As a number of states, including Maryland, have yet to pass legislation on assisted outpatient treatment for the mentally ill, a new report from the Treatment Advocacy Center seeks to help lawmakers decide whether court-ordered outpatient treatment is worth the cost. (WaPo, 2/18)
Money. State and local governments never seem to have enough to meet the demand for mental health services.
For years now, a much-touted solution to that problem has been mandatory outpatient treatment, also known as assisted outpatient treatment, or AOT. Such programs have typically targeted a small portion of the seriously mentally ill – sometimes less than two percent – who are frequent fliers in state hospitals and local jails, and thus responsible for a disproportionate chunk of public spending on those services.
Many lawmakers around the country have been persuaded of mandatory outpatient treatment’s effectiveness. Only a handful of states, including Maryland, have either not adopted or not implemented mandatory outpatient treatment laws.
– Opinion: A hospital psychiatrist explains why she sides with a recent article that asserts that the key to improving long-term care for psychiatric patients lies in a return to asylums. (NYT, 2/18)
CWBI | As we wait for this week’s heavy snowfall to melt, WRAG president Tamara Copeland shares some exciting news involving stormwater management, Prince George’s County, and nearly four years of hard work. (Daily, 2/18)
VETERANS | Obama Signs Act Designed To Prevent Suicide Among Veterans (NPR, 2/12)
– A bill may soon allow for the sale of junk food at Virginia schools at fundraisers. Advocates say that allowing less nutritious foods to be sold can provide schools with much-needed money. (WAMU, 2/17)
– Breakfast is still considered to be the most important meal of the day, but according to a new study from the Food Research and Action Center, the School Breakfast Program continues to be “seriously underutilized.” (WaPo, 2/18)
EDUCATION/EQUITY | Study: Black Girls Are Being Pushed Out of School (WAMU, 2/13)
PHILANTHROPY | Best-selling author and philanthropist, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, discusses the world of giving through a Silicon Valley-based lens. (WaPo, 2/12)
– Since the recovery from the Great Recession became evident, a number of economists have claimed that income gains have been largely unequal when comparing the nation’s wealthiest with the middle class. But have those claims been blown out of proportion? A new study suggests they have. (NPR, 2/17)
Arlingtonians – just how Arlington are you (or aren’t you)?
by Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
It feels good to have a good news story every now and then. Here’s one.
Over the past year, we have provided periodic updates on the planning phase of the Metropolitan Washington Community Wealth Building Initiative (CWBI) led by City First Enterprises (CFE); however, none of those updates compares to this one.
Late last year, the CWBI incorporated its first company, the Community Clean Water Management Group (CCMG). Based in Prince George’s County, Maryland, CCMG will provide stormwater management maintenance and monitoring services to both anchor institutions and private clients. Within the next few months, CCMG will announce its founding Chief Executive Officer and will begin identifying, interviewing and hiring employee-owners.
Now that’s a success story.
So how did it happen?
Almost four years ago, grantmakers in our region learned of an initiative in Cleveland focused on getting people out of poverty. The local grantmakers met with leaders of the Cleveland initiative to learn more. Based on those conversations, a feasibility study was commissioned to determine the viability of launching, and the interest in participating in, a community wealth building initiative in our region. And now, that dream has come to life: a CWBI-inspired business created initially to serve an anchor institution, Prince George’s County, is now reality.
While the first business is focused on clean water and is located in Prince George’s County, the CWBI is neither a Maryland initiative, nor is it a clean water initiative. It is a regional initiative focused on creating quality, wealth-building opportunities – through either the creation of businesses or the provision of goods or services to existing businesses — for harder-to-employ people.
If you are an anchor organization – a government, a hospital, a university – interested in learning more about CWBI opportunities, contact Andria Seneviratne at City First Enterprises.
This is the catalytic role that philanthropy often plays. Congratulations to the grantmakers who had a vision and made it a reality.
The Urban Institute has released a new report that examines the risks of poor health and developmental outcomes on boys and young men of color who have been exposed to chronic stress from living in poor households. (Urban Institute, 2/2015)
Boys and young men of color are at risk for poor health and developmental outcomes beginning at birth and persisting through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. As a result of household poverty and residence in segregated neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, they are disproportionately bombarded by environmental threats – often without the benefits of supportive systems of prevention, protection, and care. This exposure to chronic stress undermines cognitive, social-emotional, and regulatory human development as well as the immune system. The parents of boys and young men of color are similarly affected, which affects boys directly in utero and interferes with their parents’ abilities to promote their health and development and to protect them from harm as they mature.
There are no simple or inexpensive solutions to these challenges. But investing in promising
strategies now will have long-term benefits for both the boys and young men themselves and for society as a whole.
