But don’t stop there! If you missed the Funding Greater Washington’s Food System: Opportunities Available through the 2014 Farm Bill event held by the Washington Regional Food Funders last week, you can get a full recap by clicking this link.
THIS WEEK IN THE WRAG COMMUNITY
The Washington Business Journal released its third annual Power 100 list, featuring the region’s most influential power players. In case you haven’t seen it yet, check out who made this year’s list. (WBJ, 10/23) Spoiler alert: you’ll definitely find some leaders from WRAG member organizations in there :) Meanwhile, another very influential leader in the region, Michael Smith, was named as director of the “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.” (Chronicle, 10/21)
THIS WEEK IN NONPROFITS
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data that points to a rise in nonprofit sector employment. In 2012, nonprofit organizations comprised more than 10% of all private sector employment in the country, and accounted for 11.4 million employees. You can read more about the interesting research here. (BLS.gov, 10/17)
THIS WEEK IN YOUTH
Community Foundation for the National Capital Region was on hand to help city officials open the D.C. Youth ReEngagement Center, a hub for disconnected youth in the District. (CFNCR, 10/21 and WaPo, 10/20)
WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
How to Make a Healthier Community (WRAG members and invited guests)
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Brown Bag Discussion: A Look at LGBTQ Funding – National and Local (WRAG members)
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
CEO/CFO Coffee & Conversation: The Impact of the ACA on You as a Small Employer (WRAG member CEOs, CFOs, and equivalents)
Thursday, October 30, 2014 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Could you tell the difference between fancy, high-end hors d’oeuvres and fast food? These “foodies” could not.
The Washington Business Journal has released its third annual Power 100 list, featuring the region’s power players with the most influence in the community. Congratulations to the leaders of WRAG member organizations who made this year’s list! (WBJ, 10/23)
- Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO, United Way of the National Capital Area
- Carolyn Berkowitz, Managing vice president/community affairs, Capital One Financial Corp.
- Chet Burrell, President and CEO, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
- Wes Bush, Chairman, president and CEO, Northrop Grumman Corp.
- Nicky Goren, President and CEO, The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
- Mike Harreld, Regional president, PNC Bank
- Kim Horn, President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc.
- Bill Marriott, Chairman, Marriott International Inc.
- Robert Musslewhite, Chairman and CEO, The Advisory Board Co.
- Chris Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide
- Joe Rigby, Chairman, president and CEO, Pepco Holdings Inc.
- Stu Solomon, Managing director for the Washington region, Accenture
- Gary Tabach, Regional managing director for the Southeast, Deloitte LLP
DISTRICT | Here’s a rundown of the master development bids for the impending project at St. Elizabeths east campus. The winning bid is expected to be announced at the end of the year. (WBJ, 10/22)
- While a plan for changing the way homeless families are sheltered across the city is very necessary, could the recently-announced strategy for closing the D.C. General Homeless Shelter be overly ambitious? (WCP, 10/22)
NONPROFITS | We’re already aware of the importance of annual reports to convey an organization’s past, present and future, but here’s a great case for making those reports digital to expand their reach. (Chronicle, 10/23)
FOOD | Given how important good food and nutrition are to early childhood development, we’re excited to start hearing about efforts to bring healthy food and nutrition education to our youngest residents of the region. Next stop farm-to-preschool? (Gazette, 10/22)
EDUCATION | According to figures from Prince George’s County school system officials, the average SAT scores of students continue to decline. Scores in the county have dropped 77 points in the last two years. (WaPo, 10/23)
WORKFORCE | Labor Group Pushing for $15 Minimum Wage, Including for Tipped Workers (WAMU, 10/22)
In case you were wondering, D.C. has 98 toilets per 100 people.
A new report from UBS Wealth Management Americas reveals some surprising data about how wealthy individuals view the impact of their philanthropic efforts. Another interesting trend to emerge out of the data was the difference in giving across generations.(Chronicle, 10/22)
The report from UBS Wealth Management Americas found 9 in 10 affluent people say they donate to charity, yet only 20 percent consider their giving to be effective.
Donors who are baby boomers or older are more likely to support established institutions like arts organizations and religious groups. Younger donors prefer to align their giving to personal values.
