New report: Does nonprofit advocacy pay off? [News, 1.19.12]

ADVOCACY | A burning question in philanthropy: does funding advocacy actually pay off? A new study from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy says yes, it definitively does.

Advocacy by 110 nonprofit organizations over a five-year period has brought more than $26.6 billion in benefits to low-wage workers, communities of color, rural residents and other marginalized groups…

The report titled “Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Benefits by Funding Policy and Community Engagement,” found that every dollar grantmakers and other donors invested in policy and civic engagement provided a return of $115 in benefit.

Read: Full Report.

GIVING | The Carlyle Group’s David Rubenstein, who recently donated more than $17 million to the National Zoo and the Archives, has announced that he’ll donate $7.5 million to help fix the Washington Monument’s earthquake damage. (WaPo, 1/19)

WORKFORCE | Following up on yesterday’s article about job training funding, WAMU says that the city has frequently offered training for industries that don’t have a high rate of hiring. The city is now working to focus its training opportunities in “high-growth, high-demand” industries. (WAMU, 1/19) There goes my hope of being trained as a private eye for animals.

COMMUNITY | Rebekah attended the Consumer Health Foundation’s annual meeting last week, and says that keynote speaker Angela Glover Blackwell gave a powerful talk about the need for an equity-driven model of growth in our region and across the country. Here’s her recap of the event. (WG Daily, 1/19)

- Junior Achievement of Greater Washington announced that it has opened the brand new College and Career Center at its Finance Park thanks to sponsorship from Deloitte. Read more about the new center and the Finance Park – which teaches students critical financial skills. (Junior Achievement, Jan ’12)

- Fairfax Starts Domestic Violence Support Group For Children (WAMU, 1/19)

TRANSIT | Three Metro stories today:
- Metro may install shields on buses to keep drivers safe (WaPo, 1/19) And what about the passengers? If somebody bothers me on the bus, I just make really loud noises and wave my arms around in kung fu motions. It usually scares people away, although sometimes I just end up fitting in with the other people on the bus.

- Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles might not go to Dulles anymore. (Examiner, 1/19)

- Two Metro employees have been arrested for stealing thousands of dollars in coins. (Examiner, 1/19) To make up for the lost revenue, Metro has proposed another fare increase. No, just kidding! Not yet, anyway…

LOCAL | The Post’s Robert McCartney tackles a pressing regional controversy and has a wise answer. (WaPo, 1/19)

Ever wonder what Abraham Lincoln really looked like…in color? Here’s a cool photo gallery where artist Sanna Dullaway adds vibrant color to iconic black-and-white photos.

On a related note, here’s a picture of (brilliant) actor Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln for Steven Spielberg’s now-shooting biopic. Day Lewis is known for staying in character for the duration of every movie shoot.

New research shows limited economic mobility for many Americans…More affordable housing options for Hispanic seniors [News, 1.5.12]

POVERTY | A variety of recent research has shown that Americans enjoy significantly less economic mobility than people in Canada and several Western European countries, with childhood poverty and family background often correlating with low income in adulthood. (NY Times, 1/4)

AGING | A new senior center provides affordable housing options for older Hispanic adults in D.C., a growing segment of the city’s population. (WaPo, 1/4)

- The Posse Foundation has selected 61 high school seniors in the Greater Washington region to receive full tuition college scholarships. (WUSA9, 1/3)

- Jay Mathews writes about a new book from educators in Arlington County that describes how they succeeded in decreasing the achievement gap between white and black and Hispanic students in that county. (WaPo, 1/4)

- Do schools need a longer school day? A debate (WaPo, 1/4)

HIV/AIDS | Researchers report that they have created the “best-yet” vaccine to protect against the AIDS virus…in monkeys (WaPo, 1/4)

WORKFORCE | Jobless rates in NoVa Lowest in Commonwealth (WAMU, 1/5)

SMART GROWTH | Are you really into regional planning and have some time to kill? Then check out PlanMaryland – the game. (Smart Growth Maryland, 1/4)

I came across this the other day and thought it was pretty cool – the stories behind some of the 20th century’s most iconic portraits.


New study from Bank of America finds that women are primary philanthropic decision makers in wealthy households [News, 12.13.11]

GIVING | A new study released yesterday by Bank of America on high net worth individuals finds that women are the primary decision makers when it comes to philanthropy. Highlights from the report include (MarketWatch, 12/12):

- Women spend more time than men on due diligence before making decisions about giving to a charitable organization.

- Women expect a deeper level of communication with the organizations they support and place greater importance than men on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and hearing about the impact of their gift.

- Women want to be actively involved with an organization and its mission, with volunteering being among the most important motivations for women to give.

- Women are more likely than men to stop giving to an organization they had previously supported whereas men tend to support the same causes year after year.

Related: Why Wealthy Women Give: to Influence the Young (Chronicle, 12/13)

WORKFORCE | In September, District Mayor Vincent Gray announced a program that would match 10,000 unemployed D.C. residents with private-sector jobs. A thousand residents have been matched so far, and private businesses have lined up to participate. But now the city is having trouble finding more unemployed candidates for the program, so it is planning to try new tactics to identify them – including using Twitter, Facebook, and text messaging. (WaPo, 12/13)

So despite the fact that parts of the city are experiencing “depression level” unemployment, the government can’t find them? Well, here’s a map of where the unemployed people are -just roll your mouse over each ward!

