Tag: Washington Post

How the region’s foreclosure crisis affects us all

HOUSING
– In an op-ed, Russ Snyder, chair of the Nonprofit Roundtable, and Karen Lewis Young, chair of the Council of Governments, write that the foreclosure crisis is far from over. Although the media seems to have moved on from the crisis, foreclosures continue to impact everyone (WaPo, 8/9):

The housing crisis affected all income levels in all parts of our region. “We have seen every economic group, from owners of $125,000 condos to $1 million homes,” says Marian Siegel of Housing Counseling Services. “This is not a poor person’s issue or a minority issue, but one that impacts the entire community.” Even people who have remained current may see their property values drop as the number of foreclosures in the neighborhood increases. It continues to weigh on the region’s recovering housing market.

In response to their piece, WRAG’s VP Gretchen Greiner-Lott says,

“Kudos to the Nonprofit Roundtable and the Council of Governments for both supporting folks facing foreclosure and reminding us all that the foreclosure crisis in our region is not over yet. As stated in their piece, foreclosures impact our entire community, not just poor or minority communities. If our region is to thrive, everyone needs stable housing that is affordable to them. That’s the very reason that WRAG’s Affordable Housing Action Team is working to engage the philanthropic sector in helping to expand and/or preserve the local affordable housing stock.”

The Incredible Shrinking Housing Authority Funding (CP, 8/13)

COMMUNITY | The sale of the Post has inspired much reflection on the prominent role the Graham family has played in the civic life of D.C.  Julie Rogers, president of the Meyer Foundation (which was founded by Eugene Meyer, former owner and publisher of the Post, and his wife Agnes), comments on the Graham family’s impact on local philanthropy: (WaPo, 8/11)

In the late 1990s, a group of executives from major national foundations was in town for a meeting. Katharine Graham invited them to what Rogers called “a magnificent and memorable party” on the porch of her home, where they mingled with Washington luminaries and members of the local giving community.

That night, Rogers said, was something of a turning point for philanthropy in the region.

“We went a long way in changing the attitudes of national foundations,” Rogers said, who previously hadn’t committed much funding to groups in this region with local missions.

NONPROFITS
– In his latest “Against the Grain” post, the Meyer Foundation‘s Rick Moyers writes about how to know when to say “no” to board service. (Chronicle, 8/12). Needless to say, we are glad he did not say no to serving on WRAG’s board.

– The country’s changing demographics have big implications for fundraising. (Chronicle, 8/11)

PHILANTHROPY
– Corporations increasingly allow employees to take paid time off for community service, a strategy that allows companies to continue their community engagement work when budgets are tight, as well as attract and retain employees. One company that is taking this approach is PNC, which gives employees 40 paid hours a year to volunteer with the company’s “Grow Up Great” initiative. (WaPo, 8/12)

HEALTHCARE | The D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority today announced $6.4 million in grants to 35 local organizations to focus on getting uninsured District residents enrolled in health insurance when the insurance marketplace opens on October 1. (WaPo, 8/14)

ARTS | Silver Spring’s Forum Theatre is introducing a pay-what-you-want policy for tickets, in an attempt to make its plays more accessible to all. (WaPo, 8/12)

EDUCATION | Opinion: Losers in the education wars (WaPo, 8/8)


The history of the world in one simple data visualization!

– Rebekah

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