Tag: Tamara

Another year of decline in domestic migration

REGION/ECONOMY
A new report from George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis looks at the migration trends of the region’s population. According to the report, the region experienced its second straight year of decline in domestic migration. (WBJ, 3/28)

Domestic migration was responsible for a loss of 25,200 people from 2013 to 2014, according to the report. The last time the region had positive domestic migration was from 2013 to 2014, when 25,200 moved here.

[…]

People are leaving the region for a combination of factors that also includes overall affordability — child care and housing are the biggest — and the growth and opportunities in other areas of the country. Some U.S. regions had sluggish economies themselves right after the Great Recession but have recently seen stronger growth.

Center director Terry Clower also cites research from The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy for its recommendations on ways the economy can improve.

Related: Last year, the 2030 Group’s Bob Buchanan and the Center for Regional Analysis’s Stephen Fuller undertook an extensive research project called, The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy, to recommend ways the region can reposition itself to remain competitive in the global economy. WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland also shared how philanthropy in the region might respond and collaborate with other sectors to meet challenges facing our communities. (Daily 1/15)

– Both D.C. and Montgomery County are eyeing a minimum wage increase to $15. (WAMU, 3/25)

HOUSING
– In their latest blog post, the D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis explores how rents in the city are so high despite many residences being subject to rent control. (District, Measured, 3/23)

NPR takes a glimpse into the courtrooms of D.C.’s Landlord and Tenant Branch where mostly low-income renters and their landlords squabble over issues of rent payments and substandard living conditions. (NPR, 3/28)

ARTS
– In Reston, officials are revisiting the allocation of funds for public art. (Reston Now, 3/25)

– D.C.’s Fillmore Arts Center will be saved for another year (WaPo, 3/25)

PHILANTHROPY
A recent survey looks at the philanthropic activity predictions of 400 leading private bankers and wealth advisors who manage around $500 billion in assets for ultra-high net worth individuals. (NPQ, 3/24)

– Have a look at Fortune‘s 2016 list of the World’s Greatest Leaders in philanthropy, arts, business, government and more. (Fortune, 3/2016)

CSR/SOCIAL PROFITS | Audio: How Nonprofits and Corporations Can Join Forces (Chronicle, 3/25)

EDUCATIONHow to Graduate More Black Students (Atlantic, 3/23)


Do you live in a paper napkin, cloth napkin, or paper towel household?

– Ciara

Friday roundup – March 14 through March 18, 2016

THIS WEEK AT WRAG/THE WRAG COMMUNITY
 – WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland posed the question, “When was the last time you talked about racism?,” and explained her view on why you should start. (Daily, 3/15)

– Catherine Oidtman, Philanthropy Fellow at the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, shared what she’s learned about going “beyond dollars” in philanthropy. (Daily, 3/14)

Related for WRAG Members: We are now accepting applications from WRAG members interested in hosting Philanthropy Fellows this fall. For more information about this program and how to apply, click here.

Opinion: Lynn Tadlock, Deputy Executive Director of Giving at the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation and WRAG board chair, shared her views on why urgent reform is necessary to put an end to gerrymandering in Virginia. (Loudoun Times, 3/3)

THIS WEEK IN TRANSIT/INFRASTRUCTURE
 Why Washington’s transportation is a problem, in one map (GGW, 3/15)

– Opinion: We caused the Metro shutdown when we decided to let our cities decay (WaPo, 3/16)

THIS WEEK IN HEALTH/EQUITY
– WAMU released their new, four-part series on the continuing struggle for inclusion facing individuals with developmental disabilities in the District. (WAMU,  3/2016)

– The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released their 2016 County Health RankingsIn Virginia, Loudoun County was number one in the overall ranking for health outcomes, and in Maryland, Montgomery County came out on top. (WTOP, 3/16)


WRAG’S COMMUNITY CALENDAR
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: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.


Calendar won’t display? Click here.


Who do you think is the most photographed man of the 19th century?

– Ciara

A look at employment in the social profit sector through the Great Recession

WORKFORCE
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that during the Great Recession, as other industries cut back significantly on hiring and increased layoffs, the social profit sector continued to add jobs – a trend that is likely to reverse, for better or for worse. (WaPo, 3/2)

At the same time, organizations dipped into rainy day funds to stay afloat, resulting in a decline in asset levels. Some workers may have accepted lower wages for non-profit work because of the poor job market, boosting employment as well.

