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July 15, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Shining a light on need in Loudoun County

Editor’s note: WRAG’s staff are heading next week to Indianapolis, to attend the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers’ annual conference. The Daily will return on Tuesday, July 26. Stay cool!

COMMUNITY | Next year, the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties will launch a community awareness campaign to raise the profile of poverty in Loudoun and encourage residents to support local nonprofit organizations that serve their neighbors in need. (Loudoun Now, 7/14)

Leading up to the campaign’s launch in March of 2017, nonprofit leaders will hold focus groups to identify how best to let the public know what local charities exist and what services they provide.

America Gives’ most recent report shows that, in 2012, Loudoun County residents donated, on average, 1.98 percent of their discretionary income to charities. That’s well below neighboring jurisdictions.

“This is a chance to change people’s knowledge and behavior toward nonprofits in Loudoun County,” said Caroline Toye, associate director of Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties. “We want to empower residents to be engaged, however they want to, whether through volunteering, serving on a board or donating.”

The campaign grew out of WRAG’s 2015 Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, and additional funding has been provided by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

Related: WRAG’s Katy Moore and Amy Owen, executive director of the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties, take a closer look at poverty in Loudoun County – a place typically portrayed as having great wealth –  and explain the need for this campaign. (Daily, 7/15)

LGBTQ | The Fairfax County School Board is considering regulations to safeguard the rights of transgender students that would ensure access to restrooms that align with their gender identity, and require teachers to use students’ preferred pronouns. (WaPo, 7/15)

– Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says he is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing for seniors in the county, a population that is growing rapidly. (Bethesda Beat, 7/13)

Nonprofit seeks to revitalize Anacostia one blighted house at a time (WaPo, 7/7)

RACISM | Scientists are trying many different experiments to try to counteract implicit bias. Most interventions, but not all, haven’t been shown to be very effective. (Atlantic, 7/14)

RFP | EventsDC is accepting grant proposals from nonprofits supporting children through sports, performing arts, or cultural arts in the District of Columbia. More information is available here.

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Think Giving to Groups That Support Nonprofits Is a Waste? You’re Wrong. (Chronicle, 7/6)


Administrative Assistant | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente

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

Note to self: When in the woods, always look inside your car before opening the door.

– Rebekah

July 15, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Inspiring Philanthropy in Loudoun County, for Loudoun County

by Katy Moore, Managing Director, Corporate Strategy, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
and Amy Owen, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties

Meet Susan. She represents the average donor in Loudoun County and the type of resident that a dedicated, cross-sector group of county leaders is actively working to reach and influence. We want Susan to invest her time and philanthropic resources in Loudoun and encourage her neighbors to do the same.

Here’s the challenge:

Like 53 percent of her fellow residents, Susan leaves Loudoun County every day for work, loosening her ties to her community. Like a substantive majority of other households in the county, Susan’s income is about $120,000 – a good quality of life in one of the “happiest” counties in the U.S. Unfortunately, like many of her fellow residents, Susan doesn’t think much about charitable giving. She donates about 2 percent of her discretionary income – a full 1 percent behind the national average – partly because many of Loudoun County’s needs are “hidden” from Susan:

• Although there were 134 county residents experiencing homelessness at the last Point in Time study, Susan has never met one and rarely, if ever, hears about the challenges of homelessness in the county.

• Susan doesn’t see hungry people as she dines at the county’s many restaurants and shops at the many farmers markets, even though Loudoun Interfaith Relief – the county’s largest local food pantry – served more than 17,000 people last year.

• Loudoun Cares, the local information and referral hotline, processed more than 4,000 referrals in 2015 from people seeking help in rent and utility assistance, clothing, and more. But, those folks don’t call Susan.

• 315 low-income households receive supplemental day-care support from Loudoun County Department of Family services, and, as of last November, more than 500 families were on the department’s waiting list. Susan doesn’t think she knows those people and she doesn’t see or hear about them in the media.

Susan’s situation – strong household income, but moderate charitable giving – is a common combination across America. Those who don’t see or come into immediate contact with “need” tend to give less. But, WRAG and the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties are working to change that pattern in Loudoun.

