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October 1, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Foundations gave almost $60 billion last year (and the government is shutdown)

The Foundation Center has just released its latest edition of Key Facts on U.S. Foundations. It finds that U.S. foundations gave an estimated $50.9 billion in 2012, up from $49 billion the previous year. The report (which is really beautifully designed – kudos) also goes into detail about giving priorities and trends (PND, 10/1):

The report also found that, once again, health and education were the top priorities of the country’s largest foundations, accounting for almost half of all grant dollars; that 35 percent of all grant dollars awarded by the nation’s largest foundations were specifically intended to benefit the economically disadvantaged…

Related: In November, WRAG will release a report about giving in our region. Brace yourselves!

SHUTDOWN | It just seemed so cliched to lead with this, but it’s the elephant in the room (or donkey). So, you all know the government is shutdown.

Here’s a look at what will happen to local governments. (WT via GGW, 10/1)

– The District remains open…for now. The city has enough in its contingency fund to last through October 13. It is a true shame that the funds are needed for this and won’t be used for the myriad of long-term problems facing the city. (WaPo, 10/1)

– This is what the shutdown means for nonprofits at this point. (Chronicle, 10/1)

– The Corporation for National and Community Service has tweeted that its AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps activities have been suspended until further notice. Fortunately, the Washington AIDS Partnership’s team is still able to serve.

– The Post has a frequently-updating blog with all of the latest news on the shutdown. (WaPo, 10/1)

– The Washington City Paper has temporarily renamed itself the Washington Shutdown Paper. They have plenty of updates, too. (WSP, 10/1)

– It’s not all bad news…just mostly. Here are some furlough-related freebies and discounts being offered by local businesses. (WJLA, 10/1)

– And here is how the internet thinks Ron Paul feels about the shutdown.

– Today marks the official opening of the insurance marketplaces mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Despite the fact that the standoff that led to the shutdown was ostensibly about healthcare, the shutdown itself won’t stop the exchanges from opening. (ABC, 10/1)

– The Post’s Wonkblog has another useful FAQ about Obamacare, ingeniously accompanied by a nerdy comic book reference about which most of you won’t care! (WaPo, 10/1)

– Jimmy Kimmel was kind enough to give us some perspective on whether the public prefers the Affordable Care Act or…Obamacare. Enjoy!

– Just a reminder if you missed it. Last month, WRAG’s Health Working Group co-sponsored a regional forum on insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Here’s a rundown of where we stand. (WRAG)

Well, since we went off the cliff this time, I suppose I owe somebody a penny. Instead of that, how about I share some spectacular images of geological cliffs with walkways on them?

I’m trying to keep a light heart about the shutdown, but I know that it really is going to hurt people if it lasts much longer. Good luck to everyone who is being directly affected. Let’s hope for a quick resolution. 

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