Tag: Brightest Minds

D.C. Council wants to create more public restrooms for the homeless

HOMELESSNESS | There have been many solutions proposed to aid the District’s growing homeless population, including the development of shelters, and now the DC Council has started the year with a new one. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced a bill to create more public restrooms for the homeless. (WCP, 1/10)

Ward 1 D.C. councilmember and newly minted Human Services Committee Chair Brianne Nadeau introduced a bill during the council’s first legislative session of the year that would establish a task force to study creating public restrooms to relieve needy residents. Although the measure is in large part intended to benefit the homeless—roughly 8,350 were counted last year—Nadeau says more public bathrooms could also help pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. She says major cities in Europe and Asia are models.

As drafted, such a task force would consist of D.C. health, safety, and other officials as well as representatives from homeless services, urban planning, and civic organizations. Membership would be uncompensated, and the group would look at ways to “provide restroom facilities for free or for a nominal cost at all hours,” while also “incentiviz[ing] businesses to keep their restrooms open to the public.” It would recommend specific locations.

HOUSING
– D.C. to pay $1 million to settle families’ claims for homes taken by tax-lien program (WaPo, 1/10)

Many condo buildings east of the Anacostia are in trouble. Here’s why, and what can be done. (GGW, 1/10)

EVENTS | WRAG is excited to announce our 2017 Brightest Minds Series on a variety of critical topics that intersect with racial equity. The series is open to everyone.

Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President & CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo – February 3, 2017

Roberta Uno, Director of Arts in a Changing America – March 29, 2017

Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD, Professor of Urban Policy and Health at The New School – June 7, 2017

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | In his most recent blog post, Tim McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation and lead faculty member of the Institute for CSR, predicts this year’s top CSR trends.

Related: Registration for the 2017 Institute for CSR is now open. Check out who’s already registered, download an application, and peruse the curriculum here.

EDUCATION
– Loudoun School Board votes against adding sexual orientation or gender identity protections to its employment policy. (Loudoun Times, 1/11)

– Maryland school officials are investigating a ‘Kool Kids Klan’ petition that was passed around a high school last week. (WaPo, 1/10)

Supreme Court to decide: What level of education do public schools legally owe to students with disabilities? (WaPo, 1/10)


Here’s one way to promote pedestrian safety

-Kendra

 

Rebranding the region

REGION
As part of the Roadmap effort, the 2030 Group has announced the hiring of global brand consultant Interbrand to develop a marketing campaign for the region that is expected to launch in early 2017 with the help of a rebranding working group (WBJ, 5/12):

The marketing campaign is part of a larger effort by the 2030 Group to identify weaknesses in the region’s economy and come up with ways to boost growth in a time of federal austerity. The organization has spearheaded working groups to explore affordable housing and how area colleges and universities can work more closely with the business community. A working group exploring a regional transportation authority has been suspended as Metro embarks on its yearlong effort to fix major problems, [2030 Group’s Bob] Buchanan said, although he still hopes to restart that conversation in the future.

Related: Last year, the 2030 Group’s Bob Buchanan and the Center for Regional Analysis’s Stephen Fuller undertook an extensive research project called, The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy, to recommend ways the region can reposition itself to remain competitive in the global economy. WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland also shared how philanthropy in the region might respond and collaborate with other sectors to meet challenges facing our communities. (Daily, 1/15)

COMMUNITY
– In light of the coming dissolution of the DC Trust, WRAG has submitted a letter on behalf of the region’s philanthropic community to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, calling on the Council to maintain funding for out-of-school and summer programming for D.C.’s  children and youth in the FY17 budget. Funders and advocates for children and youth will be watching closely as the DC Council votes on the proposed budget this month.

– BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) recently named Consumer Health Foundation president and WRAG board member Yanique Redwood as one of 36 leaders in their 2016 BALLE Local Economy Fellowship. In this blog post, she discusses why she looks forward to working with other members of her cohort and continuing along a path toward community transformation. (Be a Localist, 5/12)

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has announced plans to create a $500,000 endowment for its Innovation Fund, following a $250,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor. They’ve also announced the launch of a new online-fundraising platform, Granted. (WBJ, 5/13)

FOOD 
– Prince Charitable Trusts presents a short film in their series about farming and food, titled The Culture of Collards, which recently  premiered at the DC Environmental Film Festival. The film traces the cultural heritage of collard greens from Portugal, to Africa, to the American south during the slave trade, up to their current state as a popular staple in many kitchens today. The 9-minute film features culinary historian Michael Twitty; owner of Three Part Harmony Farm in Northeast D.C. Gail Taylor; and City Blossoms co-founders Rebecca Lemos and Lola Bloom.