– The Atlantic takes us on a visual journey of what America would look like if it had Canada’s healthcare system. (The Atlantic, 10/21)
- Reminder: On Tuesday, October 28th at 9:00 AM, co-chair of the Commission, Alice Rivlin, PhD, will join us to speak on creating healthier communities through cross-sector collaborations and explore how funders can work together by connecting program areas along with those in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors to make our region’s communities stronger and healthier. Rivlin is also a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. The event, “How to Make a Healthier Community,” is for WRAG members and is co-convened by our Healthy Communities Working Group and the Northern Virginia Health Foundation. For more information on registering for this special event, click here. Attending the event and want to brush up on some interesting health info? Healthy Communities Working Group consultant, Phyllis Kaye has you covered here.
WORKFORCE | Prince George’s bill would bar questions about criminal convictions on job applications. (WaPo, 10/21)
NONPROFITS | The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released new research that finds nonprofit jobs are on the rise, with nonprofit organizations comprising more than 10% of all private sector employment in the country, and accounting for 11.4 million employees in 2012. You can read more about the interesting data here. A special thanks to The Aspen Institute, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, Foundation Center, GuideStar, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute, for playing a major role in making this data available.
COMMUNITY | Booz Allen Hamilton has purchased a unit of Genova Technologies, an IT solutions and strategies company, in a move that will help to transform the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (WBJ, 10/21)
EDUCATION | Opinion: Ahead of election day, are candidates on ballots across the country completely ignoring education? (WaPo, 10/22)
Ice cubes from regular old tap water are out. Artisanal, hand-crafted ice is in.
A growing number of schools around the country are offering school-based health centers that provide a broad range of medical services to their student body. By offering healthcare services that may have once caused a student to miss school, and being a trusted source for students’ most confidential concerns, school-based health centers are also working to keep students in school. (Elevation DC, 10/20)
These centers, in several D.C. public high schools, provide a full range of health services from treatments for the common cold, headaches and asthma, administer vision and hearing screenings, and help students stay up to date on immunizations and physicals. Some centers even have full dental laboratories.
In addition to keeping students’ health intact, the most fundamental aspect of the centers is their ability to keep students’ heads in the books.
COMMUNITY | Social Innovation Fund leader, Michael Smith, has been named as director of the “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.” (Chronicle, 10/21)
A big part of his job, Mr. Smith says, will be to “expand the tent” and attract more foundations and corporations to support education and job-training programs and efforts to keep young minority males from being incarcerated.
– Yesterday,officials in D.C. opened a new facility called the Youth Reengagement Center, specifically geared toward reconnecting individuals who have dropped out of school with centralized services to keep them from falling into poverty. (WaPo, 10/20)
PHILANTHROPY | The Center for Effective Philanthropy recently released their report, “Hearing from Those We Seek to Help: Nonprofit Practices and Perspectives in Beneficiary Feedback.” One interesting trend that emerged in the data is that many nonprofit leaders believed that most funders did not have a deep understanding of their intended beneficiaries’ needs which is often reflected in their funding priorities and programmatic strategies. (CEP, 10/2014)
ARTS | Smithsonian Aims to Raise $1.5B to improve museums (NBC Washington, 10/21)
NONPROFITS | C. Fox Communications, a strategic communications company, is accepting applications for the fifth installment of their inspired thought (or it, for short) Award–worth up to $50,000 in pro bono communications services for eligible nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations can apply for themselves, or nominate a worthy organization. Find out more here.
As D.C.’s housing crisis continues and new plans to house the homeless emerge, The Washington Post offers a different perspective on the many barriers surrounding affordable housing in the city – from landlords who hold the power to sway D.C.’s housing dilemma in any one direction. (WaPo, 10/19)
During a time when city officials say they need them the most, landlords and property managers are finding themselves at a tenuous crossroad. If they choose to raise rent costs, they could become beneficiaries of the city’s economic renaissance. If they cater to those at lower incomes, they might be able to help those left out of it.
Their small, individual decisions are likely to shape whether the city can save its depleted affordable housing stock, which is believed to be the cause of the continued rise in the number of homeless families.
EDUCATION | How D.C. Became a Leader in Adult Charter Schools (WAMU, 10/20)
CSR | According to the newly released report, Giving in Numbers: 2014 Edition, corporate giving increased for 64 percent of companies from 2010 to 2013, but the growth slowed in recent years, with 2013 exhibiting the smallest marginal increases in giving. This year’s report, released by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), in association with The Conference Board, is based on survey data from 261 companies, including 62 of the largest 100 companies in the Fortune 500.
Related: Margaret Coady, Executive Director of CECP, will lead the final session of the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility later this week. The final session is focused on Measuring & Communicating the Value of CSR.
