Tag: Nonprofit Summer Learning Series

What happens to those with disabilities if we pass a plastic straw ban?

ENVIRONMENT | As the movement to ban plastic straws in order to protect animals and the environment has gained more supporters this year, people living with disabilities who need plastic straws say this ban will cause them harm. (WAMU, 7/11)

There are many alternatives to plastic straws — paper, biodegradable plastics and even reusable straws made from metal or silicone. But paper straws and similar biodegradable options often fall apart too quickly or are easy for people with limited jaw control to bite through. Silicone straws are often not flexible — one of the most important features for people with mobility challenges. Reusable straws need to be washed, which not all people with disabilities can do easily. And metal straws, which conduct heat and cold in addition to being hard and inflexible, can pose a safety risk.

“Disabled people have to find ways to navigate through the world because they know it was not made for us,” says Lei Wiley-Mydske, an autism activist who has autism herself. “If someone says, ‘This does not work for me,’ it’s because they’ve tried everything else.”

NONPROFITS | Sean Herpolsheimer, WRAG’s 2018 Summer Fellow, recaps the second session of WRAG’s Nonprofit Summer Learning Series and shares how nonprofits can enact innovative systems change and what motivates funders to partner with nonprofits. (Daily, 7/19)

Related: Join us for the August 8th session of the Nonprofit Summer Learning Series on philanthropy’s interest in racial equity and what it means for the nonprofit community. Register here!

CHILDREN & YOUTH |Opinion: The ‘War on Poverty’ Isn’t Over, and Kids Are Losing (Citylab, 7/18)

PUBLIC SAFETY | At a recent hearing, residents in the District’s Deanwood neighborhood discuss the police harassment and violence they endure and ask the DC Council for concrete solutions. (WCP, 7/19)

EDUCATION | A Virginia school board has voted to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons. (WaPo, 7/18)

BUSINESS‘Amazon Doesn’t Need The Money’: In The D.C. Region, Resistance Is Growing To Tax Breaks For HQ2 (WAMU, 7/19)

Here’s a very important quiz to take before you get on a plane.

– Kendra

Today’s funders are looking to invest in solutions NOT organizations

By Sean Herpolsheimer
WRAG’s 2018 Summer Fellow

As foundations and corporations strive to have greater impact on some of society’s most difficult challenges, their philanthropic strategies have moved along a spectrum from responsive to proactive. No longer is it sufficient for grantmakers to simply support nonprofit organizations doing good work in the community. Strategic funders are now actively scanning the social sector landscape, commissioning research, becoming placed-based and issue-area experts, and building and supporting collaborative, cross-sector solutions. In July, as part of its 2018 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, WRAG delved into this trend and explored the idea that “today’s funders are looking to invest in solutions NOT organizations.”

Scott Schenkelberg, president and CEO of Miriam’s Kitchen, started the conversation with a presentation on how his organization transformed itself from a small soup kitchen into a robust “ecosystem orchestrator.” Starting with the ambitious goal of ending chronic homelessness in our nation’s capital, Miriam’s Kitchen worked backwards to design an organization best positioned to achieve that goal. Armed with a plan and the belief that “big problems require big bets,” Scott convinced his board to spend half ($1.5M) of its reserve fund over five years to launch a robust advocacy department, hire communications, development, and evaluation staff, commission research, and more. Since implementing these changes in 2014, Miriam’s Kitchen’s budget has grown from $2.2M to over $4.5M, its staff has grown to nearly 50 team members, they now serve as an organizer and backbone for DC’s homeless services and housing organizations, they’ve helped house nearly 2,500 chronically homeless individuals, and have secured more than $100M in housing vouchers for their guests. Pretty impressive results!

Following Miriam’s Kitchen’s inspiring story, Katy Moore of WRAG facilitated a panel discussion with local funders Patricia Mathews, president and CEO of Northern Virginia Health Foundation; Sari Raskin, director of grants and community leadership at Community Foundation for Northern Virginia; and Carol Thompson Cole, president and CEO of Venture Philanthropy Partners.