Related: In 2014, Michael Twitty kicked off WRAG’s Brightest Minds series with a discussion about building a more inclusive food movement. Check out this post that followed his talk, then take a look at the exciting lineup for WRAG’s Brightest Minds programs for the rest of the year. Brightest Minds programs are open to the public.

– The Ongoing Need for Healthy Food in Corner Stores (City Lab, 5/12)

EDUCATION
– As the acknowledgment of the importance of quality pre-k education in a student’s future success picks up steam across the country, some states continue to struggle with making these programs accessible to millions of children. Locally, D.C. made progress by serving more 3- and 4-year-olds than ever during the 2014-2015 school year. (WaPo, 5/12)

– The troubling shortage of Latino and black teachers — and what to do about it (WaPo, 5/15)


Which of the seven deadly sins do some of the most popular social networks represent? Pinterest is spot-on!

– Ciara

Friday roundup – April 25 through April 29, 2016

THIS WEEK IN THE DISTRICT/THIS WEEK IN YOUTH
DC Trust interim Executive Director Angela Jones Hackley and board chair Marie Johns shared a message to friends and colleaguesregarding news that broke in The Washington Post about the organization. (WaPo, 4/26)

–  The District has one of the highest rates of asthma in the U.S. and many of those sufferers are lower-income children. Despite this fact, a planned homeless shelter in ward 5 is slated to open right near a bus garage. (WaPo, 4/23)

THIS WEEK IN MASS INCARCERATION
– Following a recent Putting Racism on the Table session on mass incarceration, Graham McLaughlin of the Advisory Board Company and returning citizen and business owner Anthony Pleasant discussed their personal insights into the justice system and the many challenges facing returning citizens. (Daily, 4/25)

– A newly-released report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the impact of having an incarcerated parent on families. According to the study, nearly 10,000 children in D.C. have a parent who has been jailed. (WCP, 4/26)

– When Parents Are in Prison, Children Suffer (NYT, 4/26)

THIS WEEK IN POVERTY
– Ahead of WRAG’s upcoming Brightest Minds event featuring author and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University Eldar Shafir on May 18WRAG Philanthropy Fellow Hannah Davis broke down the idea of the “scarcity trap,”and why having too little is a such a big deal. (Daily, 4/26)

THIS WEEK IN HEALTH 
 Thousands Leave Maryland Prisons With Health Problems And No Coverage (NPR, 4/24)

–  Heroin epidemic worsens in Virginia (WTOP, 4/25)


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.


Calendar won’t display? Click here.


When you hug a dog, they probably want you to stop doing that…according to psychology.

– Ciara

Even a small amount of savings can make a difference for families

POVERTY
A new Urban Institute report explores the relationship between the economic health of cities and the financial health of its residents. While it’s no surprise that having wealthier families leads to wealthier cities, the study looks at how families experiencing hardships with even a small amount of savings can avoid spiraling into instability and creating greater costs for municipalities. (City Lab, 4/26):

Hardship outcomes matter to cities. Eviction is a leading cause of homelessness, especially for families with children. Eviction also leads some families to seek out substandard living conditions. Residential instability limits opportunities for children and youths. Missed utility payments, another form of hardship, is a cost for municipalities. So are public benefits.

[..]

Financial insecurity is a problem for families that can take the form of food insecurity, poor health outcomes, and homelessness. The Urban Institute’s research shows that a family’s financial insecurity is also a city’s problem. When families without savings suffer income disruptions (which are common), they may turn to public benefits. Or they may turn to more expensive forms of support. Or they may suffer. All of these outcomes at the family level detract from a city’s overall financial health.

