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September 29, 2016 / WRAG

DCPS graduation rates continue to rise

– Kaya Henderson’s tenure as DC Public Schools chancellor comes to an end this week with four-year graduation rates at 69 percent, 16 points higher than they were in 2011 when she was appointed. While rates are up overall, a racial achievement gap remains. (WAMU, 9/29):

The graduation rates for black and Hispanic boys still lag behind those of their white and female counterparts, though the gap has decreased since last year. Sixty-seven percent of black and Hispanic students graduate in four years, compared to 93 percent of white students.
Across the river in Virginia, on-time graduation rates are at 91.3 percent, up from 90.5 percent in 2015. Minority students fare better than they do in the District, but their numbers still lag behind their white counterparts: 88 percent of black students and 82.8 percent of Hispanic students graduate on time.

– This week’s City Paper cover story takes a critical look at how DCPS has addressed longstanding issues at the District’s 40 lowest performing schools, which serve predominately low-income children of color in the poorest parts of the city. (City Paper, 9/29)

– In response to Governor Hogan’s executive order that schools in Maryland will open after Labor Day, the State Board of Education is working to ensure there is a process for school districts to get waivers to start school before Labor Day. Allowing school districts to start school earlier can better meet the needs of disadvantaged students and address issues like summer learning loss. (WaPo, 9/29)

REGION/EQUITY | A new report from the National Council of La Raza finds that Latino children in the Greater Washington region fare better on a number of socioeconomic indicators, compared to Latino children in other areas of the country. (WAMU, 9/29)

JUSTICE/RACE | D.C. Releases Body Camera Footage Of Aftermath Of Terrence Sterling Shooting (WAMU, 9/27)

HOUSING | D.C. Commits $7 Million to Fund More Than 100 Units of Affordable Housing in Wards 6 and 8 (City Paper, 9/28)

– A funder explains how and why her organization is bucking the trend toward lack of transparency among foundations – and how it has increased their philanthropic impact. (NCRP, 9/15)

– Did you know there’s an election happening soon? Here’s a look at how foundations get out the vote. (Foundation Center, 9/19)

ARTS | Dance Legend Returns To Washington In Time To Help Ballet Celebrate A Milestone (WAMU, 9/29)

COMMUNITY | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation has a new grant application format. Learn more here.

Social Sector Job Openings
President & CEO | Delaware Grantmakers Association – NEW!
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar
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

It’s National Coffee Day! Here’s where you can get a free afternoon pick-me-up today.

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Monday.

– Rebekah

September 28, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Growing numbers of Central American asylum seekers coming to DC area

The number of undocumented Central Americans entering the U.S. is rising due to violence and poverty in that region, a growing influx that may constitute a refugee crisis. This year, an estimated 4,000 unaccompanied Central American children alone have settled in the metro D.C. region. (WAMU, 9/28)

The U.S. Border Patrol categorizes apprehensions into two groups: “Family units,” which mean an adult and at least one minor, and “unaccompanied children.” In fiscal 2014, there were 66,144 family units and 66,115 unaccompanied children apprehended at the Southwestern border. Those numbers shrank to 34,565 and 35,485, respectively, after enforcement ramped up in fiscal 2015. The flow has returned in fiscal 2016, with 68,080 family units and 54,052 unaccompanied children apprehended at the border through August.

– There may be another impending government shut down – what happens to D.C. if it does? (Washingtonian, 9/27)

– The D.C. statehood conversation continues at an upcoming public hearing a few weeks in advance of voters being asked to approve a referendum calling for D.C. to become the 51st state. (WaPo, 9/27)

 – D.C. Universities And Businesses Propose Bill Requiring 8 Weeks Of Paid Leave (WAMU, 9/27)

– School adopts gender-neutral homecoming court, so there might be no ‘king’ or ‘queen’ (WaPo, 9/27)

– Racial bias among preschool teachers is the focus of a new Yale study. (WaPo, 9/27)

Students in Md. counties underperform in test for college readiness (WTOP, 9/28)

HEALTH | A new, larger Planned Parenthood office location opens in Northeast Washington. (WJLA, 9/28)

– Grantmakers in the Arts continues to update their focus on Racial Equity in Arts Philanthropy with new definitions, recommendations, and resources to support funders in this work. The materials and efforts on collective action toward racial equity are directed toward arts funders, but appropriate for the entire philanthropic sector.

– The Washington Business Journal is seeking nominations for their Corporate Philanthropy Awards, which honor partnerships between local businesses and nonprofits that demonstrate positive outcomes for both organizations. Nominations are due this Friday, September 30th.