Since WRAG’s 2015 Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference, an impressive group of cross-sector leaders has been working together to identify needs and gaps in the county and explore strategies to tackle them. The group is currently working on a robust community awareness campaign to elevate the face of need in Loudoun and encourage increased and more effective philanthropic investments from residents. The campaign is currently set to launch in early 2017. This collaborative effort is generously supported by the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties, the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Area, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia.

If you’d like more information or want to get involved, please contact Amy Owen at

July 13, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

The role of philanthropy in addressing racism | Dr. Gail Christopher’s Putting Racism on the Table talk now available

PUTTING RACISM ON THE TABLE/WRAG | The sixth and final video in the Putting Racism on the Table learning series is now live. At the last session, Dr. Gail Christopher, Senior Advisor and Vice President for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, discussed the role of philanthropy in addressing racism and racial inequity in America.

Upon the completion of the learning portion of Putting Racism on the Table, WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland said:

“Gail Christopher’s talk closed out a powerful learning journey for our region’s philanthropic community. We hope that these videos are fostering a deeper understanding among the wider community about structural and institutional racism, white privilege, implicit bias and how these forces have shaped our society. Events over the past two years, and especially this past week, drive home the urgency of this understanding – and also the urgency of action. WRAG looks forward to continuing Putting Racism on the Table as it transitions into a training series for our members, and to positioning the philanthropic community to potentially take substantive action on racism.”

After you’ve had a chance to view the video, we encourage you to share your thoughts via Twitter with the hashtag #PuttingRacismOnTheTable, or by commenting on WRAG’s Facebook page. We also suggest checking out the viewing guide and discussion guide to be used with the video.

EQUITY | Yesterday Fairfax County passed a resolution that will require the county to take racial and social equity into account in decision-making. (WTOP, 7/12) You can read the full resolution, “One Fairfax,” here.

RACISM/RACIAL JUSTICE| In a special guest post on the Consumer Health Foundation blog, Nat Williams, executive director of the Hill-Snowdon Foundation, reflects on last week’s killings and issues a powerful call to action for racial justice. (CHF, 7/11)

WORKFORCE | The Near Impossibility of Moving Up After Welfare (City Lab, 7/12)

– At racially and economically diverse schools, parents with means often have more influence with school officials, marginalizing the needs of lower income students and families. (Atlantic, 7/13)

D.C. school lottery may cause parental anxiety, but it’s a research gold mine (WaPo, 7/11)

HEALTH | A new study found that nicotine use is on the rise among teenagers, thanks to e-cigarettes. (NY Times, 7/11)

PHILANTHROPY | With Millions at Stake, Some Foundations Slash Consulting Budgets (Chronicle, 7/12)

COMMUNITY | We are pleased to share that Ciara Myers, former WRAG program associate and editor of the Daily, has joined the staff of the Meyer Foundation as their new communications manager. Congrats, Ciara!

When the police have to issue public warnings about safety when playing a game on your phone, you know things have gone too far.

The Daily will be back on Friday!

– Rebekah

July 11, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

A scarcity of housing options for domestic violence survivors in DC

HOUSING | The ever-rising cost of housing in the District, along with a decline in private funding, is reducing the availability of shelters and subsidized apartments for domestic violence survivors, while the need for such spaces is growing (WaPo, 7/11):

Dozens of the 187 shelter rooms and transitional housing apartments dedicated to domestic-violence victims and their children are at risk of disappearing because nonprofits cannot afford to subsidize rising rents or compete with the commercial residential market.

The D.C. government has struggled to find money to cover the higher costs and the end of funding from the Freddie Mac Foundation, which used to allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to housing for abuse victims every year before deciding to cut back.”