– Ahead of WRAG’s upcoming Brightest Minds event featuring author and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University Eldar Shafir on May 18WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellow Hannah Davis explains the notion of the “scarcity trap,” and why having too little is a big deal. (Daily, 4/26)

– Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, explores why it’s so important for decision makers to stop viewing reading as the “broccoli” that low-income students must eat before getting to the “dessert”- art, history, music and more. (DC Eduphile, 4/18)

– The Growing College-Degree Wealth Gap (Atlantic, 4/25)

HEALTH
–  Heroin epidemic worsens in Virginia (WTOP, 4/25)

– Suicide rates are on the rise for every age group under 75, with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 experiencing the highest percent increase. Economic stagnation, drug use, lack of health coverage, and even earlier puberty ages are counted as possible reasons for depression that leads to more suicides. (WAMU, 4/21)

– Do Local Governments Have a Role to Play in Mental Health? (City Lab, 4/19)

ARTS
– Americans for the Arts delivers their sixth and final publication of the National Arts Index, an annual report on the health and vitality of arts and culture in the U.S.

– With a number of recent transitions in the District’s dance scene, here’s a look at what’s on the horizon in the near future. (Dance Magazine, 4/15)

AudioIs Jazz Sustainable In Washington, D.C.? (WAMU, 4/21)


Have you read any of these remarkable book titles?

– Ciara

The big problem of having too little

By Hannah Davis
Philanthropy Fellow at the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers


Hannah is a Master of Public Management student at University of Maryland focusing on social justice and nonprofit leadership. She is currently serving as a Philanthropy Fellow with the Institute for corporate social responsibility.


I sat in amazement as everyone pulled out their calculators and got to work on a budget equation my professor put on the board. It was the first day of class. I had no idea where to start and math is certainly not one of my strengths. I had felt overwhelmed before I even entered the classroom. With three other graduate school classes, a fellowship, and launching my own venture, I just couldn’t even think about where to begin.

A few days later I emailed my professor telling him I had to drop the course. “I would like to be in a space where I can fully take the time to understand what’s being taught,” I said to him. I’m sure he laughed when he saw the email, but I was serious. My mental bandwidth was at its max.

In their book Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir –the next speaker in WRAG’s Brightest Minds series – explain that scarcity captures our attention and “impedes our ability to focus on other things.” This idea of “less mind” is captured by Mullainathan and Shafir with the umbrella term “bandwidth,” which they define as our capacity and ability to pay attention, make good decisions, stick with our plans, and resist temptations. Bandwidth isn’t about intelligence; it’s about scarcity.

Scarcity is having less than you feel you need. Whether it’s time, money, or even the willpower to resist that piece of cake, scarcity directly impacts your mental bandwidth. By focusing on one thing, what is it you’re not focusing on?

Being poor is hard. As a social worker, I have seen firsthand parents juggling two or three jobs and struggling to make ends meet every month. We sign people up for GED classes and job training programs thinking if we just give them the educational skills they’re missing we’ll be able to decrease our TANF and SNAP rolls. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

The authors explain that education comes with a price tag for the poor. For example, spending 8 hours in class causes a person to miss out on a day’s worth of pay, making it that much harder to pay rent. Imagine trying to focus in class if you’re wondering how you’re going to make up those work hours. Your attendance in that class is in vain and the cycle – what the authors call the “scarcity trap” — begins again.

These mini-fires happen every day for families in poverty and much of their mental bandwidth goes to constantly putting out these fires. I’m looking forward to Eldar Shafir’s Brightest Minds talk on May 18 and hearing how we can look at poverty through a scarcity lens. All aspects of a person’s life, behavior, and actions are linked and we need to begin connecting them to create policies and programs that truly make a difference for those we serve.

For me, Scarcity has been life-changing. It led me to my second Master’s in Public Management and has re-shaped my social work practice. Incorporating the psychology of scarcity into our work will only lead to better solutions for everyone.


Join us to hear from Scarcity co-author Eldar Shafir, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, on May 18 at the Meyer Foundation. This event is open to the public. Click here for more details.

DCPS hones in on alternative high schools

EDUCATION/DISTRICT
In their proposed budget for 2017, D.C. Public Schools aims to focus on bolstering the city’s alternative high schools to support students who have fallen behind and ensure they graduate with employment opportunities, among several other new programs and initiatives. (WaPo, 2/16)

Alternative high schools — which focus on students who don’t have success in a typical school environment — offer small class sizes and flexible schedules, and they can be more effective for students who need to work during parts of the day or have small children.

The four-year graduation rate across all city public schools in 2014 was about 65 percent, and that figure was sometimes far lower in the city’s alternative high schools.

