Tag: Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

New data on average household income by Metro station

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has released new data on the average household income of Metrorail riders by line and station. The visualization also shows how income levels rise and dip at various times throughout the day (GGW, 7/7):

You can see the Washington region’s wide range of income levels in the data visualization, which uses data from Metro’s 2012 rider survey. This visualization is different from similar ones in that it uses self-reported data from Metrorail riders.

A high quality transit system is a key to ensuring opportunities for people of every socioeconomic status.

– Loudoun Schools fight hunger through summer meal program (Loudoun Times, 7/7)

Related: Interested in learning more about the needs of Loudoun County? Join WRAG on Tuesday, July 14 at 1:00 PM for Loudoun Philanthropy: Next steps for developing a strong social sector. This meeting is open to the community and is supported by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. Click here to find out how to register.

– Can you afford to retire in Loudoun County? (Loudoun Times, 7/8)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | In Arlington County, a new citizen’s group is concerned about the discrepancies in where the county’s additional affordable housing units will be clustered. The group worries that there are disproportionate numbers of affordable housing being built in certain areas, which will lead to a great deal of socioeconomic segregation. (ARLnow, 7/7)

PHILANTHROPY | The Center for Effective Philanthropy has released a new publication, Investing and Social Impact: Practices of Private Foundations, which takes a look at the state of practice of impact investing and negative screening at large, private U.S.-based foundations. (CEP, 5/2015)

– EdBuild has released a new interactive map that displays the poverty rates in each of the school districts in the United States. You can access the map here. (WaPo, 7/8)

– The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) released a new report on the differences in the quality of preparation students in high-poverty schools receive compared with students in low-poverty schools. The study, Course, Counselor, and Teacher Gaps: Addressing the College Readiness Challenge in High-Poverty High Schoolsanalyzes 100 of the largest school districts in the U.S. (PND, 7/5)

COMMUNITY | The Foundation Center offers a multi-functional training facility for rent for groups looking to host meetings, conferences, seminars, or computer-based training programs. For more information, click here.

Are your reusable grocery bags making you buy more cookies?

– Ciara

Resources run low for seniors in need

In D.C., individuals over the age of 60 make up a growing number of the population. As a large portion of those seniors experience hunger, resources are not currently available to meet demands (WAMU, 7/3):

About 16 percent of the District’s population is over 60. That’s about 107,000 people. Roughly half of them access some type of social service through the District’s Office on Aging [DCOA]. But a much-needed program to feed some of our most vulnerable neighbors may have run out of money.


DCOA says that new enrollments for the delivery program are on temporary hold, but an additional $200,000 has been secured for next fiscal year. The agency says eligible seniors can access other food sources such as free vouchers for grocery stores and farmer’s markets as well free lunches at 52 centers.

The Catch-22 is that many of the seniors who are eligible for home meal delivery can’t access those other options, which is precisely why they qualify for home meal delivery.

COMMUNITY | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia welcomes their new board chair, Paul Leslie, CEO of Dovel Technologies. Leslie replaces WRAG Vice Chair and Deputy Executive Director of Giving at the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, K. Lynn Tadlock.

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

EDUCATION/YOUTH | Experts point to extraordinarily high rates of transient students as one factor that makes schooling more difficult for youth enrolled in DCPS. (WaPo, 7/4)

PHILANTHROPY | As Greece struggles with a financial crisis, there are some lessons philanthropy can learn from the ongoing situation. (Spear’s, 7/1)

How do you usually spend your time?

– Ciara

D.C., Maryland come out strong in study of the best states for women

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) recently released the last of a series of reports exploring the state of women across the United States. D.C. and Maryland emerged among the top places for women in a few different areas (WaPo, 5/20):

The best state for women to rise above poverty:
Women fighting to move out of poverty are better off in Maryland than their peers in any other state, according to IWPR’s analysis of poverty and economic opportunity. The report looked at the share of women who: live above the poverty line; own a business; have health insurance; and earned a bachelor’s degree.

The best state for employment and earnings:
The first report in the series examined how women fared in each state’s labor force, relying on a series of data to arrive at its conclusion: that women in Maryland are best off when it comes to employment and earnings.

