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January 18, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC Housing Authority board considers how to deal with housing code violations

– Commissioners on the D.C. Housing Authority board voted this week to explore a plan to address thousands of “nearly uninhabitable” public housing units—a plan that some advocates believe essentially amounts to privatization. (CP, 1/17)

The resolution asserts that DCHA should consider applying, through the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, for demolition or disposition of more public housing properties. The resolution also asked the board to affirm that some of “the most effective, available tools for addressing immediate conditions, and insuring longer term financial and physical viability” would include spending money on housing vouchers rather than subsidizing public housing complexes themselves. That decision would shift the burden to find housing to tenants, who would have to look for apartments on the private market. Advocates for low-income families frequently complain that landlords illegally discriminate against voucher holders by refusing to rent to them.

– Who’s hit hardest by the affordable housing shortage? (GG Wash, 1/10)

RACISM | In a new essay, Robin DiAngelo explains why white people being nice won’t end racial inequity. (Guardian, 1/16)

Related: Robin DiAngelo spoke on the topic of white privilege as part of WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series in 2016, as well as last year when we partnered with Leadership Greater Washington on Expanding the Table for Racial Equity. You can watch her talk here, and download discussion and viewing guides that accompany the video.

PUBLIC SAFETY | D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser intends to see the District’s police department grow over the next four years by adding about 150 officers in order to combat crime and better connect to the community. (WaPo, 1/16)

– In a letter to Virginia and Maryland senators, Metro said that it is losing approximately $400,000 per day during the government shutdown. (WaPo, 1/17)

– If they know where and how to look for ways to improve, cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report and interactive tool released by the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy. (CityLab, 1/17)

DISTRICT | A Stumble for Statehood? The federal shutdown brands D.C as just a government town. (CP, 1/14)

PHILANTHROPY | Two Loudoun County food pantries will receive $10,000 a week, funded by Easterns Automotive Group, for the duration of the shutdown to help aid federal workers and contractors who are impacted. Approximately 4.1 percent of federal workers and contracted employees reside in Loudoun County, according to a recent Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report. (Loudoun Times, 1/14)

RFP: Holy Trinity Catholic Church has allocated $150,000 in grant funding for up to three local nonprofits with the potential to bring about significant and lasting benefits to people who have been or could become the victims of sexual abuse or human trafficking. The deadline to submit the stage 1 application is February 22, 2019. Details can be found here. If you have questions, contact Kate Tromble at or (202) 903-2809.

Social Sector Job Openings 

President​ | ​Virginia United Methodist Foundation – New!
Chief Financial & Administrative Officer​ | ​Horizon Foundation – New!
Foundation and Government Relations Officer​ | ​Shakespeare Theatre Company – New!
Grants & Communications Officer​ | ​The Crimsonbridge Foundation – New!
Executive Director​ | ​VHC Medical Brigade – New!
Director of Development​ | ​DC Bar Foundation – New!
Program Manager​ | ​Weissberg Foundation – New!
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Grant Reviewer​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Administrative Associate | United Philanthropy Forum
Programs Manager | DC127
Development Manager | DC127
Director of Development (East Coast) | Rocketship Public Schools
Director of Development | ECHO
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
Gifts and Grants Administrator | Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Manager of Communications & Events | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Director of “Count the Region” | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Receptionist/Administrative Assistant | Exponent Philanthropy
OST Community Impact Program Manager | United Way of the National Capital Area
Development Coordinator | National Building Museum
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer 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

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.

What a great way to embrace the upcoming MLK weekend: 6 Opportunities To Reflect On Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Around The D.C. Region

Next week we’ll publish the (almost) Daily WRAG on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

– Buffy

January 17, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

State economies could benefit by Congress lifting a federal ban on student aid for inmates

– States could save hundreds of millions of dollars in correctional costs and boost employment rates if Congress ends a decades-old ban on providing financial aid to prison inmates. According to a just-released study by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, the authors estimate that Maryland could save $7.6 million a year in prison expenditures, while Virginia could lower corrections spending by $3.6 million. (WaPo, 1/16)

“Restoring access to postsecondary education in prison offers substantial benefits to individuals who are incarcerated, to states, to employers and to communities by reducing crime, raising employment prospects and creating wealth in communities,” said Nick Turner, president of the Vera Institute of Justice.

– Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Arlington County, and Falls Church Public Schools are among those inviting federal employees to apply for work, offering to fast-track their applications. (WAMU, 1/14)

SHUTDOWN RESPONSE | As the partial federal shutdown drags on, and furloughed federal employees missed paychecks on Friday, local food banks and other nonprofits are feeling the strain. Funders in our region are taking action to respond. Last week, the United Way of the National Capital Area made available $50,000 through its Emergency Assistance Fund, with a match from Pepco, which is also working with affected customers to waive late fees. Bank of America also granted $10,000 to UWNCA’s Emergency Assistance Fund (click here for more information about the fund). Washington Gas is offering flexible bill payment arrangements to affected customers. And, as we reported on Tuesday, the Resilience Fund, housed at the Greater Washington Community Foundation, is allocating $50,000 to help meet emergency needs of those affected by the shutdown. We know that many others in the WRAG community are convening and considering how they can be supportive during this time.

Enterprise Community Partners and Kaiser Permanente have partnered on two new funds that bridge health and housing by elevating affordable, sustainable homes as essential to health and well-being.

– Feds to Audit Opioid Spending: D.C. has reportedly not properly spent funds dedicated to combating opioid abuse (WaPo, 1/16)

– The just-released de Beaumont Foundation’s 2017 Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PH WINS) shows a rising level of turnover among state and local governmental public health agencies, which could pose a threat to community health and safety.

 The story behind Whitman-Walker’s restructuring — and what’s next for the health nonprofit (WBJ, 1/16 – subscription)

RACIAL EQUITY | Policies that concentrate wealth among the richest households have exacerbated historic racial wealth disparities in the United States according to a new report from the Institute for Policy Studies. (PND, 1/15)

GUN VIOLENCE | As Homicides Continue to Rise in D.C., Parents of Gun Violence Victims Reflect on Their Open Wounds (CP, 1/17)

PHILANTHROPY | Several experts and thought leaders from the Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University have examined changes in the field and identified 11 trends in philanthropy they expect to see impacting the sector in 2019.

There are many negatives to the government shutdown – and having visited Joshua Tree National Park last year, this is one in particular that I can’t stop thinking about.

January 15, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Federal workers who live in some parts of Greater Washington affected by the shutdown more than others

– Federal workers who live in Southeast DC, Prince George’s County, or the outer suburbs, may be among those most affected by the ongoing government shutdown. According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, half of federal workers in those areas earn less than $75,000 a year. (WAMU, 1/14)

About 360,000 federal workers live in the broader Washington region, and roughly 40 percent of those — or 145,000 workers — have been furloughed since December, according to Stephen Fuller, an economist at George Mason University. “The people that tend to get hurt are at the lower end of the wage spectrum or small businesses — people that just don’t have a whole lot of backup or alternatives” said Fuller.

– In response to the partial government shutdown, the Greater Washington Community Foundation announced they are dedicating $50,000 for emergency cash and food relief for local workers, contractors, and small business owners. The funds are being made available through the Resilience Fund. GWCF also has an extensive list of resources for furloughed federal employees and contractors on their website, including resources and support from the United Way of the National Capital Area, Pepco, Washington Gas, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

Related: During the shutdown of 2013, WRAG’s president Tamara Copeland wrote a column about why philanthropy, though critically important in helping to meet emergency needs, cannot replace government. That certainly continues to hold true today. (Daily, 10/2013)