- A new report from the D.C. Office of Human Rights shows that last year, there was a 41 percent increase in the number of reported discrimination cases in the District. (DCist, 2/13)
– Opinion: A Kaffeeklatsch on Race (NYT, 2/16)
EDUCATION | Former superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools Joshua Starr reflects on his time with the school system after three and a half years. (WAMU, 2/15)
WORKFORCE | A new study by the Migration Policy Institute reveals some significant disparities in the literacy and numeracy skills of the American workforce compared with other developed countries, as well as among racial groups in the United States. (CityLab, 2/16)
Within the U.S. workforce, there is a gap between the foreign-born and native-born populations, largely due to language barriers. Foreign-born immigrants are overrepresented in the pool of low-skilled workers in America (33 percent), compared with their share in the total U.S. adult population that participated in the survey (15 percent).
Still, the majority of American adults with low literacy and numeracy skills were born in the United States, according to the report.
There’s lots of news to share, so here’s your regular Daily WRAG edition instead of the Friday roundup. Please note, there will be no post on Monday, February 16th due to Presidents’ Day. Enjoy your weekend!
The Washington Area Women’s Foundation has released the first in a series of research briefs this year that will provide updates on key data from their 2010 publication, A Portrait of Women and Girls in the Washington Metropolitan Area. This edition, with support from Capital One, provides a look at the impact of poverty on women and girls in the Washington region. (WAWF, 2/2015)
The determinants of poverty are complex and multidimensional. Regional averages hide important disparities by geography and by groups of different women. Key characteristics increase the likelihood that a woman will be poor, including: parental status, disability, race and ethnicity, age and immigration status.
Data reveals that in our region, an estimated 47,200 families with children under 18 had incomes below the poverty level in 2013. About three in five of these families (62.5 percent) were headed by single women.
– In this guest post for the Northern Virginia Health Foundation, obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Rebecca Filla discusses why oral health is such an essential part of overall health – particularly for pregnant women who run the risk of passing bacteria to their child – and how health advocates and professionals are working to better educate individuals on what is available to them. (NVHF, 2/11)
– Why Isn’t Health Care More Like Starbucks? (Forbes, 2/12)
– D.C. Mayor sets sight on clearing backlog of homeless in city shelters (WaPo, 2/12)
– The District is no longer seeking city-owned properties to replace the D.C. General homeless shelter, as the search for affordable options that could be converted into proper facilities came up short. (WCP, 2/12)
– Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey spoke at Georgetown University on the relationship between law enforcement and minority communities in America. Areas of concern he addressed were the need to realize unconscious biases and acknowledge the past. (WAMU, 2/12)
COMMUNITY | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia has announced the winners of its 2015 Community Investment Grants. The organizations provide support in critical areas of need throughout Northern Virginia and have received grants that will further their impact on the health, education, and general well-being of neighbors, communities, and the entire region. (CFNOVA, 2/11)
– The House of Representatives passed the America Gives More Act of 2015, allowing important provisions to charitable organizations. Next, the bill will go to the Senate for voting. (COF, 2/12)
– Opinion: Two foundation co-presidents discuss how to put the love back in philanthropy, and why it’s so important right now. (Chronicle, 2/12)
WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
CEO Coffee & Conversation: The Nonprofit Quarterly’s Rick Cohen (WRAG member CEOs/CEO-equivalents)
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Do you have any idea what your state song is?
Washington City Paper reveals how loopholes and legal jargon in laws designed to protect residents have continuously threatened the rights of tenants in the District. One law, in particular, is often scrutinized to the benefit of property owners, causing some to fear that tenant rights are slowly crumbling. (WCP, 2/12)
The Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, passed in 1980, is at the heart of the District’s efforts to protect tenants from landlords who seek to displace them. The essence of the law is simple: Before an owner sells a building, she or he must give the tenants a chance to buy it themselves. The reality is much more complex. Basic questions of definition—what’s a sale? what’s a fair price?—have taken TOPA (as it’s known) to the courts and back so many times that 35 years after the law’s enactment, still no one really knows what it means.
TOPA isn’t the only area where the city’s well-intentioned housing laws have failed to prevent tenant displacement and rising rents. The core mechanism for fighting these trends is the city’s rent-control law. In theory, it should limit rent increases in apartment buildings constructed before 1975, which comprise the majority of D.C.’s rental housing stock. In practice, due to exceptions built into the law, landlords have capitalized on rising demand by pushing tenants out via lucrative buyouts and replacing them with much higher-paying renters, or by petitioning the city for rent hikes far beyond the usual limits.
But TOPA is the statute whose ambiguities are most routinely plumbed by lawyers, challenged by tenants, and decided by the courts.
