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August 25, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Northern Virginia Health Foundation Reflects on 10 Years

– As they reflect on the work of the Northern Virginia Health Foundation the last decade, Foundation President and CEO Patricia N. Mathews and Board Chair Lisa G. Kaplowitz believe the health care safety net in the region has become stronger. And, they share some lessons learned:

As we take a moment to reflect on the occasion of our 10th anniversary, there is so much that we have learned. But three lessons stand apart:

1. Providing general operating support is essential.
2. Grantmaking is important, but it isn’t enough.
3. Working in partnership with grantees is required.

Learn more by reading their 10th anniversary annual report. (NoVAFH, 8/23)

– Medicaid to Pay for Repellent in Virginia to Ward Off Zika (WTOP, 8/24)

– Faith Nonprofits Sue Over Health Coverage for Transgender People (CP, 8/24)

– Tamara Copeland writes about Tackling Racial Justice: Why, How and So What?  for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (Responsive Philanthropy Blog, Summer 2016)

– Philanthropy’s infrastructure is building a new philanthropic network that will, among other things, address racial equity, diversity, and inclusion in philanthropy – with the Forum of Regional Association’s of Grantmakers leading the charge. Washington Grantmakers is a member of the Forum, and Tamara Copeland recently sat on a Racial Equity panel at the July Annual Conference, where she shared WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table” work.

ECONOMY | The Plight Of The White Working Class Isn’t Economic, It’s Cultural (The Federalist, 8/17)

– Virginia Could be Facing Much Bigger Budget Shortfall than Expected (WaPo, 8/24)

– DC residents are working harder to own a house than others around the country. (WaPo, 8/25)

 DC sets a record with more than 2 million foreign tourists in 2015. (WTOP, 8/24)

NONPROFITS Nonprofit Governance and the Power of Things – Nonprofit boards often have a mix of personalities. This useful and classic article examines boardroom behavior. (NP Quarterly, 8/12/15)

– How to help those impacted by the earthquake in Italy. (Mashable, 8/25)

– More Philanthropists Should Think Like Venture Capitalists (Forbes, 8/17)


Analyst | Arabella Advisors
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation

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 – September 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

Ooooh, it just feels wrong to want the Bacon Donutwich – doesn’t it? I’m going to go for it. – Buffy

August 23, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Thousands of Former Criminals in VA Have the Right to Vote Restored

CIVIL RIGHTS | Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Monday during a civil rights ceremony in Richmond that almost 13,000 former criminals have had their right to vote restored. Roughly 193,000 remaining former felons may also have their rights restored in time for the presidential election in November.

“Restoring the rights of Virginians who have served their time and live, work and pay taxes in our communities is one of the pressing civil rights issues of our day,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “I have met these men and women and know how sincerely they want to contribute to our society as full citizens again.”

Restorations will be processed in order of those who have waited the longest. (International Business Times, 8/22)

– Yanique Redwood of the Consumer Health Foundation uses a racial equity impact assessment tool to discuss DC’s tipped minimum wage policies. (CHF Blog, 8/22)

– Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation. (NYT, 8/20)

EDUCATION | The new school year has just begun and the DC public school system is getting prepared for major changes. (WTOP, 8/22)


– Will D.C.’s Housing Ever Be Affordable Again? (Atlantic, 8/19)

 Racial Bias or Wall Street Greed: The New Role of Private Investment Firms in Federal Housing (NP Quarterly, 8/19)

– Living on the DC streets for years, 80 year old Wanda Witter finally gets the $100,000+ owed to her by Social Security. (WaPo, 8/22)

DISTRICT | Five years ago today the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the East Coast caused millions in damage and resulted in years of rebuilding in DC – some that is still occurring. (WaPo, 8/23)

TECHNOLOGYThis Silicon Valley venture fund keeps betting millions on D.C.’s cyber community. (WaPo, 8/22)

– NGOs around the country are working to support flood ravaged Louisiana. (CDP, 8/20)

– How Focusing on Philanthropy Gave My Company a Stronger Sense of Purpose (Huff Po, 8/18)

Panda-palooza! Happy 1st birthday Bei Bei – Buffy

August 22, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

WRAG Members Among 50 Corporate Leaders “Changing the World”

CORPORATE GIVING | Fortune just released its 2016 Change the World” roster of 50 companies addressing social and environmental challenges through their core business, which includes WRAG Members Bank of America and IBM. Fortune bases the rankings on how companies focus their philanthropy on  “scalable positive change”. (Fortune, 8/18)

Each year at this time, we set out to identify 50 companies across the globe that are tackling major societal problems—reducing damage to the environment, strengthening communities, serving the underserved, and significantly improving lives as a function of their business model—and whose good works contribute to their bottom lines.

Related: Fortune also looks at how corporate managers and boards are aligning their missions with their impact on communities and social issues. (Fortune, 8/18)

If you want to learn more about WRAG’s Corporate Affinity Group bookmark this page.