CENSUS | The government is fighting a lawsuit filed by the NAACP that argues that, due to funding cuts, the 2020 Census is likely to massively undercount African Americans and other people of color, which will result in a loss of federal funding and Congressional representation (AP, 1/15)

HEALTH/RACIAL EQUITY | On January 28 lawmakers in the District will hold a public hearing to look at city response failures to surging heroin deaths in African American neighborhoods, and to determine strategies for combating the opioid epidemic. (WaPo, 1/11)

POVERTY/HOUSINGOpinion: Opportunity Zones: Can a tax break for rich people really help poor people? (WaPo, 1/14)

NONPROFITS | BoardSource is accepting applications for the 2019 Stand for Your Mission Award, recognizing nonprofit boards that have established advocacy as an expectation for engaged and effective board leadership. Proposals due: 2/1/19

Did you enjoy the snow this weekend? Lots of people seemed to, including those who took part in a massive snowball fight organized by the Washington, D.C. Snowball Fight Association near the Washington Monument – who knew??

– Buffy

January 11, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Government shutdown coincides with slowest time for charitable donations

NONPROFITS | Nonprofit organizations in the Greater Washington region are receiving an influx of calls for assistance during what is typically known as the worst months for charitable donations – and nonprofit leaders are worried about keeping up with the demand. Rosie Allen-Herring, president and chief executive of the United Way of the National Capital Area, said nonprofit groups have emphasized to her that the need they’re seeing around the Washington area is outstripping the support they were prepared to provide. (WaPo, 1/9)

“It’s not just the 800,000 workers we’re hearing about almost daily,” Allen-Herring said. “There’s another rung of smaller, more disadvantaged businesses who contract with the federal government. Those employees aren’t going to be made whole” with potential back pay when the shutdown ends.

– In order to combat structural and institutional racism affecting DC, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie has introduced the Racial Equity Achieves Results Act, which lays out specific actions to advance racial equity, including designing and implementing a racial equity tool, racial equity-related performance measures and evaluations, and racial equity training for all District employees.

-Diversity and race are top issue priorities for PwC Chairman Tim Ryan. (Chief Executive, 1/9)

Related: Bold Leadership: How Companies are Stepping Up and Speaking Out on Hot Button Issues (Daily, 9/17)

IMPACT INVESTING | A decade-long push has urged foundations to devote more of their endowments to impact investing. But many still aren’t invested in line with their mission. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Prince George’s schools start fund to buy lunches for children of furloughed workers (WaPo, 1/10)

HOUSING | See How Landlords Pack Section 8 Renters Into Poorer Neighborhoods (CityLab, 1/9)

FOOD | A new mobile pantry vehicle, funded in part by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, is set to feed thousands in Loudoun County. (Loudoun Times, 1/2)

– The Community Foundation of Northern Virginia announced their 2019 Community Investment Funds Grant Cycle – proposals due: 2/14/19.

– CareFirst will award up to $2 million to support programs seeking to improve birth outcomes and lower infant mortality rates in Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia – proposals due: 1/14/19.

Social Sector Job Openings 

Grants & Communications Officer | The Crimsonbridge Foundation – New!
Executive Director | VHC Medical Brigade – New!
Director of Development | DC Bar Foundation – New!
Program Manager | Weissberg Foundation – New!
Senior Supervising Attorney, Criminal Justice Reform​ | ​Southern Poverty Law Center
Director of Development​ | ​The Barker Adoption Foundation
Grant Reviewer​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Executive Assistant​ | ​Jack and Jill of America Foundation
Administrative Associate | United Philanthropy Forum
Programs Manager | DC127
Development Manager | DC127
Director of Development (East Coast) | Rocketship Public Schools
Director of Development | ECHO
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer 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

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.

Looks like it’s going to feel a bit more like winter this weekend – here’s some DC hot spots where you can find “ridiculously delicious hot chocolate.”