The panelists shared with us their candid insights into what nonprofits can do to enact innovative systems change, and what motivates them as funders to partner with nonprofits. Here are some of the key take-aways:

  • Identifying Solutions for Upstream Interventions

Today’s funders are looking to invest in solutions, not symptoms. “It’s not enough to keep pulling people out of the river,” said Ms. Mathews. “You have to go upstream to fix the bridge.” The nonprofits who are having the most success, securing the most funding, and creating the most buzz are those looking at upstream interventions, working collaboratively with each other and across sectors, and, in many cases, advocating for systems change. Referencing the story of Miriam’s Kitchen, panelists encouraged nonprofits to start with the goal in mind and orchestrate real solutions to the problem not just the symptoms.

  • Demonstrate Results

Funders are interested in seeing how your organization is producing results. Knowing what measurements are possible and meaningful is an important responsibility of any nonprofit. But not just to satisfy their funding partners. Measuring success is important for all of your stakeholders – individual donors and volunteers, potential partners and collaborators, board and staff members, etc. And, as business writer and strategist, Peter Drucker said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

  • Authentic Communication

All the panelists  stressed how important it was for nonprofits to have authentic and transparent conversations with their philanthropic partners. Funders have a bird’s-eye view of the community and the nonprofits and other actors working on various issues. When nonprofit leaders transparently share their organization’s goals, challenges, opportunities, and future plans, funders can be financial supporters as well as allies, connectors, capacity builders, problem solvers, and much more.

  • Advocacy and Research

We heard about the power of advocacy from Miriam’s Kitchen. Scott and his team believed that ending chronic homelessness was possible. But there wasn’t enough permanent, supportive, affordable housing to go around. So, they collaborated with others to fix the system. They worked to build momentum for the issue, educated the community and elected officials about the causes and solutions to homelessness, empowered their clients to get involved in advocacy efforts, and worked to influence policies critical in the fight to end homelessness. A major component of Miriam’s Kitchen’s advocacy strategy centered on the research they commissioned about the societal costs of chronic homelessness. In fact, all the speakers and panelists highlighted research as a major component of their community investment strategies. For example, in an effort to identify potential areas for philanthropic investment, the Northern Virginia Health Foundation commissioned the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, to create an interactive map of Northern Virginia that delves into a wide range of social and economic factors that shape residents’ health. Similarly, the Northern Virginia Community Foundation worked with the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis to create The Opportunity Index, an interactive online resource that features several key indicators of our region’s economy, community health, civic life, and educational outcomes. Ms. Raski said, “Overtime, we hope this resource will shine a light on some of the societal factors that affect why some areas in Northern Virginia have more opportunity than others.”

Over the course of WRAG’s Nonprofit Summer Learning Series events, a key theme has proven true: funders genuinely want nonprofits to succeed. Funders can’t achieve their missions without the vital work that nonprofits do every day. Despite the title of this session, funders will always invest in nonprofit organizations, supporting their programs, staff, and operations. But, to have real impact on the issues we all care about, bold visions, upstream strategies, and systems-level change are what is needed to move the needle and make our region a place where opportunity exists for everyone.  How will your organization collaborate with your funders to be bold, make big bets, and advocate for REAL change in our community?

Designed and taught by some of the Greater Washington region’s top philanthropic leaders, WRAG’s Nonprofit Summer Learning Series “pulls the curtain back on philanthropy.”

To ensure maximum participation, all of these events are offered in-person, via-live webinar, and are being recorded for later viewing. To receive the webinar recording, you must be registered for the event. Simply choose “webinar” as your online registration option.

For DC seniors living with HIV, affordable housing is rare

– Almost 13,000 people are living with HIV in DC, and 43% are 55 or older. Many of them lack support networks as they grew up when the diagnosis was even more stigmatized and treatment was not as effective. Due to this, and the lack of affordable housing options in the city, homelessness is common in this population. (Street Sense Media, 6/13)

Earlene Budd, a 59-year old, transgender woman who has experienced homelessness and was diagnosed with HIV 25 years ago, has had a similar experience to many of the clients who make up her case load at HIPS, a health clinic dedicated to serving sex workers and drug users in the H Street Corridor. “I know what it means to be homeless because, first and foremost, I’m somebody who slept on the streets of D.C. when I was younger and my family put me out.”