EDUCATION | As another school year begins in our region, an ongoing question remains:  should school start later each morning? (The Atlantic, 8/17)

HOUSING | Affordable housing and new neighborhood connections plan to meet up with an important bike trail in DC’s Edgewood neighborhood. (GGW, 8/19)

AGING | Opinion: Are aging and the economic slowdown linked? (WaPo, 8/21)

– Although the goals were admirable, twenty years after President Clinton overhauled the welfare system, the results are mixed. (NPR, 8/22)

– The Salvation Army and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy recently developed the Human Needs Index, a multidimensional measure of poverty.

– Given our region’s traffic issues, could we use art to address traffic fatalities? (NP Quarterly, (8/16)

– Perspective is everything in art. A new U Street exhibit explores how the places we live end up shaping us, and vice versa. (GGW, 8/18)

PHILANTHROPY | Joint Affinity Groups (JAG) has transformed into CHANGE Philanthropy, a coalition of philanthropic networks working together to strengthen bridges across funders and communities.

Who knew you could love crabs and win $1,000? Crossing my Old Bay covered fingers – Buffy

August 19, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

DC public housing stock deteriorating due to funding shortfall

HOUSING | That big thunderstorm earlier this week blew a section of roof off a public housing complex in DC, underscoring the DC Housing Authority’s financial shortfall and the dire need for maintenance and upgrades in much of the city’s public housing (WAMU, 8/18):

DCHA — which has 56 properties that are home to about 20,000 people — says it’s short $1.3 billion it needs to maintain, rehabilitate and redevelop 6,500 of the 8,300 housing units it manages… Housing advocates say the funding shortfalls can have big impacts. Public housing residents are more likely to live in substandard conditions, and when conditions become critical, those units could be evacuated altogether. And in cities where affordable housing is at a premium, like D.C., that’s not a good thing. According to DCHA, there are 27,000 people on the waiting list for public housing. Advocates say that every unit taken offline because of deferred maintenance can mean one more family closer to homelessness.

– In Maryland, none of the 15 companies selected for medical marijuana growing licenses are led by African-Americans. (WaPo, 8/18)

– A task force in Alexandria recommends changing the name of the stretch of U.S. Route 1 currently known as the Jefferson Davis Highway, but maintaining a Confederate memorial statue in Old Town. (WaPo, 8/18)

EQUITY | Why the Olympics and other major sporting events usually increase inequality in the host city (Ford Foundation, 8/1)

– Danielle Reyes of the Crimsonbridge Foundation explains how foundations can maximize their impact with an effective communications strategy, in a co-authored post on the Exponent Philanthropy blog. (EP, 8/15)

Another Foundation Goes All In on Equity—Not Only the What and Why, But the How (NPQ, 8/18)

Analyst | Arabella Advisors – New!
Operations Associate | ACT for Alexandria – New!
Grants Coordinator | City of Takoma Park
Development Associate | Washington Area Women’s Foundation
Program Assistant | The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

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 – September 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

Meet Pedals, the bipedal black bear and possibly your new spirit animal. 

– Rebekah

August 18, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Prince George’s County Head Start Loses Millions in Grant Funding


The Department of Health and Human Services released a scathing report detailing Head Start deficiencies in the Prince George’s County school system, which resulted in the loss of a $6.3 million grant. The report cites abuse, poor teacher training, and a failure to correct past problems.The Head Start program is an early childhood program largely funded with federal dollars. (WaPo, 8/17)

Prince George’s school leaders are trying to determine how to keep the county’s Head Start program funded. The federal Administration for Children and Families released a statement Wednesday saying that the federal government “is committed to continuing Head Start services in Prince George’s County and to minimize any disruption to children and families.”

Related: After Funding Cut, What’s Next for Prince George’s Co. Head Start? (WTOP, 8/17)

– The Nation’s Teacher Force Lacks Diversity, and it Might Not Get Much Better. Minority students across the country would benefit from having more minority teachers studies show, but recruitment is a critical challenge for the future. (WaPo, 8/18)

– District Residents Have The Most Student Debt In The US. (WAMU, 8/15)

REGIONAL | A human-trafficking ring that operated for years and spanned from Northern Virginia to Baltimore has been shut down. (WaPo, 8/15)

FOOD/ART | How To Cultivate Plants Using Just Water, Nutrients And A Steady Diet Of DC Punk (WAMU, 8/12)

NONPROFITS | Communicating effectively about the real costs of running a nonprofit is imperative in order to engage and sustain donors and investors.  This post highlights how nonprofits can use new imagery to help educate about the sector. (NP Quarterly, 8/16)

 Women are Increasingly Powerful Philanthropists. But How Can They be Most Effective?  (Huff Po, 8/12) 

-Foundations and endowments are limiting the use of hedge fund investments in their portfolios according to a survey of nonprofit investors. (Bloomberg, 8/15)

At the end of one of the hottest weeks of the year, this isn’t looking so bad : ) … 2017 Farmers’ Almanac predicts a particularly cold, wet winter  for D.C., Maryland and Virginia – Buffy


August 17, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier announces departure

After a long and distinguished career with the D.C. police department, Chief Cathy Lanier announced Tuesday that she will step down to head security for the NFL. An interim police chief and a search process will be announced soon. (WaPo, 8/16):

Lanier is ending her 26-year career after recently turning 49, and four months short of serving a full decade heading one of the nation’s highest-profile police departments. She was the District’s first permanent female chief.

