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June 25, 2013 / Christian Clansky

To improve the quality of in-home care for seniors, we need to improve the quality of direct care jobs

AGING | By 2030, there will be over 1.1 million people over the age of 65 living in the Greater Washington region, many of whom will choose to remain in their homes. As health and age-related issues arise, these seniors will likely need the services of direct care workers. But there are some major challenges facing the direct care workforce.

In our latest edition of What Funders Need to Know, we take a look at the state of the local direct care workforce today and the connections between quality jobs and quality care. Then we discuss five ways that funders can get involved. This report is a culmination of information learned through convenings of WRAG’s Working Group on Aging. (Daily, 6/25)

COMMUNITY | Yesterday, Ed Davies, head of the D.C. Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation, was on News Channel 8’s NewsTalk. He spoke in detail about his vision for the Trust, refocusing on the organization’s mission, and strict new accountability measures. He also talked about his hope for future partnerships with other funders, as well as his personal motivation for agreeing to lead the Trust in a time of turmoil (News8, 6/23):

I’m a native Washingtonian, and I’ve benefited from many of the programs that the Trust has supported over the years….Both of my parents worked for the Parks and Rec department, so after school [time] was always something that was ingrained in me as an important way of developing the skills you needed outside of the classroom.

The interview is also worth watching because host Bruce DePuyt manages to sneak in the word “shenanigans” (with a straight face, I might add) when talking about funding oversight policies.

PHILANTHROPY | In third grade, Carol Thompson Cole, president of Venture Philanthropy Partners and a WRAG board member, received a D for penmanship on her report card. That grade has stuck with her throughout her life, and she reflects on the sting of a bad grade as a motivator for honestly assessing the work of her organization. Specifically, she assigns a grade to VPP’s youthCONNECT program. (VPP, 6/25)

BUDGETS | Yesterday, D.C. Mayor Gray outlined how he would spend the city’s extra money, which could be as much as $600 million over the next five years. (WBJ, 6/25) Curiously, he doesn’t seem to have mentioned funding an elite panda rescue squad.

IRS-GATE | The IRS has implemented a streamlined process for approving nonprofit status. An organization can be approved within two weeks if it agrees not to spend more than 40 percent of its time and money on partisan activities. (Chronicle, 6/25)

HOUSING | Rental prices are beginning to stabilize in the region, thanks to an increase in housing supply. (WaPo, 6/24)

Related: In our region, cutting down on transportation time means that you end up paying a lot more for housing. Check out the statistics in our last What Funders Need to Know about housing and transportation.

ARTS | A new report from the National Endowment for the Arts says that Washington is one of the artsiest cities in the U.S. In fact, we’re pretty darn close to New York in terms of arts employment. (WaPo, 6/25) Of course, comparing ourselves to New York isn’t fair. We have RGIII, so we win any argument about anything with the Big Apple.

TRANSIT | Studies Find Long Commutes Make People More Unhappy (WAMU, 6/25) Unless you get to commute with these guys.


You probably know Richard Dawkins as being an outspoken atheist, courtesy of his background in evolutionary biology. But did you know that he is also the person who coined the term “meme”? In a talk for PR agency Saatchi & Saatchi, he talks about genes and memes. Then he endeavors to demonstrate the viral nature of memes by trying to make your head explode about five minutes in.

To re-orient yourself after that chaos, how about some Wilson Pickett?

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