She has worked with homeless and HIV positive populations for 18 years through the D.C. Department of Health, the Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness and other organizations. In the last several years, she said, the gradual decrease in federal HOPWA [Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program] funding Kharfen identified has cut down the number of housing programs that serve people with HIV.

Related: This article mentions Joseph’s House and HIPS, which are both grantees of the Washington AIDS Partnership and sites that the Partnership’s Health Corps program members are regularly placed.

– For the third year, some DC news websites will be releasing a collection of stories investigating the barriers and solutions to ending the homeless crisis in DC. Read it here. (DC Homeless Crisis, 6/28)

NONPROFITS | WRAG recently hosted the first session of its Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, with Booz Allen Hamilton, which focused on how to create authentic partnerships between funders and their grantee partners. In a new blog, Sean Herpolsheimer, WRAG’s 2018 Summer Fellow, discusses the key takeaways from the session. (Daily, 6/28)

Related: Make sure you register for the next session in the Nonprofit Summer Learning Series here!

CSR | Shannon Schuler, chief purpose officer at PwC and 2017 Institute for CSR faculty member, shares her thoughts on how CSR efforts much change and adapt to stay relevant. (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 6/27)

ARTS & HUMANITIES | Mount Vernon Named One Of The Country’s Most Endangered Historic Sites As It Fights A Natural Gas Project (WAMU, 6/27)

EDUCATION | How the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that public sector unions can no longer compel union dues will impact teacher unions and their recent advocacy. (NYT, 6/27)

MENTAL HEALTH | Two new studies found that the murdering of Black Americans by police officers who rarely, if ever, face consequences, affects the mental health of Black Americans, even if they are not personally touched by the death. (Citylab, 6/27)

Here’s some MJ just because…

– Kendra

A regional approach to opioid addiction

REGION| DC, Maryland and Virginia officials gathered at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments‘ Regional Opioid and Substance Abuse Summit yesterday to discuss how to address the growing opioid addiction crisis in the region. All three jurisdictions agreed that having a system that monitored prescriptions is a major component to combating the issue. (WaPo, 5/9)

There were 198 opioid-related deaths in the District in the first 11 months of 2016. All three jurisdictions have seen steady increases in the number of opioid-related deaths. Hogan said Tuesday that six people die in Maryland each day, on average, as a result of overdosing on opioids — more than are killed by guns or in vehicle accidents.

Bowser, Hogan and McAuliffe noted that each of their jurisdictions have launched public-awareness campaigns, expanded access to overdose-reversal drugs, increased funding for treatment and taken steps to improve collaboration between agencies.

NONPROFIT SUMMER LEARNING SERIES | WRAG is excited to announce that our Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, is open for registration! Nonprofits, join us as local funders pull the curtain back on philanthropy. (Daily, 5/10)

HEALTH | Why maintaining health insurance is difficult when you are experiencing homelessness. (StreetSense, 5/4)

– Here’s a map of the most dangerous intersections in the District. (WaPo, 5/9)

– People With Disabilities Lose Free Parking Downtown (WAMU, 5/8)

LGBTQ | A Virginia federal court of appeals has been asked to consider if three couples can challenge a law allowing magistrates with religious objections to refuse to perform marriages between same-sex couples. (WTOP, 5/10)

ENVIRONMENT | Activists and others worry as Maryland’s prosecution of environmental crimes has dropped significantly. (Baltimore Sun, 5/10)

A journey to remember…

– Kendra

WRAG partners with Booz Allen Hamilton to offer nonprofits an insider’s view into the world of philanthropy

by Katy Moore
Managing Director of Corporate Strategy
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

WRAG is excited to partner with Booz Allen Hamilton again this year to offer our popular Nonprofit Summer Learning Series. Designed and taught by some of the Greater Washington region’s most respected nonprofit and grantmaking professionals, this three-part professional development series “pulls the curtain back on philanthropy” and sheds light on how grantmakers think, how they approach their work, what they look for in strong nonprofit partners, and how nonprofits can build new and stronger relationships with the local funding community.

