Tag: Loudoun County

Affordable housing must be a priority in Loudoun County

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Loudoun County’s Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall gave her second state of the county address yesterday. She discussed many improvements for the county and addressed future issues including housing and transportation. Loudoun County has a housing affordability problem right now and a recent report found that it could be facing a crisis in the future. (Loudoun Tribune, 5/24)

Her first priority was affordable housing, an ongoing problem that has taken greater urgency among the board as the county faces rising house prices and the prospect of an insufficient supply in the future. These same projections say a dearth of affordable housing could curtail future economic growth, and Randall said government and business leaders need to address the issue before it became a crisis.

“Housing affordability is an absolute necessity if we hope to attract businesses and companies to locate to this region,” Randall said.

In the past few weeks, the county Chamber held a discussion, the Board has held a summit and future meetings and actions steps are planned. Randall reminded the hundreds in the government center crowded into the Board room or watching in overflow that many of Loudoun’s public servants, dozens of whom were on hand to listen to her address, couldn’t afford to live in the communities they aid.

JPMorgan Chase is investing in Ascend 2020, a project that helps minority-owned businesses that are often unable to find financing in the District. The project will be supported by Project 500, an effort for which WRAG serves as a fiscal agent. (WBJ, 5/24)

– Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will sign over 200 bills today but paid sick leave may not be one of them. (WaPo, 5/24)

– Susan Taylor Batten, CEO of ABFE, discusses why it’s important to fund Black-led nonprofits, especially now. (Chronicle, 5/2 – Subscription needed)

– Funders Concerned About AIDS is hosting its annual AIDS Philanthropy Summit on September 18 and 19.

IMMIGRATION | Montgomery County has joined a national effort to encourage long-term immigrant residents to become US citizens. (Bethesda Beat, 5/24)

DEVELOPMENT | In a community meeting, Congress Heights residents voiced concerns about the District’s plans to build a sports arena on the St. Elizabeths campus. (DCist, 5/24)

BUDGETRegional memo: Trump budget proposal spells more pain for D.C. region (WaPo, 5/25)

HEALTH | How to design a neighborhood that keeps its residents healthy. (Politico, 5/10)

Need a little 90s nostalgia on another rainy day? Look no further!

– Kendra

A new campaign features the faces of need in Loudoun County

LOUDOUN | Loudoun County has the highest median household income in the U.S. yet its average household charitable giving is just 1.98% – a full 1% behind the national average and nearly 2% behind neighboring Montgomery County, MD. Yesterday, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties launched a new campaign to raise awareness of county needs and foster increased giving among county residents. Faces of Loudoun features the stories of real Loudoun residents who’ve struggled with the lack of basic resources. (Loudoun Tribune, 3/1) WRAG is proud to have been the catalyst for this work!

Loudoun’s giving is “lackluster” said [Community Foundation of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties] Executive Director Amy Owen, in large part because many of Loudoun’s most disadvantaged go unnoticed in the county with the highest median household income. That’s why the Community Foundation partnered with a steering committee of business, community, education, faith and government leaders to put together a profile of giving in Loudoun.

That helped develop Faces of Loudoun, which will feature a web site, social media engagement and a traveling display highlighting stories of Loudoun residents that benefited from charitable giving and services. Along with an increase of volunteer hours, Owen said the program’s aim is to put Loudoun’s giving percentages in line with other jurisdictions. If Loudoun raises its current donation rates of 1.98 percent of discretionary income to the national average of 3 percent, Owen said Loudoun charitable groups will see an annual increase of $70 million dollars.

HEALTHMaryland governor declares state of emergency for opioid crisis (WaPo, 3/1)

HUMAN RIGHTS/ANTISEMITISM | After two Jewish elementary schools in Maryland received bomb threats earlier this week, community members came together to support them in a rally called “Bagels Not Bombs.” (WTOP, 3/1)

ECONOMIC SECURITY | Northern Virginia Novant Health workers will soon receive raises as the company moves to implement a new living wage policy. (WBJ, 3/1)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | DC’s Arena Stage theater received a $2.5 million gift to support its Power Plays project, which will include stories about power and politics from various perspectives. (WaPo, 2/27)

HOUSING | Mayor Bowser orders review of all properties operated by controversial D.C. landlord (WaPo, 3/1)

– A class action lawsuit has been filed against PayPal’s Giving Platform. The charges allege that donations made were not directed to the correct charities. (Nonprofit Quarterly, 3/1)

– New Twitter App Transforms Anger into Instant Social Good (Nonprofit Quarterly, 3/1)

EVENT | Board Match, an event that provides an opportunity for nonprofits to connect with prospective board members, will be held on Thursday, May 11th. The deadline for nonprofit registration is March 8th.

