Tag: Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers

New report on the power of the grantmaking/grantseeking relationship

The Daily WRAG will return on Monday, November 23 as we prepare for our 2015 Annual Meeting!

The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has released a new study, Return on Investment, diving into the challenges facing social profit organizations trying to enhance services while also sustaining resources. The report looks into social profit professional development, capacity building, and grantmaker engagement/relationships to better meet the needs of the sector. (Center for Nonprofit Advancement, 11/18)

WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland said this of the report’s findings:

“According to Return on Investment, a new release from the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, the social profit/nonprofit community needs and wants more unrestricted dollars, more professional development support, and a relationship of equals with their funders. Research by the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers shows that funders recognize the ‘lack of funding’ as the number one need of social profits, and note ‘capacity building grants’ as the third highest category of their grantmaking after ‘project/program specific’ and ‘general operating grants.’ And for the last two years, the funding community has ranked ‘collective impact’ as the number one trend that they see in philanthropy; so the notion of arriving at a shared vision between the philanthropic and social profit sectors – planning among equals – may be more on the horizon than is immediately apparent. To my colleagues in the social profit/nonprofit sector, I would say, ‘I don’t think we’re missing the mark, I think we’re at the early stages of an exciting culture shift. Onward.’”

You can click here to access the full report.

– The philanthropic and social profit communities have experienced a great loss as Rick Cohen, well-known national Nonprofit Quarterly correspondent, thought-leader, and social justice advocate, has passed away (Chronicle, 11/17):

“His loss will be inestimable to many of you, as it is to us,” Nonprofit Quarterly editors wrote in announcing the death. “Rick will be remembered for his integrity, his powerful and nimble intellect, his unyielding courage in pursuit of truth, his commitment to social justice, and his humor.”

–  The board of directors of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers has announced longtime philanthropy executive and current president and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network David Biemesderfer as the organization’s next president and CEO. His new role will begin in mid-January 2016. Click here to find out more about the appointment.

– For the seventh-consecutive year, Booz Allen Hamilton has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT equality in the workplace. (Booz Allen Hamilton, 11/18)

TRANSIT/MARYLAND | Md. receives four proposals to build light-rail Purple Line (WaPo, 11/17)

EDUCATION/PHILANTHROPY | Bloomberg Business takes a look at how more public universities are pushing for ambitious fundraising goals as some of their private peers have been the recipients of mega gifts in recent years. (Bloomberg Business, 11/12)

RACIAL EQUITY/SOCIAL JUSTICE | Police Are More Aggressive Overall in Encounters With African Americans (City Lab, 11/17)

When it comes to public speaking, it’s all about using your hands.

– Ciara

‘Standing strong’ to elevate the immigration crisis

Gretchen Greiner-Lott, WRAG vice president, recently had the opportunity to attend a special White House briefing on the topic of immigration. Gretchen had this to say about her key takeaways and how the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers plans to take further action on this urgent matter:

On Monday, I attended a White House briefing on immigration. The audience was exclusively the leaders of Regional Associations of Grantmakers from around the country. Given the high level of immigration to our region, WRAG knew how important it was to be represented at this gathering. We heard from a number of speakers, including, Felicia Escobar, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy; Leon Rodriquez, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Co-Chair, Task Force on New Americans, and other experts in immigration policy and philanthropy.

The key takeaways were that immigrants and their children make up 25 percent of the U.S. population. Currently, there are 13.3 million legal permanent residents in the U.S., and almost 9 million of them are eligible to become citizens. Because there are so many benefits to citizenship – such as higher wages and work benefits, health coverage, and access to college education – the Obama Administration has just launched the “Stand Stronger” Citizenship Awareness Campaign to encourage eligible immigrants to commit to citizenship. The Administration wants to engage funders at the local level on the main parts of the campaign: strengthening pathways to  citizenship; building welcoming communities; supporting skill development, fostering entrepreneurship, and safeguarding workers; and expanding language integration and education.

Based on this meeting, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers will work with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees to elevate this topic for funders. Specific information such as state/regional data reports and speaker suggestions will be provided to regional associations to distribute to their members. WRAG will keep our members posted on these resources.

Event: WRAG’s colleague organization, the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, has generously invited WRAG member funders to participate in an upcoming program called, Vulnerable Immigrants in Maryland: Responding to Unaccompanied Children and Undocumented Adults on Tuesday, October 27 at 2:00 pm. Click here for details on how to attend in person or register to join remotely.

COMMUNITY/WRAG | WRAG president Tamara Copeland presents her third quarter report to the community where she discusses how WRAG continues to work to stay true to its mission. (Daily, 9/30)

DISTRICT | The 11th Street Bridge Park project, which aims to create a more connected District, has received its first seven-figure donation from the Kresge Foundation. The donation brings the total capital campaign funds to more than $11 million of the project’s $45 million goal. (WBJ, 9/29)

YOUTHCould Paying At-Risk Youth Help Curb Violence? D.C. Lawmaker is Willing to Try (WAMU, 9/29)

ENVIRONMENT | Scientists are finding evidence that climate change is affecting more than just those who currently live in the world. Research is mounting that it also contributes to low-birth weights in babies, leading to a host of other problems down the road. (City Lab, 9/30)

GENDER EQUALITY/WORKFORCE | The Wall Street Journal has a special report on women in the workplace including some interesting data on how career trajectories for men and women tend to diverge over time. (WSJ, 9/30)

How much do you love your pet? A lot, I’m sure. But do you love him/her this much?

– Ciara 


“Social” profit: so much more than semantics

By Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last month, at the annual conference of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (WRAG’s membership organization), I was asked to respond to the opening plenary speaker. David Grant, the former head of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in New Jersey, had been invited to speak on his book, The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations. For anyone struggling with qualitative assessment in a quantitative assessment-focused world, this book is a must-read. Actually, this is so well written that I recommend adding it to your summer beach reading list, but that’s not what I want to talk about today.

Today, I want to talk about the term, “social profit.” The title of David’s book took me back to a blog post that I wrote back in 2008. “Nonprofit? Nonsense” focused on my belief that, as a sector, it is ridiculous to define ourselves by what we are not. By not celebrating all that our sector brings to society, we become a part of our own marginalization. In the post, I feel that I presented a solid argument for another name, while I also chided our sector for using such a negative term.

For a few months after the post was published, WRAG proudly referred to our sector as the social profit sector, but then we slowly stopped. Our commitment to the language was not strong enough. We stopped using the term in our Daily posts and I also failed to discipline myself to continually use it. The term “nonprofit” is powerfully ingrained in all of us. It flows easily off our tongues, but we can change that. We have unlearned other terms. Cars are no longer “used.” They are “pre-owned.” Kentucky Fried Chicken has marketed us away from focusing on the fact that the chicken is fried, by using the name KFC. And you would never refer to me as “colored.”

So thank you, David Grant, not only for your message about defining success, but also for the reminder that we are, indeed, the social profit sector. We provide value within a large, and much needed, societal frame. To my social profit colleagues, please call me out if I drop back into old language. I’m starting over now.