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June 20, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

DC votes to raise wages for tipped workers

WORKFORCE | Yesterday, DC residents voted yes on Initiative 77, which eliminates the tipped wage and requires employers to pay their employees the minimum wage. The measure will now go to Congress for a 30-day review before it becomes law. (WAMU, 6/19)

“I was a server for many, many years. So having experienced both sexual harassment and the complicated nature of working in the restaurant industry, it just felt incredibly important that we do our best in terms of policy to make sure that people who are working at the less fancy, less expensive restaurants really have an opportunity to raise their standard of living,” said Sylvia Fabela, who voted for the initiative on Tuesday morning in Ward 3.

Currently, workers at restaurants and nail salons are paid $3.33 an hour and are allowed to collect tips on top of that. If those tips don’t raise their pay to the prevailing minimum wage, now $12.50, their employer has to make up the difference. Under Initiative 77, the tipped wage will be incrementally phased out through 2026, after which employers will have to pay all their employers the minimum wage directly, which by then will be more than $15 an hour.

AGING | A planned facility for LGBTQIA seniors, Mary’s House for Older Adults, has been awarded $1.19 million in funding from the District. The founder is hoping to raise $4.4 million for the project. (Washington Blade, 6/18)

HUMAN RIGHTS | Both Maryland and Virginia’s governors have pulled National Guard soldiers from the border and are refusing to deploy state resources to the border until the administration’s policy of family separations ends. (WaPo, 6/20)

CSR | Applications for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s 2018 Corporate Citizenship Awards are due on June 29. Don’t miss this opportunity for your company to be recognized for the great work its doing in the community! (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 6/20)

POVERTYBen Carson’s plan to raise rent for poorest Americans would have ‘severe’ impact on District, experts say (WaPo, 6/19)

ENVIRONMENT | Recycling has increased in Maryland, but many residents are still unclear about what belongs in the recycling bin. Maryland officials say this confusion is costing the state and taxpayers money. (Baltimore Sun, 6/20)

Now that DCist is back, so is the “Overheard” column. Read last week’s observations here.

– Kendra

June 18, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Placing midwives in high schools helps to educate teens on sexual health

– Teen pregnancy has decreased overall in the US, but the rates still remain high in some communities, including those that are low-income and communities of color. In this District high school, with help from a CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield grant, a midwife works to provide prenatal care, contraceptives and counseling to teen parents and other students. (NPR, 6/11)

Patchen had been trying to combat the city’s teen pregnancy rates for twenty years as the founder of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting or TAPP at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. She was happy with what they accomplished, but she wanted more access to the young people who needed her. Her organization got a 2015 grant from the CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield health insurance to start working in two schools. Now she says she’s one of a handful of school midwives in the country.

In the three years that she’s been working out of Anacostia High School, Patchen says no students participating in the program have had a subsequent pregnancy. And after choosing a long term birth control method like an IUD, 85 percent of Anacostia students are still using it one year later.

RACIAL EQUITY | In today’s blog post, Tamara Lucas Copeland, WRAG’s president, introduces her new book, Daughters of the Dream, which she hopes will inspire others to work against racial injustice. She also discusses why she believes helping people who are not Black understand the experiences of African Americans in the US is essential to achieving racial equity. (Daily, 6/18)

DIVERSITY | Tim Ryan, US chairman and senior partner of PwC, advises CEOs on how to address diversity and inclusion challenges within their organizations. (Huffington Post, 6/13)

WORKFORCE | DC’s Initiative 77 Doesn’t Just Affect Servers. Why Haven’t We Heard From Delivery Drivers, Nail Technicians, Bellhops, And Others? (DCist, 6/18)

TRANSPORTATION | The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority has announced a six year program which outlines the funding it will distribute. Arlington, VA will recieve about $83 million for various projects, including the expansion of transit options in Pentagon City. (ARLnow, 6/15)

The Daily will be back on Wednesday as I will be taking off tomorrow in honor of Juneteenth. I hope you will join WRAG in a moment of silence at 10 am tomorrow to acknowledge the enslaved African Americans who built this country’s wealth.

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday:


Do you want to be involved? Send us a picture of something that has made you smile and we may include it in the “Daily WRAG’s Monday Smile”!

