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March 7, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Can philanthropy fix our democracy?…Why housing matters to everyone…How Raise DC is unlike any effort of the past [News, 3.7.13]

PHILANTHROPY | Arabella Advisors’ Shoshana Buchholz-Miller has a really fantastic post on why (and how) funders must invest in fixing our malfunctioning democracy (Greater Good, 3/7):

Clearly, the democratic structures upon which we depend are not working as they should. And this needs to be a concern for philanthropists beyond those with long histories of supporting civic participation and democracy in the United States. In order to make headway on key domestic issues important to them, philanthropists must also commit to reinvigorating American democracy.

HOUSING | In today’s Daily, Gretchen Greiner-Lott writes about why housing should be a critical priority for funders, nonprofits, businesses, and governments of all kinds. What’s at stake? “Everything that this region wants to achieve.” (Daily, 3/7)

YOUTH | Earlier this week, funders gathered to learn about the new “cradle-to-career” effort Raise DC. Rebekah has some key take-aways from the discussion – including why this is a very different model with achievable goals compared to efforts of the past. (Daily, 3/7)

Related: WRAG’s Tamara Copeland interviewed the United Way’s Bill Hanbury about what funders can do to support Raise DC. An added bonus – there’s an amusing photo-bomber in the background!

A child on Capitol Hill braved the blizzard to take advantage of the only sledding opportunity in years.

EDUCATION | NBC’s Nightly News ran a story on the District’s new race-based performance standards. (NBC, 3/6) Obviously these standards are controversial, and I’m not sure that Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley Jones’s explanation at the 1:30 mark  helps make the case.

NONPROFITS | The IRS has made dozens of “clarifying” changes to the form 990. (Chronicle, 3/6) I put “clarify” in quotes because the document explaining the changes is six pages long. And because there is no punctuation for sarcasm.

ECONOMY | The District Dime says that D.C. is technically recovering from the recession, but that doesn’t mean much to many people whose conditions haven’t changed. (DCFPI, 3/6)

SNOWQUESTER | The Post blames “nonstop media storm-mongering” for yesterday’s work/school closures. I’m glad they took the opportunity to really hammer the point. (WaPo, 3/7)

I actually did appreciate the empty office building yesterday. It allowed my yodeling to be so much more confident. The Lonely Goatherd has never sounded better.

– On March 21, WRAG will hold its first Brightest Minds session of the year with former HUD secretary Henry Cisneros. He’ll talk about why every stakeholder in the Greater Washington region should care about housing. Register here!

– Also on March 21, the Community Foundation, Capital One, and Howard University will host a schools tours in Suitland and Langley Park on their Drop-out Prevention Tour. More info.

– On April 3, the Nonprofit Roundtable will host the 2013 Annual Media Summit: The Virtual Nonprofit with a keynote from Google’s Xiaonan Zhao. More info here.

“Researcher of Obscure History” for The Atlantic is quickly rising on my list of dream jobs. Check out this neat article about how cities tried to create artificial moonlight before they committed to street lights.

In high school, I hung out on the set of Random Hearts when it was filming in Bethesda. They shot one scene at about 1:00am, but giant orbs of artificial light floating in the trees made the final product look like daytime. So cool! And yes, since you were wondering, Harrison Ford did ask for my autograph. 

– Christian

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