Next week we’ll publish the (Almost) Daily WRAG on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

– Buffy

January 9, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

DC Mayor Bowser sets a goal of building 36,000 new housing units by 2025

– At the start of her second term in office, DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to increase the production of new housing in order to meet the pressing need for housing affordability in the District. (WAMU, 1/8)

“Bowser has even set a goal for D.C.: 36,000 new housing units by 2025, the city’s portion of the estimated 235,000 housing units the Washington region will have to produce in that period to keep up with job growth. Currently, the region is expected to produce 170,000 housing units over the next six years. Housing analysts say the mayor’s goal is enthusiastic, though achievable.”

WRAG’s Vice President, Gretchen Greiner-Lott, had this to say regarding the Mayor’s announcement:

“Housing affordability is an ever-growing issue throughout our region so it is exciting to see Mayor Bowser acknowledge the issue and pledge to make it her number one priority. As she says, we all have to “think big and differently” about how to produce more housing. The Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington’s Guidebook for Increasing Housing Affordability in the Greater Washington Region would be a great place to start.”

Alexandria lost 90% of its affordable homes in the past few decades. Is it really ‘radical’ to build more? (GGWash, 1/8)

ENVIRONMENT | In a new report, scientists say the health of the Chesapeake Bay deteriorated in 2018 after years of improvement. (WaPo, 1/8)

EQUITY/DISABILITY RIGHTS | Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, head of RespectAbility and the Mizrahi Family Charitable Trust, is powerfully pushing for philanthropy to focus on equality for people with disabilities. (Chronicle, 1/8)

EDUCATION | Schools tackle anxiety over food and fees as shutdown shows no sign of ending (WaPo, 1/8)

TRANSPORTATION | Lyft is offering low-cost rides to grocery stores in Wards 7 and 8. What’s a sustainable solution? (GGW, 1/7)

COMMUNITY | We were saddened to learn last month of the passing of Vicki Sant, a longtime philanthropic leader in the Greater Washington region, and the founder, along with her husband Roger Sant, of the Summit Foundation, as well as the Summit Fund. A memorial service will be held on January 16 at the Kennedy Center. Details can be found here.

NONPROFITS | The application for the 2019-2020 Catalogue for Philanthropy is now open. Click here for details.

We are on day 19 of the government shutdown – from museum visits to tours, here’s some things you can still do.

– Buffy

January 7, 2019 / Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Editor

Bread for the City plans to open a new, larger facility in Anacostia

POVERTY/NONPROFITS | Citing an increased need for food, medical care and social services, Bread for the City is preparing to expand its operation in DC. Set to open in 2020, the new Anacostia location will serve at least 2,000 additional people monthly. (WaPo, 1/6)

George Jones, the organization’s chief executive, said the need is, in part, fueled by gentrification that has intensified the gap between wealthy and poor residents. A recent report by the D.C. Chamber of Commerce highlighted the chasm. Since 2009, it says, the city has lost more than 4,000 families with yearly incomes below $35,000, while gaining more than 10,000 families with incomes above $200,000 over the same span.

PHILANTHROPY | In her first column of 2019, WRAG’s president Tamara Lucas Copeland shares her thoughts on three important trends in philanthropy that she believes will impact the region this year. (Daily, 1/7)

HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS | Check out the Miriam’s Kitchen “Change Agent of the Month” interview with Katy Moore, Managing Director, Corporate Strategy at WRAG and Founder and Director of the Institute of Corporate Social Responsibility. She is also a member of the Leadership Council at Miriam’s Kitchen. (What’s the Dish Corporate Social Impact eNewsletter, 12/18)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM | The city of Alexandria joins the national trend of limiting the use of cash bail in misdemeanor, low-risk, nonviolent cases. (WaPo, 1/6)

EDUCATION | D.C. Council prepares for rigorous confirmation hearing on pick for schools chancellor (WaPo, 1/6)

FOOD | New Ward 8 Grocery Store Breaks Ground — And Barriers — To Fresh Food. (WAMU, 1/13)

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY | Interesting piece by Tim McClimon, head faculty member of the Institute for CSR, highlighting Five CSR Trends to Watch in 2019. (Forbes, 1/19)

GRANTS | The Jack & Jill of America Foundation is recruiting grant reviewers experienced in the areas of education, health/wellness, and strengthening black families. Details here.

