the arts focus on how to get more cultural offerings east of the river. (Elevation DC, 1/27)

“We need a gallery, we need space—period,” says Kimberly Gaines, a creative consultant who lives in Deanwood. She says that it’s a struggle to find good spaces to display art. That the arts organizations that do exist in Ward 7 often need help navigating the grantmaking process. And that some talented artists are being overlooked.


A vibrant art community east of the river would bring residents closer, she says. “This side of town, we’re commuters. We commute downtown. It’s difficult not having art-related entertainment on this side of town. Now, fortunately, you can go over to Southeast, but even still, you’re leaving your community. I just want to see a show in my neighborhood.”

Related for Funders: Next week, WRAG’s Arts & Humanities Working Group will meet to discuss issues related to diversity and racial equity in the region’s cultural sector. More information is available here. Please note that this meeting is for grantmakers only.

HOMELESSNESS | Homeless Population at Motels Continues to Climb, at a Cost of Millions (WCP, 1/26)

HEALTH | Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation delves into the growing primary care physician shortage facing insured Americans, and how primary care and public health can work together to remedy the problem. (HuffPo, 1/26)

REGION | As part of their You Are Here project, MIT Researchers have put together some new graphics showing the average median household income for each stop on the Metro system’s lines. The graphs also include overall income averages for each line, with the Orange line having the highest at $97,236. (WaPo, 1/26)

ECONOMY | Inequality Is Not Just About Wall Street: It’s In All 50 States (WSJ, 1/27)

Check out how a photo of a young man helped raise over $400,000 in just one day. 

– Ciara