– After 25 Years of Grant Making, I Worry We Have Lost Sight of Nonprofit Struggles (CP, 9/6)

HOUSINGRent in our region is expensive. Does that mean it’s unaffordable? (GGW, 9/27)

TRANSPORTATION | Va. budget shortfall to have some impact on transportation side (WTOP, 9/28)

Pumpkins aren’t the only game in town this fall! Brussel sprouts are my favorite – Buffy

September 27, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

White House Urges Smarter Zoning to Address Affordable Housing

– The Obama administration is urging cities to update zoning regulations to address affordable housing issues in D.C. and around the country. A Housing Development Toolkit outlining policy changes and other regulatory fixes has been released by the White House to encourage developers to set aside more of their projects for affordable housing.  (WBJ, 9/26)

The District has embraced or is trying to tackle many of those tools, including inclusionary zoning, and the Bowser administration has proposed investing $100 million to create or preserve affordable housing units. But the District is facing a housing crisis that is increasing, not decreasing, according to the report. The District saw a 31 percent increase in family homelessness last year, the report noted citing data from local homeless coalitions, amid a 14 percent increase in overall homelessness.

– Enterprise Community Partners connects the dots between health and housing in their latest blog post. (Housing Horizon, 9/12)

Related: WRAG also took a look at the connections between housing and health a while back as part of our What Funders Need to Know series of issue briefs. Check it out here.

– D.C. Court Backs Low-Income Renters In Fight With Developer Over Building (WAMU, 9/27)

RACE/HISTORY | Upon the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture this past weekend, WRAG’s Tamara Copeland reflects on museum director Lonnie Bunch’s 2013 talk to the WRAG community about the importance of understanding history. (Daily, 9/27)

EVENT | On October 20th, EPIP-DC is hosting a panel discussion titled Race, Power, and Opportunities for Emerging Leaders that will be exploring issues related to racial equity in philanthropy within the DC Metro Area. WRAG’s Tamara Copeland will participate on the panel along with Nicky Goren of The Meyer Foundation and Nat Williams of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation.

– The Washington Monument has been shut down indefinitely due to continuing problems with the elevator. (WTOP, 9/26)

– Automatic Voter Registration One Step Closer To Law In D.C. (dcist, 9/22)

REGION | Frederick, MD is looking more and more like an urban suburb of Washington, D.C. (Washingtonian, 9/23)

ENVIRONMENT | Environmental officials in Maryland have proposed new, “stringent” fracking regulations. (WTOP, 9/27)

– Do Charter Schools With Extreme Disciplinary Measures Cluster in Black Communities? (CityLab, 9/15)

 What do parents want? A good school, not too far, and some other kids that look like them (GGW, 8/31)

PHILANTHROPY | The Urban Institute recently published a new study called State Regulation and Enforcement in the Charitable Sector, that looks at charity regulation efforts state by state. (NP Quarterly, 9/19)

Check out this cool virtual overview of how the National Mall became what it is today – Buffy

September 27, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

“One Very Powerful Episode”

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

When Lonnie Bunch, director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, spoke to the philanthropic community as part of WRAG’s 2013 Brightest Minds series, he said, “The March on Washington was just one, very powerful, episode in a struggle that has gone on for centuries.”

With this past weekend’s opening of the much-awaited National Museum of African American History and Culture, we have one more powerful episode, but there is an important, noteworthy difference. This isn’t a one-time episode, but a perpetual and evolving chronicle and celebration of the contributions of African-Americans to America.

I don’t know how many people were on the Mall on Saturday or Sunday, but people looked different and I heard different languages. People smiled and clenched fists, not in anger, but in solidarity, as representatives from the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of our government acknowledged the vital importance of this new museum.

When Lonnie Bunch closed his remarks to the WRAG community in October 2013, he told us that helping the public understand the rich history of the black experience in America and how it informs today’s society is an important function not just of the NMAAHC, but of philanthropy as well. We heard his charge. Thank you, Mr. Bunch. Your presentation was one very powerful episode that put WRAG on the road to Putting Racism on the Table.

September 26, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

New data show how life expectancy varies across the region

HEALTH/EQUITY | The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center on Society and Health have released a new map showing wide variations in life expectancy for babies born in different areas of the Greater Washington region. The map shows that opportunities to be as healthy as possible vary by neighborhood.

The aim of these maps is to serve as a resource—raising awareness of factors that shape health and spurring discussion and action on a complex web of factors that influence health. In this case, the average life expectancy in the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County is 78 years – 8 years shorter than for babies born in either Arlington or Fairfax Counties.

Related: Next month, Dr. Steven Woolf, head of the Center on Society and Health at VCU, will present as part of WRAG’s 2016 Brightest Minds series. Join us to learn more about the social and economic factors that influence health and contribute to wide disparities in life expectancy across our region. This event is open to the public. Find out more and register here.

COMMUNITY | The University of Maryland has announced a $75 million initiative to support student philanthropy work called the “Do Good Institute”, which will build on the work of formerly named UMD’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and be run through the public policy school.  The goal of this new effort is to establish the University of Maryland as a global leader in advancing social change, philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. (WaPo, 9/22) UMD’s Do Good Institute is WRAG’s long-time partner on the Philanthropy Fellows program, through which over 50 students have gained experience in philanthropy and learned about the region at over 30 WRAG member organizations.