– The D5 Coalition and Guidestar have partnered to launch a new program that sets standards for data collection on diversity within the nonprofit sector. The software will assist nonprofits with better evaluating and tracking diversity data. (D5 Coalition, 10/16)
Without sector-wide standards for how data on diversity is collected, nonprofits and foundations have had difficulty identifying trends, gaps, overlaps, and opportunities. Better diversity information across the sector will help foundations better understand the constituencies they are working to help. Nonprofits will be better able to evaluate of the impact of their work and hold themselves accountable to their goals. The social sector at large will better be able to measure progress and make informed decisions about philanthropy.
- The board-focused “Stand for Your Mission” campaign – a joint project of the Alliance for Justice, BoardSource, the Campion Foundation, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the Knight Foundation, and the National Council of Nonprofits – was launched last week to encourage greater advocacy by nonprofit board members. Board members can access a Discussion Guide and other Resources and Tools.
COMMUNITY | Wells Fargo and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation are accepting applications through Environmental Solutions for Communities, a grant program designed to help communities in the United States create a more sustainable future through responsible environmental stewardship. Preference for the program will be given to projects in priority regions and states, with a particular emphasis on urban areas. Click here to find out more. (PND, 10/17)
FOOD | In April, Arlington County will get its ninth farmers market featuring 15-20 vendors from no more than 125-miles away. (WSLS, 10/18)
DISTRICT | You’ve seen the chosen design for the future 11th Street Bridge Park. Now is when people start to wonder if the attraction will actually successfully link two very different communities. (CityLab, 10/16)
Is there anything more appropriate for a Monday morning?
THIS WEEK IN HOMELESSNESS
The District announced a plan to eventually close the controversial D.C. General homeless shelter by winter season 2015-2016. Under the new plan, developed with best practices in mind, families will be housed in smaller buildings throughout the city in order to embed services within a variety of communities. In the meantime, the approximately 600 children residing at D.C. General now have a new playground to use. (WAMU, 10/14)
THIS WEEK AT WRAG
WRAG president Tamara Copeland explained what it takes to launch a new initiative, using the Community Wealth Building Initiative as a prime example of what can happen when the right elements come together. (Daily, 10/14)
THIS WEEK IN THE DISTRICT
After seven long months, a winning design for the 11th Street Bridge Project was selected. Are you ready to get into some urban agriculture at “Anacostia Crossing?” We may need to wait until some time in 2018, but it will still certainly be really cool. (DCist, 10/16)
THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION
Some significant disparities were found in a study of per-pupil spending at school districts across the region. Higher amounts spent did not always correlate with district performance, but perhaps most shocking was the big gap between the highest and lowest spending school systems in the region. (WaPo, 10/15)
Just what do the poor, middle class and rich do for a living? Here is an interactive graph displaying the 10 most popular jobs within each income bracket.
An architectural team has been chosen, after a national seven-month competition, to design the 11th Street Bridge that will be D.C.’s first elevated park hovering the Anacostia River. The project seeks to promote greater access to healthy food, physical activity and nature for residents in the area. The bridge park is a collaboration between the nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC and the D.C. government, and is supported by private donations. Though the project will take time to further develop, you can view additional photos of how it will look here. (WBJ, 10/16 and DCist, 10/16)
So what can we expect in the new 11th Street Bridge Park? Well, the design, which has a distinct “X” shape and will be built on concrete piers used to support an old freeway bridge, is divided up into sections, each with their own specific attractions. There will be rain gardens, and amphitheater, a picnic garden, a hammock grove, a plaza, a cafe, urban agriculture, interactive art (including a tribute to Frederick Douglass), waterfalls, lawn space, a boat launch port, an environmental education center, and a modern playground for children.
- Once hailed as a potential spark for economic revitalization for Anacostia and Congress Heights, the U.S.Coast Guard Headquarters in Ward 8 has not had much impact so far on the surrounding community. (WCP, 10/15)
HOMELESSNESS/YOUTH | Yesterday, officials cut the ribbon on the new playground at D.C. General Homeless Shelter, run by the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project and funded, in part, through donations by Pepco. The new supervised playground will be for the 600 children who currently reside at the shelter until it is ultimately closed down. (WAMU, 10/15)
AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Why is D.C. so Expensive? Because of Congress (CityLab,10/15)
HEALTH | The days of searching your medical symptoms on the web and diagnosing yourself with every condition may soon be over. Google plans to roll out a new project that will allow people to connect with doctors via video chat to ask questions and learn more about basic health information. (InTheCapital, 10/15)
FOOD | Would You Take the ‘Walk to Get Your Groceries’ Challenge? (CityLab, 10/15)
TRANSIT | Newly released data on Silver Line ridership shows that fifteen percent of commuters who take the train to Tyson’s Corner or Wiehle Avenue are coming from east of the Anacostia River or Prince George’s County. Economic necessities that remain unavailable in the eastern-most areas of the region are a common reason for most to embark on the often complicated and lengthy commute each day. (GGW, 10/15)
EDUCATION | Enrollment in Prince George’s Rises Again (WaPo, 10/15)
NONPROFITS | The Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Data Project announces that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will soon release research on nonprofit employment and wages. The employment findings will be released in conjunction with a webinar on the new data on Friday, October 17th at 2:00 PM. To find out more, click here.
