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April 21, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Committing to change

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY
In her latest blog post, WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland discusses the progression of the Putting Racism on the Table series. It’s more than just learning. (Daily, 4/21)

I am proud of the commitment that philanthropy has made to this learning journey. People who felt that they were sensitive to and understood racism have learned that it is far more nuanced, unconscious, and institutionalized than many would think. We have achieved the goal of knowledge gain. But, this isn’t learning just for the sake of learning.

Philanthropy has been referred to as society’s passing gear. Its position provides a platform for societal change that goes well beyond dollars.

COMMUNITY | The JP Morgan Chase Institute recently released a study tracking and evaluating the spending and saving patterns of millions of their banking customers in 15 metro areas in order to show important trends in how spending has changed due to temporary and more permanent income changes. The data offer important insights to companies, governments, and social profit organizations on the actual economic status of a community. (USCCF, 4/8)

VIRGINIA/ECONOMY | According to new county data, while Arlington’s population continues to grow, the number of jobs continues to decline. (ARLnow, 4/20)

MASS INCARCERATION/SOCIAL JUSTICE | OpinionWhy Mass Incarceration Doesn’t Pay (NYT, 4/21)

SOCIAL PROFITS | Compass, a provider of pro bono consulting services to social profit organizations that benefit the Greater Washington community, has opened their 2016-2017 client application. Each client will receive approximately $150,000 of strategic consulting services free of charge. This year, Compass expects to select 20-25 nonprofits. Click here to learn more.


A brief history of the “romantic” things that people have done in movies that you absolutely, positively should not do in real life.

– Ciara

April 21, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Is the power of philanthropy enough to move the needle on racism? Yes, it already is.

by Tamara Lucas Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In January, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) started an intensive exploration of racism called Putting Racism on the Table. Each month, for three hours, grantmakers have been immersed in a topic. Structural racism in January, white privilege in February, implicit bias in March, and this month the focus was on mass incarceration as a case study on how all three factors are operationalized in one system of government, the criminal justice system.

I think that several factors are remarkable about this work. First, eleven major funders in the Greater Washington region came together and said, “We aren’t ready to act. We want to learn.” This was powerful. It has seemed like a societal taboo to talk about the 800-pound gorilla of racism that sits in the middle of the room when discussing housing needs, educational needs, health care, or any of the multitude of community needs that philanthropy seeks to address. But these grantmakers were ready for the talk. Eighty percent of the attendees have come to two or more of the sessions. They have recognized that racism cannot be explored in sound bites. There is a depth and breadth to the topic that requires that you listen, reflect, talk with others, and then sit with the information for a while to make it your own. They are doing the hard work of truly understanding racism. After the sessions, many have been candid in revealing, despite their education and commitment to social justice, just how lacking their knowledge truly was about how pervasive and entrenched racism is in our society. Here’s an illustrative sampling of comments:

“After the session on structural racism, I realized how little I know about racism.”

“The systemic nature of racism is more pervasive than I had previously understood.”

“I think there are situations where white privilege is so ingrained that I am not even aware of the impact I am having just by being present or in casual conversation.”

“Having been through the session on implicit bias, I better understand the very strong and powerful way our subconscious influences our thinking and actions. What can we do?”

I am proud of the commitment that philanthropy has made to this learning journey. People who felt that they were sensitive to and understood racism have learned that it is far more nuanced, unconscious, and institutionalized than many would think. We have achieved the goal of knowledge gain. But, this isn’t learning just for the sake of learning.

Philanthropy has been referred to as society’s passing gear. Its position provides a platform for societal change that goes well beyond dollars. Consider the impact of the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on smoking reduction or that of the local Summit Fund on teenage pregnancy prevention. They both felt that they could make a difference and with a laser focus that commitment has led to deep and lasting improvements.

I have heard foundation CEOs talk about how this work is already translating into changes at their foundations. I have heard trustees who are business leaders share the impact that it is having on their thinking and on their actions. And, I have heard colleagues in other states discuss how WRAG’s work has opened the door for a discussion that they didn’t think they could have with funders. The needle is moving – slowly perhaps – but moving, and the momentum is building. Stay tuned.