– On their blog, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy explains why the national Get on the Map campaign, in which WRAG is participating, is critically important for the social sector, and especially so for funders who invest with an equity lens. (NCRP, 2/12)
Related: WRAG members looking for more information on how to participate in Get on the Map to contribute to WRAG’s own Foundation Maps platform can join the first of three “how to” webinars today at 2pm.
– Opinion: In an effort to bring greater accessibility and an abundance of opportunities to people around the world, a group of foundations including Open Society, are pledging to become key players in the fight over net neutrality. Here’s why they think more philanthropists should get on board. (Chronicle, 2/11)
- Capital One has selected two nonprofits in the District to receive grants as part of their dFund initiative that helps nonprofits encourage clients to become successful in the digital economy (WBJ, 2/12):
Per Scholas will receive $25,000 to develop a training program to help low-to-moderate income adults launch and navigate cybersecurity careers. The Mentoring Center is getting a $75,000 to launch a D.C. chapter of BlackGirlsCode, a non-profit organization focused on introducing programming and technology to a new generation.
– Clean Decisions, a new D.C.-based business co-owned by The Advisory Board Company‘s Graham McLaughlin, is helping returning citizens transition from prison to outside life by connecting them with recurring jobs cleaning kitchens at area businesses. (WCP, 2/10)
NONPROFITS | The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Not-For-Profit (Fast Company, 2/2015)
FOOD | In the ever-shifting landscape of food retail, a recent Washington Post blog reports that some of our country’s largest food makers are selling less packaged, processed foods in grocery stores. They’re selling more of them to low-income consumers in dollar and discount stores at higher per unit prices. At the same time, DC Central Kitchen offers a guide to improving healthy food offerings at corner stores based on their success in the District. (WaPo, 2/7 and DCCK, 2/11)
ARTS | Check out Washington City Paper‘s 2015 Spring Arts Guide that includes recommendations for museums, theater and much more here. (WCP, 2/2015)
TRANSIT | Maryland is #4 in the nation in transit ridership (GGW, 2/11)
EVENTS | Grants Managers Network is celebrating their 10th Annual Conference March 16-18 in National Harbor, MD. More than 60 sessions, plus expanded networking time, are on the agenda, which includes learning tracks on effective practices, outcomes/evaluation, compliance, and data intelligence, among others. To learn more and to register before the early bird rate ends, click here!
This Valentine’s Day, you may just have to save up to buy a box of chocolates.
A data tool developed by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute and Code for DC reveals wide gaps in spending for at-risk students in the District – students who are in foster care, homeless, receiving welfare or food stamps, or at least one year behind in high school. Despite the D.C. Council passing legislation ensuring funding would be distributed equally among at-risk students, DCPS did not have time this year to comply (GGW, 2/10):
Mann Elementary in Ward 3, for example, spent over $15,000 on each of its at-risk students. That’s partly because there are only two such students there, making up just 1% of the school’s total enrollment, according to the data tool.
By contrast, Ballou High School in Ward 8 spent only about $5,000 on each of its 470 at-risk students, which represent 72% of the school population. And Beers Elementary in Ward 7 spent a mere $168 on each of its 259 at-risk students, 60% of its enrollment.
WRAG | Yesterday, WRAG had the pleasure of hosting Mayor Muriel Bowser and a number of local funders for a special conversation on issues of importance to the region’s philanthropic community. WRAG president Tamara Copeland reflects on the Mayor’s remarks in this new post. (Daily WRAG, 2/11)
COMMUNITY | Mike Harreld, regional president of PNC Bank for the Greater Washington Area, has joined the Meyer Foundation‘s board of directors for a three-year term. Harreld also serves on the board of the United Way of the National Capital Area, the Federal City Council, Fight for Children, and the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. (WBJ, 2/10)
Related: Mike Harreld will again join the Institute for CSR as a guest speaker for the session focused on Sustainability & Ethical Behavior of Corporations.
HOUSING | For the first time in two years, Fairfax County will disburse federal housing choice vouchers to 280 of the 831 individuals and families that were wait-listed. Due to federal sequestration cuts, funding for housing programs had been unavailable since 2013. (WaPo, 2/10)
HOUSING/EQUITY | Opinion: As many homeowners in Prince George’s County are facing the reality of living in an area with the highest foreclosure rates in the region, questions arise about how to rebuild equity in a once-thriving market. (WaPo, 2/11)
WORKFORCE/YOUTH | D.C. mayor to expand summer jobs program up to age 24 (WaPo, 2/10)
DISTRICT | D.C.’s Population Growth Is Slowing. This Is Who’s Coming and Going. (WCP, 2/10)
REMINDER FOR WRAG MEMBERS | Learn how to Get on the Map tomorrow at 2pm with a short webinar (register here). This webinar will be repeated on March 12 and April 9. Learn more about the Get on the Map campaign to improve the quality, timeliness, and availability of grant data for and about WRAG members here.