Related: WRAG is excited to roll out our 2016 Public Education Speaker Series on a variety of critical topics facing students today. Education Funders: Click here to learn more about the series and to registerPlease, note that these programs are open to grantmakers only.

REGION
 Opinion: President and CEO of The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation (and WRAG Board member) Nicky Goren discusses the need for leaders in business, government, and the social profit sector to break down silos in order to work toward building a more equitable region. She also shares the three interconnected goals in Meyer’s new strategic plan. (WBJ, 2/12) – Subscription required

PHILANTHROPY
Exponent Philanthropy has released a new publication in partnership with The Philanthropic Initiative titled, “Ramping up Your Foundation: Key Considerations for Planning and Managing a Significant Increase in Giving.” The guide offers lessons on the experiences of a number of foundations that have undergone such transitions and tackles important considerations for foundation leadership in the areas of governance, staffing and operations, grantmaking and evaluation, investments, and tax and legal arenas. (Exponent Philanthropy, 2/2016)

–  The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has released their 2014-2015 Annual Report, “A Year of Partnering for Greater Impact,” highlighting the ways in which they have developed partnerships in the past year to aide those in need, alleviate poverty, and advance the region through philanthropy. You can read the report here. (CFNoVa, 2/16)

FOOD 
Local culinary historian Michael Twitty is profiled in The Washington Post on his growing reputation as an expert on the deep roots of African American and Jewish cuisine. (WaPo, 2/12)

Related: In 2014, Michael Twitty kicked off WRAG’s Brightest Minds series with a discussion about building a more inclusive food movement. Check out this post that followed his talk, then take a look at the 2016 lineup. WRAG’s Brightest Minds programs are open to the public.

Opinion: Most parents strive to meet their children’s dietary needs, regardless of income level. But when faced with poverty, one researcher has found, the cost of serving a picky audience is often weighed much more heavily than in families with higher incomes. (NYT, 2/16)

ARTS | Staging a Comeback: How the Nonprofit Arts Sector Has Evolved since the Great Recession (NPQ, 2/9)

HOUSING | The Continued Rise of Renting (City Lab, 2/16)

JOBS | The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation is hiring for the role of Communications Manager.


The Westminster Dog Show just happened. Take a look at some of the cutest canines around. Spoiler alert: CJ won it all.

– Ciara

How growing up in a poor neighborhood can impact boys and girls differently

GENDER/SOCIAL MOBILITY
A new analysis examines how childhood environment can impact social mobility for boys and girls. The study looks at how boys and girls from the same poor neighborhood are often affected very differently by their surroundings, with boys often experiencing tougher circumstances (City Lab, 2/3):

The researchers analyzed tax records of 10,000 U.S. citizens born between 1980 and 1982 once they turned 30, as well as economic and social data on their parents while they were growing up. Their findings “demonstrate that gender gaps in adulthood have roots in childhood, perhaps because childhood disadvantage is especially harmful for boys.” The findings are significant not just in understanding how place matters for social mobility of men and women, but for explaining trends about the U.S. labor force as a whole.

Related: WRAG is kicking off our 2016 Brightest Minds series, supported by JP Morgan Chase, in which thought leaders share ideas that may make you think about your communities and work in whole new ways. Check out this year’s exciting line-up which includes speaker Eldar Shafir, who will be discussing poverty’s influence on cognition and decision-making. WRAG’s Brightest Minds programs are open to the public.

EDUCATION | This fall, 10 new D.C. Public Schools will begin an extended school year in an effort to combat summer learning loss – a big problem for many children from low-income families. Those schools will join the more than 40 schools in the DCPS system that already have extended days. (WAMU, 2/3)

Related: WRAG is also excited to roll out our 2016 Public Education Speaker Series, supported by the Omega Foundation and and the Tiger Woods Foundation, on a variety of critical topics facing students today. Education Funders: Click here to learn more about the series and to register. Please, note that these programs are open to grantmakers only.

PHILANTHROPY
– A new, first-of-its-kind resource, The Almanac of American Philanthropy, serves as a definitive guide of the “power and cultural importance of American giving.” The book is produced by The Philanthropy Roundtable and features information on great achievements in American philanthropy, the most influential donors, significant ideas, and more. (Philanthropy Roundtable, 2/4)

– The Atlas of Giving estimates a 2.6 percent rise in charitable giving in 2016. (Chronicle, 2/3)

Could Giving Circles Rebuild Philanthropy from the Bottom Up? (NPQ, 2/4)

ARTS | In Ward 8, the Anacostia Arts Center, often considered one of the area’s “best-kept secrets,” shows much promise for the surrounding neighborhood’s growth. (WaPo, 1/28)


Were any of these books featured on your college syllabus?

