Tag: United Way

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

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

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


WRAG launches new “Fundamentals of CSR” workshop

By Katy Moore
Director of Corporate Strategy
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In the fall of 2013, WRAG, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, launched the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility – an exciting new professional development program designed specifically for CSR professionals. Since then, WRAG has received more than 30 requests for information about the Institute from business students, aspiring CSR professionals, fundraising consultants, and nonprofit leaders seeking to better understand CSR for the purposes of, for example, launching a CSR career, identifying and building new corporate relationships, or strengthening existing corporate partnerships.

WRAG heard these requests and is proud to announce the launch of The Fundamentals of CSR: A Two Day Workshop. The inaugural class will be held on April 23-24, 2015 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery and will feature more than 15 speakers and panelists from some of the largest and most respected companies in the Greater Washington region.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn directly from CSR professionals about topics such as the history, key components, and recent trends in CSR; the breadth, depth, and variety of CSR disciplines; how corporate philanthropy and community involvement fit within a company’s overall CSR strategy; what it’s REALLY like to be a CSR professional; understanding a company’s community investment resources; how to think like a corporate funder; and best practices for building strong corporate partnerships.

There will also be a number of interactive sessions where participants engage with each other, stretch their thinking, and apply their learnings, including sessions on “Learning to make the CSR Business Case” and “Designing a Community Investment Strategy.” Each of these sessions is designed to help registrants think like a corporate funder and understand – from the inside out – what motivates CSR professionals and a company’s overall CSR strategy.

We’re proud to offer this new opportunity and would like to thank the members of our curriculum design committee for making this new program a reality:

Naomi Smouha (Capital One)

Pam Holman (Pepco)

Tracye Funn (Washington Gas)

Kelly Waldron (United Way Worldwide)

Lori Vacek (Freddie Mac)

Jeannan Peterson (Bank of America)

To learn more about the workshop or to register please click here. For questions about the program, please contact Katy Moore at moore@washingtongrantmakers.org.

Resentment from both sides in hiring of veterans

According to a number of interviews with federal employees, the federal push to hire veterans in civil service jobs is bringing out feelings of resentment from both veteran and non-veteran employees. (WaPo, 9/14)

Those who did not serve in the military bristle at times at the preferential hiring of veterans and accuse them of a blind deference to authority. The veterans chafe at what they say is a condescending view of their skills and experience and accuse many non-veterans of lacking a work ethic and sense of mission.

Related: Last year, HR expert on military transitions into civilian employment, Emily King, spoke with funders about the various challenges that veterans often face in the workplace and how philanthropy can support them. (Daily, 9/13)

– While a large number of Montgomery County middle schoolers failed Algebra 1 testing last school year, only about 1 in 7 students participated in summer reteaching lessons, leaving the school district to find ways to address the learning gap. (WaPo, 9/13)

– In an effort to further fuse together technology and instruction, some schools in the region are piloting BYOD (bring your own device) programs, where students are encouraged to use their mobile phones in the classroom. (WaPo, 9/14)

– The Anacostia Arts Gallery and Boutique will close at the end of October, bringing attention to slow development and fears of displacement in the neighborhood. (DCist, 9/12)

– With $4 million redo, Dance Place co-directors set the barre higher (WaPo, 9/13)

NONPROFITS | United Way of the National Capital Area has named a new Chief Financial Officer, Kevin Smith, former Vice President of Finance at Pew Charitable Trusts. (UWNCA, 9/15)

REGION | In a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live, eight Washington-Baltimore area cities made the ranks with Arlington coming in at number three. (WBJ, 9/15)

Perhaps the next email you send could help change your life for the better.

– Ciara

United Way of the National Capital Area raises $1.75 million…D.C. seeking a waiver to No Child Left Behind [News, 1.20.12]

– The United Way of the National Capital Area raised $1.75 million in last year’s annual workplace giving campaign, which will go to support 250 groups in the region. (WTOP, 1/19)

– On the Washington Area Women’s Foundation‘s blog Maya Garrett writes about the importance of early childhood nutrition and the impact of the six percent cut in the 2013 budget for WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. (WAWF, 1/17)

– The District, like many states, is applying for a waiver to the No Child Left Behind law. The waiver would allow the city to use a set of metrics that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education argues would give a better picture of student performance than is provided by NCLB’s Annual Yearly Progress measurement. (Post, 1/19)

