Tag: United Way of the National Capital Area

Making a home buying assistance program work better for low-income DC residents

– D.C. officials are working to smooth the administrative kinks out of the Home Purchase Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance for low- and moderate-income residents to help increase their purchasing power in D.C.’s competitive housing market. Currently, processing delays can leave some potential home buyers in the lurch. (WAMU, 10/20):

Housing advocates and real estate experts say…that for as necessary and well-intentioned as the HPAP program is, it also suffers from persistent administrative hiccups that can delay closings, threatening financing arrangements and even derailing possible sales. In some cases, buyers who assumed they would close on a specific date have been left to scramble for temporary housing.

Battle Brews Over D.C.’s Rent-Control Laws (City Paper, 10/19)

Interactive Redlining Map Zooms In On America’s History Of Discrimination (NPR, 10/19)

– Yesterday, the United Way of the National Capital Area hosted a day-long event where homeless individuals could receive a “smorgasbord of services,” to quote UWNCA VP Timothy Johnson. (WaPo, 10/19)

– Congratulations to Rick Moyers, vice president of programs and communications at the Meyer Foundation, for being elected chair of the BoardSource board of directors!

EDUCATION | D.C. Public Schools’ interim chancellor wants to keep the job (WaPo, 10/19)

NONPROFITS | Research and Evaluation in the Nonprofit Sector: Implications for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (NPQ, 10/19)

Social Sector Job Openings
Development Manager | ACT for Alexandria – New!
Community Investment Associate (Grants Administration) | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health

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
To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click the image below to access the calendar.

It may still be July here, but many other places seem to be experiencing a beautiful autumn.

The Almost Daily will be back on Monday!

– Rebekah

Do More 24 in full swing!

Today marks the United Way of the National Capital Area‘s annual Do More 24 event – a 24-hour online giving campaign that kicked off at midnight and will end at 11:59 pm. Local, regional, and national social profit organizations with a presence in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area are participating in the focused day of giving to create maximum impact as a community. The award winners will be announced tomorrow. Click here to remain up-to-date on the total raised – and to give!

– The Chronicle of Philanthropy presents a special report and interactive database on giving from America’s biggest companies. Bank of America, Citi, Capital OneJPMorgan Chase, PNC, and Wells Fargo are among the companies highlighted for their corporate giving and social good efforts. (Chronicle, 6/1) Subscription required

– Socially Responsible Companies Are Big Draw for Workers, Study Says (Chronicle, 6/1) Subscription required

Exponent Philanthropy has launched a new blog series in honor of their 20th anniversary that will focus on reflections of founders, early board members, and others with extensive careers in the field of philanthropy. In this blog post, Exponent Philanthropy founding member, former board chair, and executive director of The Americana Foundation Marty Fluharty discusses why it is so imperative for foundations to break down silos. (PhilanthroFiles, 6/2)

– Demanding That Nonprofits Not Pay For Overhead Is Preventing Them From Doing Good (Co.Exist, 6/1)

– The D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development has announced the launch of a new initiative, the “June Housing Bloom,” aimed at increasing the number of affordable housing units in the city (WCP, 6/1):

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is […] putting out solicitations for the development of 25 District-owned properties in Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 to get the month-long initiative started. The offerings are part of a five-pronged strategy to reduce neighborhood blight, according to DHCD: producing affordable housing, preserving affordable housing, boosting homeownership, ending homelessness, and making use of currently vacant properties. DHCD will hold an informational meeting about the sites at its HQ on June 22, with a proposal deadline of Sept. 1.

– In Search of TANF Reform (CHF, 5/27)

VIRGINIA | VideoWhy Virginia’s Restoration of Voting Rights Matters (Atlantic, 5/31)

MENTAL HEALTH/IMPLICIT BIAS | For many people of color struggling with their mental health and seeking the aid of psychotherapy, roadblocks to access can often prevent them from getting much-needed help. A new study suggests that implicit bias on the part of psychologists’ offices may be the main barrier to some people receiving proper mental healthcare. (Atlantic, 6/1)

Do you have any strange reading habits? You are not alone in the Greater Washington region.

– Ciara

New county health rankings released

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released their 2016 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, measuring and ranking nearly all counties in the U.S. and “compiled using county-level measures from a variety of national and state data sources.” In 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)

The yearly report — released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute — evaluates 30 factors such as poverty, education, transportation, housing, violent crime, jobs and access to medical care.

The full rankings can be accessed here.

United Way of the National Capital Area has announced $100K to social profit organizations in Loudoun County. (Loudoun Times, 3/16)

– Funders for LGBTQ Issues has released a report tracking 2014 grantmaking from U.S. foundations. Open Society Foundations and Wells Fargo were among the top 10 funders for LGBTQ issues.

