Tag: WRAG

Hispanics in Philanthropy Embracing Technology to Get Out the Vote

PHILANTHROPY/ELECTIONS | Citing immigration, health care and climate change as some of the many reasons to mobilize the Latino vote this election season, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) is partnering with numerous groups and embracing technology to engage voters – particularly millennials.

To create a future that’s equitable for their families and communities, Latinos need to engage in the democratic process and voice their opinions and needs. And, in this ever-more-digital world, and with so many millennial Latinos eligible to vote, it means that the nonprofits working to get out the vote need to use innovative strategies to engage voters in ways we’ve never done before.

Learn more about how HIP is embracing the digital age with an Hispanic Heritage campaign called #LatinosGiveTheirVote and the millennial focused crowdfunding platform, HIPGive.org. (NP Quarterly, 9/7)

HOUSING
– WRAG and the Enterprise Community Loan Fund share a very exciting announcement about Our Region, Your Investment, the impact investing initiative to address the housing crisis in our region. (Daily, 9/7)

– See all of DC’s new affordable housing in one map (GGW, 9/6)

WORKFORCE | Once a magnet for young professionals, the DC area is now attracting job seekers at a much slower pace. (WaPo, 9/5)

EDUCATION
– The Long-Term Consequences of Missing School (Atlantic, 9/6)

– A panel of education experts discuss evaluation and accountability in schools. This is the seventh, and last, installment in this series about school in a perfect world. Read previous entries on calendars, content, homework, teachers, classrooms, and classifications. (Atlantic, 9/4)

RACEThe Internet May Be as Segregated as a City (Atlantic, 9/6)

NONPROFITSShould Board Members of Large Nonprofits Be Paid? (NP Quarterly, 9/6)


Goodbye final weeks of summer … I already miss the fireflies – Buffy

Presidential Candidates and Their Giving is a Big Focus this Election Season

PHILANTHROPY
– No other presidential election has focused so much attention on each candidate’s philanthropy. This is the first time both candidates have a foundation, and voters want to know how generous they are in their personal lives as well.

Americans want to know if candidates are philanthropic. They want to know how much the candidates give away as a percentage of their personal income more than the details about the beneficiaries of their giving. The media want to know the details and especially about any hint of self-dealing. In the end, as never before, philanthropy is influencing this presidential election.

As the boundaries between politics and philanthropy continue to blur, and questions about their giving continue, it remains to be seen if the media scrutiny has provided a better understanding of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s philanthropy. (NP Quarterly, 9/2)

– Charity Navigator Revamps Donor-Advisory System (CP, 9/1)

EDUCATION
 As kids head back to school, those who are homeless have many challenges, including school uniforms. (WaPo, 9/1)

– Documentary ‘Starving the Beast’ Is Sobering Look At Politics Of Education (dcist, 9/2)

HOUSING | There are a number of programs used to create affordable housing in the region, including housing vouchers, inclusionary zoning, low-income housing tax credits and public housing programs, each of which use the area median income (AMI) to determine eligibility. (GGW, 9/1)

DISTRICT | Ambulances take longer to reach you if you live east of the Anacostia River   (GGW, 9/2)

ENVIRONMENTMaryland balks at push for deeper cuts to power-plant carbon emissions  (WaPo, 9/5)

CIVIL RIGHTS
– Police in Baltimore, surrounding communities using Geofeedia to monitor social media posts (Balt Sun, 9/5)

– 111 More Prisoners Granted Clemency as Obama Races to Fulfill Pledge with Nonprofit Support (NP Quarterly, 9/1)

CORPORATEStudy Finds that Corporate Sponsorships Negatively Impact Nonprofit Brands (NP Quarterly, 8/31)

ART | Know somebody creating change — big or small — in your community?  The White House is hosting South by South Lawn, bringing together creators, innovators, and organizers from across the country for an evening of music, film, and great ideas.


I loved seeing Stonehenge, and now can’t wait to visit … Foamhenge – Buffy

Gentrification in DC Pushes Some Families Out

HOUSING | Large families with limited income are finding it challenging to obtain affordable housing in sections of DC experiencing redevelopment.