With 75-100 nonprofit professionals in attendance at each session and more than ten speakers and panelists representing a variety of funding entities featured during the series, these events offer great networking opportunities! And, at just $35 per person per session, the series offers insightful, affordable professional development opportunities for the local grant-seeking community. Registrants can participate in-person, via live webinar, or can choose to watch the webinar recording at a later date.

Check out this year’s line-up and help us spread the word!

National and Regional Philanthropic Trends
June 22, 2017 from 8:30 – 11:00 am

Do you wonder what will matter to grantmakers in 2017 and beyond? This session will look at the major national and regional philanthropic trends sweeping the field and suggest ways that you can capitalize on these developments. Trends include, for example, continued growth in impact investing, grantmaking with an equity lens, the rise in evaluation culture, and more focused, strategic philanthropy.

Speakers & Panelists:

• Stacy Palmer, Editor, Chronicle of Philanthropy
• Nicky Goren, Meyer Foundation, “Strategic Philanthropy”
• Yanique Redwood, Consumer Health Foundation, “Grantmaking with an Equity Lens

Leveraging your Funders Beyond Dollars
July 12, 2017 from 8:30 – 11:00 am

Grantmakers often go “beyond dollars” and leverage all of their assets to address challenges and opportunities in their communities. In this session, we will explore the numerous non-dollar strategies that funders use to meet their philanthropic goals, including serving as thought partners, issue advocates, and conveners as well as providing valuable manpower and professional expertise through volunteerism and pro bono services. Learn how to leverage these resources and find opportunities for mutual support in order to achieve greater impact together.

Speakers & Panelists:

• Carolynn Brunette, Prince Charitable Trusts
• Amy Nakamoto, The Meyer Foundation, “Funders as Thought Partners & Issue Advocates”
• Amy Owen, Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, “Funders as Conveners & Connectors”
• Graham McLaughlin, The Advisory Board Company, “Corporate Volunteerism & Pro Bono Support”

August 14, 2017 from 8:30 – 11:00 am

Grantmakers want to see evidence that the programs and organizations they are funding are having an impact. At the same time, many nonprofits struggle to find the right tools and methodology for demonstrating their effectiveness. Establishing a practice of evaluation can be simple and can significantly improve an organization’s effectiveness and ability to attract funding. In this session, we will explore the reasons for the rise in evaluation culture and look at some examples of nonprofits who have successfully implemented evaluation models.

Speakers & Panelists:

• Brett Theodos, Urban Institute
• Claudia Williams, Washington Area Women’s Foundation
• Bethany Henderson, DC Scores
• Dan Hall, DC Central Kitchen

HUD proposes changes to federal housing vouchers in major markets

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently shared a proposed new rule that would adjust the maximum value of federal housing vouchers in several markets in order to account for variations in what it costs to live in certain neighborhoods (WaPo, 6/17):

Instead of setting “fair market rent” standards at the metropolitan level, in about 30 major metros including Washington, New York and Chicago, HUD will set them by ZIP code instead. That shift will mean significant change for a program that serves 2.2 million households, more than live in public housing projects.

The policy is designed to enable low-income families to use their housing aid to move to neighborhoods with less poverty, lower crime and better schools — an opportunity that research has shown can boost prospects for poor kids. Until now, the voucher program that was supposed to give families a chance to move out of deeply poor housing projects has largely concentrated them instead in deeply poor neighborhoods. In cities such as the District, a voucher just isn’t worth enough to afford entry into truly “high opportunity” places.

–  A radical idea to compensate black homeowners harmed by racial bias (WaPo, 6/17)

– WRAG’s summer intern Hudson Kaplan-Allen reflects on the key takeaways from the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” and the importance of cultivating authentic relationships among funders and grantees. The event featured keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the The Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas. (Daily, 6/21)

– Daniel Solomon of the Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation will be leading DC Vote as the interim executive director. Solomon is a founder and board member of the organization.