– A report from a court-appointed monitor says that DCPS did not accurately report their progress in meeting the needs of special education students. (Examiner, 1/19)

HOMELESSNESS | An employee of a homeless shelter in Falls Church talks about the services provided to those who are in need in one of the richest areas of the country. (WAMU, 1/20, audio)

INFRASTRUCTURE | George Hawkins of D.C. Water was on the Kojo Nnamdi Show yesterday to talk about the massive improvements that the area’s water infrastructure needs to undergo to become a sustainable system. (WAMU, 1/19)

ECONOMY | According to GMU’s Stephen Fuller, if our region’s economy doesn’t begin to diversify soon, it will fall behind other regions as the federal spending declines. (WBJ, 1/20, subscription)

REGIONALISM | For those interested in regionalism as a concept, here’s an interesting look at how New York is taking a regional approach to economic development that empowers regions around the state to leverage their particular economic strengths. (Atlantic Cities, 1/20)

While I, for one, am pretty happy about our snow-less winter so far, I wonder if our region’s crows feel like they’re missing out on something.


Give to the Max was a huge success…Richard England on philanthropy…Fannie Mae opens foreclosure center in Prince George’s [News, 11.10.11]

GIVE TO THE MAX | It was an exciting 24 hours yesterday! The final totals are that 17,839 people donated $1,886,584. With additional award money, the grand total raised was $2,034,584. Not too shabby!

Give to the Max organizers Terri Freeman of the Community Foundation and Bill Hanbury of the United Way are proud of the results. Terri says:

“This region continues to demonstrate its ability to unite and rally around a call to action, and the results from our first ever Give to the Max Day prove it.”

And Bill is excited about what participation in Give to the Max reveals about new directions in fundraising:

“In addition to raising $2 million, we are thrilled to see how many of our nonprofit members participated and maximized all the benefits of learning more about online fundraising and putting those skills to good use.”

COMMUNITY | As we prepare to honor our nation’s veterans tomorrow, we asked World War II veteran Mr. Richard England, who lost his hearing at Guadalcanal, to reflect on philanthropy – what it means to him, what advice he has for new philanthropists, and how funders can support our nation’s veterans. (WG Daily, 11/10)

WORKFORCE | A new survey finds that one of every five U.S. employers is looking to hire veterans, but “vets re-entering the corporate workforce don’t always properly market their unique skills.” (WBJ, 11/10)

HOUSING | Fannie Mae opens foreclosure center in Greenbelt (WTOP, 11/10) “Prince George’s County has the highest number of foreclosures in Maryland and [one] of the highest rates in the region.”

Election pumps new blood into Fairfax school board (Examiner, 11/10) The board has six new members.

DCPS has opened a diagnostic center aimed at identifying children who might need special education. (WaPo, 11/9)

SOCIAL MEDIA | As we wrap-up Give to the Max Day, Tamara Copeland considers how social media is changing philanthropy and how these changes take some adjustment of perspective to appreciate (NPQ, 11/10):

In just the last few years, we’ve seen traditional philanthropy morph in interesting ways. We can give directly to causes all over the world with our smartphones. No intermediaries needed… Forget due diligence. Forget informed program officers looking at logic models, program plans, and evaluation models. Has the head and/or heart philanthropy debate already become a bit passé?

WEEKEND | This isn’t an endorsement, but just something that caught my attention as a movie nerd and Smithsonian fan. Groupon is selling $4 tickets to Smithsonian IMAX movies which can be redeemed starting today. IMAX and a museum visit is a nice weekend activity!

Hope you all enjoy the long weekend. We’re excitedly preparing for our big annual meeting next week at Arena Stage and hope to see you there.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, here’s a heartfelt clip from one of my favorite movies.

– christian

Arts organizations concerned about jobs bill…Give to the Max on Nov. 9…Teachers get “Standing Ovation” [News, 9.20.11]

President Obama’s new jobs stimulus plan would limit tax deductions on charitable donations made by high-income individuals, which is causing concern for arts groups that are already coping with declining donations (WaPo, 9/20).

Marlie Mattson, vice president of development for the Kennedy Center, says:

“In general, I think it’s fair to say that it’s very difficult to continually find contributed income in support of the arts…It’s a very challenging environment already. Whatever happens on the national landscape that limits that income is problematic for sure.”