In a city with a critical shortage of affordable housing, the massive redevelopment off Rhode Island Avenue NE has become for some a symbol of the problems faced by those of modest means who are fearful of being displaced by monied newcomers in the District’s hot real estate market. Such fears are especially acute for large families that are overrepresented among the city’s poor.

Tenants’ advocates just filed a housing discrimination lawsuit at Brookland Manor. (WaPo, 8/30)

Related: Tamara Copeland’s blog yesterday discussing how structural racism may be playing out in the housing arena in DC, and that there are two sides to every story. (Daily, 8/29)

EDUCATION
– Education experts weigh in on the school calendar, and how best to “fix” it. (Atlantic, 8/29)

– Maryland Gov. Hogan will hold a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the school calendar and start dates for Maryland schools and potentially advocating they start after Labor Day. (WTOP, 8/30)

– Maryland and DC colleges get a nod for being some of the best colleges for adult learners.  (WaPo, 8/30)

DISTRICT | DC residents are not alone in their unsuccessful attempts for statehood. (Washingtonian, 8/26)

ENVIRONMENTMaryland fines coal power plants $1 million for polluting Potomac, Patuxent rivers (Baltimore Sun, 8/29)

TRANSIT
– Better economy, cheaper gas = increase in traffic deaths (WaPo, 8/29)

– Japan will give $2 million for a high-speed train feasibility study that will connect Washington and Baltimore. (WBJ, 8/25)

CIVIL RIGHTSJustice Dept. focuses on police treatment of mentally ill (WTOP, 8/29)

PHILANTHROPY | DC invests $1 million in new charity start-up focused on allowing people to donate online in new and more convenient ways. (WBJ, 8/29)

NONPROFITSThe New Overtime Rules Spotlight a Systemic Problem for Nonprofits (NP Quarterly, 8/29)


“Time is a precious thing. Never waste it.” RIP Gene Wilder – Buffy

Huge Response to New National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC

CULTURE | There’s an overwhelming demand for tickets to visit the new National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall which opens on September 24. All 28,500 opening weekend tickets were gone within an hour after they became available this past Saturday. The only tickets now available to reserve are for weekdays in October.

Twelve exhibitions with nearly 3,000 items will be available to view in the 85,000-square-foot space that tells the story of African American life, history and culture. (WaPo, 8/28)

To make the museum possible, more than $273 million was contributed from private donors, including the foundations of Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Melinda Gates, Shonda Rhimes, BET founder Robert L. Johnson and Michael Jordan.

POVERTY | I Am: The Strength, Value and Resilience of TANF Families is a new video made by TANF advocates and families in DC and supported by the Consumer Health Foundation.

Related: Protecting TANF as a lifeline (Daily, 3/16)

HOUSING
– WRAG’s Tamara Copeland stresses that every family deserves quality housing that they can afford as she highlights how structural racism may be playing out out in the housing arena in DC, and that there are two sides to every story. (Daily, 8/29)

 The biggest beneficiaries of housing subsidies? The wealthy. (GGW, 8/26)

EDUCATION
– School starts today in Montgomery County, which has seen huge growth in student enrollment the last eight years. (WaPo, 8/29)

– The Head Start program in Prince George’s County will now be run by a group based in Denver. (WTOP, 8/29)

ECONOMY | The Urban Institute provides an overview on how state economic agencies operate. (Urban Institute, 7/27)

RACE | The social network Next Door, used around the country, is facing criticism for posts that border on racial profiling. (WaPo, 8/29)

MILLENNIALSCorporate Ethics In The Era Of Millennials (NPR, 8/24)

NONPROFITS
The Plight of the Overworked Nonprofit Employee (The Atlantic, 8/24)

– Studies Examine Why People Give Differently Than They Invest (CP, 8/23)


Interesting … who knew you could remove all political posts from your Facebook feed? – Buffy

Eviction in DC: What is the Full Story?

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

I’m still haunted by the August 9th Washington Post story, “Facing eviction over $25.” I just can’t get it out of my mind. How can a person be evicted for owing $25 in back rent, for walking a dog without a leash, or for the tragedy that her son used an unlicensed gun to commit suicide? The fact that they are all lease violations punishable by eviction still seems unfathomable and just plain wrong.