April 20, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Exploring the five types of poverty

POVERTY/RACE
For years, researchers have attempted to better understand poverty by looking at the series of circumstances that allow it to persist, rather than attributing it to one defining factor. A new report hones in on five proposed types of poverty, and examines how these categories disproportionately affect Americans based on race. (City Lab, 4/16)

The paper, builds on research from the British economist William Beveridge, who in 1942 proposed five types of poverty: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. In modern terms, these could be defined as poverty related to housing, education, income, employment, and healthcare, respectively. Analyzing the 2014 American Community Survey, the paper’s co-authors, Richard Reeves, Edward Rodrigue, and Elizabeth Kneebone, found that half of Americans experience at least one of these types of poverty, and around 25 percent suffer from at least two.

But the likelihood of living a life that includes more than one of these types of poverty is significantly higher for minorities.

– How American oligarchs created the concept of race to divide and conquer the poor (WaPo, 4/19)

– The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans (Atlantic, 4/18)

WRAG/PHILANTHROPY | Jessica Finkel, Philanthropy Fellow at Kaiser Permanente, shares how her experience working with the organization’s Community Benefit department has helped her uncover a passion for policy and public health. (Daily, 3/20)

Related for WRAG Members: We are currently accepting applications from WRAG members interested in hosting Philanthropy Fellows this fall. For more information about this program and how to apply, click here.

COMMUNITY/RACIAL EQUITY 
– Today is 4/20, also known as ‘National Weed Day’. While enthusiasts in a growing number of states may now be able to legally celebrate or profit from this day, Consumer Health Foundation president and WRAG board member Yanique Redwood uses this opportunity to discuss how marijuana-related incarcerations have devastated communities of color for years. She also cites points from WRAG’s recent Putting Racism on the Table session on mass incarceration, featuring speaker James Bell, J.D. of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. (CHF, 4/20)

PHILANTHROPY | The concept of “power” can often be a difficult one to navigate, as those who have it don’t always use it for good – or even at all. Exponent Philanthropy‘s Andy Carroll explains what bold power in action looks like in the world of philanthropy. (PhilanthroFiles, 4/19)

HEALTH
– The World Health Organization is expanding their focus on mental health, with hopes that more countries will also begin to view mental illness as a high priority global threat. (NPR, 4/13)

– Some states are passing religious freedom bills that provide protection to people of faith unwilling to provide goods or services to LGBT individuals, and these laws can also have severe consequences on how (and if) people seek care from physicians and therapists. (Atlantic, 4/19)

WORKFORCE | Lack of Training for Young Nonprofit Workers Means Too Few Potential Leaders (Chronicle, 4/19) Subscription required

EDUCATION
– See how high schools in the region stacked up on the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings of the country’s best high schools.

– Why America’s Schools Have A Money Problem (NPR, 4/18)


Views on dating have changed quite a bit since 1939.

– Ciara

April 20, 2016 / Rebekah Seder

Philanthropy Fellows in the Field: Building new skills for a career in public health

By Jessica Finkel
Philanthropy Fellow at Kaiser Permanente 

Jessica is a Master’s student at the University of Maryland. She is working toward an MPP degree focused on nonprofit management and leadership.


As I entered my final year of grad school, I knew that now was my opportunity to further my professional development in a way that only a fellowship experience would provide. Along came the amazing opportunity to serve as a Philanthropy Fellow with Kaiser Permanente, working with the Community Benefit department. Prior to my fellowship, I only knew Kaiser as a healthcare organization, but I have learned there is much more to the organization. Kaiser works on the ground, creating educational programming and funding opportunities to improve total health for the communities it serves. It strives to find innovative ways to eliminate health disparities among groups.

I can tell in the past 5 months of my fellowship how much I have grown professionally and intellectually. Not only have I worked with incredible people, but I have been able to explore my interests within the public health realm to see how public policy and public health work together. From day one, I became part of the team and have benefited from the passion and excitement each person brings to their work. As part of my fellowship, I have worked on the creation of the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) with a team of consultants and KP staff. Using primary and secondary data analysis, and data triangulation, together we created a thorough process to identify top priority needs within the Mid-Atlantic States. Just recently, we presented our methods and findings to the rest of the Community Benefit team, and the response was overwhelming. It has been extraordinary to see how the CHNA has transformed from conversations and brainstorming into something that Kaiser is going to use to move forward in their strategic refresh and community planning.