Maryland and Massachusetts each earned a B+ on IWPR’s scorecard (The District of Columbia earned an A), though women are far from equal in either state. In Maryland, women earn 87.4 cents for every dollar earned by men, who are also 1.9 times more likely to work in high-paying Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) jobs.

Also worth noting, only 10 states and D.C. improved their scores for women’s health and well-being from 2004-2015.

Black women’s lives matter, too, say the women behind the iconic hashtag (WaPo, 5/19)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | According to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, with support from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., one needs to make $28.04 per hour to be able to afford rent on a two-bedroom apartment in the District. In D.C., the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom unit is currently at $1,458, excluding utilities. (DCist, 5/19)

– The Center for Effective Philanthropy has released their new report entitled. “Investing and Social Impact: Practices of Private Foundations.” The report analyzes responses from CEOs of large private foundations on their current state of operations. (CECP, 5/20)

– Taking a page out of the nonprofit playbook, corporations like Unilever, Starbucks and others have all recently implemented social impact strategies. Not to be confused with cause marking or corporate philanthropy, these strategies are concrete and measurable plans that have quantifiable business outcomes and definitive societal impacts. (Entrepreneur, 3/10)

RELATED: On June 3, WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group is hosting “Shared Value: Exploring Opportunities to Simultaneously Increase Your Company’s Profitability and Social Impact.” Join fellow CSR professionals to learn how to put societal issues at the core of your company’s business strategy and operations.

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s giving circle of young professionals, the Future Fund, recently raised $40,000 to support 2016 grantmaking in Northern Virginia at their annual Future Fund Awards Gala. Two grant-winning organizations – Access Hope and Youth for Tomorrow – received grants of $20,000 to support individuals and families with limited access to mental health care. Find out more here.

ENVIRONMENT | A century of buried toxins in the Anacostia are coming to the surface (WaPo, 5/19)

HEALTH/MARYLAND | A new report shows that the state of Maryland had a significant increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses in 2014. Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties were among the areas with the highest rates of deaths caused by an overdose. (WaPo, 5/19)

EDUCATION | Poverty, family stress are thwarting student success, top teachers say (WaPo, 5/19)

Do you call it the Metro, WMATA, or the subway? Take this poll to see how other people in the region refer to some of the things we come across everyday.

– Ciara 

Food banks in the region prepare for summer

Though Loudoun County is among one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, food banks there are preparing themselves for the summer surge in demand from many families who rely on their services (WaPo, 5/13):

More than 12,500 children in Loudoun public schools depend on free or reduced-price lunches through their schools, county education officials said. When the school year ends, the missing breakfasts and lunches place considerable pressure on economically vulnerable families, said Jennifer Montgomery, executive director of Loudoun Interfaith Relief.

“In the summer, you have this confluence of events — you have kids getting out of school, and now these parents are scrambling to pay for child care, and they’re also having to find food,” she said.


Although the percentage of people living below the poverty line in Loudoun is fairly low — about 4 to 5 percent, Montgomery said — about 30 percent of the county’s residents are underemployed and scraping by on less than a living wage.

Related: Tomorrow, WRAG will hold our first-ever Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, focusing on the unique needs of the area with panelists representing the government, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. The event will be held at the Middleburg Community Center and is supported by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

A new report by the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis finds that the need for further transit investment in Northern Virginia is critical in order to elevate the economy and spur business development. Business leaders and elected officials echoed similar sentiments at a recent gathering (Fairfax Times, 5/8):

“In order for this region to remain competitive, we have to have a 21st century transportation network,” said Robert Puentes, a senior fellow with the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

Many businesses are already voting with their feet and choosing to relocate to more transit-accessible areas, according to speakers at Friday’s forum.

A Virginia Tech analysis of 2011 U.S. census data found that 59 percent of the jobs in Northern Virginia are located within a quarter mile of a Metro or VRE station or a bus stop. More than 90 percent of new office space in the region is within a half mile of a Metrorail station, according to Shyam Kannan, director of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Office of Planning.

HOUSING | In a recent ranking of states with the least affordable home prices using 2013 U.S. Census data, the District came in at number two behind Hawaii. (Time, 5/11)

Though it may not be as hot as it was yesterday, outdoor movie season is officially here!