POVERTY/REGION | Opinion: Maryland and Virginia are headed toward reform in the way that the structured-settlement-purchasing industry preys on individuals who are often vulnerable to the lure of fast money through lump sum payments, despite standing to lose out on much of the funds awarded to them. Many of the cases involve victims who received settlements because they were exposed to lead poisoning. Advocates for the victims want to ensure that much-needed legislation is passed. (WaPo, 3/15)

DISTRICT New Bills Would Increase Access to D.C. Affordable Housing and Government Buildings (WCP, 3/15)

TRANSIT/REGIONWhy Washington’s transportation is a problem, in one map (GGW, 3/15)

Northrop Grumman is seeking a Manager of STEM Education Programs.

– The Baltimore Community Foundation is looking for the right candidate to fill their Program Officer position.

It’s that time of year again…check out this year’s entries for the Peeps Diorama contest!

– Ciara 

Adventures in being “underbanked” and “unbanked”

A recent breakdown of a major prepaid debit card company’s system that left many without funds shines a broader light on the perils of low-income Americans who are among the “underbanked” and “unbanked.” (NYT, 10/21)

In its most recent survey, the F.D.I.C. counted 25.4 million people in the United States in 2013 who had no bank account. Another 67.5 million had an account but also relied on nonbank financial services such as check-cashing stores or payday lenders.

Jonathan Mintz, a former commissioner of New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs, said a lack of safe banking options threatened to worsen economic inequality.

Are Community Foundations Stepping Up Support for LGBT Issues? It Looks That Way (Inside Philanthropy, 10/12)

–  More socially responsible investing and, thus, divestment campaigns, have come into the mainstream over the past two decades. Though well-intentioned, these moves can often be misguided in their efforts to truly make a difference. (New Yorker, 10/20)

More Foundations and Endowments Weigh Private Equity Co-Investments (NYT, 10/20)

COMMUNITY | United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) has joined the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce and George Mason University Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy for the Regional Nonprofit Forum to be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at George Mason University’s Fairfax campus. The event will feature keynote speakers Rick Moyers of the Meyer Foundation and John Brothers of the T. Rowe Price Foundation. There will also be a discussion on ways leaders adapt to ongoing changes in the social profit sector by Rosie Allen-Herring of UWNCA and Mary Agee, formerly of Northern Virginia Family Service.

– Many Hands is accepting Letters of Inquiry from organizations interested in applying for a grant byNovember 30. Qualified 501(c)(3) organizations will be referred to one of four focus area committees – Education, Health, Housing and Job Readiness – for further consideration. Click here and here for more information about the process, or visit manyhandsdc.org.

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | Enrollment up in D.C. public schools for seventh consecutive year (WaPo, 10/20)

FOOD | As Schools Buy More Local Food, Kids Throw Less Food in the Trash (NPR, 10/20)

Do you hate cold weather? Other than packing up and moving down south, here’s how you can enjoy pleasant temperatures all year long

– Ciara

Wage inequality in U.S. metros

The Daily WRAG will return on Tuesday, October 13. 

While wage inequality is nothing new, the problem has become a staple of many major cities across the country. In some U.S. metros with high wage inequality – like the metropolitan Washington region – there are a number of implications for those who do not earn high salaries. (City Lab, 10/7)

[…] wage inequality appears to be bound up with higher housing costs, being closely correlated with the share of income devoted to housing […]. The higher wage earners in knowledge-based metros essentially bid up the cost of housing. And while knowledge workers and the creative class make enough to cope with the increased costs, as my own research has shown, this hits extremely hard at workers in lower paid service and blue-collar jobs who increasingly cannot afford to live in these places.

– Congratulations to WRAG members Rosie Allen-Herring, president and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area, and Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the Meyer Foundation, for being featured in The Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 list in the category of Heavy Hitters, defined as “[…] those executives who lead the most powerful organizations in town, be it for their size, their reputations or the sheer dollars they generate.” (WBJ, 10/5)

– Congratulations are also in order for WRAG members IBM and Citi Foundation for taking home awards in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Awards in the areas of Best Corporate Steward – Large Business, and Best Community Improvement Program.

HOUSING | Enterprise takes a look at housing affordability for the millennial workforce on the heels of some newly released research on the topic. (Enterprise, 10/6)

TRANSPORTATION/DISTRICT | Bikeshare services are a convenience enjoyed by many in D.C. who seek alternative ways to get around, but they are often only available in more affluent parts of the city and to those with credit cards. In an effort to better reach minority and low-income residents, the District has unveiled potential plans to expand bikeshare stations across D.C. and eliminate barriers to payment to use the services. (WaPo, 10/6)

ENVIRONMENT/PUBLIC HEALTH | MoCo becomes first major locality to ban cosmetic pesticides from lawns (WaPo, 10/6)

Are you a native to the region? Here’s some nostalgia for you in the form of local TV ads.