It’s great to be back as Editor of the (Almost) Daily WRAG on a modified schedule for the next few months! This week we will publish on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

I’m looking forward to sharing important news, helpful resources, and interesting pieces, including this list of New Years resolutions for movie lovers.

– Buffy

January 7, 2019 / WRAG

My Top Three Insights on Philanthropy in 2019

By Tamara Lucas Copeland
President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

On New Year’s Day, I saw a news segment about 2019 diet trends. The key takeaway: there really isn’t anything new. To lose weight, exercise more and eat less. That’s it.

This made me think about philanthropy. What is new in philanthropy for 2019? Anything? Or is the formula for investing in communities still pretty much the same?

For me, the answer is “yes, but no.” The underlying desire to invest responsibly in communities for the social good seems to be fundamental, long-standing, and shared by most corporate giving programs and foundations. The question is, what does “responsibly” mean? That’s the “no” part. I think the definition of responsible investing has changed, a change that shapes how I see philanthropy moving forward. That said, here are my top three insights for 2019 on how philanthropy’s traditional approaches are shifting, at least here in the Greater Washington region.

1. Just the facts

OLD: In order to solve community challenges, we must examine what the research says about different interventions. Data-driven philanthropy has been a hallmark of what is considered effective philanthropy for some time now. No grant application would be successful without the obligatory inclusion of information on what research the suggested intervention was based.

NEW: Having gone through three years of a rigorous focus on structural racism, funders in Greater Washington are increasingly aware that often even the most highly regarded sociological and economic research has minimized, or not even considered, the role that structural racism and implicit bias play in society. “Back-mapping” is the tool that ABFE encourages philanthropic leaders to use to delve deeply into the root causes of racial disparities, a critical first step in determining the most effective intervention for a given issue. Sometimes “the facts” simply don’t portray the whole picture.

This leads me to….

2. Work with communities

OLD: Communities with high concentrations of low-income people often were thought of as powerless, disenfranchised, and needy — communities where people needed to be empowered, by some outside entity, to act on their own behalf.

NEW: This paternalistic way of understanding communities is shifting. Increasingly, the knowledge, and therefore power, that exists in all communities is being recognized. Communities are seen as partners in changing the status quo. Philanthropy has the financial resources to enable the needed intervention and community leaders know what interventions have, and can, make a lasting difference. Equal partners for change.

And lastly,

3. Grow the corpus

OLD: In order to continue to invest in communities, the stewards of foundations must prioritize growing their wealth. To do that, philanthropy must invest in products and services that will bring a handsome return on that investment. There must be a cushion in place in case of financial downturn, so ensuring a solid financial return must always be the goal.

NEW: The practice of impact investing, looking for vehicles that provide a financial return while also benefiting society, continues to grow among foundations. In WRAG’s latest edition of Our Region, Our Giving, we reported that almost 60 percent of WRAG members surveyed are currently engaged in impact investing, or are actively seeking to become engaged. For most of those members, their impact investing started in the last five years. But, there is something on the horizon that reflects even bolder thinking: connecting the financial arm of the foundation to the programmatic arm. It’s not enough for a foundation to set some money aside for impact investments while the bulk of their assets are traditionally invested – especially if those investments might be perpetuating the very challenges that the foundation aims to address through its grantmaking.

Maya Angelou said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” From my first day at WRAG, I saw this as a community focused on learning. There is a keen desire to learn and to use that knowledge wisely to impact our region. That learning has deepened and the focus has shifted over time. This philanthropic community will undoubtedly “do better” in 2019.