Tag: finance

Doctors hope implicit bias training will address the high maternal mortality rates of Black women

HEALTH | Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related causes, with postpartum hemorrhaging being one of the leading preventable causes. Doctors and patients believe implicit bias is partly to blame for the high number. (NBC News, 5/11)

The racial disparity in U.S. maternal mortality rates is one of the severest in all of women’s health. Researchers don’t have a clear explanation for why.

“There seems to be something specific about the African-American experience here in the United States that seems to just have a toxic effect on the health of African-Americans,” said Swapna Reddy, who teaches a class on health disparity at Arizona State University. “It seems to be this double whammy, the intersectionality of being both African-American and also being a woman.”

ENVIRONMENT | This law firm is helping to install solar panels in the District’s low-income communities. (WaPo, 5/11)

PUBLIC SAFETYMass Incarceration Is a Public-Health Problem (Atlantic, 5/11)

– Tysons Corner’s plan to attract new residents includes building transit-oriented development and walkable spaces. (GGWash, 5/10)

– The District’s attorney general’s office has reached a settlement with Sandford Capital, one of the city’s most controversial landlords, to sell off its remaining properties and stay out of subsidized housing until 2025. (WaPo, 5/10)

FINANCE | The National Community Reinvestment Coalition has found that banks are reluctant to lend funds to low- to moderate-income borrowers and borrowers of color. (Next City, 5/9)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Executive Director | Nonprofit Montgomery– New!
Grants Program Analyst | Legal Services Corporation
Vice President of Strategy | Gill Foundation
Associate, Program Design | Flamboyan Foundation
Associate, Program Operations | Flamboyan Foundation
Director of Communications and Marketing | Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
Membership and Program Coordinator | Funders Together to End Homelessness
Communications Associate | Venture Philanthropy Partners
Programs Officer | DC Bar Foundation
Finance Manager (Part-Time) | United Philanthropy Forum
Communications Manager | United Philanthropy Forum

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder.

The evolution of trust

– Kendra

Triage nurses and 911 operators come together to help DC residents

PUBLIC SAFETY | Washington, DC has the highest rate of 911 calls, but 25% of those calls are not emergencies. To lower the number, the city is launching a new program that consists of placing triage nurses in 911 call centers to help dispatchers field calls that are not urgent. (WAMU, 4/19)

The triage nurses can even coordinate free Lyft rides for people who are on Medicaid — including a stop at a pharmacy if needed.

The “ride” part of the new triage service is critical, proponents say, because that’s the real emergency for many of the inappropriate calls to 911. Some callers simply have a hard time getting to the doctor in parts of the District where clinics can be miles away, and public transportation may not be readily accessible.

RACIAL EQUITY | Last year, Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, was named the Waldemar Nielsen Visiting Fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Today, she reflects on her time spent educating public policy graduate students about racial equity and how philanthropy can play a role in achieving it. (Daily, 4/19)

HOMELESSNESSResidents Fight the Construction of the Ward 5 Homeless Shelter (WCP, 4/19)

FINANCE | JPMorgan Chase has announced that it will open 70 banking branches in the Greater Washington region and increase affordable housing lending to $500 million. (WaPo, 4/18)

DIVERSITY | GrantCraft has published a report exploring how the philanthropic sector can better integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into its grantmaking practices. Read it here. (GrantCraft, 4/17)

FOODSome D.C. students are seeking healthier, more affordable food for themselves, and their classmates (WaPo, 4/17)

NONPROFITS | Compass provides pro bono consulting to nonprofits in the following areas: board development, funding strategy, partnerships & collaborations and strategic marketing. Applications for 2018-19 are now open.

ENVIRONMENT | A new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council suggests that climate change is impacting the health of Virginians, and it is only going to get worse. (WaPo, 4/17)

Watch this cool video of some kids setting up dominoes and knocking them down.

– Kendra

Exploring the financial lives of Americans

A recent project explores the financial lives of poor and middle-class Americans and the barriers they face toward economic stability and upward mobility. Research finds that the policies, products, and programs that exist to help many struggling Americans have to change in order to continue to meet their needs. (SSIR, 1/5)

The new barriers to economic stability and upward mobility are not trivial. Recent data show that wages are stagnant for a wide swath of earners, annual income volatility has risen markedly since the 1970s, economic mobility varies widely, wealth inequality is increasing, and the middle class is shrinking. That’s in addition to the long-standing, deep inequalities of race and class that have stubbornly resisted efforts to abate them.

But those data illuminate only macro-level changes. Households don’t make financial decisions—or other important decisions that affect or are affected by finances—based on annual averages or national trends. Financial lives are made up of day-to-day choices.