WORKFORCE | D.C. Council Puts Two Major Employee-Benefits Bills on Hold (WCP, 7/8)

VETERANS | A new VA report found that, on average, 20 veterans committed suicide per day in 2014. (Atlantic, 7/7)

Goodwill is opening a D.C. charter school to help adults get a high school diploma (WaPo, 7/8)

Academies of Loudoun will take collaborative approach to STEM education (WaPo, 7/11)

Exponent Philanthropy reports that female CEOs of small-staffed foundations make, on average, $0.87 to every $1 earned by male CEOs. (EP, 7/11)

– The blog Inside Philanthropy looks at new funder initiatives around the country- including that of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation – that are focused on young women of color. (IP, 7/6)

NONPROFITS | A new report from the National Council of Nonprofits looks at the unique challenges faced by nonprofit organizations in light of the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations.

This metro-station-name-as-emoji quiz is harder than you would think!

The Daily will be back on Wednesday.

– Rebekah

July 8, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

An uptick in fatal shootings by police so far this year

– According to data from the Post, which tracks police shootings, there has been a 6 percent increase in such shootings so far in 2016, compared to 2015 (WaPo, 7/7):

Blacks continued to be shot at 2.5 times the rate of whites. About half of those killed were white, and about half were minorities. Less than 10 percent of all those killed were unarmed. One-quarter were mentally ill.

But there are notable differences: More of the shootings were captured on video, 76 in the first half of 2015 and 105 in the first half of this year. And the number of fatal shootings of black women, such as that of Jessica Nelson-Williams in San Francisco in May, has risen. Nearly the same number of black women have been killed so far this year as in all of last year — eight this year, compared with 10 in all of 2015.

Black Nonprofit Leaders Share Grief in Wake of Police Shootings (Chronicle, 7/8)

Learn, Vote, And Get In The Streets: What You Can Do Today To Help End Police Violence (FastCo, 7/8)

– A new affordable housing development in Mt. Vernon Triangle in downtown DC will be one of the few in the nation that provide homes specifically for grandparents raising grandchildren. (WaPo, 7/8)

– In the latest in their Matters@HAND series, sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners, HAND asks, “Can we predict gentrification?” (HAND, 7/7)

VIRGINIA | In Virginia, A Battle To Give Former Felons The Right To Vote (WAMU, 7/6)

EDUCATION | Teaching Traumatized Kids (Atlantic, 7/7)

ARTS | Capital Fringe Transformed the City’s Theater Scene—Now It’s Attempting the Same for Its Music Scene (WCP, 7/7)

EVENT | Funders Together to End Homelessness is hosting their 4th Annual Funders Institute on Monday, July 25th. Click here to learn more about the event, focused on how philanthropy can work strategically to end homelessness.

Administrative Assistant (part time) | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers | Deadline: 7/18/2016
Philanthropic Services Associate | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region
Grants Manager | The Norman & Ruth Rales Foundation
Senior Communication Consultant | Kaiser Permanente
Associate Director | Arabella Advisors
Associate Director (Conservation Focus) | Arabella Advisors

Visit WRAG’s job board to for the latest openings in the region’s social sector.

WRAG’s 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:

I would give just about anything to be invited to this pool party.

– Rebekah

July 6, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Some area schools making it harder for students to fail

– Schools across the country and in some districts here in the Greater Washington region are changing grading policies to make it harder for students to fail, in an effort to make grades more accurately reflect student learning. Of course, the changes have supporters and naysayers (WaPo, 7/6):

Proponents of the changes­ say the new grading systems are more fair and end up being more conducive to learning, encouraging students to catch up when they fall behind rather than just giving up. Many believe that giving a student a score of zero for an F — rather than, say, a score of 50 — on even just one bad assignment can doom students because climbing back to a passing grade can seem almost mathematically impossible. And such failures can put students on a path to dropping out before graduation.

But many are critical of the shift, arguing that teachers are losing important tools to enforce diligence and prepare students for college and the workplace. They say that artificially boosting student grades can mask failure and push students through who don’t know the material they need to know to actually succeed.