If you haven’t read the article, I would urge you to do so. It appeared to offer a powerful testimony to how structural racism plays out in the housing arena in the District of Columbia and, perhaps, across the country. Upon reading it, you might think that zoning commissions, wanting to increase property values, were allowing property owners to maximize profit by transitioning their property from low-income housing to housing that appeals to higher income residents, without sufficient consideration of how all people will be impacted. You might also think that court systems were allowing overly zealous landlords to utilize “the letter of the law” to evict tenants whose only true offense is that they’re poor. And, who do these actions most often affect in our region? Black and brown people.

But before you totally form your opinion on this particular situation, you must read the August 14th response from the owner of the property. He rebukes the primary focus of the article, by citing, very publicly, his company’s history vis-a-vis affordable housing and his company’s commitment to retaining affordable units in the future. Now what am I to think?

Some of the work that WRAG has done on structural racism has emphasized that far too often our public institutions legally, but, in my view, immorally, provide an advantage or disadvantage to one race of people over another. That occurred for decades with redlining, contributing to the wealth gap that persists today between black and white Americans. Is that the case in this situation?

What I have also learned from the hours of conversations and lectures about the dimensions of racism is that we all need to talk to each other more – really talk and really listen. And not only do we need to talk, we need to research to get to the bottom of situations. Assumptions and misunderstandings abound. Was that the case with aspects of the story about eviction at Brookland Manor in the District of Columbia? I don’t know.

What I do know is that every family deserves quality housing that they can afford. Every individual deserves to be treated humanely and fairly. The front page story and the subsequent rebuttal offer extraordinarily different views. The truth, I suspect, lies somewhere in there. We must be able to simultaneously recognize the devastation that eviction places on a family while acknowledging that a property owner does have the right to be paid. Stories like that of Brookland Manor are often the catalyst for reform. We must provide for affordable housing and we should improve areas that have long gone neglected in our region. I simply hope that those improvements can be guided by a moral compass while also grounded in financial reality.

Is that possible? It has to be.

Northern Virginia Health Foundation Reflects on 10 Years

HEALTH
– As they reflect on the work of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation the last decade, Foundation President and CEO Patricia N. Mathews and Board Chair Lisa G. Kaplowitz believe the health care safety net in the region has become stronger. And, they share some lessons learned:

As we take a moment to reflect on the occasion of our 10th anniversary, there is so much that we have learned. But three lessons stand apart:

1. Providing general operating support is essential.
2. Grantmaking is important, but it isn’t enough.
3. Working in partnership with grantees is required.

Learn more by reading their 10th anniversary annual report. (NoVAFH, 8/23)

– Medicaid to Pay for Repellent in Virginia to Ward Off Zika (WTOP, 8/24)

– Faith Nonprofits Sue Over Health Coverage for Transgender People (CP, 8/24)

RACIAL JUSTICE/EQUITY
– Tamara Copeland writes about Tackling Racial Justice: Why, How and So What?  for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Responsive Philanthropy Blog, Summer 2016)

– Philanthropy’s infrastructure is building a new philanthropic network that will, among other things, address racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in philanthropy – with the Forum of Regional Association’s of Grantmakers leading the charge. Washington Grantmakers is a member of the Forum, and Tamara Copeland recently sat on a Racial Equity panel at the July Annual Conference, where she shared WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table” work.

ECONOMY | The Plight Of The White Working Class Isn’t Economic, It’s Cultural (The Federalist, 8/17)

REGION
– Virginia Could be Facing Much Bigger Budget Shortfall than Expected (WaPo, 8/24)

– DC residents are working harder to own a house than others around the country. (WaPo, 8/25)

 DC sets a record with more than 2 million foreign tourists in 2015. (WTOP, 8/24)

NONPROFITS Nonprofit Governance and the Power of Things – Nonprofit boards often have a mix of personalities. This useful and classic article examines boardroom behavior. (NP Quarterly, 8/12/15)

PHILANTHROPY
– How to help those impacted by the earthquake in Italy. (Mashable, 8/25)

– More Philanthropists Should Think Like Venture Capitalists (Forbes, 8/17)


Jobs

Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation

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 – September 2016
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 seder@washingtongrantmakers.org.