– Ciara

Friday roundup – May 4 through May 8, 2015

– In her latest column, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland shared her thoughts on how good, secure jobs can translate to hope for individuals in communities, and can help prevent the unrest that has played out in cities like Baltimore. (Daily, 5/4)

– The summer 2015 class of Frank Karel Public Interest Communications Fellows was announced. This fellowship, fiscally sponsored by WRAG, places first-generation and minority undergraduate students at area nonprofit organizations to expose them to social change communications. (Daily 5/4)

– Kristin Pauly, Managing Director at Prince Charitable Trusts, shared why they’re excited about “getting on the map” and sharing their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 5/6)

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia recently held their inaugural Chairman’s Breakfast, presented by their Board Chair (and WRAG’s Vice Chair), Lynn Tadlock. Boeing was recognized for being an Outstanding Community Partner in Northern Virginia. (CFNoVa, 5/7)

– We learned that plans for the Dupont Underground, set to open in July, may need to be pared down a bit due to funding. (WaPo, 5/1)

– We also learned how the upcoming closure of the Artisphere in Arlington County indicates much more about the way cultural institutions are often viewed as “extraneous.” (WCP, 5/7)

– D.C. continues to change. That’s why, in an effort to continue to provide quality services and effectively reach those who need them the most, two major nonprofits in the city are making big moves. Martha’s Table will move most of its operations east of the river, while Whitman-Walker Health will soon unveil a new, more modern facility. (WaPo, 5/4 and (WaPo, 5/6)


Healthy Communities Working Group: May Meeting and Conversation with Pamela Creekmur, Prince George’s County Health Officer (WRAG members)
Monday, May 11 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM (At the Meyer Foundation)

Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference (WRAG members, non-member funders, nonprofits, government officials, community leaders, and anyone else interested in learning about the needs of the county)
Thursday, May 14  10:00 AM – 3:00 PM (Middleburg Community Center)

Get on the Map: A How-To Webinar
Thursday, May 14  2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Ever wonder what songs there are about your favorite city? Check out this map

– Ciara


Arlington continues progress on lowering homelessness rates

Arlington County has released results from its annual Point In Time count of its homeless population. Since 2014, the county saw an 18 percent decline in the overall homeless population and a 34 percent decline in homeless families. A new homeless services center will also open in the county this summer. (ARLnow, 4/22)

During her monthly report to the Arlington County Board yesterday, County Manager Barbara Donnellan said the results [from] the count show an 18 percent decline in its overall homeless population from 2014, and a 34 percent drop in homeless families.

The count was conducted overnight from Jan. 28 to 29, and conducted in tandem with other jurisdictions around the region. While it’s not a perfect metric, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network Executive Director Kathy Sibert said, the numbers are still worth celebrating.

In 2013, the count tallied 479 total homeless people in Arlington. In 2015, there were 239.

Donnellan also revealed Tuesday that the county’s year-round Homeless Services Center will open in June, construction permitting. It had originally been slated for opening last fall. When it opens, the shelter will provide 50 permanent beds, 25 beds in the winter, five medical beds for homeless people released from the hospital, as well as a full kitchen and classrooms for job training.

ARTS | A new report from the Cultural Data Project presents findings from a series of town hall meetings with arts and culture organizations about the challenges they face in collecting, interpreting, and applying data to decision-making, and what they need to overcome these challenges. (CDP, 4/22)

HOUSING | Residents of Lincoln Heights, one of four projects of the New Communities Initiative, have seen their share of false starts and unmet promises for redevelopment in the Ward 7 community. (WCP, 4/23)

ECONOMY | 5 reasons someone making $75,000 would live paycheck to paycheck (WaPo, 4/22)

NONPROFITS | A new resource designed to help the D.C. region’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities access high-quality capacity building services tailored to their specific organizational needs is now available through the Charge Up Collaborative. By accessing their website, nonprofits can be connected to critical operational resources. Click here to find out more.

EVENTS | On Friday, May 8, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia‘s giving circle of young professionals, The Future Fund, will celebrate its 2015 grantmaking at their annual awards gala. Future Fund members, nonmembers, and young professionals are invited to attend. Find out more here.

How much loose change was left at the region’s airports last year? Well, It could pay someone’s salary.

