Skip to content
November 9, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Childcare costs are high. Wages for childcare workers are not.

There have been a number of studies on just how expensive childcare is for families in the District compared with the rest of the country. While many low-income and middle-class families struggle to afford to keep their children enrolled in care, most of those providing childcare services cannot afford it themselves. (Atlantic, 11/5)

On average, these women (it’s almost entirely women) are paid significantly less than the average American worker and are twice as likely to live in poverty, a new study released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found. The median hourly wage for childcare workers in the U.S. is $10.39, nearly 40 percent below the median hourly wage of workers in other occupations. Even when accounting for the demographic makeup of the childcare industry—workers are more likely to be minorities, much more likely to be women, and less likely to have a bachelor’s or advanced degree—their earnings were still 23 percent lower than in other occupations. Childcare workers also had less access to benefits, such as health insurance and retirement funds, than people employed in other fields.

ECONOMY/REGION | Five reasons to be concerned about Washington’s economy (WaPo, 11/9)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS | A new housing development in Southeast D.C. aims to be a model in sustainability and a refuge for low-income and homeless families in need of permanent housing. (WaPo, 11/6)

– Following data from a 2012 study showing that American teens score low on financial literacy, districts in Northern Virginia strive to keep students ahead of the curve with new requirements for economics and personal-finance courses for high schoolers. (WaPo, 11/1)

– A recent study on child development finds that children develop a sense of self esteem earlier than previously thought – even before they have begun to attend school. (WaPo, 11/6)

FOOD/POVERTY | For years, researchers have linked the inability for many low-income individuals to maintain healthy nutritional habits to food deserts, but recent studies say poor eating habits have less to do with proximity and more to do with income. (Atlantic, 11/9)

– The Nonprofit Finance Fund has released two reports – one for grantmakers and another for arts organizations – summarizing lessons learned about capitalization in the arts sector. (NFF, 10/2015)

Nonprofit theaters are attracting more donors, but audiences keep shrinking, report says (LA Times, 11/5)

French artists from 100 years ago, we have failed you.

– Ciara

November 6, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – November 2 through November 6, 2015

– Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation shared four surprising things about the governmental public health workforce in his most recent blog post. (HuffPo, 10/29)

– A recent study predicts an influx in philanthropic funding in the U.S. over the next 20 years that will reach $8 trillion thanks in part to baby boomers who are using their retirement years to give back  (NYT, 11/1)

– Arts funders and dance companies look toward increasing the diversity of their next generation of talent as they hope to grow the diversity of their audiences as well. (NYT, 10/30)

– A growing number of art collectors who wish to donate their artwork are turning to smaller nonprofits rather than museums. (WSJ, 11/1)

– More and more options for adequate transportation in areas previously void of convenient transit are increasing accessibility for residents east of the Anacostia River. Some officials are hoping to further expand options for residents. (WAMU, 11/4)


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:

Calendar won’t display? Click here.

How do you think?

– Ciara

November 5, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Examining the Washington region’s global competitiveness

The Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase have teamed up on the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets. Their newly-released report on the Greater Washington region finds areas where the region must improve in order to reach its full potential and bring about greater economic growth. (WBJ, 11/5)

The overall report paints a not-so-subtle picture of a Greater Washington with far more potential if only local leaders could work together to improve the D.C. area’s profile.

“Leaders in many other U.S. regions that face similar economic headwinds are taking active steps to understand and enhance their competitive position and connections in a growing global economy,” the report said.