Ooooh, it just feels wrong to want the Bacon Donutwich – doesn’t it? I’m going to go for it. – Buffy

Thousands of Former Criminals in VA Have the Right to Vote Restored

CIVIL RIGHTS | Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Monday during a civil rights ceremony in Richmond that almost 13,000 former criminals have had their right to vote restored. Roughly 193,000 remaining former felons may also have their rights restored in time for the presidential election in November.

“Restoring the rights of Virginians who have served their time and live, work and pay taxes in our communities is one of the pressing civil rights issues of our day,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “I have met these men and women and know how sincerely they want to contribute to our society as full citizens again.”

Restorations will be processed in order of those who have waited the longest. (International Business Times, 8/22)

RACE/EQUITY
– Yanique Redwood of the Consumer Health Foundation uses a racial equity impact assessment tool to discuss DC’s tipped minimum wage policies. (CHF Blog, 8/22)

– Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. (NYT, 8/20)

EDUCATION | The new school year has just begun and the DC public school system is getting prepared for major changes. (WTOP, 8/22)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS

– Will D.C.’s Housing Ever Be Affordable Again? (Atlantic, 8/19)

 Racial Bias or Wall Street Greed: The New Role of Private Investment Firms in Federal Housing (NP Quarterly, 8/19)

– Living on the DC streets for years, 80 year old Wanda Witter finally gets the $100,000+ owed to her by Social Security. (WaPo, 8/22)

DISTRICT | Five years ago today the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the East Coast caused millions in damage and resulted in years of rebuilding in DC – some that is still occurring. (WaPo, 8/23)

TECHNOLOGYThis Silicon Valley venture fund keeps betting millions on D.C.’s cyber community. (WaPo, 8/22)

PHILANTHROPY
– NGOs around the country are working to support flood ravaged Louisiana. (CDP, 8/20)

– How Focusing on Philanthropy Gave My Company a Stronger Sense of Purpose (Huff Po, 8/18)


Panda-palooza! Happy 1st birthday Bei Bei – Buffy

WRAG Members Among 50 Corporate Leaders “Changing the World”

CORPORATE GIVING | Fortune just released its 2016 Change the World” roster of 50 companies addressing social and environmental challenges through their core business, which includes WRAG Members Bank of America and IBM. Fortune bases the rankings on how companies focus their philanthropy on  “scalable positive change”. (Fortune, 8/18)

Each year at this time, we set out to identify 50 companies across the globe that are tackling major societal problems—reducing damage to the environment, strengthening communities, serving the underserved, and significantly improving lives as a function of their business model—and whose good works contribute to their bottom lines.

Related: Fortune also looks at how corporate managers and boards are aligning their missions with their impact on communities and social issues. (Fortune, 8/18)

If you want to learn more about WRAG’s Corporate Affinity Group bookmark this page.

EDUCATION | As another school year begins in our region, an ongoing question remains:  should school start later each morning? (The Atlantic, 8/17)

HOUSING | Affordable housing and new neighborhood connections plan to meet up with an important bike trail in DC’s Edgewood neighborhood. (GGW, 8/19)

AGING | Opinion: Are aging and the economic slowdown linked? (WaPo, 8/21)

POVERTY
– Although the goals were admirable, twenty years after President Clinton overhauled the welfare system, the results are mixed. (NPR, 8/22)

– The Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy recently developed the Human Needs Index, a multidimensional measure of poverty.

ART
– Given our region’s traffic issues, could we use art to address traffic fatalities? (NP Quarterly, (8/16)

– Perspective is everything in art. A new U Street exhibit explores how the places we live end up shaping us, and vice versa. (GGW, 8/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Joint Affinity Groups (JAG) has transformed into CHANGE Philanthropy, a coalition of philanthropic networks working together to strengthen bridges across funders and communities.


Who knew you could love crabs and win $1,000? Crossing my Old Bay covered fingers – Buffy

How companies motivate their employees to volunteer

By Hudson Kaplan-Allen
WRAG’s 2016 Summer Intern

On June 23 WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group heard from Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth on why employees are incentivized, or in some cases, dis-incentivized, to volunteer. Realized Worth is a consulting firm that focuses on engaging employees in corporate volunteering. As the co-founder and senior partner, Jarvis shared strategies for getting employees involved in their communities and committed to social issues.

