Tag: Get on the Map

Making a Difference | A Fourth Quarter Report to the Community

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In my third quarter report to the community, I referenced our mission statement. I’d like to do that again: “The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers promotes increased, effective and responsible philanthropy to improve the health and vitality of the region and all who live here.” Certainly, it’s an appropriate and laudable mission statement. But, at the end of the day, how do we know we’re succeeding? This quarter, our work focused on outcomes and our impact in the community.

Taproot Foundation – Earlier this year, WRAG applied for a Taproot Foundation grant because we wanted to know if we were making a difference. Were we living up to our mission statement? If you don’t know the Taproot Foundation, it is an entity that utilizes coordinated, pro bono services from the local corporate community to address the needs of the social profit sector. Via a comprehensive, six-month assessment, Taproot determined that the answer is “yes.”  WRAG’s value and impact rests in what Taproot calls our “pillars of value and impact:” 1) WRAG as a convener; 2) WRAG as a source of knowledge and information; 3) WRAG as the voice of philanthropy in the region; and, 4) WRAG as a promoter of collaboration and relationships.

Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility – This quarter, the second class graduated from our joint program with Johns Hopkins University. While already effective in their corporate responsibility work, the graduates acknowledged that participation in this year-long course made them even stronger in their positions. That’s exactly what we hoped would happen. Good news for anyone in the corporate community looking to  improve their work in CSR: there is still space in the 2016 class.

Get on the Map –Through a partnership between the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and the Foundation Center, WRAG is now able to map the philanthropic investments of our membership. Launched this quarter, this mapping tool enables WRAG members to know who else is investing in a certain issue, in a certain geographic area, or to a certain social profit organization. Better information will lead to better coordinated investments. Just an FYI: this tool is available on our website only to WRAG members.

WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting – “Philanthropy All In” was the theme for this year’s annual meeting. The immediate feedback suggests that the business meeting session on The Metropolitan Revolution and regional cooperation, followed by the luncheon presentation, “The House that Racism Built,” gave the sold-out audience lots of food for thought. If you weren’t able to attend, video from the sessions will be available soon. After you watch Dr. David Williams’ presentation on racism, look out for an artistic element that powerfully underscores his message.

Is WRAG making a difference in the community? We think so, and hope you do, too.


Big announcements from WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting

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.

– 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?



Many millennials experiencing burdensome rental costs

A new report from the National Housing Conference and Center for Housing Policy finds that for many millennials in the region (and especially D.C.), rental prices have become far too burdensome (WCP, 10/2):

The report, based in part on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development data, illustrates that the income needed to affordably rent a one- or two-bedroom apartment in the D.C. area is $49,200 and $58,320, respectively. The median wages for other jobs popular among millennials, including eCommerce customer service representative ($37,986), administrative assistant ($48,927), cashier ($22,332), and cardiac technician ($44,258), don’t make the cut for either type of apartment. Meanwhile, none of these occupations bring in the income needed to affordably own a home in the metro area: $94,023, a statistic derived from the 2015 median home price of $345,000, which is based on National Association of Home Builders data. This is despite the fact that the jobs singled out in the report each pay a few thousand dollars more annually in the D.C. area than they do on average across the United States.

– For the first time in seven years, Prince George’s County has reopened the application process for its voucher program. Some, however, are concerned that the online-only application will be a barrier to more vulnerable populations who may have limited Internet access or disabilities. (WaPo, 10/4)

PHILANTHROPY | Sari Raskin, associate director of community investment at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, recently got a sneak preview of WRAG’s new interactive grants data mapping tool. After spending some time digging into the map data, she came away with a new vision for how valuable this tool will be for helping the foundation invest more strategically in the communities it serves – especially if more funders participate. She wrote a guest blog post about why she hopes her colleagues will follow the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s lead and “get on the map.” (Daily, 10/5)

YOUTH/DISTRICT | Opinion: Examining the prevalence of crimes committed in D.C. by youth under the age of 18, a columnist questions whether enough is being done in the city to curb criminal behavior by juveniles. (WaPo, 10/2)

ECONOMY/MARYLAND | A New Era For Prince George’s County (Bisnow, 9/30)

ARTS | The University of Maryland has announced a new partnership with the Phillips Collection that will expand the reach of the university’s art and educational programs into D.C. (WaPo, 10/5)

EDUCATION | America Needs to Let Go of Its Reverence for the Bachelor’s Degree (Atlantic, 10/5)

Reston is really excited about October 21, 2015.

– 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


Why We’re Getting on the Map: Prince Charitable Trusts

More and more funders have signed on to “Get on the Map” by e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center. The data will populate WRAG’s Foundation Map, a data mapping and visualization platform that will allow members to explore who is giving to what and where across the Greater Washington region.