All of that is also why, when the bureau next puts out employment numbers, the figures might show a decrease: Resources are depleted, and the need also isn’t as great.

– A new JPMorgan Chase report, “Tech Jobs for All? Exploring the Promise and Pitfalls of Technology Training in the United States,” takes a look at the rapidly growing and quickly evolving tech training field and the unique obstacles it faces in developing the skilled and diverse workforce required to meet a growing need within the economy. The report is part of  JPMorgan Chase’s $250 million, five-year New Skills at Work initiative to address the mismatch between employer needs and the skills of job seekers..

Opinion: Jobs for the Young in Poor Neighborhoods (NYT, 3/14)

WRAG/RACISM | In her latest blog post, WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland poses the question, “When was the last time you talked about racism?,” and explains her view on why you should start. (Daily, 3/15)

COMMUNITY/VIRGINIA | Opinion: Lynn Tadlock, Deputy Executive Director of Giving of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation and WRAG board chair, shares her views on why urgent reform is necessary to put an end to gerrymandering in the state of Virginia. (Loudoun Times, 3/3)

HIV/AIDS | Eight American cities joined the Fast Track Cities Initiative, established on World AIDS Day in 2014 “to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV know that they have the virus, are taking anti-retroviral treatment medications and in so doing, are keeping the virus suppressed.” Take a look at what those cities, including the District, have been doing to successfully lower their HIV/AIDS rates and increase awareness. Kudos to the Washington AIDS Partnership for being recognized for their work! (Mic, 3/10)

POVERTY | Federal assistance for families in poverty can cover expenses like food, health care, and housing, but with data showing that families in the lowest-income quintile spend around 14 percent of their after-tax income on diapers, advocates are seeking ways to further support those in need with household necessities. (WaPo, 3/14)

HEALTH/EQUITY | WAMU unveils a new, four-part series on the continuing struggle for inclusion that those with developmental disabilities in the District face. (WAMU,  3/ 2016)

ARTS/PHILANTHROPY | Americans Support Increases for Government Arts Funding (ArtsBlog, 3/5)


Perhaps the only thing more significant than turning 100-years-old is being able to do it with three of your lifelong friends.

– Ciara

When was the last time you talked about racism?

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Yes, WRAG is leading a learning journey called Putting Racism on the Table, but this post is not about that. This post is about why you – whoever you are – should be putting racism on whatever table, literal or metaphoric, at which you sit.

Think about it. If you are a white reader of this post, when was the last time that you talked about, or witnessed, racism? I don’t mean inclusion or equity or diversity, but racism? If you are African American, I suspect your answer to that question most likely is “today” or “yesterday.” It is not an exaggeration for me to say, African Americans live and breathe racism daily. I don’t mean overt acts of personal animus. Racism today is often in the form of structures and institutions that disadvantage or advantage one race relative to another. Sometimes it occurs in incidents of bias that may be unintentional, but are driven by societal and cultural stimuli that affect us all.

Consider these realities for Black America:

Those are big, complex issues. But what makes racism so insidious are the small occurrences that even those who are committed to racial justice rarely notice.

Consider these:

  • Last week, I was looking for an image of an African American baby to accompany a Twitter post. I went to a free image website and found that there was not one image of an African American baby – not one. I suspect a white person may not have noticed that. I did.
  • A friend was selling her house and was advised to remove all family photos from the walls. Potential buyers, she was told, shouldn’t know that the house was owned by a black family. Did this person harbor personal animus toward people of color? Maybe, but I doubt it. Perhaps they thought they were commenting honestly about the possible prejudice of potential home-buyers.
  • Similarly, I was renting out a house that I own and was advised to remove an image on the website that showed a person of color relaxing beside the house. Why? I would potentially limit the renters if they thought it was a black neighborhood. Does it change your thinking when I tell you that the person who said this was a person of color?

Today, I ask you to put racism on YOUR table. Maybe media coverage of recent events will prompt your thinking. Maybe a comment made by a family member or neighbor will cause the topic to come to mind. I know that you can’t walk in my shoes, or me in yours, but I hope you will commit to spending time every week educating yourself about racial issues facing our country, learning about the genesis of those issues, and thinking about what you can do to change the situation. You can start your learning by watching our video series or simply talking honestly with a friend, neighbor or colleague. Please join me in #PuttingRacismOnTheTable. You can make a difference.