Ever had one of your social media accounts send out spam on your behalf? Sometimes it happens…even if you work there.
by Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
“I’m a regionalist,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser proudly proclaimed to a packed audience of local funders. “I want the D.C. region to be competitive in the country. I don’t want D.C. to compete against Fairfax County or Prince George’s County,” she said, recognizing the District as core to the region, but with a clear understanding that the region needs to work together as a whole.
With just a month in office, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers invited D.C.’s new mayor to speak exclusively with members about her vision for the District and how she wants to work with philanthropy.
After acknowledging the strong connections that exist between D.C. government and WRAG entities – including the Washington AIDS Partnership, the Healthy Communities Working Group, the Affordable Housing Action Team, and the Arts and Humanities Working Group – she went on to cite her commitment to new jobs, a cleaner Anacostia River, and affordable housing saying, “I am focused on growth in D.C. I want people with regular wages to be able to live in the District.”
When asked specifically what she needs from philanthropy, Bowser stated that, of course, dollars would be needed to implement some of her vision, but her desire for a partnership with philanthropy went well beyond funding. She expressed that she would appreciate the thought partnership of philanthropy as her administration works to build roadmaps to address the problems facing the city and its residents. She also called on philanthropy to help her set priorities. She asked that local philanthropic leaders help her to reach high net worth individuals across the country who should be investing in the nation’s capital. This message resonated with several WRAG member CEOs who had recently gathered to discuss how to encourage more national funders to invest in this region.
Lastly, and quite clearly, Mayor Bowser acknowledged the loss of funds from the Freddie Mac Foundation. Even with the transfer of some of those resources to a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region and to a fund at the Meyer Foundation, both will end in the next few years, causing the loss of a multi-million dollar investment in the nonprofit sector in our region. “How does this community replace those dollars?” Bowser challenged the audience. Suggesting that the answer didn’t just reside with philanthropy, she offered that a group representing various sectors of the community should create a white paper of recommendations.
If this meeting is indicative of future connections between the Bowser Administration and philanthropy, the partnership that the mayor seeks is off to a fresh start. WRAG and the local philanthropic community are encouraged by Mayor Bowser’s willingness to partner with funders to advance a more equitable city – and region.
The Council on Foundations brings attention to an upcoming House vote, scheduled for this Thursday, in which members will vote on the America Gives More Act of 2015. If passed, the series of bills may work to increase the flow of funds to charities (COF, 2/9):
These bills include:
- H.R. 637, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the rule allowing certain tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts for charitable purposes.”
- H.R. 640, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the tax rate for excise tax on investment income of private foundations.”
- H.R. 644, “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently extend and expand the charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.”
- H.R. 641, “Conservation Easement Incentive Act of 2015.”
These provisions have been packaged into one bill, the America Gives More Act of 2015, and a floor vote in the House has been scheduled for this Thursday.
EQUITY | Consumer Health Foundation president and WRAG board member Yanique Redwood thoughtfully weighs in on one of America’s latest divisive debates – #blacklivesmatter versus #alllivesmatter. (CHF, 2/9)
COMMUNITY | DC Trust is celebrating Black History Month by partnering with CBS Radio to deliver the stories and thoughts of young D.C. residents that have been inspired by African American leaders. You can also join in on the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag, #WeHoldTheseTruths.
– A soon-to-be-released report from Capital One and New York University finds that that the District is one of five cities with a more than 20 percent rental population growth from 2006 to 2013. The study also finds that low-income households can afford no more than 11 percent of the available units in the city. (WBJ, 2/9)
– Forgotten Lessons From a 1970’s Fight Against Gentrification (CityLab, 2/9)
EDUCATION | D.C. Public School’s recently-announced plans to open an all-boys school addressing achievement disparities among black and Hispanic students is being called into question as to whether or not the school would violate Title IX. (WaPo, 2/9)
VIRGINIA | A bill requiring absentee voters to submit a copy of their photo ID has passed through Virginia’s House of Delegates. Opponents fear the bill is a way to suppress the votes of the elderly and the poor in elections. (WaPo, 2/9)
TRANSIT | 5 Maps You Need to See if You Use Public Transit in D.C. (DC Inno, 2/9)
WORKFORCE | In states like Connecticut and Nevada, a program that assists the long-term unemployed is helping to get people back to work. The program, Platform to Employment, is spreading to other states through federal and private funding. (Atlantic, 2/10)
There’s no doubt that high-end luxury brands can influence consumption. What if they could influence us to eat healthy, too.