– A new report from the Urban Land Institute Washington looks at the trends among millennials in the region through an in-depth survey on the housing and transportation habits of those living inside and near the beltway. (Bisnow, 11/4)

HOUSING | In their Matters@Hand thought-leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND explores the new Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, requiring cities, counties and other entities receiving HUD funding to use local data to better identify potential fair housing issues and develop solutions for the communities they serve. (Helping Hands Blog, 11/5)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | The D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis highlights the demographics behind the recently-released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exams taken by D.C. students. (District Measured, 11/5)

– Areas east of the Anacostia River have long been void of adequate taxi service. With the emergence of ride hailing services, however, more and more residents are connected to transportation and officials hope to further expand transit options. (WAMU, 11/4)

More Washington workers will get commuter benefits (WaPo, 11/4)

HEALTH | In Reversal, Death Rates Rise for Middle-Aged Whites (NPR, 11/2)

YOUTH/SOCIAL PROFITS | Raise DC announced the recipients of their DC Data Spotlight Awards, recognizing social profit and local education agencies’ use of data in helping District youth succeed. Ten winners were chosen to receive a $10,000 award. For more information about the award and to check out the winners, click here.

The next time someone asks why you haven’t replied to their email, let them know it’s simply because you’re being productive.

– Ciara

November 4, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Report looks at employment discrimination for transgender applicants

The D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR) has released a new report that examines employment discrimination against transgender individuals. In an experiment testing whether cisgender applicants received preference for employment when applying to jobs over more qualified transgender individuals, nearly half of the employers gave preference to cisgender applicants. (WCP, 11/ 3)

To gather demonstrable data, OHR sent four (fake) applications to each of 50 jobs across 38 unnamed employers, including retailers, restaurants, universities, grocery stores, hotels, and administrative offices. Two of the four applications suggested the individuals under consideration were trans people, while the others suggested they were cisgender. For example, one applicant’s resume listed his first job as a staffer at a transgender advocacy organization; one for the fictional Mary Fitzgerald displayed her legal name, Mark, in parentheses.

– The D.C. Council voted to move forward on a measure that will speed up the closure of the D.C. General homeless shelter, currently home to 300 families. Parts of the new bill have been controversial as homeless advocates differ on the need for private bathrooms in the new, smaller shelters that will be located across the city. (WAMU, 11/3)

In Quest to End Homelessness, Some Developers Are Going High-End (NPR, 11/4)

RACIAL EQUITY/MARYLAND |  A poll from the University of Maryland and The Washington Post looks at how African American and white Marylanders differ on views of police conduct in light of recent events. (WaPo, 11/1)

– Historically, many big foundations have been known to give big gifts to big institutions. However, a new study finds that, since 2002, the biggest U.S. foundations have instead focused on giving to programs aimed at social change. (NYT, 10/31)

– Thanks to the baby boomer generation’s increased lifespan, a new study estimates that a giving surge in the U.S. over the next 20 years will reach $8 trillion. Older Americans were found to be more likely than any other age group to give money and donate goods. (NYT, 11/1)

– The Kresge Foundation will award up to 20 planning grants of up to $75,000 each in the first quarter of 2016 to food-oriented initiatives that contribute to economic revitalization, cultural expression and health in low-income communities. The grants are a part of their Fresh, Local & Equitable initiative. Click here to find out more.

Art Donors Give to Smaller Nonprofits (WSJ, 11/1)

JOBS | The Catalogue for Philanthropy-DC (CFP) is looking to hire an Operations Coordinator. This position supports all essential team members and operations and would work to optimize the team’s productivity, support CFP with internal office responsibilities, handle inquiries from CFP’s nonprofit network, and manage the logistics of the application and review process that is central to the Catalogue’s work. Click here to learn more. 

A bracket my fellow weekend television binge-watchers can get into.

– Ciara

November 3, 2015 / Rebekah Seder

We’ll be back tomorrow

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to get you a news roundup today…but we’ll be back tomorrow!

November 2, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Arthur Espinoza Jr. announced as new D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities executive director

The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities has named Arthur Espinoza Jr. as their new executive director. Previously, Espinoza served as managing director of the Washington Ballet. (WCP, 10/30)

Arthur Espinoza Jr., managing director of the Washington Ballet, has been named the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He takes over for Lisa Richards Toney, who has served as the commission’s interim executive director since March.