– Ciara

Affordable housing crisis in every county in America

A new report from the Urban Institute finds that the amount of extremely low-income households has grown nationwide since 2000, while federal housing-assistance programs have not kept up with the need. In fact, according to the study, there is no county within the United States that currently has enough affordable housing for families in extreme poverty. (City Lab, 6/18)

New research from the Urban Institute shows that the supply of housing for extremely low-income families, which was already in short supply, is only declining. In 2013, just 28 of every 100 extremely low-income families could afford their rental homes. [That] figure is down from 37 of 100 in 2000 – a 25 percent decline over a little more than a decade.

Using data from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, researchers built an interactive map to illustrate the nationwide reach of the problem. In no county in the U.S. does the supply of affordable housing meet the demand among extremely low-income households. (Families who made no more than 30 percent of an area’s median household income were considered “extremely low income.”)

You can find the interactive map from the Urban Institute here.

– Tomorrow morning, at the 2015 Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) Annual Meeting, The Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) will host a plenary session entitled Regional Strategies to Increase Affordable Housing Development and Preservation in the Greater Washington Area. GWHLG is comprised of nonprofit, public, philanthropic, and business leaders, and is convened by WRAG. You can follow the conversation tomorrow on Twitter using the hashtag #HANDAM2015. The event will also coincide with the release of a new report on how to collaborate and invest to solve the region’s affordable housing shortage by Rick Cohen, sponsored by Enterprise, Citi Foundation, and WRAG.

FINANCE/FOUNDATIONS | WRAG’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Katy Moore, discusses the two surprising things all foundation staff should know when it comes to excise tax rules – the topic of last week’s Foundation Finance Affinity Group meeting. (Daily, 6/22)

– Congratulations to WRAG members Capital One (#1) and MedImmune (#20) for being named top places to work in the DC region by The Washington Post!  (WaPo, 6/19)

– On July 23 at 8:00 am, the United Way of the National Capital Area (UWNCA) will hold their 2015 Annual Community Meeting and Nonprofit Expo at Catholic University of America. Anyone interested in learning about UWNCA, the nonprofit sector, or opportunities to learn and share with community networks should register here.

PHILANTHROPY | New Blog Examines Today’s Philanthropy by Comparing It With The Past (Chronicle, 6/19)

– D.C. has four new public art pieces to check out around the city. (WCP, 6/19)

Working Smarter – not Harder – when Advocating for the Arts (Artsblog, 6/18)

REGION | Higher Unemployment in Virginia (WBJ, 6/19)

The time a cat won an award for being a “Hero Dog.”

– Ciara

Friday roundup – June 1 through June 5, 2015

– Yesterday marked the 3rd annual Do More 24 day of giving hosted by United Way of the National Capital Area. The campaign raised well over $1.4 million for more than 600 nonprofits serving DC, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. A total of 11,394 donations were made through the online giving portal.

The Washington Post did a special report on the number of individuals fatally shot by police nationwide so far this year. The in-depth study found that the number is reaching 400 people. (WaPo, 5/30)

– The Washington Post also explored policies and programs geared specifically toward young men of color, and examined why they continue to remain so important for the future of the economy. (WaPo, 6/3)

– Research shows that there is not only a gap in the number of rich and poor students enrolling in college, there is also a gap in the rate at which they complete college – the “graduation gap.” (NYT, 6/2)

– The Economic Policy Institute reported that young female college graduates earn significantly lower wages than young male graduates. This, despite the fact that average wages for all young college graduates is 2.5 percent lower than it was 15 years ago. (EPI, 6/3)


Preserving D.C.’s Safety Net (WRAG members)
Thursday, June 11  12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Get on the Map: A How-To Webinar
Thursday, June 11  2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Here‘s a great cartoon visualization and short story on privilege.

– Ciara

Today marks UWNCA annual day of giving

Today is the day! United Way of the National Capital Area‘s Do More 24 day of giving is in full swing. Check out some of the ways you can give before the 11:59 pm deadline tonight. (WBJ, 6/3 and WaPo, 6/4)

United Way NCA incentivized nonprofits to participate in the Do More 24 campaign this year by offering cash awards totaling $82,500 for such milestones as getting the most total donations, the largest single donation, even the most “selfie” pictures.

“Do More 24 is a chance for the entire region to come together and give where they live,” [Rosie] Allen-Herring said. “Individuals and businesses are invited to join forces on June 4 to give local nonprofits a well-deserved and always-welcome boost as they do their essential work helping our neighbors in need and making our region a better place for all.”

– Whitman-Walker Health has announced plans for the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center following their recent relocation to a newer, more modern healthcare facility. (WBJ, 6/3)

EDUCATION | Why Technology Alone Won’t Fix Schools (Atlantic, 6/3)

YOUTH | A Remarkably Simple, Low-Cost Way to Reduce Juvenile Crime: Thinking Slow (City Lab, 6/3)

DISTRICT/LGBT | Currently, the D.C. Council does not have any openly gay members for the first time in 18 years. Washington City Paper explores what that may or may not mean for LGBTQ advocates and residents looking to advance important issues. (WCP, 6/3)

WORKFORCE | A movement has emerged in recent years to provide people in the creative industry with “co-working” communal offices where they can run their businesses with other like-minded individuals and share an affordable work space. A new, similar concept that would provide affordable “maker- spaces” for low- and moderate-income industrial workers is gaining some traction. (City Lab, 6/3)

Though the Cleveland Cavs are about to win a championship soon – making this list irrelevant – take a look at the most “cursed sports cities” in America.

– Ciara

In Virginia, disappearing jobs in the middle

The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis takes a close look at the disappearance of middle-wage jobs in the state of Virginia, and the effect on residents. While the number of available middle wage-jobs has dropped, the number of low- and high-paying jobs has grown since the recession, creating a situation that makes it difficult to climb the career ladder (The Half Sheet, 5/29):

In May 2014, the latest year for which data are available, there were 27,400 fewer jobs in mid-wage occupations – those paying on average $15.33 to $23.13 an hour – than there were in May 2013.

That’s on top of the loss of nearly 70,000 jobs in that wage range between 2007 and 2010. There’s been some ups and downs since then. But the plunge in the last year means that today Virginia has even fewer jobs in mid-wage occupations than during the depths of the recession.

Meanwhile, the number of jobs with median wages below $15.33 an hour grew by 26,100 when comparing May 2013 and 2014. This involves work like retail sales, grounds maintenance, and record clerks. On average, such jobs pay just $12.45 an hour. That’s under $25,000 a year for a full-time, year-round worker.

At the top, Virginia is seeing continued growth in occupations that typically pay above $24 an hour: jobs like office supervisors, sales reps for services, nurses and doctors, and lawyers. These are great jobs to have, but it’s really hard get there directly from the bottom. You need those middle rungs to climb all the way up.

– The Public Welfare Foundation is hiring a Criminal Justice Program Officer. You can check out the position description here, and be sure to share!

United Way of the National Capital Area‘s Do More 24 is just two days away! Do More 24, which takes place on June 4, is a local movement that brings together nonprofit organizations, companies, and people committed to making a difference through a day of focused, online giving.

EDUCATION | For the Poor, the Graduation Gap Is Even Wider Than The Enrollment Gap (NYT, 6/2)

POVERTY | According to a newly released study by the Federal Reserve Board on the economic well being of American households, in 2014, 47 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would not be able to cover an emergency expense totaling $400 – or that they would need to borrow or sell something in order to take care of it. Additionally, a study by the Urban Institute found that more families are relying on alternative financial services (like predatory loans). (City Lab, 5/29)

IMMIGRATION | The secret to being rich is surprisingly simple (WaPo, 6/1)

Take a look at where the nation’s unclaimed baggage goes to live out the rest of its days. Looks like a cool place to go!

– Ciara

Opinions vary greatly in survey of District residents

Results from the Talking Transition DC survey, a grassroots initiative sponsored by Open Society Foundations, conducted by DC Vote, DC Working Families, National Institute for Civil Discourse, and the Urban Institute, with support by HR&A Advisors, were released this week. The project gathered opinions from thousands of District residents on a number of topics, and found some big differences in a few areas (DCist, 4/7):

Across all eight wards, most D.C. residents seem to agree: our city’s housing is unaffordable, access to healthcare is decent, and Internet access is pretty good.

But opinions about police-community relations, public safety, and job availability resulted in a stark divide – with Wards 7 and 8 responding far more negatively than other parts of the city, according to a newly released survey by the Talking Transition DC initiative.

HOMELESSNESS | D.C. Sheltered Homeless Families in Maryland Hotels As Winter Crisis Worsened (WCP, 4/7)

EVENTS | Is your nonprofit or business prepared for a hurricane, flood, fire, or other emergency? Join United Way of the National Capital Area and American Red Cross in the National Capital Region for a public community preparedness forum on Wednesday, April 22, at 7:30 AM at George Mason University – Arlington, VA campus. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness and collaboration among D.C., Maryland, and Virginia nonprofit and business stakeholders to prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters. Click here to learn more and to register for the training.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | At a recent meeting, democratic candidates for Arlington County Board weighed in on solutions for affordable housing in the area. Here’s a recap of some of the priorities each candidate presented. (ARLNow, 4/7)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: The business world’s urgent response to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed in Indiana may provide some important lessons for the world of philanthropy. (Chronicle, 4/7)

Not in the mood to brave the crowds to view the cherry blossoms this year? You can look at them on these 24-hour web cams instead.

– Ciara