My fellowship has been one of the most invaluable experiences I have had during my Master’s program. Not only have I gained a rich understanding of various methods of data analysis, but I have also found my passion in policy and public health: how health disparities within minority populations impact individuals and communities. I have also seen how a truly effective team operates, and learned how vital it is to ensure that everyone is at the decision-making table. I have seen first-hand how collective decisions positively shape Kaiser’s grant making and impact in the community. Looking forward into my own career, this experience has provided new insight into how a large organization operates, strengthened my data analysis abilities, and taught me the importance of making organizational decisions collaboratively.


The Philanthropy Fellows program is WRAG’s signature partnership with the University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. WRAG Members: Interested in hosting a Philanthropy Fellow? Contact Rebekah Seder to learn more about the program. Applications are due by May 13.

April 19, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Veterans often faced with long waits for health care

VETERANS/HEALTH 
A new audit by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that veterans enrolling in health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs are typically faced with months-long waits before ever being able to see a medical provider. Wait-time manipulation and scheduling errors were found to be significant factors in causing such delays. (WaPo, 4/19)

The average waiting time — as measured from the time veterans requested that VA contact them to schedule appointments to when they were seen — at the six medical centers GAO studied ranged from 22 to 71 days. Of the 180 veterans GAO tracked, 60 still hadn’t been seen by the time the auditors ended their review last month, in several cases because VA never followed up on their requests to be contacted or because of other administrative errors.

FOOD/ENVIRONMENT | Op-ed: Celeste James of Kaiser Permanente and Ryan Strode of Arabella Advisors discuss the importance of building a “Good Food” system that uses sustainable farming practices and protects the Chesapeake Bay by avoiding large-scale industrial agriculture and over-fishing in the area. (Baltimore Sun, 4/13)

COMMUNITY | Inter-American Development Bank has launched a newly revamped Improving Lives grants program, open to nonprofit organizations serving low-income Latin American and Caribbean communities in the Washington metropolitan area. The program will combine five grants of up to $50,000 each with skills-based volunteering, and is aimed at promoting innovative projects involving community and economic development, health and well-being, education or the arts. Eligible organizations in the region may apply for grants by submitting proposals before 6 pm (EST) May 19, 2016. For more information, please read the requirements or write to idbcommunityrelations@iadb.org.

MARYLAND/ECONOMY | In a recent State of the Economy address, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker spoke on his vision for making the jurisdiction a high-demand area for business. (WBJ, 4/13)

WORKFORCE/RACE
– How can organizations in the social sector work to build more diverse workplaces and address persistent institutional biases? Here are three key tools that may lead to success. (SSIR, 4/14)

– Feds urged to fight ‘unconscious bias’ in hiring and promotions (WaPo, 4/14)

TRANSIT | Bikeshare services, convenient and healthy, have long been a great option for those who can afford their annual memberships. Now, one service is expanding its reach to lower-income District residents by implementing need-based annual membership fees. (DCist, 4/13)

JOBS
Washington AIDS Partnership, an initiative of WRAG that invests more than $1 million annually in local organizations to improve HIV/AIDS and health-related services, seeks a program associate.

– All Ages Read Together seeks an executive director.


New Majority Labs, an organization dedicated to empowering communities of color to identify and build solutions to their own challenges using data and community engagement tools, recently tasked seven black youth from the District’s Ivy City neighborhood with conducting a survey of their neighbors, then used their findings to develop a hip hop song about the evolving community.

– Ciara

April 15, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Friday roundup – April 11 through April 15, 2016

THIS WEEK AT WRAG
– We released the second video in the “Putting Racism on the Table” series, featuring Dr. Robin DiAngelo, former professor of education and author of What Does It Mean to be White?, speaking on white privilege. After viewing, we encourage you to share your thoughts on the series or on the specific topic via Twitter using the hashtag #PuttingRacismOnTheTable, or by commenting on WRAG’s Facebook page. We also suggest checking out the viewing guide and discussion guide to be used with the video. Both can be found on our website.

THIS WEEK IN PHILANTHROPY
 In an update to WRAG’s Beyond Dollars report originally published in 2009, former managing director Kristin Pauly of The Prince Charitable Trusts provided the latest on their efforts to help protect a cultural and environmental asset in Virginia, and presented a new documentary on the fight, When Mickey Came to Town. (Daily, 4/13)

Opinion: Public Welfare Foundation president and WRAG Board member Mary McClymont shed light on the need for long overdue reforms to the civil justice system, and the need for more foundations to support civil legal aid for vulnerable citizens. (Chronicle, 4/8)

– Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) president and WRAG Board member Yanique Redwood, and administrative and communications assistant Kendra Allen, shared how CHF has used learning journeys to further connect with their grantees and view their work from a different perspective. (NCRP, 4/7)

THIS WEEK IN THE REGION
– Editorial: The Washington Post took a look at recent violent crime occurring in the District’s wards 7 and 8, and the importance of tackling social issues that are often factors in crime. (WaPo, 4/11)

– Why Virginia is shaking up its economic development strategy (WBJ, 4/12)


WRAG’S COMMUNITY CALENDAR
Click the image below to access WRAG’S Community Calendar. To have your event included, please send basic information including event title, date/time, location, a brief description of the event, and a link for further details to: myers@washingtongrantmakers.org.


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How did you know when you were officially an adult?

– Ciara

April 13, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Undocumented students face challenges heading to college

It’s all hands on deck for the Fundamentals of CSR tomorrow. The Daily will return on Friday!

EDUCATION
For many students preparing to graduate from high school, figuring out how to pay for college can be challenging. For undocumented students, being ineligible for federal loans or grants can make those challenges seem insurmountable. (WaPo, 4/11)

It’s an uncertainty that many undocumented students confront during their senior year in high school as they are crossing over from one world to the next. They are moving from a childhood when they had a right to attend public school, where teachers promised that they could achieve anything with enough hard work, to an adulthood where their legal status stands directly in the way of opportunities, including not just federal student loans but also driver’s licenses, certain academic fellowships and jobs.

– Why Do Some Poor Kids Thrive? (Atlantic, 4/6)

COMMUNITY/WRAG/ENVIRONMENT | In an update to WRAG’s Beyond Dollars report originally published in 2009, former managing director Kristin Pauly of The Prince Charitable Trusts shares the latest on their efforts to help protect a cultural and environmental asset in Virginia, and presents a new documentary on the fight, When Mickey Came to Town. (Daily, 4/13)

PHILANTHROPY
In their final annual report on the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy, the D5 Coalition shares the voices of leaders in the field and their stories of progress in the struggle to create a more equitable sector. (D5, 4/12)

Opinion: In light of the Council on Foundations’ 2016 annual conference addressing a lack of diversity and inclusion in philanthropy, Council president and CEO Vikki Spruill and Hispanics in Philanthropy president Diana Campoamor recommend strategies for addressing underrepresentation in the sector. (NPQ, 4/7)

Opinion: Pablo Eisenberg, senior fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at Georgetown University, discusses why he believes that philanthropy further exacerbates wealth inequality in America, and what he sees as a “culture of silence” in the philanthropic community. (Chronicle, 4/11) – Audio

CHILDREN/DISTRICTWho Pays the Price When Child Care Assistance Is Too Low? (CCN, 4/9)

VIRGINIA/ECONOMYWhy Virginia is shaking up its economic development strategy (WBJ, 4/12


Who better to review the best playgrounds in D.C. than an 8-year-old child?

– Ciara

April 13, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

An update on Beyond Dollars: When Mickey Came to Town

In 2009, WRAG published Beyond Dollars: Investing in Big Change, presenting a series of case studies of the grantmaking initiatives in the region that were creating lasting impact through their ability to build partnerships, leverage key resources, and capitalize on timing and momentum. Later, in 2013 WRAG published a progress report, further exploring the impact that philanthropic investments make on the lives of people who live in our region. One of the report’s featured stories focused on how The Prince Charitable Trusts helped to protect a cultural and environmental asset in Virginia. Today, we bring you the latest update on those efforts from Kristin Pauly, former managing director of The Prince Charitable Trusts. 


by Kristin Pauly
Former Managing Director, The Prince Charitable Trusts

This story begins in 1993, when The Walt Disney Company unveiled plans for a new theme park in Haymarket, Virginia near some of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War. Against a 75 percent public approval rating, a small team of philanthropists and local residents joined forces and mounted a campaign to convince Disney that siting their “American History” theme park in these rural and sacred lands was a bad idea.

Last month, the Environmental Film Festival premiered the documentary, When Mickey Came to Town. While the film documents the campaign in opposition to the Disney site, there is another, equally-inspiring story about the long-lasting impact that is possible when philanthropists go beyond dollars.

The Prince Charitable Trusts were by no means the central players in the campaign, yet the trustees and staff were active and engaged participants. They were inspired by the outcome and changed by the experience.