This winter, the District is taking a slightly different approach to housing homeless families by placing them in shelter further ahead of the freezing temperatures that bring on a more urgent need for assistance. Despite the new approach, the city will still face a number of challenges as demand for shelter surges. (WaPo, 10/31)

PUBLIC HEALTH | Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation shares four surprising things about the governmental public health workforce in his latest blog post. (HuffPo, 10/29)

SOCIAL PROFITS | The Rainmakers Giving Circle, affiliated with the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, is requesting proposals for its 2015-16 grant-making cycle from social profit organizations serving economically disadvantaged girls and young women living in D.C. Find out  more about the request for proposals and the Rainmakers Giving Circle.

PHILANTHROPY | Newer Foundations Focused on Regional Giving (Chronicle, 11/2)

JOBS | Northrop Grumman is seeking a Corporate Citizenship Specialist. Click here to find out more about the position.

ARTS & HUMANITIES/EQUALITY | Push for Diversity in Ballet Turns to Training the Next Generation (NYT, 10/30)

A brief history of the school backpack. Which one did you carry?

– Ciara

October 30, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – October 26 through October 30, 2015

– The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region released a new report on the perspectives of black and African American youth in Montgomery County, and offered recommendations for the school system and community to improve outcomes. (WaPo, 10/22)

– The Association of American Medical Colleges released a report that found that, although more black men have graduated from college over the last few decades, there were fewer black men in medical school in 2014 than in 1978. Newly released numbers for 2015, however, show a modest gain in enrollment since 2014. (WAMU, 10/24)

– A number of hospitals in D.C. are feeling the strain of patients who have been abandoned in their care. Some have banned together to create a task force to better address the challenges. (WBJ, 10/27)

Pediatricians are being encouraged to look further into the socioeconomic circumstances of their patient’s families, as 14 percent of American households are considered food insecure. (Atlantic, 10/26)

– Tim McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation and head faculty member for the Institute for CSR, shared how his company works to minimize its operational impact on the environment. (American Express, 10/26)

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:

Calendar won’t display? Click here.

Sometimes, you can’t rely on online reviews.

– Ciara

October 29, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

The ups and downs of D.C. arts funding

A new study examines data from arts and cultural social profit organizations in several cities, including the District. According to the study, individual giving to the arts in D.C. is up, as government and foundation funding to the arts is down (DCist, 10/28):

D.C. was one of three cities, along with Boston and Cleveland, that actually saw an increase in individual giving during the timespan, boasting a 42 percent change in revenue. Along with Boston, the District is the only area that coupled that bump with an increase in Board giving.

A less positive bucking of the trend was the change in foundation funding. While most cities saw a boost, D.C. dealt with the second-largest decline—a nearly 48 percent decrease.

| Patricia N. Mathews, WRAG board chair and president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, was recently honored by NOVA ScriptsCentral with the Inspire Award, presented to an individual or organization that helps those in the community make a difference in the lives of those impacted by health inequality. Congratulations!



EDUCATION/EQUALITY | Most advocates for education reform likely agree that greater education access can lessen inequality in the U.S. Historically, however, increased educational opportunities have been slow to bring about true equality. (Atlantic, 10/29)

HOUSING38-Percent of DC One-Bedrooms Rent for Above $2,000 (Urban Turf, 10/28)

– New data from the American Cancer Society show a sharp rise in the incidence of breast cancer among African American women. Researchers remain concerned about persistent disparities in health and access to quality care for African American women as survival rates for white women have improved over the last few years. (NYT, 10/29)

Community Health Workers Can Reach Some Patients That Doctors Can’t (NPR, 10/29)

JOBS | Fauquier Health Foundation is hiring for a Program Officer. To learn more about the position, click here.

Finally…research that puts sibling rivalries to rest once and for all.

– Ciara

October 28, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Join us for WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting: Philanthropy All In | Thursday, November 19

It’s that time of year again! WRAG’S 2015 Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, November 19 at the National Press Club.

WRAG members will hear from Jennifer Bradley, author of The Metropolitan Revolution, as well as a panel of regional leaders about how philanthropy, government, and business can work together to position our region for prosperity.

