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May 28, 2014 / Ciara Myers, Editor

A call to action and innovation from the “social profit” sector

NONPROFITS/PHILANTHROPY
Over the weekend, a number of regional nonprofit leaders convened to pen an open letter on behalf of the nonprofit community.  In the letter, leaders challenged those involved in the sector to lend themselves to innovative thinking and to evolve from the traditional ideas of charity from days past. (WaPo, 5/25)

WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland said:

I applaud the thirteen who penned the May 25th “A Message from the D.C. area nonprofit community.” Much of their message resonated – the acknowledgement of what they called an “extreme proliferation of nonprofits,” an encouragement to consider mergers, and a desire to move from the notion of charity to one of investment. But, the most powerful concept in this important message was the desire to shift from the term “nonprofit” to the more accurate “social profit”. If “profit” must be the standard by which success is judged in this country, our sector must proudly claim its impact on society.  When young adults successfully complete workforce training programs and are able to find a job, that is a contribution to society. When an organization builds or preserves affordable housing units, it is contributing  to a healthy society. When an organization ensures that quality after school programs exist, it is making a contribution to a sound, robust society. These organizations must not be defined by what they are not, but by what they are. Social profit is a term that I embrace and one that I encourage all of us to adopt.

– The D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative has been working to fight generational poverty within the Kenilworth-Parkside neighborhood by offering wraparound services to both parents and children.  The initiative, based on the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York, is making slow, but steady, progress in the neighborhood. (WaPo, 5/24)

Opinion: More Grantmaker CEOs and Presidents Should Serve on Foundation Boards (Chronicle – subscription required, 5/18)

YOUTH/POVERTY
– Four interactive maps released by DC Action for Children reveal the disparities among children in low-income areas versus wealthier areas of the city. The maps display how various indicators of success elude many of the children growing up in lower income neighborhoods of the district. (DCist, 5/27)

The Atlantic offers an in-depth feature on socioeconomic issues facing African Americans throughout the years in a multi-part series. (Atlantic, 5/21)

REGION
Executive Action on Medicaid Would be Only Temporary Fix for Virginia (WAMU, 5/28)

– The Alexandria Seaport Foundation, which teaches boat-making skills to at-risk youth, will soon be displaced due to the upcoming waterfront redevelopment plan. (WAMU, 5/27)

CSR │ The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for their Corporate Citizenship Awards through Friday.  Find out more about the awards and apply here.


A fond farewell to poet and social activist Dr. Maya Angelou.

Ciara

 

 

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