– Ciara 

Friday roundup – March 30 through April 3, 2015

– WRAG president Tamara Copeland shared how a regional call to action for business and government leaders came to include the funding community. (Daily, 4/2)

– WRAG announced an upcoming conference on the needs of Loudoun County. The Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference will take place on Thursday, May 14 and is sponsored by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. (Daily, 4/1)

– The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia‘s Eileen Ellsworth and Jen McCollum shared why they’re excited to “get on the map” and use the interactive tool that allows them to share their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 3/30)

– The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County is inviting the funding community to visit nonprofit organizations that are moving Prince George’s County forward through safety-net, education and workforce development services. Guests will spend approximately one hour touring facilities, observing programs in action, and conversing with the organization’s leadership team. Those interested in going on a site visit should email Alicia Barrett at abarrett@cfncr.org to register at least one week in advance.

– D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser got things in full swing this week. After a little bit of March Madness, Bowser delivered her State of the District address outlining plans to create “pathways to the middle class,” and later released her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016. (WCP, 3/10, WaPo, 3/31, DCist, 4/2)

– Some residents and party leaders in Fairfax County are concerned with the lack of diversity among candidates for public office, as demographics there have seen quite a shift in the last 15 years. (WaPo, 3/29)

– Prince George’s officials shared their 2020 Strategic Plan for the school system with five main areas for improvement – academics, workforce development, safe and modernized facilities, community engagement, and organizational effectiveness. (Gazette, 4/2)

– Attorney General Karl Racine approved the plan for an all-boys school for minority students east of the Anacostia as part of the “Empowering Males of Color” initiative. (WCP, 3/30)

Healthy Communities Working Group: A Conversation with Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, D.C. Department of Health (WRAG members)
Monday, April 6, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Get on the Map: A How-To Webinar 
Thursday, April 9, 2015  2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Take a look at this year’s best Peeps dioramas!

– Ciara



How income inequality can also be bad for health

Research from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute found evidence supporting that living in an area with high income inequality can be bad for health, much like living in a poor community. The researchers found that the effects of inequality came out to a difference of about 11 days of life between high- and low-inequality places, and that for every increment that a community became more unequal, the proportion of residents who died before reaching the age of 75 went up. The cause for the drop in life expectancy has two potential theories (NYT, 3/30):

One theory is that while money does tend to buy better health, it makes a bigger difference for people low on the income scale than those at the top. That means that having fewer very poor people in a community will improve average health more than having fewer very rich people will diminish it.

But another, more sociological theory, has to do with the communities themselves. The researchers think that places where wealthy residents can essentially buy their way out of social services may have less cohesion and investment in things like education and public health that we know affect life span. There is also literature suggesting that it’s stressful to live among people who are wealthier than you. That stress may translate into mental health problems or cardiac disease for lower-income residents of unequal places.

– Attention WRAG members – have you signed up to “get on the map” yet? The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has! Eileen Ellsworth and Jen McCollum share why they’re excited about the new mapping tool that will help members see who is funding what and where in our region. (Daily 3/30)

The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County invites the funding community to visit nonprofit organizations that are moving Prince George’s County forward through safety-net, education and workforce development services. Guests will spend approximately one hour touring facilities, observing programs in action, and conversing with the organization’s leadership team. Those interested in going on a site visit should email Alicia Barrett at abarrett@cfncr.org to register at least one week in advance.

– Applications for the Diverse City Fund’s eighth grant round are due by midnight on Tuesday, March 31. The Diverse City Fund makes grants of $5,000 or less to grassroots projects/organizations led by and organized in communities of color in the District. Applications and information on how to apply are available here.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | When cheap housing isn’t really a good deal (WaPo, 3/26)

– In Fairfax County, as races for public office begin, many residents and party leaders are concerned with the lack of diversity among candidates in an area that has seen significant changes in demographics over the last 15 years. (WaPo, 3/29)

– Households earning at least $200K Are Now Biggest Group in Arlington (ARLnow, 3/27)

EVENTS | On April 23-24, 2015, the annual policy briefing of the Neighborhood Funders Group’s Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships will take place at the Public Welfare Foundation. The event addresses opportunities to advance economic justice and security for all. Click here to find out more and to register for the event.

Do you know the history behind Anacostia’s Big Chair?