HOUSING | Low-Income Housing Advocates Upset Over Cuts (WAMU, 12/12) “[T]he District cut $18 million from its Housing Production Trust Fund, which many low-income families depend on for their housing.”

REGION UNITED | Richard Hall, Maryland’s Secretary of Planning, writes about how the state’s PlanMaryland effort – a comprehensive sustainable growth and development plan – aligns well with the Region Forward plan. (RF Blog, 12/12)

- Washington Gas to clean Anacostia riverbank under new agreement (WaPo, 12/13)

- D.C. mayor planning environmental initiative (WaPo, 12/13) “[A]n environmental initiative [Vincent Gray] thinks will one day make the city a national model for clean energy, urban farming, green space and car-free transportation options.”

EDUCATION | DCPS is cracking down on enrollment fraud, and some cases are being taken by federal prosecutors. (WaPo, 12/13) I hate situations where kids get stuck paying for their parents’ mistakes, but parents also shouldn’t have to feel like their local public school options aren’t good enough for their kids.

Scientists claim that they are getting closer to being able to directly inject knowledge (in layman’s terms) into a human brain. What would our world look like if that comes to pass? Exciting and scary to think about!

Health study of DC neighborhood focuses on WWI chem weapons…Scott Pearson named head of charter school board…Study says nonprofits should plan for continued reductions in government funding [News 12.12.11]

HEALTH | Johns Hopkins University is undertaking a community health study of the District’s Spring Valley neighborhood, which was the testing grounds for the Army’s chemical warfare division during WWI. (WaPo, 12/12) This must be where the old adage “Don’t test chemical weapons in cities” comes from.

- Scott Pearson has been named the new executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board. He previously worked at the Department of Education and was the co-founder of a charter school management program in San Francisco. (WaPo, 12/10)

- Editorial: Academic success — and struggle — in D.C. (WaPo, 12/12)

- DCPS, suburbs taking a page from charter schools (Examiner, 12/12)

FAMILIES | Brenda Donald has been named the new director of the District’s Child and Family Services Agency. This will be Donald’s second time running the agency, the previous time under Mayor Williams from 2004-2005. She also has served as Maryland’s social-services secretary. (WaPo, 12/8)

ECONOMY | The Manassas Regional Airport brought in more than $234 million to the local economy in 2010, and added more than 1,000 jobs. Manassas Mayor Harry Parrish says, “It’s not a Dulles, and it’s not a National, but it can provide great transportation alternatives for this northern Virginia region.” (WTOP, 12/12) You could say that they are “soaring.”

WORKFORCE | Ezra Klein: The real unemployment rate is 11 percent (WaPo, 12/12)

NONPROFITS | A new report from Changing Our World says that despite signs of an improving economy, nonprofits who rely on state funds should be prepared for at least two more years of reduced funding. (Chronicle, 12/10)

GIVING | With need rising, D.C. charities gear up for busy holiday season (Examiner, 12/12)

TRANSIT | Here’s an analysis of why Metro constantly has a budget shortfall. (GGW, 12/12) It could also have to do with lost revenue from customers who walk to work rather than waiting 26 minutes for the next scheduled bus during rush hour. Do you hear me, Metro?!

SOCIAL MEDIA | Twitter’s Redesign Offers New Options to Nonprofits (Chronicle, 12/10)

LOCAL | Here’s an interesting look at the evolution of Maryland’s National Harbor over the last seven years. Things haven’t gone quite as planned…but the planners probably should have taken into consideration how inaccessible the place is. (WaPo, 12/12)

Another tough loss for the Redskins, but certainly a valiant effort. The refs made some profoundly obnoxious, game-changing calls in favor of the Patriots, but I suppose they were just keeping in line with the league standard of treating Tom Brady like a delicate flower.

Also, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo is the best movie I’ve seen this year. It is absolutely magical.

Unemployment rate hits a two year low [News, 12.2.11]

WORKFORCE | The good news: the new jobs numbers show that the national unemployment rate has dropped to 8.6 percent, the lowest it has been in over two years. The bad news: this is to some degree attributable to the hundreds of thousands of people who have given up looking for jobs. (WaPo, 12/2)

- Yesterday President Obama pledged to provide additional AIDS-related funding, including $35 million to states to buy HIV/AIDS medication for low-income people, and another $15 million to clinics. (WaPo, 12/1)

‘We’re Going to Be in Trouble’: AIDS Groups Plan for Funding Cuts (Atlantic, 12/1)

- The number of new cases of HIV have declined in the District, based on 2009 data. (Examiner, 12/1)

NONPROFITS | With ‘Super Committee’ Failure, Charities Brace for Budget Fights (Chronicle, 12/1)

Related: WRAG members can register for an upcoming national webinar on how the potential massive cuts to the federal budget will impact the poor. More information is available here.

EDUCATION | Arlington looks to build more schools (Examiner, 12/1)

ARTS | The D.C. Office of Human Rights recently issued a recommendation that area theaters that offer special discounts for “young professionals” expand those discounts to include a broader range of ages. (WBJ, 11/15)

Can you tell where in the world these Google Earth images are from? I couldn’t.



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