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | Neurological research on child brain development following traumatic experiences has inspired some educators to rethink past approaches to zero-tolerance discipline. Schools in the District are investing in better strategies to help students overcome persistent stress. (WaPo, 6/18)

VIRGINIAMeasure to improve police trust, transparency up for vote in Fairfax (WaPo, 6/21)

A glimpse at public libraries across the country.

– Ciara

Authentic relationships are key to fundraising success

by Hudson Kaplan-Allen 
WRAG’s 2016 Summer Intern

How important is it for funders and grantees to have authentic relationships? Very important, according to the “Dos and Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers,” the first session of WRAG’s 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series. Keynote speaker Rick Moyers of the Meyer Foundation, and panelists Julia Baer-Cooper, consultant with the England Family Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts, Ben Murphy of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and Tracye Funn of Washington Gas shared advice ranging from how to initiate a partnership with a grantmaker to how to craft an effective proposal.

Nonprofits often view funders as if they were an ATM machine, trying to figure out the right pin, Moyers said. It is a game of cracking the code with the hope that the prize will be a blank check. Fifteen years ago, Moyers was an eager nonprofit leader looking to increase support from his biggest funder. Moyers found himself at a reception with the executive director of the foundation. His first instinct was to approach the E.D. and get straight to the point – and that is exactly what he did. Fast forward to the present, Moyers has, on occasion, found himself in his former funder’s shoes. Interactions like these are never authentic. Conversations should not be about a transaction, but about cultivating a common vision for the future. It’s important, too, to be a good listener.

Moyers and others addressed the question that every nonprofit leader has contemplated: what is the most common reason grant requests get turned down? Funn responded that if a funder truly believes in a program, they will find the money or try to connect the applicant with another potential funder. Murphy pointed out that if there is a great project hidden behind a poor proposal, it deserves a chance. Baer-Cooper noted that requests are frequently turned down by small family foundations because they don’t have enough resources to fund everything that comes their way.

Participants asked about strategies and practices for approaching grantmakers. Nonprofits should have an idea of what the foundation is looking for, the panelists said. No one wants to receive a generic cookie-cutter email. It’s frustrating to sit down with someone who hasn’t done his or her homework.

Moyers concluded where he began, with a discussion of authentic relationships between funders and grantees. To Murphy, authenticity is about reaching a point in the relationship where he and his grantees can have honest conversations and work hand-in-hand to effectively address organizational and societal challenges. Baer-Cooper defines authenticity as transparency and honesty. Funn emphasized the importance of being true to your values. “Don’t change who you are, just bring me into your world,” she said. Ultimately, programs that connect authentically are the ones that will succeed.

To learn more about the 2016 Nonprofit Summer Learning Series, please check out our recent announcement in The Daily WRAG. To register for the next two events in the series (July 14 and August 19), please visit WRAG’s online event calendar.

Nationally, rates of disconnected youth vary widely

A new Brookings Institution analysis examines data on unemployment among teens and young adults across the U.S. Many of America’s youth remain “disconnected” – not working and not in school. (Brookings, 5/24)

Nationally, an estimated 3 million young people aged 16–24 (7.6 percent) are disconnected. The majority of these young people are between 20 and 24 years old, suggesting that the problem becomes more acute after young people are of an age to have graduated high school. They are disproportionately people of color. Rates of disconnection vary widely by metropolitan area, and in some places, young blacks and Latinos are up to 3-to-6 times more likely to be disconnected than young whites.


Some of the metro areas with the highest employment rates among prime-age adults did not have particularly high rates among teens and young adults, including Washington, D.C.; Hartford, Conn.; Raleigh, N.C.; Albany, N.Y.; and Austin, Tex. These places all have relatively highly educated populations, and the disproportionately high employment rate among adults aged 25–54 relative to younger workers probably reflects that these metros import workers from other places.