How to Help Kids in Poverty Adjust to the Stability of School After Break (NPR, 1/7)

DISTRICT | The D.C. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development has launched a new website that will serve as a one-stop-shop for basic facts and government data about the city’s economic development. (DCist, 1/6)

The New Yorker dives deeper into Darren Walker and the Ford Foundation’s big decision to move their focus toward tackling inequality. (The New Yorker, 1/4)

– In case you missed it, the IRA charitable rollover provision, which shifts millions of dollars from IRAs into charity, was made permanent, retroactive to January 1, 2015. (MarketWatch, 12/2015)

A few of our members are hiring! Be sure to share these exciting positions within your networks:

– The Northern Virginia Health Foundation is seeking an Operations and Program Associate.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia is hiring for the roles of Philanthropy Assistant and Philanthropy Officer.

Exponent Philanthropy is seeking candidates for the roles of Program Associate and Program Director.

Take a peek at these renderings of the architecturally impressive school building that may be coming to Rosslyn. And while you’re at it, take a look at some of these other impressive buildings that already exist in the region.

– Ciara

Affordable housing crisis in every county in America

A new report from the Urban Institute finds that the amount of extremely low-income households has grown nationwide since 2000, while federal housing-assistance programs have not kept up with the need. In fact, according to the study, there is no county within the United States that currently has enough affordable housing for families in extreme poverty. (City Lab, 6/18)

New research from the Urban Institute shows that the supply of housing for extremely low-income families, which was already in short supply, is only declining. In 2013, just 28 of every 100 extremely low-income families could afford their rental homes. [That] figure is down from 37 of 100 in 2000 – a 25 percent decline over a little more than a decade.

Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, researchers built an interactive map to illustrate the nationwide reach of the problem. In no county in the U.S. does the supply of affordable housing meet the demand among extremely low-income households. (Families who made no more than 30 percent of an area’s median household income were considered “extremely low income.”)

You can find the interactive map from the Urban Institute here.

– Tomorrow morning, at the 2015 Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) Annual Meeting, The Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) will host a plenary session entitled Regional Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing Development and Preservation in the Greater Washington Area. GWHLG is comprised of nonprofit, public, philanthropic, and business leaders, and is convened by WRAG. You can follow the conversation tomorrow on Twitter using the hashtag #HANDAM2015. The event will also coincide with the release of a new report on how to collaborate and invest to solve the region’s affordable housing shortage by Rick Cohen, sponsored by Enterprise, Citi Foundation, and WRAG.

FINANCE/FOUNDATIONS | WRAG’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Katy Moore, discusses the two surprising things all foundation staff should know when it comes to excise tax rules – the topic of last week’s Foundation Finance Affinity Group meeting. (Daily, 6/22)

– Congratulations to WRAG members Capital One (#1) and MedImmune (#20) for being named top places to work in the DC region by The Washington Post!  (WaPo, 6/19)

– On July 23 at 8:00 am, the United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) will hold their 2015 Annual Community Meeting and Nonprofit Expo at Catholic University of America. Anyone interested in learning about UWNCA, the nonprofit sector, or opportunities to learn and share with community networks should register here.

PHILANTHROPY | New Blog Examines Today’s Philanthropy by Comparing It With The Past (Chronicle, 6/19)

– D.C. has four new public art pieces to check out around the city. (WCP, 6/19)

Working Smarter – not Harder – when Advocating for the Arts (Artsblog, 6/18)

REGION | Higher Unemployment in Virginia (WBJ, 6/19)

The time a cat won an award for being a “Hero Dog.”

– Ciara

A five-year plan to end homelessness in the District

Mayor Bowser announced plans yesterday to end chronic homelessness in the District within the next five years. The plan is currently circulating among advocates for the homeless, and will then need to go through a task force and the D.C. Council for approval. (WaPo, 3/16)

The plan calls for replacing the city’s dilapidated family homeless shelter at the former D.C. General Hospital campus, leasing and building smaller shelters, and slashing the time that any family or individual spends in a shelter by swiftly moving thousands into apartments — often with long-term, taxpayer-funded subsidies.


“It’s not a hard-line date in the sand,” one Bowser administration official said. “We need to make sure we’re seeing all of the changes that we need to see in the system to be able to close it.”

Indeed, the Bowser plan rests on managing a massive overhaul of virtually all District homeless services. The city is housing more than 750 homeless families, but the mayor’s plan calls for having enough shelter space for only 215 families by 2020.

CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY/WRAG | WRAG philanthropy fellow Shira Broms recounts the year’s first Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group that took place last week, and provides highlights from each panelist. (Daily, 3/17)

COMMUNITY/JOBS | Wells Fargo is hiring a Community Support Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Community Affairs team. You can check out the position description here, and be sure to share!