A glimpse into the region’s future

REGION
According to a new regional forecast from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the region’s population will continue to grow steadily and will add nearly 1.5 million residents over the next 30 years. Job growth is also expected to be significant. Officials are concerned a surge in residents to the region will continue to present challenges in providing affordable housing and quality transportation. (WaPo, 3/9)

The [District] is projected to expand from 672,000 residents last year to 987,000 in 2045, when it will be just shy of replacing Prince George’s County as the region’s third-most-populous jurisdiction, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

Fairfax and Montgomery counties will continue to rank first and second. They and other counties in the region will continue to grow. But only Charles County, which is a quarter of the District’s size, will gain population at a faster rate than the city.

Related: Last year, 2030 Group president Bob Buchanan and George Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis senior adviser and director of special projects Stephen Fuller, led the charge to undertake an extensive research project providing recommendations for ways in which the region can reposition itself to maximize potential and remain competitive in the global economy titled, The Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy. WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland also shared how philanthropy in the region might respond and collaborate with other sectors to meet challenges facing our communities. (Daily 1/15)

HEALTH
– As misconceptions change about what the “face of HIV/AIDS” looks like, grassroots efforts are proving to be helpful in empowering those who are newly diagnosed. (WTOP, 3/10)

– Medicaid Rules Can Thwart Immigrants Who Need Dialysis (WAMU, 3/8)

EDUCATION/HOMELESSNESS | With recently-announced plans to replace the D.C. General shelter with smaller facilities, some are growing concerned about what the changes may mean for overcrowding in surrounding schools. (WCP, 3/8)

PHILANTHROPY/GENDER EQUITY | Mind the Gap – How Philanthropy Can Address Gender-Based Economic Disparities (PND, 3/8)

ARTSOpinion: One theatergoer shares his experience watching a popular Broadway show featuring a diverse cast, and how he felt when he look around and noticed the audience was anything but. (NPR, 3/8)

JOBS | The Abell Foundation is seeking to fill its Grants Associate position.


This quick quiz will guess your age, marital status, and income based on which mobile apps you have on your phone. My own results came pretty close! 

– Ciara

Moving on too soon?

HIV/AIDS/PHILANTHROPY 
In part two of their in-depth series on housing for HIV-positive residents in D.C., Washington City Paper explores how, after years of major federal and philanthropic funding to support successful initiatives to combat HIV/AIDS in the District, many of those sources are beginning to move toward funding other urgent causes with the false belief that the problem has been solved (WCP, 3/4):

Altogether, the slowed trickle of public and private funds out of the city has spurred concern among advocates and city officials alike. They worry that decreasing funds for HIV initiatives will sacrifice the progress that’s already been made, and that the cuts will take effect just as D.C. hits its stride in patient care.

Channing Wickham, executive director of Washington AIDS Partnership (WAP), who is quoted throughout the article due to WAP’s continued leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the District, had this to say:

I look forward to the day when the Washington AIDS Partnership can close its doors and declare victory. Until then, I appreciate the local and national funders who participate in our funding collaborative, and encourage funders who haven’t gotten involved or who have moved on to join in our life-saving work.”

– In her latest blog post, WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland further explores the challenges many social profit organizations face when funders decrease giving in a particular issue area. (Daily, 3/7)

HOUSING | The Region Forward Coalition shares details of their first meeting of the year, at which WRAG vice president Gretchen Greiner-Lott presented Our Region, Your Investment, alongside Enterprise Community Loan Fund, as a part of the solution to the Greater Washington region’s affordable housing crisis. (Region Forward, 3/2)

FOOD/ENVIRONMENT | On Saturday, March 19 at American University, Farming for the Future will debut new films at this year’s D.C. Environmental Film Festival. Three of the films were done by the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University, with grant support from the D.C. office of Prince Charitable Trusts. The films include the premiere of The Culture of Collards, featuring culinary historian Michael Twitty; Gail Taylor, owner of Three Part Harmony Farm in Northeast D.C.; and Lola Bloom, Rebecca Lemos, and young people from City Blossoms, an urban farm/youth agricultural program in D.C. Reservations are requested to this popular event. Click here for additional information and to RSVP.

EDUCATION | A new documentary debuting this month, Southeast 67, follows the stories of 67 students from the District’s Anacostia neighborhood who were offered free college tuition as seventh-graders in 1988. Stewart Bainum, Sr.  and Eugene Lang (trustee of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation) were instrumental in establishing the program, as part of the I Have a Dream Foundation. (WaPo, 3/6)

HOMELESSNESS/DISTRICT | In Georgetown, the homeless can be hidden amid the million-dollar homes (WaPo, 3/6)

TRANSIT/MARYLAND | Here’s a look at what may be in store for the forthcoming Purple Line. (WTOP, 3/4)

ARTS | Before Smithsonian’s opening, smaller African American museums grapple with a behemoth in D.C. (WaPo, 3/2)

JOBS 
– The Coalition for Smarter Growth has an opening for a Development Manager.

– Flamboyan Foundation is seeking a Program Assistant.


A reporter once declared this the worst place to live in America. Now, he’s moving there.

– Ciara

The penny isn’t always shiny and new

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

On Friday, the Washington City Paper featured a major article on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the District of Columbia. It highlighted several excellent programs, such as the Washington AIDS Partnership’s Positive Pathways’ community health workers, celebrated the leadership of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and very candidly reminded us all of what happens when a funder – be it the federal government, a national funder, or a local grantmaker – stops funding in a given area; successful programs are put in jeopardy.

We – social profit organizations – always know that such a reality is possible, but we continue to believe, as the funding community often tells us to, that if we just show impact, if the evaluation data reflects positive outcomes, the financial support will remain. But that is not always true. As Channing Wickham, executive director of the Washington AIDS Partnership, an initiative of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, pointed out in the article, “It’s an unfortunate reality […] HIV  is no longer a new and exciting issue.” He continued by saying, “In this work, in year one a new program is exciting. By the fifth year, even if you have results … it’s not the latest thing on the block.” His remarks reflect the perception that some funders prioritize being on the cutting-edge, changing their goals as new research emerges or as new leadership takes the helm.

So what do we do?

To the social profit organizations, I say evaluation data is definitely a key part of the protective coating, but, as you know, it isn’t the only ingredient to safeguard continuing funding. You need visibility for your issue, like what HIV/AIDS received in that major article in Friday’s paper. You need a champion like Barbara Jordan was for funding for HIV/AIDS programs during her service on the Freddie Mac Foundation Board years ago and Mayor Bowser seems to be today. And, even with the data, the visibility, and the champion, your funder may still close his doors or decide to change funding priorities. It’s not a new story. You must continue to be nimble, telling all who will listen about the need and about your impact, be a visible advocate, and always work to broaden your base of support.

To the funding community, just a reminder: sometimes the right intervention isn’t new and flashy. It is grounded in research. It is making a difference. It is simply tried and true – the community health worker, the peer counselor, the mentor. Not the shiny new penny, but the value is the same.

New regional effort to boost export activity through the Global Cities Initiative

REGION/ECONOMY
A regional coalition featuring the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area has been chose to take part in the Global Cities Initiative. The initiative is a joint project of the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase, with the goal of creating a unified regional export plan to strengthen the area’s economy. (WaPo, 2/11)

Greater Washington’s entry in the initiative was perhaps the most significant of a series of recent efforts to foster increased cooperation among the District, Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs in response to the federal spending cuts known as sequestration.

The three jurisdictions have been such rivals in the past that they had to overcome skepticism at Brookings and JP Morgan Chase about whether they could work together effectively.

WRAG/COMMUNITY | WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland shares why WRAG is so focused on pursuing a culture of evaluation in an effort to promote increased, more effective, and more responsible philanthropy. (Daily, 2/11)

CSR | In a newly-released survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers, 64 percent of global CEO respondents cited corporate social responsibility as “core to their business rather than being a standalone program.” The report also shows that CEOs think of social responsibility as key to attracting the most talent and garnering greater trust. (HuffPo, 2/10)

WORKFORCE/DISTRICT | Paid family leave moves forward in D.C. How far will city leap ahead of U.S.? (WaPo, 2/11)

EDUCATION | A new study from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce finds that black students are much less likely to pursue majors in well-paying fields than their white counterparts. Researchers behind the study point to a possible lack in adequate career counseling and hidden resources as factors for the choice to major in lower-paying careers. (Atlantic, 2/10)


What can your job say about who you will pair off with?

– Ciara

Why we are pursuing a “culture of evaluation” at WRAG

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

How do you know if your work is making a difference?

Sometimes the methodology can be relatively simple. Just ask.

That’s what the Taproot Foundation did last year when they assessed the impact of WRAG’s work. They described their methodology with language that reflected their research perspective, but bottom line, they interviewed individuals and talked with groups both within and outside of the WRAG community. In other words, they asked.

Over the coming years, WRAG plans to continue asking. With both intentionality and brevity, we will pursue a culture of evaluation.

Our asking, however, will have no value without your answers. We promise to keep our questions pointed and the number few. In order to provide you with content and experiences that promote increased, more effective, and more responsible philanthropy (WRAG’s mission), we need your feedback. Are we hitting or missing the mark? Your input will be fundamental in guiding how we shape our programming and what those programs are.

We can add up the numbers. In 2015, WRAG hosted 65 events that over 1300 individuals attended from 344 organizations. Did we provide valuable information? Maybe, but the real question is ”What happened because of those sessions?” Only you can tell us that. We have the quantitative info, but the story is not complete without your qualitative input. So, if you are a regular at WRAG events, look for evaluation tools following some events. Please take the very few minutes necessary to give us your input.

We are committed to offering programming that enhances philanthropy and serves to improve the region. Are we doing that? You’ll have to let us know.


We know WRAG isn’t the only organization thinking deeply about evaluation and impact these days. Join us on March 10 for a “Brightest Minds” event featuring David Grant, who will change the way you think about social profit evaluation.

How will philanthropy respond to the Roadmap for the Washington Region’s Future Economy?

By Tamara Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

 

It was just last January that WRAG said “count us in” to Bob Buchanan and Stephen Fuller as the 2030 Group joined with the Center for Regional Analysis to develop a roadmap for the region’s future economy. Today, that roadmap was released.

It identifies seven industrial clusters in which Fuller and his team believe our region has a competitive advantage:

  • Advocacy
  • Information and communications technology
  • Science and security technology
  • Biological and health technology
  • Business and financial services
  • Media and information
  • Business and leisure travel

It is on these industries that he recommends we focus our economic development efforts. But before we do that, the regional leaders who Buchanan and Fuller convened over the last year cautioned that we must address three regional deficits: 1) transportation and housing affordability; 2) the lack of a shared regional brand; and 3) insufficient collaboration between the academic and business communities to foster an entrepreneurial culture.

Philanthropy is already making progress on housing affordability. Just last week, WRAG announced a major philanthropy-led initiative, Our Region, Your Investment, to address the housing affordability challenges in our region. And following the presentation by Jennifer Bradley, co-author of The Metropolitan Revolution, at WRAG’s 2015 annual meeting, philanthropists in the region are ready to learn more about what their colleagues did in Northeast Ohio when that region suffered a devastating loss of manufacturing jobs.

Locally, philanthropic leaders have been primed for this conversation for some time. They recognize that they must continue their efforts on workforce development, but it seems that philanthropic leaders are now ready to go deeper into economic development than ever before. Why? Because they know that the stakes are very high when you consider what contributes to the vitality of our region.

Perhaps Stephen Fuller’s presentation at WRAG’s 2012 annual meeting was a turning point. He cautioned his audience of philanthropists that declining federal procurement spending in our region needed to be acknowledged and addressed. Then in 2013, that admonition became very clear as local social profit organizations[i] and their clients struggled with the impact of sequestration and the 16-day shutdown of the federal government. People whose incomes were tied to the federal government were without wages, and as more people live paycheck-to-paycheck, the impact of that revenue loss was immediate. Social profit organizations were doubly affected. The demand for their services was increasing at the same time that they were laying off their own staff because they, too, were reliant on the federal government through federal grants. This was no longer theoretical. This was real.

Now, we have a plan and the work of philanthropists in Northeast Ohio may be a model. To Fuller and Buchanan, I say maybe the third deficit should note “insufficient collaboration between the academic, philanthropic, and business communities to foster an entrepreneurial culture.” The philanthropic community is ready to roll up its sleeves and be an engaged partner in broadly shifting the economic reality of our region. So, once again I say, “Count us in.”


[i] Just a reminder that I try to use the term “social profit organization” instead of “nonprofit” to celebrate the fact that these organizations provide value to society, turning this into a positive term.