Tag: Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Introducing the 2018-2019 Philanthropy Fellows

Top Row: Pamela Vega, Tenneh Johnson Kemah, Jesse Graves, Sylvia Umegbolu; Bottom Row: Fabrizio Aguirre, Joury Bell, Kayla Good

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2018-2019 Philanthropy Fellows! Seven graduate students from the University of Maryland are working at five WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Fabrizio Aguirre is working on the implementation of the Windward Fund’s new strategic plan at Arabella Advisors.
  • Joury Bell is supporting grantmaking and donor services activities at the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Montgomery County.
  • Kayla Good is assisting safety net and housing security initiatives at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
  • Jesse Graves is working on strategic initiatives at the Mayor’s Office of Partnerships and Grant Services.
  • Tenneh Johnson Kemah is developing a special report for The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
  • Sylvia Umegbolu is working on donor recognition efforts at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
  • Pamela Vega is supporting the community health needs assessment implementation strategy at Kaiser Permanente.

The Philanthropy Fellows program is a partnership between WRAG and the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute. This internship pipeline and professional development program provides WRAG members with knowledgeable and skilled fellows, and gives the next generation of philanthropic and nonprofit leaders the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience in grantmaking, build a professional network, and learn about local community needs.

To learn more about each fellow, click here. Check out our website to learn more about WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program.

A new bill would make changes to the DC Youth Rehabilitation Act

– In September, DC’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Council released a study on the Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act, which provides sentencing alternatives for offenders under the age of 22 who have committed certain crimes. The study found that the current law didn’t offer programs tailored to rehabilitating youth. A new bill would change this. (WaPo, 10/31)

A bill to overhaul the District’s troubled Youth Rehabilitation Act would limit the number of young offenders eligible for more lenient sentences and require judges to justify — in writing — why they are giving convicts benefits under the law.

But the bill also would require the city to offer new treatment and services to young-adult offenders, a change that is being applauded by juvenile-justice advocates, many of whom had been openly critical of adding any restrictions to the 32-year-old law.

– Virginia State Crime Commission briefed on marijuana decriminalization study, hears from public (Richmond Times, 10/30)

PHILANTHROPY | Congratulations to Mardell Moffett for being named executive director of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation!

RACIAL EQUITY | Yanique Redwood, vice chair of WRAG’s board and president and CEO of Consumer Health Foundation, reflects on the response she received from nonprofits after the foundation began requiring prospective applicants to complete a racial equity impact assessment tool when applying for grants. (Daily, 10/31)

ARTS & HUMANITIESNew Public Art Project Connects Anacostia Historic District to River (East City Art, 10/30)

LGBTQ | Yesterday a US District Court judge rejected the administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. (DCist, 10/30)

Gretchen suggested I put something “spooky” in the Daily, so here you go – the story of Northern Virginia’s Bunnyman!

– Kendra 

Changes to mental health services in DC’s public schools causes concern

– Changes to the mental health services in the District’s public schools have teachers and parents worried about disruptions to existing relationships between mental health clinicians and students. The DC Department of Behavioral Health, which is responsible for the services, has not yet released an official plan but previous statements from agency officials indicate significant changes. (DCist, 4/28)

The controversy over proposed changes to mental health services in D.C. schools initially surfaced at a DBH oversight hearing in February. Teachers and school administrators expressed concerns over rumors that the agency planned to pull full-time clinicians from their designated schools and have them serve in an itinerant role between multiple schools.

“This change will put up even greater barriers for our students to receive the care and support services they desperately need,” said Stephanie Beer, a teacher at the International Academy at Cardozo. She added that the stakes for at-risk students who do not receive mental health services are significant, citing higher rates of missed classes and suspension.

– Transitioning military members in Northern Virginia are getting the chance to learn to code in a Northern Virginia Community College boot camp course. (Potomac Local, 4/30)

WRAG COMMUNITY | Rose Ann Cleveland, executive director of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, has announced her plans to retire from the foundation in October 2017. (Cafritz Foundation, 4/28)

HUNGER | The Hunger Resource Center in Manassas, VA is helping a father teach his children about true charity. (WaPo, 4/27)

INCOME INEQUALITY | Most of the United States agrees that economic inequality exists but are we letting our own biases get in the way when we try to address it? (NYT, 4/28)

GENTRIFICATION | Derek Hyra, American University’s School of Public Affairs professor, discusses his new book, Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City, about the gentrification of DC’s U street neighborhood. (WCP, 4/28)

Related: WRAG was honored to have Derek Hyra as our business meeting speaker at last year’s annual meeting.

