D.C. activists call for surplus to go to social services…Plans to shut Fannie and Freddie move forward…Terri Freeman responds to Pablo Eisenberg [News, 2.3.12]

BUDGETS | Community activists want D.C.’s $240 million surplus to go toward programs to support homeless youth and affordable housing, but the officials say the funds may have to go toward replenishing the city’s reserves. (WAMU, 2/3)

HOUSING | The Obama administration is moving forward with plans to shut down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (WaPo, 2/2)

Related: Last fall, 8 Neighbors released a report looking at Fannie and Freddie’s philanthropy and the impact that their closure will have on the region.

COMMUNITY | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region‘s Terri Freeman published a response yesterday to Pablo Eisenberg’s controversial op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (CFNCR, 2/2)

Related: Christian wrote a response to Eisenberg’s piece last week. (WG Daily, 1/26)

PHILANTHROPY/HEALTH | After a huge backlash, it looks like the Susan G. Komen Foundation has reversed its decision about ending its funding to Planned Parenthood. (WaPo, 2/3)

- An impact study commissioned by the D.C. Office of Planning shows that the planned street car system will spur new development, increase property values by $10 to $15 billion, bring in well over $200 million in new tax revenue per year, create thousands of jobs, draw thousands of new residents, and cure cancer. (Greater Greater Washington, 2/1)

- Metro: Red line track work will take 3 more years (Examiner, 2/2)

Prince George’s County is considering a 5 cent fee on plastic bags to help reduce pollution in the Anacostia River. (Baltimore Sun, 2/2)

- Embassies Go Green In Partnership With D.C. (WAMU, 2/3)

NONPROFITS | D.C. domestic violence agency WEAVE to close, leaving clients scrambling (WaPo, 2/2)

JOBS | The unemployment rate has dropped to 8.3 percent, the lowest it has been in three years. (WaPo, 2/3). I am getting really tired of qualifying that every month with a reminder that the number of long-term unemployed people hasn’t really changed.

Being a huge fan of animal attack movies, naturally I thought The Grey was awesome. Here’s some helpful advice if you, like Liam Neeson, ever find yourself at the mercy of a pack of angry, oversized wolves.


Limits on charitable deductions nixed by Senate…DCPS and teachers union set to negotiate…Arlington food bank sees record demand [News 10.11.11]

GIVING | President Obama’s plan to pay for the proposed jobs bill by limiting the amount of charitable deductions “appears dead” after Senate Democrats rejected the proposal on Thursday and released an alternative plan. (Chronicle, 10/8)

POVERTY | The Arlington Food Assistance Center is seeing record demand – it served more than 1,600 families (or more than 4,000 individuals) in one week of September alone. Unemployment is a key factor in the demand spike, but the food bank’s executive director, Charles Meng, points out that even people with jobs need help – “$7.25 an hour is not a living wage in Arlington County.” Meng is concerned that the consistency in demand increases is going to become problematic. (WaPo, 10/10)

- DCPS and the teachers union are set to begin negotiations on a new contract this week. Both sides hope to avoid a repeat of the last contract’s three-year process, but there are still significant points of contention (Examiner, 10/8):

DCPS said it does not expect to bargain over the controversial Impact teacher evaluation tool that attaches as much as 50 percent of a teacher’s rating to student test scores. And Saunders said in an interview, “My middle name is ‘changes to Impact.’”

- A conference hosted by The Washington Post and sponsored by PNC took a look at early childhood education, including a recently announced expansion of Race to the Top focused on early childhood. (WaPo, 10/10)

- State conducts new audit of P.G. schools (Examiner, 10/11)

CULTURAL DATA PROJECT | The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation’s Michael Bigley led the charge to bring the Cultural Data Project to D.C. Read about why he’s excited that the DC CDP has launched. (WG Daily, 10/11)

NONPROFITS | Lindsey Buss, president of Martha’s Table, reflects on the 8 Neighbors report about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He praises the funders’ leadership and says, “The continued decline in financial resources for human services is a real problem for the entire community. We cannot afford to lose best practices too.” (HuffPo, 10/8)

- Related: Read the 8 Neighbors report.

POLITICS | “More than nine months into D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration, nearly one in every seven of the city’s boards and commissions sit empty with no members.” (WTOP, 10/11)

LOCAL | RFK Stadium looks like a relic from the USSR, but it is still one of the region’s landmarks and is a point of nostalgia for many people. On its 50th birthday, the Post’s Jonathan O’Connell asks experts what should happen to the stadium. (WaPo, 10/10)

- DCist also considers some fun ways in which Nationals Park might be used in the winter. (DCist, 10/10)

Hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weekend. I’m not sure where this originated – such is the nature of viral items – but I give full credit wherever it is due to the person who identified this important issue that protesters should address.

CDSC to end grant making…PNC Bank to announce grant to teach financial education to young kids…DCPS hopes for ‘equal resources and opportunities’ for all [News, 10.4.11]

HOUSING | In a letter to the community, WRAG board chair Rose Ann Cleveland announces that after nearly two decades of supporting affordable housing and community development in D.C., the Community Development Support Collaborative will end its grant making at the end of the year. Rose Ann talks about what’s next:

Nonetheless, this decision in no way suggests an end to WRAG’s support for affordable housing and community development. In fact, during a recent meeting, WRAG Board members expressed a desire to meet with members of the community to explore what a new body of work might look like.

- Read the full letter here. (WG Daily, 10/4)

GIVING | Yesterday, Tamara appeared on a Fox 5 News @ 5 segment about the 8 Neighbors report on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. From the article that accompanies the news clip (FOX5, 10/3):

“To other corporate citizens, to government, to business, to philanthropy, we’re all going to have to come to this table together to figure out how to fill this void,” said Copeland.