“People who show up to company volunteering programs already like to volunteer,” Jarvis said, adding, “These aren’t the employees that need to be convinced.” It’s much harder to motivate those who are less inclined to come out and devote a day or even a few hours to volunteering in their community, he said. So how do organizations increase the number of employees who participate in these engagement opportunities?

Jarvis explained that people volunteer for a variety of reasons, noting that some people respond to extrinsic motivation while others respond better to intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation occurs when people engage in an activity to earn a reward. Maybe they are offered a bonus by their employer or are looking to meet new people. Intrinsic motivation is when people engage in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; in other words, performing an activity for its own sake rather than for an external/extrinsic reward. While our initial reasons are often extrinsic, if we fall in love with volunteering, it then becomes intrinsic.

Jarvis cited an episode of the PBS TV series The Brain entitled “Why Do I Need You?” When we find extrinsic happiness, he said, our reward system kicks in, and we often feel something like a runner’s high, a sensation that tricks us into going farther than we think we can go, pushing ourselves that last mile. These same chemicals are released when we volunteer, Jarvis said, especially when we visualize the beneficiary and can understand our own significance to that person. That’s when we fall in love with volunteering – when we can understand exactly how and what the significance of the volunteer work is. That’s when we will push to do that extra hour or even extra day of volunteering. We are intrinsically motivated. It’s about creating a transformative experience as opposed to a transactional interaction, Jarvis added. If we have the occasion to directly get to know the person we are helping, to have that “storyline,” we form an emotional connection with the cause and take away meaning from the experience.

Jarvis used an example from one of Realized Worth’s successful Corporate Citizenship programs. Recently, his company worked with one of their corporate clients to get its employees more engaged. They created a program in which the employees, customers, and business partners would come in on a Sunday morning, once a month, to learn about mental health awareness and hear from local professionals. Just months after the program launched, the corporation was benefiting tremendously. The employee engagement rate went up by 12% and the absenteeism rate dropped by 22%. Talking about mental health, Jarvis pointed out, created a safe space for employees where they felt comfortable and engaged with the company and the community. In concluding, Jarvis said that programs like this one benefit both the business and the community. And that’s good for everyone.


WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group is comprised of corporate social responsibility leaders from more than 35 of the Greater Washington region’s top companies. This network provides members with professional development and best practice sharing; information on community needs and facilitated discussions with community, corporate, and nonprofit leaders; purposeful networking and partnership building; and a collective voice for corporate philanthropy. The next Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group session, on measuring and evaluating CSR, is August 16. Click here to learn more.

Does your zip code determine how long you will live? WRAG and COG join forces to explore

By Jennifer Schitter
Principal Health Planner
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

What does housing, economy, education, transportation, public safety, environment, and land use have in common? They all have an impact on our health.

Inequalities in community health by location reflect the interplay of social, economic, and environmental factors that differentiate the quality and duration of life for residents from one Metro stop to another.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Region Forward Committee is partnering with the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) and its Healthy Communities Working Group (HCWG) to use a cross-sector approach to illuminate such disparities at the neighborhood level (Region Forward Sectors below). Once uncovered, both targeted policy and resource decisions by community stakeholders can have an impact on the lives of our communities. This collective approach to incorporate health considerations into decision-making is commonly referred to as Health in All Policies (HiAP).

In June, local health officials and health funders from across the region joined together to discuss the HiAP opportunities and challenges seen within their own efforts. A few of the comments are listed below:

 HiAP Opportunities:

“It offers the opportunity for people outside of the public health field to share a common objective and interest in health and well-being.”

“An equitable society where all citizens have an opportunity to reach their full potential.”

  HiAP Challenges:

 “Implementing HiAP often involves gaining buy-in and support from other sectors and definitely involves a multi-sector effort, all of which take time and rarely is there funding to do so.”

 “Probably the biggest barrier is the name itself – those outside of the health space are too easily confused. Too often they think HiAP is about clinical care because of the name – and reactions like ‘why should we care about healthcare in transportation polices’ become the norm.”

By COG and WRAG partnering to break down barriers by using cross-sector data, it will show just how where we live impacts the lives we live. This will ultimately assist policy makers in deciding where to invest their time, money, and resources for the greatest community benefit. Although there are some challenges, health officials, funders, and elected officials are optimistic in making health a priority across the metropolitan Washington region.