Related: WRAG is excited to welcome the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows! Six students from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute are working with five WRAG members this year, on a variety of projects from grants administration and communications, to development and public policy initiatives. (Daily, 9/26)

– DC has finalized the second annual youth homeless census, a nine-day push to count residents under 25 who don’t have permanent housing. (City Paper, 9/23)

 – D.C. Kicks Off $13 Million Affordable Housing Renovation in Ward 4 (City Paper, 9/23)

EDUCATION | As kindergarten ratchets up academics, parents feel the stress (WaPo, 9/25)

PHILANTHROPYPutting Data About Nonprofits to Work for Good (Chronicle, 9/23)

As we gear up for the first Presidential Debate tonight, it’s worth noting that Americans are quick to ask if candidates are giving enough, but they don’t follow up on how the money is being used – Buffy


September 26, 2016 / WRAG

Introducing the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows

(Top Row: Anisha Boucher, Anne Wagner, Catie Oidtman; Bottom Row: Delisha Thompson, Kevin Donnelly, Nicole Rodriguez)

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows! Six students from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute (formerly known as the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership) are working at five WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Anisha Boucher is supporting communications and development with Amina Anderson at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
  • Anne Wagner is  supporting the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s Safety Net Initiative and grantmaking programs with Silvana Straw.
  • Catie Oidtman is working on grants administration and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation Scholars program with Crystal Townsend at HIF for a second year.
  • Delisha Thompson is a public policy fellow working with Maggie Osborn at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
  • Kevin Donnelly is supporting donor services and grants administration at the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, working with Bridget Hanagan.
  • Nicole Rodriguez is working with Tanya Edelin and the Community Benefit department at Kaiser Permanente.

These students are gaining valuable professional experience in philanthropy, making new connections in the community, and bringing fresh ideas and energy to their host organizations. To learn more about each fellow, click here. Check out our website to learn more about WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program.

September 22, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Pilot Program Launched for New Cab Service in Underserved DC Neighborhoods

TRANSPORTATION/EQUITY | The District has launched a pilot program for a new cab service in neighborhoods historically underserved by taxis. The “Neighborhood Ride Service” will have 8-seat shuttle vans running in Wards 4,7, and 8 that will charge passengers a flat rate of $5 or less.

Where and when taxis roam has been a sensitive issue. Many cab drivers are themselves people of color — largely immigrants from East Africa — and bristle at the suggestion they are discriminating against black residents by staying out of their neighborhoods. Taxi drivers have said they cruise downtown or Capitol Hill because that is where they can earn the most money. But residents of poorly-served neighborhoods have argued they are suffering from a stereotype that their streets are dangerous, giving cabbies an excuse to stay away from the outer wards.

The new pilot program is made possible though grant funding from the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and the department is asking the public for feedback before it decides to make the service permanent. (WAMU, 9/20)

ECONOMYThe DC Area Has the Highest Median Income in the US Again (Washingtonian, 9/21)

POVERTYMore D.C. Residents Live in Poverty Than Before the Great Recession, Says Study (City Paper, 9/16)

HOUSING | Zoning in the District and other cities is getting too expensive, and has an effect on the economy. (GGW, 9/22)

COMMUNITY | Building Police-Community Trust Through Reform (PhilanTopic, 9/20)

– Raising the smoking age to 21 may not happen because it will cost the District too much money – $5 million over 4 years. (WTOP, 9/22)

– Bowser Proposes Doubling The Amount Medical Marijuana Patients Can Buy (dcist, 9/21)

– Knowing what it’s like to depend on school meals for nutrition, Jamal McCall and his team at Elite Group Solutions are making over 1,500 meals each day for charter schools in D.C. (City Paper, 9/20)

– D.C. would have more oversight over student loan debt collectors under council proposal (WaPo, 9/20)

– Many schools aren’t prepared to assist the one in five students suffering from mental health issues, but many experts point to one model to help. (NPR, 9/20)

 Don’t blame the teachers. Blame the curriculum. (The Atlantic, 9/21)

PHILANTHROPY | The 2016 MacArthur ‘Geniuses’ have been announced – 23 people recognized this year for their work in the arts and humanities – who receive a $625,000 grant award, including DC native and playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. (WaPo, 9/22)

Social Sector Job Openings
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital
Senior Program Manager, Community Benefits | Kaiser Permanente
Nonprofit Financial Planning and Analysis Manager | Arabella Advisors
Education Finance and Policy Analyst | DC Fiscal Policy Institute
Communications Director | Grantmakers In Health
Program Director | Grantmakers In Health
Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar – October 2016
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

It’s officially Fall today! Besides cooler weather and beautiful foliage, how much do we really know about the autumnal equinox

The (Almost) Daily will be back on Monday!

– Buffy