Cherry blossoms are already (kind of) here.

– Kendra

Homeless filmmakers show their reality in DC

ARTS & HUMANITIES | DCTV ( a local television station in DC) has partnered with Street Sense’s Filmmakers Cooperative to offer filmmaking classes to homeless filmmakers. Participants who complete the course will receive three DCTV certifications in producing, videography and Adobe Premier editing. The cooperative was created to help individuals who are or who have been homeless show the reality of homelessness in DC. (Street Sense, 2/14)

Sasha Williams, one member of the co-op enrolled in the DCTV program, filmed one of the co-op’s previous documentaries and finds videography to be a powerful method for sharing her experiences.

“Creating my documentary really was life changing,” Williams said of “Raise to Rise,” a film about her and her young daughter’s journey from D.C. General to their own home. “It took courage to show everything so raw, to put my personal experience up on the big screen.”

Related: Join us for our next Brightest Minds series with Roberta Uno where she will talk about the impact of demographic changes on arts and culture, and why we should put the arts and artists at the forefront of community change. Register now

CSR | WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group recently met and discussed how companies can prepare their employees for nonprofit board service. Katherine Abib, WRAG’s program assistant, reflects on the lessons learned here. (Daily, 2/27)

LOUDOUNCommunity Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties‘ Executive Director Amy Owen discusses the often unseen needs in Loudoun County and how this affects charitable giving in one of the highest income counties in the country. WRAG has partnered with the community foundation and a group of cross-sector county leaders to identify needs in Loudoun County and brainstorm ways to address them. (InsideNOVA, 2/23)

Related: Join WRAG and the Community Foundation for Loudoun March 1st as we launch the Faces of Loudoun project, a community awareness campaign designed to elevate the face of need in Loudoun County. Register now

RACIAL EQUITY | The Institute on Assets and Social Policy and Demos have partnered on a new tool, the Racial Wealth Audit. This interactive online tool uses real examples to help policymakers and advocates explore and understand the causes and effects of the racial wealth gap. (IASP and Demos, 2/24)

IMMIGRATION | Northern Virginia senators have announced $8.4 million in grants to three organizations assisting unaccompanied minors who fled Central America with services such as temporary shelters and foster care programs. (InsideNOVA, 2/25)

– Another Victim of Federal Medicaid Cuts: DC Schools (DCFPI Blog, 2/23)

– DC Councilmembers have introduced a bill that would require insurers to fully cover several preventative health services if ACA is repealed. (WBJ, 2/24)

PHILANTHROPY | Funders are giving more to help organizations that are responding to the new administration’s policies that harm vulnerable communities. (Chronicle, 2/24 – Subscription needed)

HOUSING | The past, present and future of the District’s Brookland neighborhood. (UrbanTurf, 2/24)

Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Hirshhorn has inspired fashion.

– Kendra

Shining a light on need in Loudoun County

Editor’s note: WRAG’s staff are heading next week to Indianapolis, to attend the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers’ annual conference. The Daily will return on Tuesday, July 26. Stay cool!

COMMUNITY | Next year, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties will launch a community awareness campaign to raise the profile of poverty in Loudoun and encourage residents to support local nonprofit organizations that serve their neighbors in need. (Loudoun Now, 7/14)

Leading up to the campaign’s launch in March of 2017, nonprofit leaders will hold focus groups to identify how best to let the public know what local charities exist and what services they provide.

America Gives’ most recent report shows that, in 2012, Loudoun County residents donated, on average, 1.98 percent of their discretionary income to charities. That’s well below neighboring jurisdictions.

“This is a chance to change people’s knowledge and behavior toward nonprofits in Loudoun County,” said Caroline Toye, associate director of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. “We want to empower residents to be engaged, however they want to, whether through volunteering, serving on a board or donating.”

The campaign grew out of WRAG’s 2015 Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, and additional funding has been provided by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Related: WRAG’s Katy Moore and Amy Owen, executive director of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, take a closer look at poverty in Loudoun County – a place typically portrayed as having great wealth –  and explain the need for this campaign. (Daily, 7/15)

LGBTQ | The Fairfax County School Board is considering regulations to safeguard the rights of transgender students that would ensure access to restrooms that align with their gender identity, and require teachers to use students’ preferred pronouns. (WaPo, 7/15)

– Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says he is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing for seniors in the county, a population that is growing rapidly. (Bethesda Beat, 7/13)

Nonprofit seeks to revitalize Anacostia one blighted house at a time (WaPo, 7/7)

RACISM | Scientists are trying many different experiments to try to counteract implicit bias. Most interventions, but not all, haven’t been shown to be very effective. (Atlantic, 7/14)

RFP | EventsDC is accepting grant proposals from nonprofits supporting children through sports, performing arts, or cultural arts in the District of Columbia. More information is available here.

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Think Giving to Groups That Support Nonprofits Is a Waste? You’re Wrong. (Chronicle, 7/6)


Administrative Assistant | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente

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

Note to self: When in the woods, always look inside your car before opening the door.

– Rebekah

Inspiring Philanthropy in Loudoun County, for Loudoun County

by Katy Moore, Managing Director, Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
and Amy Owen, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties

Meet Susan. She represents the average donor in Loudoun County and the type of resident that a dedicated, cross-sector group of county leaders is actively working to reach and influence. We want Susan to invest her time and philanthropic resources in Loudoun and encourage her neighbors to do the same.

Here’s the challenge:

Like 53 percent of her fellow residents, Susan leaves Loudoun County every day for work, loosening her ties to her community. Like a substantive majority of other households in the county, Susan’s income is about $120,000 – a good quality of life in one of the “happiest” counties in the U.S. Unfortunately, like many of her fellow residents, Susan doesn’t think much about charitable giving. She donates about 2 percent of her discretionary income – a full 1 percent behind the national average – partly because many of Loudoun County’s needs are “hidden” from Susan:

• Although there were 134 county residents experiencing homelessness at the last Point in Time study, Susan has never met one and rarely, if ever, hears about the challenges of homelessness in the county.

• Susan doesn’t see hungry people as she dines at the county’s many restaurants and shops at the many farmers markets, even though Loudoun Interfaith Relief – the county’s largest local food pantry – served more than 17,000 people last year.

• Loudoun Cares, the local information and referral hotline, processed more than 4,000 referrals in 2015 from people seeking help in rent and utility assistance, clothing, and more. But, those folks don’t call Susan.

• 315 low-income households receive supplemental day-care support from Loudoun County Department of Family services, and, as of last November, more than 500 families were on the department’s waiting list. Susan doesn’t think she knows those people and she doesn’t see or hear about them in the media.

Susan’s situation – strong household income, but moderate charitable giving – is a common combination across America. Those who don’t see or come into immediate contact with “need” tend to give less. But, WRAG and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties are working to change that pattern in Loudoun.

Since WRAG’s 2015 Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, an impressive group of cross-sector leaders has been working together to identify needs and gaps in the county and explore strategies to tackle them. The group is currently working on a robust community awareness campaign to elevate the face of need in Loudoun and encourage increased and more effective philanthropic investments from residents. The campaign is currently set to launch in early 2017. This collaborative effort is generously supported by the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

If you’d like more information or want to get involved, please contact Amy Owen at amy@communityfoundationlf.org.

Efforts to shed light on housing affordability in the region and beyond

Over the past six months, Leadership Greater Washington, in partnership with WRAG, has hosted a thought-leadership series on housing affordability. Last week’s session on regional solutions featured the Roadmap for Our Region’s Economic Future, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group, and WRAG’s Our Region, Your Investment initiative – all efforts in which WRAG is very involved. The Washington Post published a story on the importance of housing affordability to our region and focused specifically on the work of the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group. (WaPo, 5/28)

[…] a group of local leaders representing government, business and the philanthropic sector is studying whether to propose a “regional compact” in which the Washington area as a whole would commit to addressing runaway housing costs.

If nothing is done, they warn, the problem of overpriced housing will fester until it eventually explodes into a widely recognized crisis — much as the Metro transit system’s problems were ignored for years until they recently triggered a burst of attention.

Gretchen Greiner-Lott, who leads these efforts for WRAG, had this to say of the coverage:

Solving big issues takes collaboration. The Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group is just that – a regional, cross-sector collaboration of committed folks working on the issue. I am so pleased to see our work highlighted in the media.

– A new report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, along with an interactive website supported by JPMorgan Chase, provide a close look at the disparity between rental housing costs and renter income in every jurisdiction in the U.S. In order to be able to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in D.C., one would need to earn $31.21 an hour; $26.53 an hour in Maryland; and $22.44 an hour in Virginia. (NLIHC, 5/25)

– A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examines a decline in federal support for housing aid for families with children. Despite the damaging effects of the Great Recession to many families with children, the share of federal housing assistance that went to those families declined over the last several years. (City Lab, 5/26)

– The Council on Foundations recently named Floyd Mills as its Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This role is a new position “intended to advance the Council’s work to promote inclusiveness as a fundamental operating principal in philanthropic organizations.” (COF, 5/23)

– Trustee, member of the board of directors, and Veterans Liaison for the PwC Charitable Foundation, Frank Guadio, recently sat with The Huffington Post to discuss best practices for collaboration on issues related to veterans. (HuffPo, 5/25)

– An annual ranking by the Trust for the Public Land places D.C. at number three and Arlington at number four on its list of the best U.S. cities for parks. Factors to determine the ranking included: accessibility; amenities; size; and the amount of money spent per resident on parks. (WaPo, 5/26)

– Loudoun County Reportedly the “Happiest” County in America (Washingtonian, 5/31)

A new art exhibit appeals to the procrastinator and/or perfectionist in all of us. 

– Ciara

Homelessness rises unevenly across the region

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recently shared the results of the Annual Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness. Overall in the region, the homeless population rose by five percent from 2015 to 2016, though not spread evenly across the area. The report urges more aggressive action to bring affordable housing to families in Greater Washington. (WAMU, 5/11)

According to the Annual Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness […] there were 12,215 people who were homeless across the nine local jurisdictions that participate in the yearly census, which took place on Jan. 28.

That’s up from the 11,623 homeless people in the region at the same time last year.


In D.C., the number of homeless people increased by 14 percent, while it went up by 12 percent in Frederick County. Things went in the opposite direction for the rest of the region, though. In Arlington County, Loudoun County and the City of Alexandria, the number of homeless people decreased by 27, 20 and 16 percent, respectively.

The full report can be accessed here.

– The number of homeless families in D.C. has risen by more than 30 percent in comparison with a year ago. Further, the District’s homeless children and their parents outnumbered homeless single adults for the first time since the annual census began in 2001. (WaPo, 5/11)

–  In a letter to the editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, WRAG president Tamara Copeland calls on organizations to talk about racism, and reflects on how the topic of diversity is sometimes used to deflect deeper conversations about race and racism in society. (Chronicle, 5/12).

– In his most recent blog post adapted from a panel presentation at last week’s GEO conference, Rick Moyers, vice president for programs and communications at the Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, summarizes Meyer’s experience with the 28 organizations they’ve supported in implementing the Benevon Model for increasing individual giving. His take away? “I wish we’d known at the outset that the goal was to change organizational culture.” (Meyer, 5/11)

Related: Rick is the first speaker in WRAG’s Nonprofit Summer Learning Series. Catch him on June 23 addressing The Dos & Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers!

ECONOMY/REGION | Region’s innovation economy needs boost or risks being ‘laggards’ (WBJ, 5/12)

MARYLAND | Study: Gaithersburg Is The Most Diverse City In America (DCist, 5/11)

HEALTH | A new study finds a 44 percent increase in hospitalizations for ischemic (the most common type) strokes among people ages 25 to 44, despite a 20 percent overall drop among all Americans. (WaPo, 5/11)

Conference calls, you’re the worst! Well…maybe not the worst, but honestly, does anyone actually enjoy them?

– Ciara

Recovery and revitalization misses some areas of the region

In their series on housing in America last week, The Washington Post shared how residents in the Greater Washington region were affected by the area’s housing bubble, subsequent dive into the Great Recession, and population shift toward inner-Washington neighborhoods after the recession. (WaPo, 5/6)

Few places in the region burned hotter during the real estate boom than Loudoun County. As closer-in suburbs grew more built-out and expensive, Loudoun became the next frontier for home builders, a place to parcel farms into subdivisions featuring enormous single-family homes.


When the downturn came, the new homes were derided as McMansions — temples to American excess. Homeowners found that not only could they not pay the mortgage but they also couldn’t afford to heat or cool their manses.

OpinionA financing model for affordable and supportive housing in D.C. (WaPo, 5/6)

SOCIAL PROFITS | WRAG has unveiled a new Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, designed to “pull the curtain back on philanthropy,” and shed light on how grantmakers think, approach their work, and what they look for in nonprofit partners. Participants can join in-person or via live webcast. Click here to learn more and to register!

– The NewSchools Venture Fund has announced the launch of a new independent nonprofit spin-off organization beginning on July 1 called Education Forward DC.