At the luncheon (open to the community), keynote speaker Harvard’s David Williams will discuss the ways that racism and discrimination continue to impact individuals and communities. Click here to register for Philanthropy All In.

– Capital One, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, and Prince George’s Public Schools have teamed up to open a JA Finance Park on the campus of G. James Gholson Middle School and Cora L. Rice Elementary School in Landover, Maryland. This 13,500-square-foot experiential financial literacy supercenter is the second in the region and the first in Maryland. It will serve 9,000 Prince George’s County Public School students each year. Another center will open in Montgomery County in 2017. (WaPo, 10/27)

– This year, Virginia schools saw significant improvements with eight in 10 schools meeting state benchmarks for standardized tests. (WaPo, 10/27)

– In Maryland, state-level results on national reading and math tests saw one of the most significant declines in the country in 2015. On the bright side, officials note that the state remains above the national average in some areas, and has also become more inclusive in its testing of students.  (WaPo, 10/28)

One in 10 D.C. students score ‘college ready’ on new high school math test (WaPo, 10/27)

DISTRICT | On the heels of the recent announcement of the Wizards’ practice facility coming to D.C.’s ward 8, residents express their concerns over what it could mean in the long run. (WCP, 10/27)

HEALTHCARE | When hospital patients don’t have the ability to make decisions regarding their own care and have no family to step in and help, hospitals are often overwhelmed with the loss of resources and money.  Some hospitals in D.C. facing similar issues have banned together to create a task force to take a further look at the problem. (WBJ, 10/27)

FOOD/POVERTY | Study: Food stamps do much more to fight poverty than we thought (Vox, 10/27)

When art gets mistaken for trash who’s to blame?

– Ciara

October 27, 2015 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Carolynn Brunette joins Prince Charitable Trusts as Managing Director

The Prince Charitable Trusts is pleased to announce that Carolynn Brunette (formerly Carolynn Mambu) will assume the role of Managing Director for the Washington, D.C. office and Co-Director of Rhode Island Programs on January, 1, 2016. Carolynn also served as WRAG vice president from 2007 to 2011. View this announcement for additional details on this exciting news.

Carolynn is well known in the foundation and non-profit community of Washington, DC through her work as a Program Officer at The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation from 2000 to 2006 and as the Vice President of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) from 2007 to 2011.  Carolynn was also co-chair of the Sustainable Communities Working Group at WRAG.  She recently returned from Africa where she spent four years doing capacity building work with community health organizations as a Peace Corps Volunteer and consultant.  She is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Masters Degree in Music and worked in the local arts community for several years.  Her experience in philanthropy and the non-profit sector combined with her knowledge of the arts, public health, and the environment make Carolynn a good fit with the variety of programs funded by the Trusts.

Carolynn is succeeding retiring Managing Director, Kristin Pauly, who has been with Prince Charitable Trusts since 1998.

– The Center for Effective Philanthropy has released a new report, Benchmarking Foundation Governance, that shares data on topics related to foundation boards – including composition, member expertise, structure, involvement, and characteristics of meetings based on survey responses from CEOs at 64 private, U.S.-based foundations giving at least $10 million annually. (CECP, 10/26)

Some Reasons Behind Societal Neglect of Rural Poverty – And Rural America (NPQ, 10/26)

EQUITY/WORKFORCE | A new study on restaurant workers finds a correlation between their skin color and the amount of wages they bring in. There were also found to be wage disparities among men and women restaurant workers, regardless of skin color. (NPR, 10/22)

– According to researchers, we’ve become so good at inequality, we can do it in our sleep. (Atlantic, 10/27)

– With 14 percent of American households considered food insecure, pediatricians are being urged to dive deeper into the socioeconomic circumstances of their patient’s families. (Atlantic, 10/26)

DISTRICT | A spike in violent crime has left many newcomers and longtime residents of D.C.’s transforming neighborhoods with constant fear for their safety. (WaPo, 10/26)

How much would you pay for a 103-year old English biscuit?

– Ciara


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers