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October 31, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – Oct. 27 through Oct. 31, 2014

Healthcare Alliance programs designed to help low-income immigrants in D.C. gain access to services often have rigid eligibility procedures that can keep people from utilizing the program. The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute sheds light on some of the barriers to getting healthcare for immigrant residents, and offers suggestions for how to improve access to the program. (DCFPI, 10/30)

The District adopted a stringent requirement in 2011 that all Alliance participants recertify their eligibility every six months through an in-person interview at a service center. Since then, enrollment has dropped sharply, and new data from the Department of Health Care Finance suggest that the six-month interview requirement created a barrier to getting services.

This is not surprising. Workers with limited access to child care and full-time work find it difficult to complete the frequent interview requirement. Beyond that, many families are forced to make multiple trips because of a lack of language assistance, long lines, and delays in staff processing information.

The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has announced $2.3 million in grants to 28 D.C.-based nonprofit organizations on behalf of the City Fund.  Awardee organizations will receive grants for up to $100,000 to strengthen their organizational capacity with the ultimate goal of improving the lives of District residents. Awards are one-time capacity building grants that can be implemented over a three-year period. Find out more here.

We are proud to administer the City Fund and help provide resources to these important organizations that are working to improve the lives of DC residents,” said Angela Jones Hackley, Interim President of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. “Helping these organizations build capacity and grow stronger allows them to more effectively serve the community. There is a great need in this city and the City Fund is helping to fill it.

Staff from WRAG member organizations were also in the spotlight this week! Silvana Staw, Senior Program Officer at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region revealed a hidden passion of hers in The Washington Post – spoken word poetry! (WaPo, 10/29) Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the de Beaumont Foundation provided insight into the often overburdened public health system that tends to be overshadowed by fears over epidemics. (HuffPo, 10/27)

The D.C. Council passed a bill this week that will require future development projects on city-owned land to make 30 percent of all units affordable housing if they are located close to transit systems, and 20 percent if they are not. Housing advocates wonder if the new measure will create additional affordable housing in the city, and where it will be. (WCP, 10/28) Outside of the District a community of mixed-income housing and market-rate townhomes is planned for the former site of the troubled low-income housing complex, Glenarden Apartments, in Landover, Maryland. (WaPo, 10/28)

Focus was placed on the “disconnected youth” of D.C., whose economic hardships can often go overlooked, despite the urgent need to keep them engaged in society. (WaPo, 10/27)

If you plan to give out candy this Halloween, don’t overlook the importance of giving out the right stuff. Here’s a guide to making sure your house doesn’t get egged this weekend!

- Ciara


October 30, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

District income inequality level higher than at least 66 countries

According to new data released by the District’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the city’s level of income inequality is higher than that of at least 66 countries. Although the measures used to calculate the data (the Gini coefficient, for the more math-literate among us) are somewhat controversial as they compare a large city with U.S. states and whole nations, there is still enough data to support D.C. as having inequality levels that are much too high. (WaPo, 10/29)

[...] there is evidence that the District’s performance is notable among global cities. A 2008 United Nations report concluded that major American cities “such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Miami, and New York, have the highest levels of inequality in the country, similar to those of Abidjan, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, and Santiago.” A Gini of 60 or more puts D.C. above the average seen in selected cities of Latin America and the Caribbean (0.55), Africa (0.54) and Asia (0.4) in the past decade — though well below the 70-plus Gini figures seen in some South African cities.

World Bank research also found that D.C. income inequality levels were higher than 66 countries who reported data.

- With  Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits steadily shrinking, and currently set to end on September 30th, 2015 for more than 6,000 D.C. families, many are stuck waiting for officials to come up with a plan for real welfare reform that will meet a number of urgent needs. (WaPo, 10/29)

Unbanked households decline slightly in Greater Washington (WBJ, 10/29)

COMMUNITY | Congratulations to Kaiser Permanente for being recognized as a leader in LGBT health care equality. (Kaiser, 10/20)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | On Tuesday, the D.C. Council passed a bill requiring future development deals on city-owned land to include a minimum affordable housing requirement, in which 30 percent of all housing units in development projects will have to be affordable for the long-term if the site is near reliable transit, and 20 percent if the site is elsewhere in the city. The bill, considered an important step toward increased affordable housing in the city, closely matches 2012 policy recommendations by the Coalition for Smarter Growth. (WCP, 10/28)

– According to a report from insurance company USAA, Bethesda is among the top ten best places for mid-career veterans to find employment. The report also found that 53 percent of veterans entering the civilian workforce described the transition as “difficult.” (WBJ, 10/29)

– The Washington, D.C. Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has produced a series of seven oral stories highlighting the rich history of District neighborhoods and the residents who inhabit them. (LISC, 10/2)

Welcome to basketball season. I’m almost positive I won’t see you at a game!

- Ciara

October 29, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Reshaping greater Landover

The former site of the low-income housing complex, Glenarden Apartments, will soon become a community for mixed-income housing and market-value townhomes. Officials hope the new project will usher in additional development and retail in the greater Landover area that has been plagued by drugs and violence over the years. (WaPo, 10/28)

In spring 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ended its Section 8 contract with the property’s owner.


Two developers are bidding for the project and are expected to file their proposals in December, officials said. The county is slated to select a developer in February. Construction could begin in early 2016.

Federal and county rules require the new development to have at least 100 units for low-and moderate-income seniors; 140 apartments for other low- to moderate-income residents; and 65 townhouses that will be sold to low- and moderate-income residents.

- Opinion: Is “urban renewal” just a nice way of saying “urban removal?” In the Barry Farm neighborhood of ward 8, many residents think so. (WaPo, 10/28)

- D.C. Council passes weakened affordable housing law; tempers flare before election (WaPo, 10/28)

A recent national survey has ranked D.C. second in the country (and first in the Northeast) in providing quality afterschool programs. Congratulations to the DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation (the Trust), the largest funder for afterschool programs in the District, who will be celebrating their 15th anniversary this week! You can find the full rankings here.

I was delighted to learn of this national recognition, confirming that the District of Columbia is providing a valuable service to many families,” said Mayor [Vincent C.] Gray. “I want to thank the Trust and its Executive Director Ed Davies for being a good partner in our efforts to help children to continue learning after the school bells ring for the day.

- Four Ways to Help Kids Live in Better Neighborhoods – Without Congressional Action (Talk Poverty, 10/28)

– Check out how IBM has found a unique way to join in the fight against Ebola. (Yahoo, 10/27)

- The Environmental Grantmakers Association will hold an agency meeting on Friday, October 31st  at 8:30 AM in D.C., as part of Exponent Philanthropy’s 2014 National Conference. The meeting seeks to engage funders in an exchange of ideas about pressing environmental issues with key policy makers, and strategize on ways to better connect on shared missions. Find out more here.

SOCIAL IMPACT BONDS | ‘Social Impact Bonds’ Tap Private Money for Public Health (Pew Charitable Trust, 10/29)

There’s still time to hold a kitten today.

- Ciara

October 28, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Disconnected youth in the U.S.

Despite a slow, but persistent economic recovery in America, one demographic does not seem to be seeing an increase in opportunities – young people between the ages of 16-24 who are neither enrolled in school nor presently employed, often referred to as “disconnected youth.” (WaPo, 10/27)

Some economists have suggested young Americans have been victims of larger labor trends. As employment in middle-skill jobs has declined, young Americans are facing greater competition for jobs from less-skilled adults who were laid off from their previous jobs.

Research has also linked disconnected youth to poverty and crime. A 2012 analysis of the group for the White House Council for Community Solutions attributes 63 [percent] of youth crime to disconnected youth and cost taxpayers -in the most conservative estimates – nearly $14,000 a month, per young person.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Records show, the D.C. government has not collected on a number of delinquent loans once intended to bolster the affordable housing in the city. The delinquent loans, for millions of dollars, have been on city books throughout multiple mayoral administrations and have continued to accumulate. (WaPo, 10/25)

– Brian Castrucci, Chief Program and Strategy Officer at the de Beaumont Foundation, looks beyond recent Ebola outbreak scares to share what he is really afraid of – the lack of minimum national standards for state and local health departments, which often results in a strained public healthcare workforce. (HuffPo, 10/27)

- With Obamacare, More Millenials Are Going to the Doctor, Sort of (NPR, 10/28)

PHILANTHROPY | Donors Care More About How Money Is Spent Than Results, Study Says (Chronicle, 10/28)

You’re not dressing up as a witch again this year, are you? Here are some more of America’s most popular Halloween costumes from the last five years.

- Ciara

October 27, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Middle-class parents ponder what will keep their kids in District schools

In the race for D.C. mayor, middle-class parents who have remained in the city, despite a tendency for their demographic to flee to suburban areas, weigh in on how involved candidates should be in education in order to keep their children in District schools. (WaPo, 10/26)

While academic performance is improving, according to the results of a national math and reading test, the city’s public schools still have a long way to go. The District lags behind other major cities, and D.C. public schools have the nation’s largest achievement gap between white and black students and white and Hispanic students.

A central question for the District, and in the matchup for the city’s top job this year, is whether the wave of middle-class families will stay and have a lasting effect on the schools. The candidates have been working to appeal to these highly motivated voters, aiming to give them a vision for the future, particularly for the city’s middle and high schools.

CSR | When it comes to going above and beyond in corporate citizenship, IBM is among one of the leading examples. Read more about how the company has set and followed through on clear goals for increased social impact. (TCC Group, 10/20) IBM’s Diane Melley is a faculty member for the Institute of CSR. 

– The Chicago-based Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation have just released the 2014 “Good Food Org Guide” for nonprofits across the country working to build a better food system. (FoodTank, 10/26) We’re excited to see some notable organizations from Greater Washington that are doing just that – kudos! That said, we think their list is too short. 

- 8 Impossible Choices People Who Can’t Afford Food Make Every Day (HuffPo, 10/23)

– On Friday, November 21st at 9 AM, MedImmune and the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County invite Montgomery County businesses to learn about the resources and reasons for supporting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through employee volunteering. Local STEM organizations and school contacts will be on hand to provide program information and showcase volunteer opportunities. Register here.

- Moved to tears – again- at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Luncheon (WBJ, 10/24)

- The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia’s Sweet Home Virginia Gala held earlier this month raised record funds to support the Community Foundation’s work, impact, and capacity to grow philanthropy to meet the most critical needs of the Northern Virginia region.

– Though bike share companies have risen in popularity over the last few years, their rapid growth has been slow to reach low-income riders, revealing what could be a “bike-share equity problem.” (CityLab, 10/24)

Purple Line: How to grow without leaving folks behind (WTOP, 10/25)

Would you take a walk through any of these spooky D.C. area pathways?


October 24, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – Oct. 20 through Oct. 24, 2014

Remember when we mentioned that October seemed like it was Food Month? Well, today is Food Day, and there are a number of ways you can get involved.

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.

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)

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. (, 10/17)

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)

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.


October 23, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

WRAG members named to WBJ Power 100 list

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)

- More Cities Are Making it Illegal to Hand Out Food to the Homeless (NPR, 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.

- Ciara

October 22, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Surprising results in a survey of wealthy philanthropists

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. 



October 21, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

School-based health centers emerging in D.C. schools

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)

- Unlocking Opportunities: Using Schools as Community Hubs for Students and Families (DCFPI, 10/21)

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 theiinspired 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.   

Marketers use a lot of tools to get you to buy things, including using zip codes to discover demographic trends and figure out who you are as a person. See what your zip code says about you.

- Ciara

October 20, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

The other side of D.C.’s housing crisis

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.

- Is Sheridan Station a sign of change east of the river, or more of the same? (GGW, 10/20)

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.

COMMUNITYWells 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?

- Ciara


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