– A new study reports a link between the growth of African American-owned businesses and a decrease in black youth violence between the years 1990 – 2000. The study used data from more than 100 large cities across the U.S. (City Lab, 3/16)

Can Treating Low-Wage Workers Well Become the Hot New Business Strategy? (Fast Company, 3/16)

– According to new data from the Office for the State Superintendent of Education, last year’s graduation rates for DCPS increased to 58 percent, while falling to 69 percent for the District’s public charter schools. (WaPo, 3/17)

The District-wide average for the Class of 2014 — 61 percent — was almost unchanged from the year before. The city’s graduation rate remains far below the national average of 81 percent.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson in an interview Monday said she was pleased, but “not thrilled,” by the incremental growth — cumulatively five points in four years. “Still too few of our young people are graduating,” she said.

High school graduation rates for minority students improve faster than rest of U.S. (WaPo, 3/16)

ENVIRONMENT |  Chesapeake Bay Program Wants Your Input Into Plans to Protect Watershed (WAMU, 3/17)

Take a look at a cool time-lapse video of the Chicago River going green.

– Ciara

New website details spending in D.C. schools

D.C. Public Schools has released a new, interactive website with detailed information on how schools spend their money and the demographics of enrolled students. (WaPo, 2/23)

D.C. Public Schools created an interactive Web site where you can see where money goes and compare spending with other schools. The site includes detailed information about demographics of enrolled students, staffing and salary information, and changes year to year.

Officials hope the new data center will be useful for principals, parents, and advocates, and start more and more informed conversations about school spending.

Suspended students lose millions of days of instruction while out of school (WaPo, 2/23)

FINANCE/PROGRAMMING | This year, WRAG will be launching new programming geared toward the needs and professional development of foundation finance staff. To learn more about this exciting endeavor, check out this post from WRAG’s Katy Moore. (Daily, 2/24)

– Scientists studying ocean acidification are finding that ocean water in parts of the world, including some of our not-so-distant shores, is becoming more and more acidic. The change could potentially endanger shellfish over time. (NPR, 2/23)

– The District is ramping up its anti-littering campaign by delivering the message to some of the city’s youngest residents. By teaching school kids not to litter, the city hopes to allocate money that is spent cleaning the streets into other areas. (WAMU, 2/23)

(Sort of) Related: The ocean isn’t the only body of water that needs protection. On Thursday, March 19th at 10:30 AM,  WRAG invites members interested in how philanthropy can meet the challenges and opportunities of a cleaner Anacostia River to a special meeting. To learn more and to register, click here.

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT | Does D.C.’s Rapid Re-Housing Program Live Up To Its Promise? (WAMU, 2/20)

HEALTH | Prince George’s County residents in underserved areas will soon have access to necessary care via the “Wellness on Wheels” mobile health clinic. The clinic is a collaboration between the county Department of Public Health and Doctors Community Hospital. (Gazette, 2/24)

POVERTY | Instead of the Income Gap We Should Be Talking About the Wealth Gap (CityLab, 2/19)

Are you a lefty or a righty?

– Ciara

Announcing WRAG’s new Foundation Finance Affinity Group

By Katy Moore
Director of Corporate Strategy
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Each year, WRAG offers more than 50 opportunities for members to learn about community issues, from experts, and from each other. These opportunities build community among grantmakers and provide a robust arena for idea exchange, collective problem-solving, and the development of cross-sector solutions.

In 2015, WRAG will launch a new area of programming focused on the specific needs and professional development of foundation finance staff.

“Having a learning community dedicated specifically for foundation finance officers will give us a place to discuss the issues we’re all grappling with and, more importantly, to brainstorm  solutions.”

Janice Thomas, chief financial officer, Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

The fiduciary oversight requirements for private foundations are different from those of traditional 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Foundation finance officers must not only understand traditional accounting rules, they must also be familiar with required legal and tax filings (such as the 990-PF), have a working knowledge of endowment management (including staying up-to-date with trends such as mission- and program-related investing), and understand the often complicated calculation of the required 5 percent annual payout.

“Having a network of peers to call on when my Board asks ‘how do other foundations handle this’ will be hugely helpful. I also think this group will foster very valuable mentoring relationships between veteran and new foundation finance officers. When I started in my position 10 years ago, I had a solid background in nonprofit finance but having a mentor to help me understand the many nuances and financial rules specific to foundations was essential.”

Christine Harris, director of finance and administration, Hill-Snowdon Foundation

WRAG, in partnership with a group of our member CFOs (including Janice and Christine), has developed a strong series of programming to kick off our first year of learning, including:

 March 30 – Getting Prepared for Your Annual Financial Audit with guest speakers Tom Raffa and Frank Smith from Raffa, PC

 June 18 – Navigating Private Foundation Excise Tax Rules with guest speaker Andrew Schulz, general counsel for Arabella Advisors

 October 8 – Best Practices for Calculating the 5% Payout with guest speaker Chris Peterman of O’Conner Davies

 If you are a foundation finance staff member who would like to join this new group, please contact Katy Moore at moore@washingtongrantmakers.org.