– Ciara

Why we’re getting on the map: The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia

We’ve heard from several funders recently about why they are participating in WRAG’s Get on the Map campaign with the Foundation Center. These funders appreciate the value of both sharing their grants data with their colleagues in the local philanthropic community, and having access to their colleagues’ data in order to work more strategically and efficiently.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is one of the latest funders to sign on to the campaign.

According to foundation president Eileen Ellsworth,

“The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is thrilled to participate in the ‘Get on the Map’ initiative. As a funder, our role is to remain informed about the needs of the region, identify the organizations working to address those needs, and understand the funders interested in supporting their efforts. Our community is so rich with both nonprofits and funders. Not only will this powerful tool shine a light on philanthropy trends in the region and help us to guide our future work, but it will also help us more strategically target and coordinate grant dollars to support the greatest needs in the region.”

Says Jen McCollum, Vice President of Donor Relations,

“Armed with the data generated through this initiative, we will be better equipped to educate our donors about the needs of the region. We know there are great things being done by nonprofits in the area but we also know there is a tremendous amount of work to be done. This concrete data will help us better direct our efforts, inform our donors and generate increased partnerships with like-minded funders in the region.”

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.

Affordable housing does a disappearing act in the District

D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute has released their new report titled, Going, Going, Gone: DC’s Vanishing Affordable Housing. The report examines the urgency of the affordable housing crisis and offers a glimpse into the lives of those who are struggling to keep up with rapidly rising rents. (DCFPI, 3/12)

Rents have risen rapidly for virtually all residents. The impact has been greatest on low-income households who have not benefited from DC’s recent economic growth. Increasingly, moderate-income households also struggle to afford rent and utilities.

– Two-thirds of low-income households – with incomes under $32,000 for a family of four – spend more than half their income on housing.

– Even renters with incomes up to $54,000 are struggling, as one in three of these households pays the majority of its income towards rent.

Use It or Lose it: A Legislative Tool to Save Affordable Housing Hasn’t Been Funded (WCP, 3/11)

COMMUNITY/CSR | In this post, a member of The Boeing Company‘s Global Corporate Citizenship Team shares how a collaboration with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, business leaders, and stakeholders, has resulted in significant investments and programming that will bring lasting change to the region. (CFNOVA, 3/11)

FOOD | A new survey takes a look at which schools across the country are purchasing healthy foods locally to feed their students. One surprising find from the survey was that the biggest agricultural states were not among the ones serving the most local food. States including Delaware, Maine, Maryland and Vermont lead the pack. (NPR, 3/11)

ECONOMY | In light of budget season, D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute also recently explored some of the challenges Mayor Bowser will face as she crafts her first budget. More revenue will be necessary to avoid deep cuts for residents in the District. (DCFPI, 3/10)

Related: On Wednesday, April 1 at 1:00 PM, WRAG members are invited to attend a two-part briefing on the 2016 budget and how changes at the federal and local level may affect their work. The event will begin with an overview of the 2016 federal budget by Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and will continue with breakout discussions for each jurisdiction, featuring:

District of Columbia:  Ed Lazere, Executive Director, DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Maryland:  Benjamin Orr, Executive Director, Maryland Center on Economic Policy
Virginia:  Michael Cassidy, President and CEO, The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis

– Want to know more about the forthcoming 11th Street Bridge Project that seeks to connect a long-divided community? You can learn more about the District’s first elevated park here. (WaPo, 3/8)

– The Environmental Film Festival kicking off next week will feature a film on the challenges and efforts to make the Anacostia River more suitable for future generations. The film, produced by Stone Soup Films with support from the Summit Fund of Washington, will have several screenings at programs sponsored by the Bernstein Family Foundation and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Related: On Thursday, March 19 at 10:30 AM, WRAG members and invited guests will gather to take a look at the challenges and opportunities of a cleaner Anacostia River. Eligible attendees interested in the environmental health of the watershed or the economic health of the communities along the riverbank can share their thoughts on how philanthropy can continue to catalyze the transformation of the Anacostia.

PHILANTHROPY/EVENTS | Next week begins the second annual Philanthropy Week in Washington – a week-long series of events and activities that highlight the role of philanthropy in our society – hosted by the Council on Foundations. This year, the center piece event will be Foundations on the Hill, hosted in partnership with the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers. Click here to check out the week’s schedule of events.

College basketball enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who may lose out on money during March Madness.

– Ciara