Tag: Greater Washington region

“Our Region, Our Giving 2016” looks at WRAG member philanthropy in the region

By Rebekah Seder
Senior Program Manager

In the latest edition of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ Our Region, Our Giving report, we take a look at WRAG member giving in the Greater Washington region in 2015. Over the course of this past summer, we collected data on our members’ giving through surveys, from WRAG’s Foundation Map, and through several of our members’ websites.

This snapshot of our membership’s philanthropy represents nearly $186 million in giving to nonprofit organizations that serve the region, and over $3.3 billion in assets.

Findings of particular note in this year’s report include:

  • Education and the arts & humanities were the most highly supported issue areas in 2015, totaling well over $54 million in philanthropic investment.
  • Nearly three-quarters of the WRAG membership provided general operating support to their grantees.
  • Sixty-three percent of members directed their giving across all three “states” that comprise our region.
  • Over two-thirds of members reported providing some type of non-cash support to their grantees.

This year’s report also takes a special look at WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series. With over half of WRAG’s member organizations participating in the learning series over the course of the first half of 2016, WRAG believes that advancing racial equity will become a major philanthropic priority in our region in the future.

Click here to read the full report.

“Structural Racism Theater” humorously places the Electoral College in historic context

RACE | With our 2016 Annual Meeting, Philanthropy in Bold, right around the corner, WRAG has been talking a lot lately about acting boldly and embracing risk. Last week we released the first in what we hope will be a series of videos that embody both of those ideas: Structural Racism Theater. Based sardonically on Masterpiece Theatre, Structural Racism Theater introduces the viewer to concrete examples of structural racism and implicit bias in an edgy, social media-friendly way. The first episode, which debuted on Facebook, focuses on the timely topic of the Electoral College and its connection to the Three-Fifths Compromise.

WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland explains the goal of the videos (Daily, 10/31):

We know that for many, there isn’t time to read lengthy articles, so we are condensing this information and making it, we hope, more digestible. Our goal is to make structural racism and implicit bias understandable to a larger audience. We want them to understand and then to act.

REGION | A cross-sector group of regional leaders has been working over the past year to rebrand the Greater Washington region. The initiative is part of a larger effort to position the region to better attract business and talent, in order to lessen the region’s dependence on the federal government and ensure the region’s long-term economic sustainability (WaPo, 10/26).

This Task Force is part of the 2030 Group’s Roadmap for Our Region’s Economic Future project, which WRAG has been proud to partner with since last year. WRAG’s vice president Gretchen Greiner-Lott says,

“An outgrowth of the Roadmap project is the development of a regional identity campaign to promote all the positive aspects of our region. It’s not only important for the “outside world” to see us as a cohesive and productive region, it’s important for those of us living and working here to think that way, too. Thinking and working as a cohesive region is the only way we are going to be able to tackle our big regional issues, such as housing affordability and transportation.”

TRANSIT | Budget proposal paints grim portrait of Metro’s future (WaPo, 10/30)

ARTS | “Art-Washing”—A New Name for a Not-So-New Side Effect of Gentrification (NPQ, 10/28)

FOOD | How the Half-Smoke Links a Changing D.C. (City Lab, 10/28)

I hope everyone has as happy a Halloween as this dog did!


Growing numbers of Central American asylum seekers coming to DC area

The number of undocumented Central Americans entering the U.S. is rising due to violence and poverty in that region, a growing influx that may constitute a refugee crisis. This year, an estimated 4,000 unaccompanied Central American children alone have settled in the metro D.C. region. (WAMU, 9/28)

The U.S. Border Patrol categorizes apprehensions into two groups: “Family units,” which mean an adult and at least one minor, and “unaccompanied children.” In fiscal 2014, there were 66,144 family units and 66,115 unaccompanied children apprehended at the Southwestern border. Those numbers shrank to 34,565 and 35,485, respectively, after enforcement ramped up in fiscal 2015. The flow has returned in fiscal 2016, with 68,080 family units and 54,052 unaccompanied children apprehended at the border through August.

– There may be another impending government shut down – what happens to D.C. if it does? (Washingtonian, 9/27)

– The D.C. statehood conversation continues at an upcoming public hearing a few weeks in advance of voters being asked to approve a referendum calling for D.C. to become the 51st state. (WaPo, 9/27)

 – D.C. Universities And Businesses Propose Bill Requiring 8 Weeks Of Paid Leave (WAMU, 9/27)

– School adopts gender-neutral homecoming court, so there might be no ‘king’ or ‘queen’ (WaPo, 9/27)

– Racial bias among preschool teachers is the focus of a new Yale study. (WaPo, 9/27)

Students in Md. counties underperform in test for college readiness (WTOP, 9/28)

HEALTH | A new, larger Planned Parenthood office location opens in Northeast Washington. (WJLA, 9/28)

– Grantmakers in the Arts continues to update their focus on Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy with new definitions, recommendations, and resources to support funders in this work. The materials and efforts on collective action toward racial equity are directed toward arts funders, but appropriate for the entire philanthropic sector.

– The Washington Business Journal is seeking nominations for their Corporate Philanthropy Awards, which honor partnerships between local businesses and nonprofits that demonstrate positive outcomes for both organizations. Nominations are due this Friday, September 30th.

– After 25 Years of Grant Making, I Worry We Have Lost Sight of Nonprofit Struggles (CP, 9/6)

HOUSINGRent in our region is expensive. Does that mean it’s unaffordable? (GGW, 9/27)

TRANSPORTATION | Va. budget shortfall to have some impact on transportation side (WTOP, 9/28)

Pumpkins aren’t the only game in town this fall! Brussel sprouts are my favorite – Buffy

New data show how life expectancy varies across the region

HEALTH/EQUITY | The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health have released a new map showing wide variations in life expectancy for babies born in different areas of the Greater Washington region. The map shows that opportunities to be as healthy as possible vary by neighborhood.

The aim of these maps is to serve as a resource—raising awareness of factors that shape health and spurring discussion and action on a complex web of factors that influence health. In this case, the average life expectancy in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County is 78 years – 8 years shorter than for babies born in either Arlington or Fairfax Counties.

Related: Next month, Dr. Steven Woolf, head of the Center on Society and Health at VCU, will present as part of WRAG’s 2016 Brightest Minds series. Join us to learn more about the social and economic factors that influence health and contribute to wide disparities in life expectancy across our region. This event is open to the public. Find out more and register here.

COMMUNITY | The University of Maryland has announced a $75 million initiative to support student philanthropy work called the “Do Good Institute”, which will build on the work of formerly named UMD’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and be run through the public policy school.  The goal of this new effort is to establish the University of Maryland as a global leader in advancing social change, philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. (WaPo, 9/22) UMD’s Do Good Institute is WRAG’s long-time partner on the Philanthropy Fellows program, through which over 50 students have gained experience in philanthropy and learned about the region at over 30 WRAG member organizations.

Related: WRAG is excited to welcome the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows! Six students from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute are working with five WRAG members this year, on a variety of projects from grants administration and communications, to development and public policy initiatives. (Daily, 9/26)

– DC has finalized the second annual youth homeless census, a nine-day push to count residents under 25 who don’t have permanent housing. (City Paper, 9/23)

 – D.C. Kicks Off $13 Million Affordable Housing Renovation in Ward 4 (City Paper, 9/23)

EDUCATION | As kindergarten ratchets up academics, parents feel the stress (WaPo, 9/25)

PHILANTHROPYPutting Data About Nonprofits to Work for Good (Chronicle, 9/23)

As we gear up for the first Presidential Debate tonight, it’s worth noting that Americans are quick to ask if candidates are giving enough, but they don’t follow up on how the money is being used – Buffy


Proposed Changes to DC’s Rent Control Laws Will Benefit Tenants

HOUSING | D.C.’s rent control laws could get more restrictive under a new bill proposed this week by  D.C. Council Committee on Housing and Community Development Chair Anita Bonds, who introduced legislation that would cap annual rent increases in D.C.’s 80,000-plus rent-controlled units. (City Paper, 9/20)

First, the bill would limit such hikes to the Consumer Price Index—a measure of inflation—which varies from year to year but is now zero. Under current D.C. law, landlords of rent-controlled buildings can raise rents by 2 percent of a tenant’s payments plus the CPI, up to 10 percent, except for elderly and disabled tenants, whose rent can only be raised by the CPI alone. Second, the legislation would eliminate vacancy increases: When a rent-controlled unit goes vacant today, a landlord can raise the rent on it by 10 percent if there’s no comparable unit on the property—or by 30 percent if there is a comparable unit.

FOOD INSECURITY | Food Lion’s Closure Means Stocked Shelves for Loudoun Food Pantries (Loudoun Now, 9/21)

Related: 2016 Loudoun Hunger Summit “Together at the Table”: Friday, October 14, from 9:30 AM to 2:30 – Co-Hosted by the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties and Loudoun Interfaith Relief.

EDUCATION | Fairfax County Public Schools superintendent announces resignation (WTOP, 9/19)

DISTRICT | The D.C. Council is being asked to pass the Universal Paid Leave Act, that would require employers to provide workers with up to 16 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child, and would be given to employees dealing with a medical condition or caring for a seriously ill loved one. (WTOP, 9/20)

REGION | Columbia has been named the “Best Place to Live” in America by Money magazine – the only Maryland town to make the list of 50. (WBJ, 9/19)

ARTS | The 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Awards will be held on September 22, where individual artists, teachers, nonprofit organizations and patrons of the arts and humanities will be honored.

NONPROFITS | Increase your nonprofit’s #ROI with these key steps – download the IBM Advanced Analytics ROI Case Study. (NP Quarterly, 9/19)

FOUNDATIONS | The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and Center for Evaluation Innovation (CEI) released a new report on foundation evaluation practices: Benchmarking Foundation Evaluation Practices.

VOLUNTEERING | Civic organizations were built on the voluntary labor of women. As the demands on women’s time increase, communities are suffering. (Atlantic, 9/19)

I have one of these vivid dreams at least once a year – Buffy


America faces a massive teacher shortage

– According to a new study, the country faces a massive and increasing teacher shortage, affecting nearly every state.  (WaPo, 9/14):

The shortages are disproportionately felt in special education, math and science, and in bilingual and English-language education.

Regardless of the state, students in high-poverty and high-minority schools are typically hit hardest when there are teacher shortages. In 2014, on average, less than one percent of teachers were uncertified in low-minority schools, while four times as many were uncertified in high-minority schools, the study showed.

D.C. charter school wins $10 million prize to redesign high school (WaPo, 9/14)

HOUSING | Officials have approved $13 million in predevelopment financing to rehab the Barry Farm public housing complex in Ward 8, as part of the New Communities Initiative. (City Paper, 9/15)

REGION | These maps show who the region’s non-English speakers are, and where they live (GGW, 9/14) Interesting fact: there are 26 language groups in our region with at least 1,000 speakers.

RACE | Alexandria is hosting a public hearing on Saturday over how to deal with the many Confederate memorials and street names throughout the city. (WaPo, 9/15)

EQUITY | Virginia’s Indian tribes clear another hurdle toward federal recognition (WaPo, 9/15)

ARTS | TheatreWeek Is the New Restaurant Week (Washingtonian, 9/14)

PHILANTHROPY | Foundations Bet It All on Advancing Equity (Chronicle, 9/14 – subscription required)

Social Sector Job Openings
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

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 – October 2016
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 seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Can you tango? Yes? Ok…but can you do it underwater?

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Monday!

– Rebekah

Hispanics in Philanthropy Embracing Technology to Get Out the Vote

PHILANTHROPY/ELECTIONS | Citing immigration, health care and climate change as some of the many reasons to mobilize the Latino vote this election season, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) is partnering with numerous groups and embracing technology to engage voters – particularly millennials.

To create a future that’s equitable for their families and communities, Latinos need to engage in the democratic process and voice their opinions and needs. And, in this ever-more-digital world, and with so many millennial Latinos eligible to vote, it means that the nonprofits working to get out the vote need to use innovative strategies to engage voters in ways we’ve never done before.

Learn more about how HIP is embracing the digital age with an Hispanic Heritage campaign called #LatinosGiveTheirVote and the millennial focused crowdfunding platform, HIPGive.org. (NP Quarterly, 9/7)

– WRAG and the Enterprise Community Loan Fund share a very exciting announcement about Our Region, Your Investment, the impact investing initiative to address the housing crisis in our region. (Daily, 9/7)

– See all of DC’s new affordable housing in one map (GGW, 9/6)

WORKFORCE | Once a magnet for young professionals, the DC area is now attracting job seekers at a much slower pace. (WaPo, 9/5)

– The Long-Term Consequences of Missing School (Atlantic, 9/6)

– A panel of education experts discuss evaluation and accountability in schools. This is the seventh, and last, installment in this series about school in a perfect world. Read previous entries on calendars, content, homework, teachers, classrooms, and classifications. (Atlantic, 9/4)

RACEThe Internet May Be as Segregated as a City (Atlantic, 9/6)

NONPROFITSShould Board Members of Large Nonprofits Be Paid? (NP Quarterly, 9/6)

Goodbye final weeks of summer … I already miss the fireflies – Buffy

Presidential Candidates and Their Giving is a Big Focus this Election Season

– No other presidential election has focused so much attention on each candidate’s philanthropy. This is the first time both candidates have a foundation, and voters want to know how generous they are in their personal lives as well.

Americans want to know if candidates are philanthropic. They want to know how much the candidates give away as a percentage of their personal income more than the details about the beneficiaries of their giving. The media want to know the details and especially about any hint of self-dealing. In the end, as never before, philanthropy is influencing this presidential election.

As the boundaries between politics and philanthropy continue to blur, and questions about their giving continue, it remains to be seen if the media scrutiny has provided a better understanding of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s philanthropy. (NP Quarterly, 9/2)

– Charity Navigator Revamps Donor-Advisory System (CP, 9/1)

 As kids head back to school, those who are homeless have many challenges, including school uniforms. (WaPo, 9/1)

– Documentary ‘Starving the Beast’ Is Sobering Look At Politics Of Education (dcist, 9/2)

HOUSING | There are a number of programs used to create affordable housing in the region, including housing vouchers, inclusionary zoning, low-income housing tax credits and public housing programs, each of which use the area median income (AMI) to determine eligibility. (GGW, 9/1)

DISTRICT | Ambulances take longer to reach you if you live east of the Anacostia River   (GGW, 9/2)

ENVIRONMENTMaryland balks at push for deeper cuts to power-plant carbon emissions  (WaPo, 9/5)

– Police in Baltimore, surrounding communities using Geofeedia to monitor social media posts (Balt Sun, 9/5)

– 111 More Prisoners Granted Clemency as Obama Races to Fulfill Pledge with Nonprofit Support (NP Quarterly, 9/1)

CORPORATEStudy Finds that Corporate Sponsorships Negatively Impact Nonprofit Brands (NP Quarterly, 8/31)

ART | Know somebody creating change — big or small — in your community?  The White House is hosting South by South Lawn, bringing together creators, innovators, and organizers from across the country for an evening of music, film, and great ideas.

I loved seeing Stonehenge, and now can’t wait to visit … Foamhenge – Buffy

How Foundations Can Help Stop Predatory Lending

JUSTICE | Foundations and nonprofits have an important role to play in helping to stop predatory lending practices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finally proposed a new rule that will curb the payday lending industry’s ability to prey on low-income members of our communities. Comments on the proposed rule are due October 7, 2016, and they represent an opportunity for foundations that prioritize economic justice to weigh in on the side of their constituents.

Within the next three months, there are three specific things foundations can do to help. (NP Quarterly, 8/31)

CIVIL RIGHTSVirginia Republicans go back to court to fight governor on felon voting rights (WaPo, 9/1)

HOUSING | DC officials work to balance the needs of DC residents with the promises of developers to build affordable housing in DC. David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners weighs in: “to the extent we can, when we think about housing and connecting people to greater opportunity and amenities it really does behoove us as often as we can to make sure the affordability is on site.” (WaPo, 8/26)

EDUCATION Book Details Foundation Influence on Obama Education Policy (CP, 8/26)

IMMIGRATION | Under Trump’s latest plan, more than six million immigrants could be deported (WaPo, 9/1)

EQUALITYInequality is a choice: Rewriting the rules of the American economy (Equals Change Blog, 8/16)

– The “September Shock” is real, and it’s happening this month. Traffic in DC is about to get much worse. (dcist, 8/31)

– DC has almost no white residents without college degrees. (It’s a different story for black residents) (GGW, 8/29)

 Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order to Start School after Labor Day  (Balt Sun, 8/31)

– A new four year study by the Maryland Transportation Authority will explore where to place, and how to fund a new Chesapeake Bay crossing. (WaPo, 8/30)

VIRGINIA | Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said funding for education and road projects in the Northern part of the state won’t be used to close the $1.5 billion budget shortfall. (WTOP, 8/31)

ARTSCreative Sponsorship Use by Local Nonprofits Opens Arts Patronage to Nearly Anyone (NP Quarterly, 8/28)

RELIGION | Churches are forming “Racists Anonymous” 12-step groups to help people become more aware of, and change their behavior. (WaPo, 8/31)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: How Grant Makers Can Improve Their Aid After Disaster Strikes. Co-written by Nina Stack, CEO of WRAG colleague organization the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers, this opinion piece highlights the new Disaster Philanthropy Playbook, a comprehensive online resource for grantmakers, nonprofits, governments, and donors. (CP, 8/31)


Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health

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 – September 2016
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 seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

As we head into the final, unofficial weekend of summer, we learn that edible sunscreens are all the rage – yum? Hope the tropical storm passes us by. Enjoy! – Buffy

The (almost) Daily will be back on Tuesday!


Northern Virginia Health Foundation Reflects on 10 Years

– As they reflect on the work of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation the last decade, Foundation President and CEO Patricia N. Mathews and Board Chair Lisa G. Kaplowitz believe the health care safety net in the region has become stronger. And, they share some lessons learned:

As we take a moment to reflect on the occasion of our 10th anniversary, there is so much that we have learned. But three lessons stand apart:

1. Providing general operating support is essential.
2. Grantmaking is important, but it isn’t enough.
3. Working in partnership with grantees is required.

Learn more by reading their 10th anniversary annual report. (NoVAFH, 8/23)

– Medicaid to Pay for Repellent in Virginia to Ward Off Zika (WTOP, 8/24)

– Faith Nonprofits Sue Over Health Coverage for Transgender People (CP, 8/24)

– Tamara Copeland writes about Tackling Racial Justice: Why, How and So What?  for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Responsive Philanthropy Blog, Summer 2016)

– Philanthropy’s infrastructure is building a new philanthropic network that will, among other things, address racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in philanthropy – with the Forum of Regional Association’s of Grantmakers leading the charge. Washington Grantmakers is a member of the Forum, and Tamara Copeland recently sat on a Racial Equity panel at the July Annual Conference, where she shared WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table” work.

ECONOMY | The Plight Of The White Working Class Isn’t Economic, It’s Cultural (The Federalist, 8/17)

– Virginia Could be Facing Much Bigger Budget Shortfall than Expected (WaPo, 8/24)

– DC residents are working harder to own a house than others around the country. (WaPo, 8/25)

 DC sets a record with more than 2 million foreign tourists in 2015. (WTOP, 8/24)

NONPROFITS Nonprofit Governance and the Power of Things – Nonprofit boards often have a mix of personalities. This useful and classic article examines boardroom behavior. (NP Quarterly, 8/12/15)

– How to help those impacted by the earthquake in Italy. (Mashable, 8/25)

– More Philanthropists Should Think Like Venture Capitalists (Forbes, 8/17)


Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation

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 – September 2016
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 seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Ooooh, it just feels wrong to want the Bacon Donutwich – doesn’t it? I’m going to go for it. – Buffy