COMMUNITY The DC Trust has released information regarding out-of-school time funding for FY 2017, which will be administered by the United Way of the National Capital Area. Read their message here.

ENVIRONMENT | There’s a new lawsuit concerning pollution in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers alleging the EPA is allowing dangerous amounts of E. coli into the two rivers. (DCist, 8/16)

 The passage rate on Virginia’s statewide standards of learning exams rose this year, though the achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and white students remained. In northern Virginia, every jurisdiction except Alexandria had a higher passing rate on the reading and math exams than the state as a whole. (WaPo, 8/16)

– Opinion: With technology creating greater automation across any number of fields, this writer calls for the presidential candidates to focus on the kinds of education needed in the 21st century workforce. (WaPo, 8/16)

AGING | A DC program is providing help to those who need it by recycling and redistributing expensive medical equipment. (WaPo, 8/16)

POVERTY | Delays Persist in Shuttering D.C. Homeless Shelter That Few Consider Livable (NYT, 8/15)

EQUITY | Why a Data-Driven Approach Matters to Race Equity. (Casey Connects Blog, 8/8)

RACE | The Need for Black Rage in Philanthropy. (Invested Impact, 8/9)

PHILANTHROPY | The Foundation World Couldn’t Care Less About Your Cause? Start a Giving Circle. (Inside Philanthropy, 8/11)

As much as I love and embrace technology, with four children,  I do sometimes feel the tech fatigue …. Pokémon or not – Buffy

August 16, 2016 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Helping Victims of the Long Branch Explosion in Silver Spring, MD

DISASTER PHILANTHROPY | Last Thursday morning a gas explosion leveled an apartment complex in the Long Branch neighborhood of Silver Spring, MD. At this time 6 people have died, numerous are injured, and several people are still missing. Over 100 people have been left homeless. Our community’s nonprofits are coordinating with County agencies to help those affected by the tragedy, and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is accepting gifts to the Neighbors in Need Disaster Relief Fund. (CFNCR, 8/16)

We’re grateful that our nonprofits sprang into action immediately, coordinating with County agencies to help those affected by the tragedy. If you would like to get involved, please check out the nonprofit partners below who are providing support. Or, if you can’t pick just one, make a gift (or grant from your fund) to the Neighbors in Need Disaster Relief Fund. The Community Foundation will coordinate with the County to steward those dollars once the greatest needs are identified.

Click here to learn more and see the full list of nonprofit partners providing support.

Related: Schools Work to Help Kids Affected by Silver Spring Apartment Fire (WTOP, 8/16)

FOOD | Children in some of D.C.’s most challenged neighborhoods could soon have more access to fresh produce if the Bainum Family Foundation’s plan works. Focusing on distributing produce to early childhood centers and schools, the foundation hopes to show that there is a demand for healthy food in poor urban areas of the city. (WaPo, 8/15)

The Best Schools in The World Do This. Why Don’t We? (NPRed, 8/9)

Education Department Stops For-Profit College from Sidestepping Federal Rules (WaPo, 8/11)

RACE | Soul-Searching in Baltimore Over Racial Underpinnings to Police Problems (Baltimore Sun, 8/10)

HOUSING | Head of D.C. Agency Responsible for Building New Homeless Shelters to Step Down (CP, 8/11)

COMMUNITY | Crimsonbridge Foundation Welcomes Caitlin Furey as its New Program Officer. Furey will help develop the foundation’s grantmaking programs in education, leadership development, and capacity building. (Crimsonbridge Foundation)

CORPORATE GIVING | The value of corporate philanthropy extends far beyond the financial benefits and tax deductions. But are you marketing your company’s philanthropic efforts well enough? 6 tips for you when promoting your philanthropy to your constituents. (Forbes, 8/1)

HEALTHCARESpeak(easy) Howard Kicks Off Conversations About End-of-Life Care Before It’s Too Late. Led by The Horizon Foundation, Speak(easy) is designed to encourage residents to take two critical first steps in planning for end-of-life care. (Business Monthly, 8/1)

NEXT GEN | Millennials Top Poll in Favoring Charitable Companies. Eighteen- to 34-year-old respondents to a Fortune survey were more concerned than older generations about working for and buying from businesses they view as giving back to society. (Chronicle, 8/12)

Today is my first Daily WRAG publication as your new co-Editor! I have cultivated news and information for grantmakers for years as the Communications Director at the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers and I look forward to working with, and for, all of you for the next few months.

Love the White House, but never had the chance to see the inside – except in movies? Check out this cool virtual tour through Google Street View – Buffy


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