– With an estimated two-thirds of all venture capital money finding its way into just six major U.S. metro areas, according to a new study, are America’s rural towns and smaller areas being completely left behind in the economy – further contributing to the problems of income and geographic inequality? (City Lab, 5/24 and WaPo, 5/23)

– America’s Road to Economic Opportunity Is Paved With Infrastructure Jobs (City Lab, 5/18)

WRAG/SOCIAL PROFITS | Booz Allen Hamilton‘s Laura Dempsey and WRAG’s Katy Moore share how the upcoming Nonprofit Summer Learning Series came to be, and why those looking to build solid relationships with the local funding community should sign up to attend. (Daily, 5/24)

PUBLIC HEALTH | Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer of the de Beaumont Foundation, discusses the importance of holistic approaches and multisectoral collaboration in effectively facing complicated health challenges. (HuffPo, 5/18)

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT | DC Fiscal Policy Institute looks into the progress the District has made in lowering the numbers of homeless families, while examining the work that still lies ahead. (DCFPI, 5/24)

PHILANTHROPYAfrican American museum’s fundraising touches deep history among donors (WaPo, 5/24)

POVERTY | A small new study takes the research behind the ways in which one’s neighborhood can shape their level of future economic mobility a step even further and finds links between one’s city block and successful outcomes. (Atlantic, 5/23)

CSR | The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is accepting nominations for their 17th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards, recognizing the most accomplished social and community initiatives within the business community.

HOUSINGWashington’s Supply of Entry-Level Homes Is Shrinking (Washingtonian, 5/24)

Here’s one way to deal with train delays.

– Ciara

New partnership offers low-cost, high-impact learning opportunities for local nonprofit community

by Laura Dempsey, Lead Associate of Community Partnerships, Booz Allen Hamilton and Katy Moore, Managing Director of Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers and Booz Allen Hamilton are excited to announce a new partnership designed to leverage local philanthropic expertise to help build the capacity of the Greater Washington region’s nonprofit community: the Nonprofit Summer Learning Series.

Since 2007 Booz Allen has sponsored high-quality learning opportunities for nonprofit organizations to gain critical insights from leading nonprofit development officers, foundations, and corporate grantmakers. The Nonprofit Speaker Series was created to help nonprofit executive directors, development directors, staff, and board members build their capacity and learn best practices. On average, over 350 nonprofits per year have participated in the series.

Last year, WRAG launched its highly anticipated “Fundamentals of CSR” workshop, designed to help local nonprofits ‘crack the code’ to better understand local corporate funders. Since then, WRAG has seen an increase in demand from local nonprofits looking to connect with the area’s top experts in grantmaking.

From these two successful programs, the new Nonprofit Summer Learning Series was born. Designed and taught by some of the Greater Washington region’s most respected grantmaking professionals, this low-cost learning series “pulls the curtain back on philanthropy.” WRAG and Booz Allen invite Daily WRAG readers to join us as we shed light on how grantmakers think, how they approach their work, what they look for in strong nonprofit partners, and how you can build new and stronger relationships with the local funding community. Click the links below for details on speakers, locations, fees, and registration.

June 10 | The Dos & Don’ts of Working with Grantmakers
Even if your organization has successfully received grant funding for years, do you truly understand the ins-and-outs of working with grantmakers? Do you know and understand recent trends and shifts in philanthropy? Do you know how funders like to be approached? How they make decisions? How they’re organized and staffed? Do you know how to cultivate not only relationships but true partnerships with your funders? Join us to hear from four leading grantmaking professionals in our region as they offer practical advice and insights on these topics and more.

July 14 | Navigating the Grants Process: From initial contact to long-term partnership
You’ve identified a potential funder, made contact, applied for and received a grant, sent the acknowledgement letter… But that’s just the beginning! Join us to hear from four of our region’s top grantmaking professionals as they offer practical advice and insights on navigating the grants process from getting your foot in the door all the way to long-term partnership.

August 19 | Having Tough Conversations with Your Funder
Have you ever needed to have a difficult conversation with a funder? Topics might include financial sustainability or fundraising challenges, leadership transitions or staff turnover, or not being able to achieve key objectives set forth in your grant agreement. A nonprofit leader’s ability to successfully navigate these challenging discussions can be key to building trust and deepening relationships with your funders. Join us to hear from three pairs of funder/nonprofit partners as they discuss some difficult conversations they’ve had over the years and how they came through the other side.

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