FOIA: About 40 Percent of All D.C. Public Schools Have An Accessibility Issue (WCP, 7/5)

– In Prince George’s County, library puts books in barbershops to shrink achievement gap (WTOP, 7/4)

CSR | Hudson Kaplan-Allen, WRAG’s 2016 summer intern, writes about what companies need to know about motivating employees to volunteer, summing up the big take aways from the last Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group luncheon. (Daily, 7/6)

RACE/ARTS | One theme that surfaced repeatedly throughout WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series this year is the role of the media and images in shaping unconscious biases toward African Americans. This interview with Sarah Lewis, a Harvard art history professor, explores the power of photography to change narratives and deepen the representation of the black experience in America. (NY Times, 6/30)

HEALTH/ARTS | Beyond chemo: Cancer patients, survivors take up paintbrushes to heal (WaPo, 7/6)

EQUITY | Nearly Three Percent of D.C. Residents Identify as Trans (WCP, 7/1)

HEALTH | A recent study reveals that providing students with condoms may not be the most effective strategy for reducing teen pregnancy. (Atlantic, 7/3)

PHILANTHROPY | What Foundations Are Missing About Capacity Building (HBR, 7/4)

A warning to those of you who enjoy snapping selfies…watch your elbows!

WRAG has a member program tomorrow morning, so the (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday.

– Rebekah

July 6, 2016 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

How companies motivate their employees to volunteer

By Hudson Kaplan-Allen
WRAG’s 2016 Summer Intern

On June 23 WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group heard from Chris Jarvis of Realized Worth on why employees are incentivized, or in some cases, dis-incentivized, to volunteer. Realized Worth is a consulting firm that focuses on engaging employees in corporate volunteering. As the co-founder and senior partner, Jarvis shared strategies for getting employees involved in their communities and committed to social issues.

“People who show up to company volunteering programs already like to volunteer,” Jarvis said, adding, “These aren’t the employees that need to be convinced.” It’s much harder to motivate those who are less inclined to come out and devote a day or even a few hours to volunteering in their community, he said. So how do organizations increase the number of employees who participate in these engagement opportunities?

Jarvis explained that people volunteer for a variety of reasons, noting that some people respond to extrinsic motivation while others respond better to intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation occurs when people engage in an activity to earn a reward. Maybe they are offered a bonus by their employer or are looking to meet new people. Intrinsic motivation is when people engage in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; in other words, performing an activity for its own sake rather than for an external/extrinsic reward. While our initial reasons are often extrinsic, if we fall in love with volunteering, it then becomes intrinsic.

Jarvis cited an episode of the PBS TV series The Brain entitled “Why Do I Need You?” When we find extrinsic happiness, he said, our reward system kicks in, and we often feel something like a runner’s high, a sensation that tricks us into going farther than we think we can go, pushing ourselves that last mile. These same chemicals are released when we volunteer, Jarvis said, especially when we visualize the beneficiary and can understand our own significance to that person. That’s when we fall in love with volunteering – when we can understand exactly how and what the significance of the volunteer work is. That’s when we will push to do that extra hour or even extra day of volunteering. We are intrinsically motivated. It’s about creating a transformative experience as opposed to a transactional interaction, Jarvis added. If we have the occasion to directly get to know the person we are helping, to have that “storyline,” we form an emotional connection with the cause and take away meaning from the experience.

Jarvis used an example from one of Realized Worth’s successful Corporate Citizenship programs. Recently, his company worked with one of their corporate clients to get its employees more engaged. They created a program in which the employees, customers, and business partners would come in on a Sunday morning, once a month, to learn about mental health awareness and hear from local professionals. Just months after the program launched, the corporation was benefiting tremendously. The employee engagement rate went up by 12% and the absenteeism rate dropped by 22%. Talking about mental health, Jarvis pointed out, created a safe space for employees where they felt comfortable and engaged with the company and the community. In concluding, Jarvis said that programs like this one benefit both the business and the community. And that’s good for everyone.

WRAG’s Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group is comprised of corporate social responsibility leaders from more than 35 of the Greater Washington region’s top companies. This network provides members with professional development and best practice sharing; information on community needs and facilitated discussions with community, corporate, and nonprofit leaders; purposeful networking and partnership building; and a collective voice for corporate philanthropy. The next Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group session, on measuring and evaluating CSR, is August 16. Click here to learn more.


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