In honor of the upcoming election, can you name each of the District’s mayors?
A new report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reveals the significant disparities in per-pupil spending in the region that show some disconnects between student spending versus school rank. The report is accompanied by an interactive map of district spending. (WaPo, 10/15)
Charter schools in the District spent $18,150 per student during the 2011-2012 school year, while Prince George’s County Public Schools spent $10,408 on each child it served, a significant difference between the highest and lowest spenders in the Washington region, according to a study released Wednesday by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
A student who moves just a few streets away, from a home in the District into Prince George’s County, could see a 42 percent decrease in the amount of funding the school district provides.
- In an effort to get more District students to college, thousands of DCPS high schoolers are taking a free, mandatory SAT test today. (WAMU, 10/15)
HEALTH | The Robert Wood Johnson’s Commission to Build a Healthier America urges that funding priorities shift to emphasize three areas found essential to improving the nation’s health: Increasing access to early childhood development programs; revitalizing low-income neighborhoods; and broadening the mission of health care providers beyond medical treatment. The Commission has determined that these areas have the greatest potential for improving the health of the population, especially for low-income families, and offer the greatest opportunities for collaboration. You can read the recommendations and supporting evidence here.
Related: On Tuesday, October 28th at 9:00 AM, co-chair of the Commission, Alice Rivlin, PhD, will join us to speak on creating healthier communities through cross-sector collaborations and explore how funders can work together by connecting program areas along with those in the public, business, and nonprofit sectors to make our region’s communities stronger and healthier. Rivlin is also a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and Director of the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform. The event, “How to Make a Healthier Community,” is for WRAG members and is co-convened by our Healthy Communities Working Group and the Northern Virginia Health Foundation. For more information on registering for this special event, click here.
POVERTY | When discussing poverty in America, one group that is often left out of the conversation are those within the LGBT community. Anti-LGBT policies and discrimination can hinder ones ability to find work or earn livable wages as LGBT individuals struggle disproportionately with poverty. (TalkPoverty, 10/9)
Related: On Wednesday, October 29th at 12:00 PM, WRAG will host a brown bag discussion for members on local and national funding for LGBTQ issues. The discussion will feature Ben Francisco Maulbeck, president of Funders for LGBTQ Issues, as he shares an overview and analysis of the landscape of LGBTQ funding nationally and in our region. Find out more here.
– Yesterday, a new plan was announced to shelter families at D.C. General within smaller facilities around the city. You can get more details about the full plan here. (DC.gov, 10/14)
- What can providing homeless families with private shelter mean for children in the long run? (DCFPI, 10/15)
WORKFORCE | McAuliffe announces budget cuts, layoffs to address revenue shortfall (WaPo, 10/15)
NONPROFITS | What can you do when a fiscal cliff is threatening to stall operations at your organization? Lynsey Wood Jeffries, CEO of Higher Achievement, talks about the six strategies she employed during the organization’s major turnaround in 2012. (SSIR, 9/10)
FOOD | Whole Foods to roll out rankings for produce (WaPo,10/15)
I say “potato,” you say “pehtato”…that is, if you’re from Florida. Check out how other people around the world say it, too.
Amid a great deal of controversy and a number of complaints about the building, the city is taking the first steps toward closing D.C. General Homeless shelter by housing families in smaller facilities across D.C. The new plan for shelter is expected to be less isolating to families, as they would be spread around the city instead of being placed in one large shelter. (WAMU, 10/14)
As part of the plan, the city is seeking to lease buildings across D.C. that would be used to house as few as 15 and as many as 50 families in apartments, single-occupancy rooms and efficiencies. The buildings would be used as emergency shelters during the winter months.
- Among other things, one major area the next D.C. mayor will need to act on is homelessness. And fast. Check out how the candidates plan to approach the 16 percent increase in homeless families expected this winter. (WaPo, 10/13)
– For some Virginia students, school may not, in fact, be out for summer as Governor Terry McAuliffe will award more than $1.6 million in grants to support year-round instructional programs at 29 Virginia schools in 13 school districts. The effort is to combat the “summer slide” that can often set students back academically when there is no reinforcement during the time away from school. (WAMU, 10/13)
- A school in D.C. is rethinking the way most schools view time, with a greater emphasis on giving ninth graders the tools they need to make it through to graduation right from the start. (HuffPo, 10/10) Thank you to Mieka Wick at the CityBridge Foundation for sharing.
- Opinion: When a child becomes sick, many parents are faced with the tough decision of whether or not they will have to send them off to school or keep them at home. Being sick or caring for a sick child, after all, could lead to a loss in wages – or worse yet – a job. Should we change the way we enforce sick leave policies at school and work? (WaPo, 10/14)
- ‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County Schools (WaPo, 10/13)
COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING | What exactly does it take to launch a new initiative? WRAG president, Tamara Copeland, gives us some insight by discussing the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland and how local funders are getting involved. (Daily, 10/14)
NONPROFITS | Nonprofit lending circles that help low-income individuals and immigrants with no credit history gain access to the things they may not otherwise have access to are gaining momentum. (NYT, 10/10)
AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A Bureau of Labor Statistics report already pointed out that the D.C. metropolitan area is the most expensive place to live in the country, but here are some visuals that help drive the point home, (WaPo, 10/13)
HEALTH | How family planning programs save taxpayers billions of dollars each year (WaPo, 10/14)
TRANSIT | How the Silver Line may already be remaking Tyson’s (ElevationDC, 10/14)
A recipe for cuteness? Treating a group of second graders to a fancy seven-course meal. Thanks to Kristina Kloberdanz at IBM for sharing
By Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
It was 2011 when I first learned of the Evergreen Cooperatives from three local grantmakers – Linda Howard of the Summit Fund, Kristin Pauly of Prince Charitable Trusts, and Margaret O’Bryon then of the Consumer Health Foundation. The Evergreen Cooperatives are worker-owned businesses located in underserved areas of Cleveland that supply nearby anchor institutions with services and goods they need. This philanthropy-led initiative in Cleveland, designed to actually move people out of poverty and into the middle class, was causing a buzz. By inviting the Evergreen Cooperatives’ leader to speak with local leaders, these three foundation executives started a powerful conversation.
A spark/an idea. The spark was undoubtedly the dynamic presentation (View part 1 and 2) by Ted Howard of the Democracy Collaborative, the organization that had been hired by the Cleveland Community Foundation to lead this work in Cleveland. He shared the model, the goals, and the potential for the Greater Washington region with funders, nonprofit leaders, and government officials. There were many questions and some reservations about the model’s potential here, but overall, attendees left wondering, “What if this really could work?” However, that spark alone was not enough to launch the initiative.
Resources and research. A group of about a dozen funders combined their resources for a $250,000 pool to hire Ted Howard and the Democracy Collaborative (based at the University of Maryland) to research the viability of the Evergreen model here in our region. This work included interviewing almost 200 local leaders. Afterwards, there was no question that an adaption of the principles and ideals of the Evergreen Cooperative’s worker-owner model was possible here. But, the due diligence alone was not enough to get it off the ground either.
Deeper research. Now a leader was needed to decide what kind of business had the greatest opportunity for success and to develop a capital plan to underwrite the start up costs of that business. John Hamilton, President of City First Enterprises, was that leader. He understood the business world and he understood the needs of the community. John and his team determined that the biggest opportunity laid in anchoring this work to a municipality. Next, they determined that stormwater/cleanwater management was the area of work with the greatest immediate potential here in our region. Combining those two factors with a desire by Prince George’s County to identify new approaches to combat wealth inequality in the County made Prince George’s County the optimal municipality to begin this work.
Collaboration. So, what does it take to launch an initiative? A strong cross-sector collaboration to meet a community need is a must have. The philanthropic community was the catalyst, the academic community provided the research, and government had a need to address: compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act standards. All of these factors have converged in a way to make the initiative possible.
The last ingredient. Even with all the partnership stars aligning, there is still work to be done. All parties are eager to launch the initiative and implement the tenets of community wealth building in Prince George’s County, but are awaiting finalization of the necessary agreements. We are excited about the potential impact of the Community Wealth Building Initiative and look forward to providing you with an update of our progress soon.
Note: Late last month, WRAG hosted the second tour of the Evergreen model for local funders potentially interested in becoming a part of this work. To learn more, contact Tamara Copeland at WRAG or Jason Washington at City First Enterprises.