The 20th WRAG member to commit to get on the map is Prince Charitable Trusts. Says managing director Kristin Pauly,

“I am thrilled to see WRAG participate in the “Get on the Map!” campaign. I think it will be so useful to have a picture of philanthropic activities in this region. In fact, Prince operates from 3 geographic locations: Washington, DC; Chicago, Illinois; and Newport, Rhode Island. We immediately formatted our grant information from all 3 offices and sent them into the Foundation Center for our respective geographic areas. As a relatively small foundation, we are especially interested in leveraging our funds. Having access to up-to-date information on where colleague funders are giving will help guide investments and possible collaborations and funding alignment. Prince is happy to support this effort and encourages other WRAG members to do so as well.”

Get on the Map is an initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grants data for and about funders. WRAG Members: To learn more about the platform and how to contribute your data, watch this recent webinar or sign up for the next webinar on May 14.

Meeting unmet needs for a better healthcare system

Over on the Consumer Health Foundation blog, Dr. Rajiv Bhatia discusses how data on the unmet needs (food, employment, housing and transportation) of patients could help the health care system further calculate risk factors in order to provide a more comprehensive experience that would include connecting people with the proper community resources. (CHF, 4/1)

According to a recent national survey, 85% of primary care doctors say that unmet needs for food, housing, employment, and transportation contribute to poor health for their patients. These doctors recognize that they lack the time, tools, and resources to support all of their patients’ health needs and want health care systems to do more. Sadly, few health care systems measure unmet needs as risk factors in the populations they serve or take steps to address these needs.

Quality health care matters a great deal when we are sick, but protecting and maintaining our health requires a foundation of basic human needs. Insecure work, the lack of nutritious food, and unstable shelter are increasingly common experiences in our society that result in high costs for health and healthcare.

PHILANTHROPY | More and more grantmakers are committing to “get on the map!” Foundation president/CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors, Patricia Mathews, shares why the Northern Virginia Health Foundation is excited about the interactive mapping tool and sharing their grants data with colleagues. (Daily, 4/6)

Opinion: As the District’s homelessness crisis persists, David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners offers his thoughts on how the city must use a broader approach to tackle the problem and bring about lasting change. (WaPo, 4/3)

– According to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, federal funding for programs to end homelessness in the U.S. is at its highest level ever. The study also found significant declines in homelessness nationally among sub-populations over the past few years. (HuffPo, 4/3)

The unprecedented funding is “probably in part” to credit for a decline in net homelessness: 578,424 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2014 — down 2.3 percent from the year before.

What’s more, improvements were tracked within every major sub-population, such as the chronically homeless, families and unsheltered persons. Veteran homelessness, for example, has dropped 33 percent in the past five years.

YOUTH/DISTRICT | In this special film, DC Teens: Progress & Promise, made by Stone Soup Films for the Summit Fund of Washington, District teens and leaders working to lower rates of teen pregnancy speak on what is being done to create a better future for young people in the city and why that work is so vital. Check out the video here.

Related: Dr. Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution, who makes an appearance in the film above, will be the featured speaker of our first Brightest Minds event of the year. On April 30, she will explore the growing trend of unwed and unplanned motherhood, its impact on child poverty and wellness, and how the social sector can effectively support efforts for change. This event is open to both WRAG members and nonmembers. More details here.

– On April 15, United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) is offering a free training to support any area nonprofit that will participate in the Do More 24 Day of Giving to be held this year on June 4. Nonprofits interested in participating do not need to be members of UWNCA, but must serve the D.C. metro area. Click here to learn more and to register by April 13.

Opinion: Simple Steps to Promote Diversity at Nonprofits (Chronicle, 4/3)

– McAuliffe ‘bans the box’ on state job applications (WaPo, 4/4)

Who’s ready for some baseball?! Take this quiz to see how much you know about the sport.

– Ciara


Why We’re Getting on the Map: The Northern Virginia Health Foundation

Lately we’ve been highlighting some of the reasons why WRAG members are committing to “get on the map” by e-reporting their grants data to the Foundation Center. The data will populate WRAG’s Foundation Map, a data mapping and visualization platform that will allow members to explore who is giving to what and where across the Greater Washington region.

The Northern Virginia Health Foundation signed on to this initiative from the start. Says Patricia Mathews, foundation president and CEO and chair of WRAG’s board of directors,

“The Northern Virginia Health Foundation is pleased to participate in this important effort to improve the data infrastructure of the WRAG community. As a health funder, it is critical for us to understand how our investments intersect with our colleagues’ funding toward other issues that impact the health and wellness of Northern Virginians, like housing affordability, education, and the environment. We anticipate that WRAG’s Foundation Map will be an important tool in our efforts to align our grantmaking in support of creating healthier communities across Northern Virginia. We encourage all of our fellow WRAG members to contribute their data to make this tool as powerful as it can be. This could truly be a way to work toward achieving a healthy region.”

Get on the Map is an initiative to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grants data for and about funders. WRAG Members: 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.

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.

Friday roundup – March 23 through March 27, 2015

New data from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University found that, in the past year, population growth in the region saw a sharp decline. Though the District saw a less dramatic decline compared with the rest of the region, the effects of the trend may still be felt. (City Paper, 3/27)

[…] as economic analysts keep pointing out, the District’s future and the region’s are intertwined. The boom times we’ve enjoyed of late—or perhaps not enjoyed, if we’re feeling the pinch of higher housing costs – came largely because there were more dollars and people flowing into the D.C. area. If those numbers are turning negative, it’s bad for two reasons. First, it’s a symptom of a problem: People come if there are more and better jobs to be had here than elsewhere, and they leave if there aren’t. And second, for the District itself, which relies on gaining residents for its economic bottom line when it’s not allowed to collect taxes from the hundreds of thousands of people who commute here, it could mean an end to budget surpluses and some of the big capital projects to which we’ve become accustomed.

Washingtonian named four major development projects that they expect to have a big impact on the region in the coming years. (Washingtonian, 3/24)

– Lori Jackson, executive manager of the Alexander and Margaret Stewart Trust, explained why they will be joining the growing list of funders “getting on the map.” (Daily, 3/23)

– WRAG president Tamara Copeland shared how we’re working to grow philanthropy throughout the region. (Daily, 3/26)

– Arlington County and Montgomery County topped rankings for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute’s annual healthiest counties ranking.(WTOP, 3/25)

– A new report revealed that, although the District has made much progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the city’s high rate of other STDs is said to be a “struggle of epidemic proportions.” (DCist, 3/25)

Foundation Finance Affinity Group: Getting Prepared For Your Audit (WRAG member/prospective member CFOs and finance staff)
Monday, March 30, 2015   10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Funder Briefing: Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region (WRAG members and invited guests)
Tuesday, March 31, 2015  9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

What happens when you send one identical twin off into space for a year, and the other remains here on earth? NASA intends to find out.

– Ciara

Growing philanthropy in our region | A first quarter report to the community

by Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

“Why aren’t there more national funders investing in our region?”

“Who else is funding XXX?  I need to know so we can coordinate better.”

“I can’t be the primary funder forever.  YYY needs more funding partners.”

At WRAG, we hear these comments and others like them all of the time from our members. This quarter “growing philanthropy in the region” has become our focus.

Most of the time, at WRAG, we wear the hat of the convener, or the voice of philanthropy, or the information aggregator.  For the first quarter of 2015, we have elevated another aspect of our work – fund developer. I know that this isn’t a descriptor that you typically associate with WRAG, but it is central to our role. Even our mission statement says that in addition to promoting effective and responsible philanthropy, we are “to increase philanthropy in the region.”   So, we’ve taken a number of new steps this quarter to do just that.

In January, Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Arkansas, spoke at WRAG’s CEO Coffee and Conversation series.  Why?  Because Sherece had done a phenomenal job of bringing national funders into Arkansas, a state that, like the Greater Washington region, was rarely the pilot site of any major national initiatives.  We wanted to learn how she and her colleagues had managed to bring in millions in new revenue to social profits located in Arkansas in a relatively short period of time.  We heard her message of bold, coordinated action. Now a group of WRAG members is exploring how we might move forward in a similar way in our backyard.

In February, we launched the Get on the Map campaign, an effort to gather data on who is giving to which social profits in our region. Why? On the surface, this may appear to be a simple data mapping project.  It is that, of course, but it is also a means of assessing where investments are not being made in the region, and of providing a platform that might lead to better coordination of giving — a service that the WRAG community has wanted for years.

This month, we announced a new WRAG initiative, a two-day workshop on the Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility.  Why?  Because we know that every funder and every social profit organization – both grantor and grantee – wants to expand the funding pool.  Through this workshop, we hope to help the local social profit sector better understand the constraints and opportunities that rest in the corporate community.  This knowledge will lead to more focused, appropriate proposals and to better partnerships to address the overall needs of the region.

And, it doesn’t stop there. In May, WRAG will be shining a spotlight on the needs of Loudoun County, just as we did years ago on Prince George’s County. Why? To showcase a part of our region that needs  greater philanthropic investment.  Many believe that WRAG’s role made a difference in Prince George’s. Now we hope to do the same thing in Loudoun.

It’s springtime. The seeds are being planted.  You’ll know when they bear fruit!