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November 8, 2013 / Christian Clansky

For Veteran’s Day, filmmaker shows the power of a simple transformation

In September, a homeless Army veteran agreed to participate in a makeover for a short video. The results are remarkable and the video is quite touching.

It’s tempting to dismiss the video as a stunt, but there is something to be said for the meaningful confidence that a person can find through a simple aesthetic change (Blaze, 11/7):

“The homeless are people we ignore every day,” [the filmmaker] said. And so he wanted his video to show how, with just a little support, anyone “can look like they’re meant for the cover of GQ.” It’s hard not to gasp at the end result.

NONPROFITS | The New York Times has a great Q&A with Dan Pallotta about his Charity Defense Council, nonprofit success, and the potential of the social sector. Pallotta spoke at WRAG’s annual meeting four years ago and he’s really gotten traction for his message in the years since. (NYT, 11/7):

Q: How should we measure the effectiveness of charities if not by overhead?

A: We should ask three questions in a systematic way and gather data: What are your goals? What progress are you making toward those goals, and how do you know?

Related: Government Giving Nonprofits Angst (NYT, 11/7)

EDUCATION | Opinion: The Post’s editorial board has high praise for the District’s school system following the results of the NAEP tests (WaPo, 11/8):

For decades, the casual acceptance of rotten schools in the poorest precincts of this city robbed too many children of that chance. Now, day by day, year by year, the hard work of school improvement is helping to turn the theory of American opportunity into reality.

Related opinion: Greater Greater Washington’s David Alpert is a little more skeptical about what the test scores reveal. He wonders whether wealthier students, brought into schools in gentrifying neighborhoods, are artificially inflating scores. (GGE, 11/8)

The Atlantic looks at how the workforce is divided by race and how education comes into play (not evenly). (Atlantic, 11/7)

The U.S. labor force is still shrinking. Here’s why. (WaPo, 11/8)

GIVING | Have you heard about Amazon Smile? By making your purchases through a secondary site (same products and prices), Amazon donates half a percent of the purchase to charity. (NPQ, 11/7)

PHILANTHROPY | The Grants Managers Network has released a new consumer guide that compares 28 grants management systems. (GMN)

GROWTH | Metro Takes On New Role: Real Estate Developer (WAMU, 11/7) Uh oh, spaghettio.

HEALTHCARE | In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, President Obama addressed some of the controversies that have been surrounding the Affordable Care Act. In particular, he apologized to individuals who are being forced out of plans that they wanted to keep. (NBC, 11/7)

We’re not going to talk about the Redskins because it would probably cause me to turn into the Hulk and smash everything. Instead, here are 20 photos taken by daredevils in the midst of crazy activities.

When you’re done hyperventilating, here’s a neat op-ed from author Neil Gaiman – Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. I’m excellent at daydreaming! Bright future ahead, it seems!

We won’t have a news roundup on Monday due to the holiday, but we’ll see you on Tuesday. Enjoy the weekend!  – Christian

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