Email us your content at

– Kendra

June 18, 2018 / WRAG

Sharing my past to inspire a racially just future

By Tamara Copeland
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last September, I introduced you to a personal project I have been working on for several years, a book entitled Daughters of the Dream. I am pleased that my book has been published and was released today on, and at other bookseller’s websites.

The death of Trayvon Martin may have been the catalyst. It seemed to elicit shock among many in the white community. In the black community, it elicited deep sadness – not shock.

When I wrote a post for this blog about how I had experienced this tragic event, large numbers of my white colleagues expressed surprise that I talked with my son about ‘shopping while black, driving while black, walking while black.’

“You still have to do that?” they asked.

I thought about how different our worlds were and that while I had to comprehend the white world to succeed, white people have not had to understand mine.

I started writing the book the same month that Trayvon was killed. The idea for it, however, had been percolating among a group of my childhood friends for several years. Originally, it was to be about our decades-long friendship, but it evolved once I began writing. Daughters of the Dream is a series of vignettes woven into a story recounting our lives. The story is told against a backdrop of segregation, integration, civil rights, and the long journey toward racial justice with what I hope is just the right sprinkling of history that you may not know.

Some black people believe it is the responsibility of white Americans to learn and understand the black experience. But learning how it feels to walk in someone else’s shoes is difficult. Even with sincere empathy and desire, without a guide to point out and explain the nuances, the level of understanding can be superficial.

In hindsight, I think that being one of those guides is part of my calling, my psychic price for occupying a place on Earth. I am not a historian or a sociologist, nor am I a researcher or a journalist. But I am black and have a specific perspective. Just as I hope WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table initiative has opened people’s eyes to the truths of structural racism and implicit bias, I also hope that Daughters of the Dream will give a glimpse into the experience of one black American and her friends.

This book is not about THE black American experience. I do not speak for an entire race. This is a recounting of the life’s experience of someone with whom, I think, many can relate. On paper, we—some white and black Americans—may share many demographic similarities. This fact might lead you to think we walk the same path. We do not. Daughters of the Dream will reveal just how different our lives have been and how different they continue to be. My America is not yours, at least not yet. I hope that Daughters of the Dream can bring us closer together as more Americans recognize the racial injustice in our country and work for the change that is needed.

June 15, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Discovery, Inc will invest in Loudoun County

– Yesterday, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam announced that Discovery, Inc. will invest $16 million to expand its global technology and operations hub in Loudoun County. State officials believe this will create 240 jobs. (Loudoun Times, 6/14)

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Loudoun County to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Loudoun with the project.

Funding services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will vote on a $500,000 match of the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund at a future business meeting.

– D.C.’s War Over Restaurant Tips Will Soon Go National (Citylab, 6/14)

TRANSPORTATION | Here is the reason why we don’t wait for traffic signals to tell us to walk before crossing the street. (GGWash, 6/12)

EDUCATION | The Fairfax County School board has passed a proposal to adopt a more inclusive sex education curriculum, including changing the term “biological sex” to “sex assigned at birth.” (WTOP, 6/15)

LGBTQIA RIGHTSHow Philanthropy Can Support Young LGBTQ Leaders of Social Movements (Chronicle, 6/12 – Subscription needed)

PUBLIC SAFETY | A Fairfax County circuit court judge has stopped requesting cash bonds, a practice he began after Richmond’s prosecutor announced that he would no longer encourage it. (WaPo, 6/14)

ENVIRONMENT | “What Is the Source of Disenfranchisement for Rural Americans?” (Slate, 6/14)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Senior Research Analyst | Job Opportunities Task Force– New!
Sr. Social Innovation Specialist | Washington Gas
Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations | Wolf Trap Foundation
Foundation Coordinator | The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
Senior Manger of Policy | United Philanthropy Forum
Grants Associate | Democracy Fund
Contract Grant Writer | Project HEAL
Program Associate| Case Foundation
Grants Manager | Public Welfare Foundation
Program Manager | The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation
Grants Program Analyst | Legal Services Corporation
Vice President of Strategy | Gill 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.

Today is National Take Back the Lunch Break Day!