Both Copeland and [Martha's Table President Lindsey] Buss agree that the disappearance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would mean more than just dollars lost. They say both corporations set the bar high for others to follow.

- Related: Read more about the report – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: What Does Their Future Mean for the Washington Region’s Nonprofit Community? (WG Daily, 10/3)

GRANTS | PNC Bank plans to announce an expansion of its local Grow Up Great program to teach financial education to preschoolers at the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. Mayor Gray, Elmo, and Cookie Monster are expected to be in attendance at the kick-off tomorrow. (Examiner, 10/4)

- On the subject of Sesame Street, which has been particularly relevant to the Daily recently, the show will unveil a new muppet “whose family faces an ongoing struggle with hunger issues.” The character will be introduced in a special titled Growing Hope Against Hunger sponsored by Walmart. (EW, 10/4) I pray for the day when we don’t need to introduce such severe problems to kids.

YOUTH | On the first of this month, Maryland became the last state in the country to make child neglect a crime despite having had laws against the neglect of animals and vulnerable adults. (WAMU, 10/4) Better late than never, but it’s about time.

- A new report from DCPS finds that the biggest hope of parents, students, and staff is pretty darn basic – “that it provides equal resources and opportunities for students — regardless of the color of their skin or the ward they live in.” (Examiner, 10/3)

- Creating An A+ Legacy For District Students (WAMU, 10/4)

LOCAL | The American Planning Association acknowledges how great our region is. In its list of 10 “Great Streets” in America, it includes U Street in D.C. and King Street in Alexandria. (via GGW, 10/4) They left off my street, probably only because they didn’t know that I live there. No, no, I kid.

NONPROFITS | The Chronicle has launched a new blog called Mission: Innovation designed to explores nonprofits that are taking bold, risky, and new approaches. (Chronicle, 10/3) The blog’s name evokes the iconic image of a lit fuse, and reminds me of the late, great Peter Graves (who makes an appearance below).

Every time I typed 10/4 today, I thought of 10-4, the ten-code for “affirmative.” Which then led me to think of “roger.” Which then led to Roger, Roger. What’s your vector, Victor? Huh?

DC Cultural Data Project launches…New report on Freddie and Fannie from 8 Neighbors…Lessons from Weast and Dale [News, 10.3.11]

ANNOUNCEMENT | Today, WRAG is excited to announce the launch of the DC Cultural Data Project (DC CDP). The CDP is an online management tool designed to strengthen the management capacity of the District’s arts and cultural sector.

The project, which is run by Pew Charitable Trusts, and was brought to the District through the leadership of the DC CDP Task Force, consisting of WRAG, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Meyer Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, and the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities, is an invaluable tool that will allow advocates for the arts to better demonstrate the vital role the sector plays in the economic life of the District. Read about it here. (WG Daily, 10/3)

GIVING | A new report from George Mason University and commissioned by the 8 Neighbors group – of which WRAG is a member – looks at the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s giving in the Greater Washington region and the need for new corporate philanthropic leadership. (WG Daily, 10/3)

PROMISE NEIGHBORHOODS | Copying the Harlem Children’s Zone in DC (The Root, 10/1)

- The Post’s Jay Matthews looks at recently retired Montgomery County schools chief Jerry Weast and soon-to-retire Fairfax County superintendent Jack Dale and asks, “What can we learn from comparing Dale and Weast?” (WaPo, 10/3)

- Low Test Scores At MoCo High Schools (WAMU, 10/3) “12 of 25 high schools in Montgomery County did not achieve adequate yearly progress on the NCLB High school assessments for reading and math.”

- Online textbooks moving into Washington area schools (WaPo, 10/3)

It’s tough to claim that I’m saying this without some degree of hyperbole, but I don’t think I am. So, in the category of “greatest news of all time,” it was announced yesterday that Arrested Development will be returning to television for one more season, followed by a movie. Oh happy day.

New report from 8 Neighbors on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s giving in the Greater Washington region

Today, the 8 Neighbors group – of which the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is one member – released a report commissioned to George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis on the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s giving in our area.

Following the two corporations’ placement into federal conservatorship and their consequent reductions in local giving, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: What Does Their Future Mean for the Washington Region’s Nonprofit Community? explores the likelihood that the two will end their philanthropic funding in the next few years. Collectively, they have given more than $100 million to 500 local nonprofits in the last four years alone and their remission as corporate philanthropic giants in the region creates a necessity for new leadership.

In a letter to the community that prefaces the report, the 8 Neighbors say,

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so much more than check book charitable givers. They are shining examples of what it means to be an effective, engaged and valued corporate citizen. We urge other companies to continue the philanthropic model Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac developed. Our neighbors need you in our region. And we need your leadership for our country.

Chuck Bean of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, another member of 8 Neighbors, reaffirms the point to the Washington Post (10/3):

“This would be hard enough in any situation, but in times of the most sweeping economic downturn in generations, it will be tough,” Bean said. “It is going to hurt, and at some point we’re going to need to stop wringing our hands and figure out what we’re going to do. There are some corporations thriving at this time, and this is really their moment to shine.”

WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland, is optimistic:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made a huge impact with their funding dollars. Perhaps more importantly though, they have have served as models for engaged corporate philanthropic leadership. Now it is time for additional leaders to step up.

A third of WRAG’s membership consists of corporate funders committed to improving our region, and I’m confident that this community will answer the call.

- Read the full report.

8 Neighbors consists of the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Leadership Greater Washington, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, United Way of the National Capital Area, and Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers.


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