– The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released a report examining the fairness of the District’s Empowering Boys and Men of Color initiative. According to the ACLU and some D.C. officials, the city should work to “provide equivalent opportunities for our girls.” (WCP, 5/9)

WORKFORCE/INEQUALITYThe Racial Divide in the Creative Economy (City Lab, 5/9)

At this point, whether you’re a Broadway fan or not, you’ve at least heard of ‘Hamilton.’ Now, you don’t have to trek to New York City to see it.

– Ciara

The everlasting effects of housing discrimination

Historically, racial covenants were put in place to prevent people of color from buying homes in certain neighborhoods, and D.C. was no exception. Restrictions like these from the past still work against many Americans today. (GGW, 5/5)

While this legal tactic is long gone, its effects remain. […] young black people are far less likely than their white and Hispanic peers to get help from their parents to afford the down payment on a home. Each generation invests in real estate and gains wealth in doing so, which it then uses to help the next generation – except if, a few generations ago, residents and the government stopped your ancestors from getting some wealth in the first place.

– How videos of police shooting unarmed black men changes those who watch them (WaPo, 5/8)

YOUTH/DISTRICT | DCAYA Senior Policy Analyst Joseph Gavrilovich examines a possible path forward for afterschool and summer youth programming in D.C. in advance of the shuttering of the DC Trust. (DCFPI, 5/9)

ARTS | The D.C. Office of Planning recently announced a public art initiative called Crossing the StreetBuilding DC’s Inclusive Future through Creative Placemaking, that will place 15 pop-up art projects throughout each of the District’s eight wards. (DCist, 5/5)

AudioHow Residents Feel About The Urbanization Of Maryland Suburbs (WAMU, 5/9)

– At a recent economic development summit in Loudoun County, officials shared the ways in which they envision creating a more diverse economy with “endless possibilities.” (Loudoun Times, 5/5)

MENTAL HEALTHLoudoun libraries host programs on mental health awareness (Loudoun Times, 5/7)

ENVIRONMENT/POVERTY | In light of New York City’s recent adoption of a five-cent bag fee, here’s a look at how D.C.’s own fee for shopping bags has worked for low-income residents and the environment. (City Lab, 5/5)

CSR | Audio: Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and head faculty member for the Institute for CSR, along with Charles Schwab Foundation President Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, discuss how their companies choose the causes they support. (Chronicle, 5/6)

COMMUNITY | A new project by the Walker’s Legacy Foundation (WLF), with funding support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, aims to address the challenges that low-income, single-parent, and working-mother led households often face in pursuing entrepreneurship through the development of a financial literacy app, cohort structures, mentorship, and programming. WLF is a project of WRAG’s fiscal sponsorship service.

Related: WRAG offers fiscal sponsorship as a valuable, cost-effective service to organizations and projects that could use back-office support, are looking for human resources, financial, or administrative help, or need 501(c)(3) status. Learn more here.

Are you working on learning a second (or third, or fourth) language? A lot of people are. Here are the languages everyone else is trying to learn.

– Ciara

A look at America’s housing divide

A new analysis by The Washington Post examines America’s housing recovery and finds that it has been greatly uneven, creating deep disparities based on factors like income, geography, and race. The analysis also hones in on four cities: Stockton, California, Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C. (WaPo, 4/28):

In the heart of the District, where home values are up more than 90 percent, a modest rowhouse in gentrifying Trinidad is now worth about as much as a newer, spacious suburban home in Loudoun County, where values have barely budged. Around Washington, the housing market’s winners and losers are divided by the Beltway. Inner-ring suburbs have outperformed outer-ring ones. That gives the best returns to short-commute neighborhoods once avoided for their schools, crime and poverty.

– According to data, D.C. and its surrounding suburbs have one of the widest housing affordability gaps in the country. (WaPo, 4/28)

Washington City Paper takes a look at a handful of the thousands of low-rent units in the District that have been very poorly maintained by their landlords. (WCP, 4/29)

– Report: Low-Income Residents Moving Out of Silver Spring at Highest Rate in the Country (Bethesda, 4/29)

OpinionThe Racist Roots of a Way to Sell Homes (NYT, 4/29)

CSR | Congratulations to WRAG members BB&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Wells Fargo for being nominees for the 2016 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. Check out what they were nominated for here. (NVCC, 4/29)

VIRGINIAWhat’s Missing From Loudoun County? (BisNow, 4/26)

WORKFORCE/EQUITYIf There’s Only One Woman in Your Candidate Pool, There’s Statistically No Chance She’ll Be Hired (HBR, 4/28)

Sometimes, it’s okay to brag, right? Here’s how to be the best at tooting your own horn.

– Ciara