– Kendra

June 14, 2018 / WRAG

Five things corporate funders wish you knew


By Katy Moore
Managing Director of Corporate Strategy
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

As a nonprofit professional, when you hear names like Boeing, Capital One, and Washington Gas, do you think dollar signs? Do you think about headaches and hoop-jumping? Or, do you think partnerships?

As we in the nonprofit community are looking for ways to increase and diversify our revenue streams, our counterparts in the corporate philanthropy space are looking for ways to grow and deepen their companies’ community engagement programs. The time is right for nonprofit professionals to learn how to harness corporate partnerships as a powerful means of support and community change.

Here are five things to consider when looking to build or grow your corporate partnership strategy:

1. Do your homework.

Want to know how to start off on the wrong foot with a corporate philanthropy officer? That’s easy. Simply reach out to inquire about funding before doing basic research to see if your organization is a good fit for the company’s community priorities. Relationships are built on mutual respect. If you reach out blindly, you are not respecting their time or illustrating that your organization cares about building a real partnership with their company.

2. Corporate philanthropy is not purely altruistic.

Unlike foundations, companies are not required to give grants. They were not set up for philanthropic purposes. And, supporting the community is not their primary function. Understanding a company’s multifaceted goals and motivations for supporting their communities will help you craft mutually beneficial partnership proposals. Motivations for giving will differ from company to company but here are just a few that typically rise to the top: garnering positive PR and media coverage for the company’s community efforts; demonstrating a measurable ROI to company leadership, shareholders, and the general public; recruiting, retaining, and developing top-notch employees and building high-functioning teams through meaningful volunteer experiences; and engaging company executives as skilled nonprofit board members.

3. Corporate philanthropy officers are real people with unique challenges.

It’s easy to imagine how great being a corporate philanthropy officer must be. After all, reviewing grant proposals, attending galas, and having the backing of corporate resources does sound pretty great. And, while being a CSR officer IS great, it’s definitely not without its challenges. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments are usually small – think one to three team members on average. Their responsibilities are broad – including overseeing grants, sponsorships, employee giving, employee volunteerism, executive board placement, CSR reports, media relations, and much more. Their geographic footprints are vast – think multi-state, national, and sometimes even global. And, the expectations of their work from employees, company executives, and the general public are very high, often unaligned and unrealistic, and ever-changing. This statement is not meant to elicit pity. Rather, it is included to offer some insight into what these professionals’ roles really entail and to empower you with the knowledge you need to build meaningful relationships and deeper partnerships with corporate philanthropy professionals.

4. CSR professionals are also fundraisers.

Unlike foundations whose annual grants budgets come from endowments, corporate giving programs are typically funded as a line-item in the larger annual corporate budget. This can make corporate funding much more volatile than that of foundations (sometimes larger, sometimes smaller). Every year, CSR officers have to “fundraise” internally to maintain (and hopefully increase!) their annual giving budgets. They do this by illustrating the ROI of their community investments, actively campaigning with key internal stakeholders, and fostering relationships with key allies across departments. In large part, the ammunition they use to do all this is the outcomes data and anecdotal stories they gather from their nonprofit partners. They really do read your grant reports and value the information they gather through your newsletters, social media posts, community gatherings, meetings, and more! The more impact you have (and can illustrate), the more impressive your outcomes, the more ammunition CSR officers have to advocate for more corporate dollars to invest in the community (“See?! Our money is making a real difference!”).

5. Offering volunteer opportunities is REALLY important. 

Over the last decade, with the rise of the millennial workforce, volunteerism has become an intrinsic part of nearly every corporate social responsibility program at nearly every size company. There is a strong business case to be made for corporate volunteering. Company-organized volunteer activities connect employees to each other and to their employer, provide valuable on-the-job training opportunities, boost morale, build teams, and serve as a valuable recruitment and retention tool. Nonprofits who can offer a spectrum of high-quality volunteer opportunities – from low-skilled “day of service” offerings to skills-based pro bono projects to executive board service – have a leg up in sparking and building more meaningful corporate relationships. (For additional insights, check out this free online course from Realized Worth on the power of employee volunteering.)

 If you’d like to learn more about why and how companies give back to their communities and how you can develop more effective corporate partnerships strategies, join WRAG each spring for our two-day Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility workshop. The dates for the workshop are typically announced in January.