– Ciara 

Big announcements from WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting

WRAG
Last week, WRAG held our 2015 Annual Meeting, Philanthropy All In, at the National Press Club. We made several big announcements during the event.

 

  • WRAG Board of Directors
    The following leaders were elected for a two-year term on the WRAG Board of Directors:

David Bowers, Enterprise Community Partners
Rose Ann Cleveland, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Nicky Goren, The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

The following Board  Members were re-elected for a second two-year term on the WRAG Board of Directors:

Lindsey Buss, World Bank Group
Desiree Griffin-Moore, The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County
Yanique Redwood, The Consumer Health Foundation

  • Get on the Map
    Members can now explore this new resource for accurate, timely, and quality data on philanthropy in the region.

HEALTH | For the first time, the Northern Virginia Health Foundation (NVHF) has awarded $125,000 to five organizations in the region that are working to address social determinants of health. Traditionally, NVHF has centered its grantmaking on organizations providing health care and other health services to low-income and uninsured residents. (NVHF, 11/19)

COMMUNITY | The Lever Fund has announced the hiring of their first executive director, Gregory M. Cork, along with their inaugural board of directors.

DISTRICT/EQUITY
– According to a Washington Post poll of D.C. residents, there is a strong racial divide in the attitudes Washingtonians have about redevelopment in the city and who benefits from it. The number of African American residents who were polled about whether or not they see redevelopment as negative for “people like them” has grown a great deal over the last several years. (WaPo, 11/20)

– The Urban Institute takes a moment to ponder what a more equitable D.C. might look like. (Urban Institute, 11/19)

EDUCATION/WORKFORCE | A report from the Washington Area Boards of Education finds disparities in the salaries of teachers in the region from district to district. The report highlights the challenges facing some districts in hiring and retaining talent. (WaPo, 11/22)


Have you read any of these picks for the best books of 2015?

-Ciara

 

Breaking through the clutter

By Paul VanDeCarr, Managing Director, Working Narratives

Editor’s note: Paul spoke to WRAG members and local nonprofit representatives earlier this month at a program titled Storytelling for Social Change, part of WRAG’s 2014 Brightest Minds series. We asked him to share some storytelling advice for both funders and their grantees.


How do I break through the clutter and reach people with a great story? It’s a big question facing anyone who wants to boost support for her organization or cause. There’s a lot of talk in the philanthropic sector about “amplifying” our stories to reach people. But sometimes the best way to break through is not to go louder and broader, but to go smaller and narrower, like an arrow.

Consider these tips:

Know your audience. In strategic communications, there’s no such thing as the “general public”—only a specific group of people you need to persuade so you can achieve your objectives. That may be a particular policymaker, for example, or a narrow demographic of prospective donors. Breaking through the clutter is easier if you’ve identified an audience for each of your objectives. 

To do: Read Spitfire Strategies’ communications planning tool, the Smart Chart. Foundations can have a communications staffer or outside trainer work through communications strategy with grantees.

Tell a good, piercing story. Too many nonprofits tell success stories without revealing the struggle that the protagonist went through en route. As a result, audiences have nothing to hang on to or even feel. Tell stories of struggle, challenge, even failure, and you give audiences a way into your people and your cause—it invites people to join you and help create a good “ending” to the story. 

To do: Get together with colleagues for a brown bag lunch to discuss or present your favorite short stories, web videos, or other narratives. Examine them not for content but for how the storyteller draws you in—putting the protagonist through progressively tougher challenges, subverting the reader’s expectations, or whatever else.

Leave room for curiosity and suspense. The website Upworthy.com has become famous (and reviled) for producing a stream of “irresistibly sharable” stories about “stuff that matters.” The site’s success is thanks largely to its headlines, which are designed to inspire curiosity that can only be satisfied by watching the video stories. Whatever you think of Upworthy, theirs is a valuable lesson: When telling a story, plant questions or doubts in your audiences’ minds, so that they want to stick around to the resolution; indeed, there is no resolution without a question to begin with.