BUDGET | D.C. Council is urged to consider delaying landmark tax cuts (WaPo, 4/27)

ENVIRONMENT | Marchers came to DC on Saturday to protest the new administration’s climate policies. (NPR, 4/29)

Three simple steps you can take to improve your life, according to TED conference speakers.

– Kendra

Loudoun School Board votes on attendance zones

The Loudoun County School Board voted this week on a controversial proposal that would have concentrated mostly low-income, Hispanic students into just two schools – a plan that some criticized as being a form of segregation. Instead, the Board voted to adopt an amended version of the plan in hopes of relieving overcrowding. (Loudoun Times,  3/29)

In the spirit of compromise, the Loudoun School Board voted tonight to adopt a central Loudoun attendance zone based both on proximity and socioeconomic balance.

After weeks of debate, attention from national media, hearing the opinions of hundreds of parents and a rally in front of the School Administration Office, the board adopted an amended version of Plan 8, which will only move one planning zone in the low-income Leesburg neighborhood near Plaza Street. The plan will not create any new Title 1 schools in Leesburg, as other plans proposed to do.

– According to data, D.C. has seen the rate of child population growth outpace that of the adult population since 2011, also increasing enrollment in District public schools. Most of the growth is concentrated in neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park and in the Brightwood Park, Crestwood and Petworth areas.  (WaPo, 3/30)

– For many D.C. residents, a lack of affordable housing has left them choosing between rental units they must struggle to pay for, and living in rental units in terrible condition. For those who have chosen the latter, a vicious cycle often continues when frustration leaves them unwilling to pay rent, and landlords saying  they are unable to afford repairs. (WAMU, 3/30)

Finding an affordable anchor in D.C.’s wave of gentrification (WaPo, 3/29)

ARTS | The Reva and David Logan Foundation has awarded D.C.’s Mosaic Theater Company $1 million over four years from 2016 through 2020. (CC News, 3/26)

ENVIRONMENTReport: Potomac River Gets A ‘B-‘ For Overall Health, On Its Way To Recovery (DCist, 3/30)

PHILANTHROPY/WOMENHeft or Hype: How Much Do Women Leaders in Philanthropy Really Matter? (Inside Philanthropy, 3/25)

JOBS | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation seeks a Community Development Program Officer. Click here to find out more about this opportunity.

Be prepared to smile at these dogs who love peanut butter more than anything.

– Ciara

D.C. metro area leads U.S. in payroll to population rate

A new Gallup report ranks D.C. as number one for its payroll to population rate (P2P) among the 50 largest U.S. metros in 2014. Research implies that high rates of full-time employment and higher incomes create a higher sense of well-being. (DC Inno, 3/24)

Despite lagging behind in ninth place among metro areas ranked by unemployment rate, D.C. edged out No. 2 Salt Lake City and No. 3 Denver in 2014 with a payroll to population rate of 54.1 percent, according to a Gallup report. The polling organization tracks the metric each month, basing it off of full-time employment (30-plus hours per week) for adults aged 18 and older.

The P2P rate tends to be higher in urban areas with low unemployment, and the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. proved that to be the case in 2014 with an average P2P rate of 46.0 percent, a full 2 percent higher than the P2P rate for all of the U.S.


Beyond that success locally, there are lingering concerns that labor force participation is still struggling. But again, D.C. is still doing far better that other metro areas, such as Tampa Bay and Miami, where the unemployment rates have still bobbed above 10 percent.

– Could nonprofits be doing more to lessen income inequality? Here are seven solutions for doing just that. (NPQ, 3/21)

EVENTS | WRAG has announced our first Brightest Minds event of 2015: Dr. Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. According to Dr. Sawhill, author of Generation Unbound: Drifting into Sex and Parenthood without Marriage, the growing trend of unwed and unplanned motherhood calls for a “new ethic of responsible parenthood.” Join us as Dr. Sawhill explores these societal trends and their impact on child poverty and wellness, and explains how the social sector can effectively support efforts for change. This event, on April 30, is open to both WRAG members and nonmembers. More details here.

– At a recent event hosted by Elevation DC and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, panelists discussed the importance of expanding access to the arts to everyone in the community, and shared what they’re doing to ensure it happens. (Elevation DC, 3/24)

– In Montgomery County’s Sandy Spring Museum, a new exhibit showing off handmade books by immigrant youths – many of whom are among the unaccompanied minors from Central America who now reside in the region – is on display. The exhibit runs through May 31. (Gazette, 3/18)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event, sponsored by a number of WRAG members, will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.

– Last year, under the Affordable Care Act, a number of states opted to expand their Medicaid coverage. According to newly released data, states that did expand the program saw a 23 percent increase in Type II diabetes cases, and states that did not expand Medicaid saw very little difference. This data shows how the expansion led to care for many who were previously undiagnosed. (NPR, 3/23)

D.C. Health Link customers saw some of the smallest premium increases in region (WBJ, 3/23)

REGION | 4 Projects That Are Going to Change Washington (Washingtonian, 3/24)

CSR | The application period ends this Friday, March 27, for the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards. The awards honor individuals, businesses, and nonprofits who have gone above and beyond in business leadership, employee engagement, and corporate social responsibility. Find out more here.

Some museums hold more than just historic relics and works of art. Some also hold pretty cool secrets

– Ciara

A regional approach to end homelessness

In a landmark agreement, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, signed a joint charter to end homelessness in the Washington region. A strategic plan will be aimed at the estimated 12,000 individuals and families in the area who often cross jurisdictions in search of assistance and shelter. (WaPo, 3/17)

The three area officials believe that their jurisdictions can be more effective by sharing casework information and tracking homeless people with more cohesion. Another goal is sharing more information about available housing and employment opportunities.


Although homelessness decreased by almost 4 percent nationally between 2012 and 2013, it increased by 3.5 percent during that period in the Washington region.

WRAG vice president and Affordable Housing Action Team member Gretchen Greiner-Lott,  had this to say of the agreement:

“The Charter to End Homelessness that was signed at yesterday’s regional summit on homelessness states, “we can effectively end homelessness by regional collaboration.” In fact, regional collaboration needs to be an integral part of any effort to combat issues that plague our region. That’s why I am pleased that the Affordable Housing Action Team is working on a regional level, and I look forward to working with the new regional coordinating council on homelessness as they have identified affordable housing as one of four “integrally linked contributing factors to eliminating homelessness.”

FOOD | In the follow-up to her post on a recent gathering of food advocates in D.C. to discuss ways to protect federal nutrition programs of local significance, Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith discusses how funders can support emergency food service providers in the region and why that need is so urgent. (Daily, 3/10 and 3/18)

RACIAL EQUITY/PHILANTHROPY | Lisa Ranghelli of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy explains why foundations serving traditionally marginalized communities should put an explicit focus on equity. (NPQ, 3/17)

DISTRICT | Bowser Defies Predecessor, Backs Budget Autonomy (DCist, 3/17)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Opinion: A writer takes a hard look at the liberal approach many cities have taken to address affordable housing and gentrification. (The Week, 3/17)

EDUCATION | The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis has released some graphics showing a school-by-school breakdown of DCPS high school graduation rates. (GGW, 3/18)

ECONOMY | The most unequal cities in the United States (WaPo, 3/17)

CORRECTION | Yesterday’s guest post on the Daily included a link to panelist highlights from the Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group’s first meeting of the year. Tobi Printz-Platnick of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation spoke on education and mentioned the ways in which companies may consider working with schools through intermediary organizations, such as the New Schools Venture Fund and the Early Care & Education Funders Collaborative (ECEFC), established by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. The Boeing Company and PNC are among key partners in the efforts of the ECEFC. This information has now been accurately reflected in the summary from this exciting gathering.

In this debate, thought leaders ponder…who should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill

– Ciara

Corporate grantmakers gather to learn about local needs and opportunities for investment

By Shira Broms
Philanthropy Fellow
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Often, when we think of corporate philanthropy, we tend to think BIG dollars. And, while many companies invest significantly in their communities, they often do so with very small (but mighty!) teams.  Unlike some larger private and independent foundations, corporate giving programs often do not have issue-specific program officers. Instead, corporate philanthropy professionals tend to be savvy generalists with a strong background in business, a knack for building strategic long-term partnerships, and the ability to stay on top of emerging trends to ensure their companies are doing the most good for the communities they serve.

Last week, WRAG hosted our first Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group of the year to assist companies with staying up-to-date on the needs and trends in our region. Six issue area experts provided an overview of some of the top giving priorities in the DMV and offered a few key investment opportunities that companies might consider. Here are the highlights from each of our panelists:

(Click the image below)

Friday roundup – March 9 through March 13, 2015

New plans for D.C. Public Schools under their new budget were announced this week. While a number of cuts will be made at the central office, four new schools will be opened, and additional programming is expected to be introduced to students. (WaPo, 3/12)

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced Thursday that after years of school closures, D.C. Public Schools plans to open four next year and will hire 200 new school-based staff members. Many of the new employees will work in the city’s comprehensive high schools, offering a more expansive and consistent range of extracurricular activities and advanced courses citywide.

The budget aims to improve equity as school leaders push to persuade more families to choose neighborhood schools. City public school enrollment continues to grow overall, but many families have been choosing public charters or schools across town through a citywide lottery.

The system is projecting a fourth straight year of increased enrollment, with more than 1,500 new students next year, putting enrollment at more than 49,000.

– A Schott Foundation for Public Education report showed that Montgomery County leads the country’s large urban school districts in graduation rates for black male students. In 2012, three out of every four black male students in the district had earned a high school diploma. (Gazette, 3/4)

– David Bowers of Enterprise Community Partners was a guest on the WPFW’s Business Matters show and spoke on the housing affordability crisis affecting the city. Audio from the interview is available here. (WPFW, 3/9 [at the 4:30 minute mark])

– County planners in Arlington look ahead to the year 2020 – when market-rate affordable housing could become a thing of the past. The Board is working on an Affordable Housing Master Plan that could be adopted in July. (ARLnow, 3/10)

Median rental price for a one-bedroom D.C. apartment is $2,000, study says (WaPo, 3/12)

– WRAG’s Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith shared her takeaways from the recent National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, and discussed the importance of protecting federal nutrition programs. (Daily, 3/10)

– Wage stagnation and unemployment, combined with rising rents and food costs, gave way to a sharp rise in requests for food assistance in the region last year. Many are finding that putting fresh, nutritious food on the table is still no easy task. (WaPo, 3/10)

Why Some Schools Serve Local Food And Others Can’t (Or Won’t) (NPR, 3/11)

Opinion: Why pro-immigration states are fighting back (WaPo, 3/12)

– NPR interviewed a local teen who fled violence in Central America. (NPR, 3/9)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event, sponsored by a number of WRAG members, will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.

How Philanthropic Leadership Changed The Equation for Returning Veterans in San Diego (WRAG members)
Wednesday, March 18, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Institute for CSR: Session 2: Investing in Communities (Institute for CSR Class of 2015)
Thursday, March 19, 2015  9:00 AM – Friday, March 20, 2015  5:00 PM

The Anacostia River: A Challenge and Opportunity for Philanthropy (WRAG members and other invited funders)
Thursday, March 19, 2015 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM

America is so young, it only takes four presidents to trace back to the Founding Fathers.

– Ciara

Arlington plans for affordable housing shortage

County planners in Arlington are dealing with the reality that, if current trends continue, market-rate affordable housing could disappear by 2020. The County Board hopes to adopt a viable Affordable Housing Master Plan in July. (ARLnow, 3/10)

In 2000, 19,740 apartments owned by for-profit property owners in the county were affordable for someone making up to 60 percent of the region’s area median income, according to findings from the county’s three-year Affordable Housing Study. In 2013, there were 3,437 “MARKs,” as they’re called.


While affordable, market-rate housing is drying up, the county could try to kick-start committed affordable housing development to balance the scales. The county currently has 6,731 committed affordable units (CAFs) rented or leasing, with another 220 being developed, less than 10 percent of total apartment stock.

The draft master plan sets a goal of making 17.7 percent of all housing units in the county affordable at 60 percent AMI. If county projections hold true, that would mean asking developers to build 15,800 CAFs in the next 25 years.

FOOD | WRAG’s Washington Regional Food Funders consultant Lindsay Smith discusses some of her takeaways from the recent National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference and why more must be done to protect federal nutrition programs. (Daily, 3/10)

EDUCATION | A report finds that disparities in District schools go beyond the classroom. A number of school libraries in the city were found to have an inadequate book inventory, making access difficult for some students. (WaPo, 3/9)

As of January 2014, 22 percent of D.C. public school students attended a school with a library that had fewer than 10 books per student, and 17 percent of students went to schools with more than 30 books per student, according to an analysis of a school-by-school report on library collections obtained by The Washington Post. An oft-used national standard is 20 books per student.

HOMELESSNESS/LGBT | Next week, one of very few homeless shelters in the U.S. dedicated to transgender youth is set to open in the District. Recently, the Department of Housing and Urban Development also announced measures making it illegal to turn homeless individuals away from gender-specific shelters that cater to the gender they identify with. (WaPo, 3/9)

– Last year, the region saw unprecedented numbers of undocumented minors from Central American countries fleeing to the area. NPR catches up with a local teen who fled violence there, as he describes his experiences so far, and the trauma he and his family hope to leave behind. (NPR, 3/9)

– Undocumented immigrants in the District are able to obtain a driver’s license, but many are finding that examinations and materials only available in English make it nearly impossible for them to pass. (WAMU, 3/9)

Related: On Tuesday, March 31 at 9:00 AM, WRAG members and invited guests can attend a funder briefing on Immigration Relief and the Impact on the D.C. Region. The special event will be moderated by Rose Ann Cleveland of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and  includes remarks by Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; a panel with Gustavo Torres, executive director of CASA; DJ Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Services & Education Consortium; and Maya, immigrant leader and potential beneficiary.

YOUTH/POVERTY | The Numbers Add Up To This: Less and Less Opportunity for Poor Kids (NPR, 3/10)

As if it weren’t already bad enough, it turns out daylight-saving time may be ruining relationships.

– Ciara


Possible school day extension in D.C. met with resistance

Despite signs of success in an experiment with eight schools, the D.C. Teacher’s Union is resistant to adjust to longer school days for the 2014-15 academic year. D.C. Chancellor, Kaya Henderson, has argued that adding just one extra hour of instruction could significantly impact student success. (WaPo, 6/29)

Eight D.C. traditional schools have experimented with longer days, and most have seen gains on standardized math and reading tests. Henderson set aside $5.1 million to add an hour of instruction at 42 more schools for the 2014-15 school year, but at almost all of those schools, teachers either voted against adopting the longer day or union members prevented the issue from coming up for a vote.

Only two schools — Amidon-Bowen Elementary in Southwest and Whittier Education Campus in Brightwood — voted to implement the longer day schoolwide in the fall.

OpinionD.C.’s special education students deserve quality instruction (WaPo, 6/27)

Longtime Loudon superintendent reflects on public education as he retires (WaPo, 6/29)

– Under a new proposal from the D.C. Office of Planning, the popular practice of converting row houses into 3- and 4- unit condos in neighborhoods like Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights would no longer be permitted. (GGW, 6/30)

– The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region invites you to the release of a landmark new study, “Housing Security in the Washington Region.” The event will include two sessions on Tuesday, July 15th – a public briefing on the study, followed by a private briefing for funders co-sponsored by WRAG. Find out more here.

HEALTHCARE │ An informal group of foundations that fund in Montgomery County have come together to support the transformation of the health care safety-net in the county. This collaborative funding approach is expected to amplify the impact of foundation resources. Funders include the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, CareFirst BlueCross Blueshield, the Consumer Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, the Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation Montgomery County Department of Health & Human Services and The Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County.

YOUTH │ One D.C. parent has created a program to teach youth practical life skills while honoring the idea of cultural rituals with a program called “Project I Am Thirteen.” (WaPo, 6/29)

PHILANTHROPY │ In case you missed The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s live stream of a panel discussing The Outlook for American Giving in 2014, here is the video. (Chronicle, 6/24)

TRANSITRiders Balk as Metro Fares Increase 3 Percent on Average (WAMU, 6/29)

Not cool Facebook, not cool!