Americans for the Arts’ Bob Lynch is concerned as well, but optimistic that other aspects of the bill could benefits arts and humanities organizations:

Among others, he cited the proposed cut in the payroll tax, which could spur hiring within arts organizations and free up additional spending money; more federal support of schools, which could lead to the hiring and rehiring of arts-education teachers; and more spending on infrastructure projects, which could create more public art projects.

GIVING | Mark your calendars! Give to the Max Day is November 9th. The Community Foundation’s Terri Freeman and the United Way’s Bill Hanbury are really excited for it. You should be, too! (WG Daily, 9/20)

– Prince George’s County Public Schools Superintendent William Hite has been appointed to the National Parent Teacher Association’s board of directors. (Examiner, 9/20)

Related: WRAG members met with Hite and County Executive Rushern Baker in June to discuss education reform in the county. (WG Daily, 7/7)

– Bill Turque writes about last night’s Standing Ovation event honoring the District’s best educators. (WaPo, 9/20) Tamara attended and tweeted about the event. (@WRAGprez)

YOUTH | Members of WRAG’s Children, Youth, and Families Working Group heard from children’s mental health experts earlier this month. (WG Daily, 9/20)

HOUSING | Md. Housing Dept. Moving To New Carrollton (WAMU, 9/20)

ECONOMY | Some positive news: Commercial construction rebounds in metro Washington (Region Forward, 9/20)

Here’s the first look at Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar, which filmed around the region earlier this year.

While I’m on the subject, I’d love to hear your input on a debate I recently had. Do you pronounce the word “biopic” as bio pic or bi-opic? I say bio pic, since it is really just shorthand for biographical picture. The other way sounds like a medical procedure. Feel free to comment below!

Funders announce one-day online giving push for November [News, 9.15.11]

At a press conference at Martha’s Table yesterday, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s Terri Freeman and the United Way of the National Capital Area’s Bill Hanbury announced that November 9th will be Give to the Max Day. The event is being promoted by the entire 8 Neighbors group representing nonprofit, business, philanthropic, and government leaders, and will be a one-day push, supported by online fundraiser Razoo, with a goal of raising $3 million in donations and grants for area nonprofits.

In the Washington Post, Bill Hanbury points out the advantages of an online push (WaPo, 9/16):

More and more consumers, individual donors, are turning to online giving…In some ways, we’ve gotten outmaneuvered by digital applications. This will let us jump over workplace giving.

Terri Freeman says the time is right:

The economic news isn’t getting any better, and the government funding is down… We’re the nation’s capital. We ought to be able to do this in grand style.

And Tamara Copeland notes:

Eighty percent of giving nationally is from individuals…[s]o the foundation community is particularly supportive of this concentrated effort to build a larger base of the support for the local nonprofit sector.

We’ll have more on Monday, including a message from Bill and Terri.

ARTS | In partnership with foundations, corporations, and government agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts has announced a new grants program called ArtPlace, which seeks to promote arts and culture as catalysts for economic growth in 34 cities around the country (New York Times, 9/14).

D.C. is one of the cities, with a grant to the Office of Planning to support Arts and Culture Temporiums in Anacostia, Brookland, Central 14th Street, and Deanwood (ArtPlace, 9/15).

Related: In 2009, Americans for the Arts president and CEO Bob Lynch told funders: To fix the economy, fund the arts (WG Daily, 2/9/09).

REGION | Fairfax chairman candidates debate development, housing, transit (WaPo, 9/15)

Related: A delegation of WRAG members recently met with Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, to introduce her to the collective of funders working in, interested in, and funding in Fairfax County, and to explore opportunities for a richer partnership.

Related: Tamara asks, “Who are we? What are we? What is our name?” (WG Daily, 9/16)

EDUCATION | While SAT scores declined regionally and nationally this year, Montgomery County Hispanic students, who make up 25 percent of the public schools’ student body, actually raised their scores by eight points (Examiner, 9/15).

Related: WRAG members – Don’t miss the chance to meet Dr. Joshua Starr, the new superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, on September 28.

WORKFORCE | Gray plans tax credits to help get D.C. residents hired (TBD, 9/15)

POVERTY | The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute takes a preliminary look at census data on food stamp participation and employment and health insurance levels and suggests that poverty likely increased in the District in 2010 (DCFPI, 9/13). The Census Bureau will release more in-depth state level data next week.

YOUTH | The Post profiles a group of ex-offenders in Ward 7 who are trying to address the problems of youth violence in their neighborhoods by walking through their community and engaging with kids on their way to school (WaPo, 9/16).

– Rebekah