To do: Review your own foundation’s or organization’s stories for whether you give people a reason to stick with you. Foundations could give extra funds to grantees or a grantee cohort to do market research—even informally—about what stories, headlines, or characters resonate most with target audiences.

Make your stories actionable and sharable. Once you’ve told a good story, audiences are more likely to want to participate in your work. As I write in this Working Narratives blog post, make your stories “actionable” by linking the personal to the political, creating pathways to action, and building partnerships starting early on—all so that people can more easily understand what action is required and take it. Also make your stories sharable; people are more likely to read or watch content that’s been recommended by a friend than from other sources. 

To do: Do an audit to see how “actionable” your stories are according to the criteria above.

I hope these techniques help you hit your target. For ongoing discussion of story strategies for funders, nonprofits, and storytellers of all sorts, please read the Working Narratives blog. New content is posted every Wednesday, including an upcoming series of posts in which story experts answer “narrative strategy” questions from people like you. Please write to  paul@workingnarratives.org with your questions and comments.

Prince George’s County ends decade of declining school enrollment

EDUCATION
– There are nearly 2,000 more students enrolled in Prince George’s County public schools this year than there were last year – a turnaround after 10 years of declining enrollment. Of those 2,000, 65 percent of them are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, which could be a challenge for county officials (WaPo, 4/22):

The latest figures do not bode well for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III’s school takeover effort because he said one of his central goals was to attract the county’s middle-class families — many of whom send their children to private schools — back to the county’s public schools.

[…]

Experts say that increasing the middle-class enrollment in Prince George’s schools could pay dividends for low-income students, who generally benefit from an environment where their peers have their eyes on college and have parents who are involved in their education. Baker (D) also hopes that improving county schools — which have made strides on testing but still languish near the bottom of Maryland rankings — will be a draw for business development and potential residents.

Greater Greater Education looks at how DCPS could strengthen pre-school programs to better serve low-income children and help close the achievement gap that persists despite the city’s universal pre-k program. (GGE, 4/21)

Related: What Exactly Is ‘High-Quality’ Preschool? (NPR, 4/22)

D.C. officials to consider eight proposals for new charter schools (WaPo, 4/22)

WRAG | Rick Moyers, vice president for programs and communications at the Meyer Foundation, explains why storytelling skills are important for both nonprofit organizations seeking funding for their work, as well as for grantmakers themselves. (Daily, 4/22)

Related: Join us at the next Brightest Minds event, coming up on May 6, to hone your own storytelling skills. Check out more information here.

ARTS | The 30th Annual Helen Hayes Awards were held last night. I think this quote from one of last night’s winners really sums it up nicely (WAMU, 4/22):

The Helen Hayes are a chance to help people understand that what’s happening here is as good as anything that’s happening anywhere, and that you don’t have to go to New York and that it’s not about stuff being brought in,” [director and playwright Aaron] Posner said. “It’s stuff being made here by local artists for local audiences that really counts.”

Related: This is a sentiment shared by WRAG’s Arts & Humanities Working Group. Funders: there’s still time left to register for the group’s next meeting, coming up this Thursday. More information here.

ENVIRONMENT | Some positive news on Earth Day… Underwater grasses seem to be rebounding in Chesapeake Bay, which is considered “critical” for the health of the Bay’s ecosystem. (WAMU, 4/22)

HOMELESSNESS | A report from the National Coalition for the Homeless found that the majority of D.C.’s homeless population have experienced discrimination, particularly from private businesses and from law enforcement. (DCist, 4/21)

PHILANTHROPY
– In light of recent research into the major transfer of wealth that will happen over the next few decades as the Baby Boomer generation ages, the White House is engaging young philanthropists and heirs to significant family fortunes on major issues. (NY Times, 4/18)

Related: WRAG’s Family Philanthropy Affinity Group will look at similar issues this fall with a session on engaging the next generation in family philanthropy. More information here.

Donors to Community Funds Praise Their Leadership, Knowledge, and Integrity (Chronicle, 4/20)

EVENT | The University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (WRAG’s partner on our Philanthropy Fellows program) is hosting the 3rd annual Do Good Challenge Finals on Tuesday, April 29. Six student teams have spent the last two months raising funds and awareness for their favorite causes and will face off before high-profile judges to pitch their ventures. More information here.


Well…Norwegians certainly have interesting taste in reality TV shows.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday.

– Rebekah