In the ensuing 22 years, the Trusts have continued to provide relatively small grants – often in the form of general operating support – to the organizations and initiatives that have committed themselves to protecting the very qualities that a Disney theme park threatened to destroy: a healthy environment, social equity, and celebrating and preserving a unique cultural legacy of this region. It has been a form of “engaged philanthropy” that has proven effective in a variety of ways.

All this has been made possible because the victory left people in the region with a sense of hope. As Chris Miller, executive director of the Piedmont Environmental Council, said on the 20-year anniversary of the fight, “It was a big fight and a good fight – a fight made possible by a long list of wonderful and talented people. Our coalition included some of the best organizations and thinkers in conservation, historic preservation, and sound land use planning – and we showed the entire nation that a grassroots movement is capable of taking on the Goliaths of the world, like The Walt Disney Company.”

Among the long-lasting impacts of the campaign are:

  • The Piedmont Environmental Council itself has grown to become an effective community-based conservation organization. Its work has helped permanently protect more than 370,000 acres of land in the Virginia Piedmont.
  • The launch of The Journey Through Hallowed Ground, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the unparalleled American heritage found in the 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area stretching from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville. In 2008 Congress recognized the Journey Through Hallowed Ground as a National Heritage Area. The Journey was featured in WRAG’s 2009 publication, Beyond Dollars, as an example of “a visionary partnership” and an example of how any foundation can have an impact by becoming engaged in a cause and pursuing a vision.
  • The impetus that catalyzed the smart growth movement in the D.C. metropolitan area, and the creation of The Coalition for Smarter Growth to promote reinvestment in existing communities and walkable neighborhoods connected by transit-oriented development.

In 1993, I was director of Urban and Metropolitan Programs at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. I played a small role in encouraging the Bay Foundation to take a stand on the campaign, and in the process came to know the staff of the Trusts. This led to my being hired as the managing director of The Prince Charitable Trusts two years later.

In the past 22 years The Prince Charitable Trusts have supported – and to some extent helped shape – a multitude of activities needed to permanently protect both the land and the culture that were in danger of being lost. It has taken a lot longer to shape this agenda than it did to defeat “Disney’s America,” and not all the battles were won. But I believe the result is impressive: a stronger sense of community, stronger leaders and institutions, and inspiring stories to share with future generations. And I believe that in this case, philanthropy has made a difference – both with dollars and beyond.

April 12, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

New video is live – Putting Racism on the Table: White Privilege

PUTTING RACISM ON THE TABLE/WRAG
The second video in the “Putting Racism on the Table” series is now live! The video features Dr. Robin DiAngelo, former professor of education and author of What Does It Mean to be White?, speaking on white privilege. After you’ve had a chance to view the video, we encourage you to share your thoughts on the series or on the specific topic via Twitter using the hashtag #PuttingRacismOnTheTable, or by commenting on WRAG’s Facebook page. We also suggest checking out the viewing guide and discussion guide to be used with the video. Both can be found on our website.

WRAG president Tamara Lucas Copeland said of the video release:

I am so pleased to share the next installment of the Putting Racism on the Table video series. Dr. Robin DiAngelo provided a thought-provoking and memorable session on a topic that is an integral piece of the puzzle surrounding the various aspects of race and racism. In this video, Dr. DiAngelo takes viewers on an exploration of white privilege and how it works to perpetuate an inequitable society.

HOUSING/ARTS | You can take a glimpse inside The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation‘s Art Place at Fort Totten, a new development coming in mid-2017 to include more than 900 apartments, a new children’s museum, and retail. (WBJ, 4/11)

EDUCATION/NATIONAL | New data show that, in 23 states, the annual cost of educating a 4-year old at a full-time day care center exceeds the average cost of in-state tuition at a four-year institution. Maryland is one of those states. (WSJ, 4/11)

SOCIAL EQUITY
– A new study suggests that when an individual has just a brief, in-person empathetic encounter with another individual who identifies with a group they hold prejudice against, their views can be  dramatically changed. (City Lab, 4/8)

AudioBlind Hiring, While Well Meaning, May Create Unintended Consequences (NPR, 4/12)

PHILANTHROPY | OpinionPhilanthropic Leadership Shouldn’t Still Look Like the Country-Club Set (Chronicle, 4/11) Subscription required.

DISTRICT| Editorial: The Washington Post takes a look at recent violent crime occurring in the District’s wards 7 and 8 over the past several days, and why it remains so important to tackle social issues that are often factors in crime. (WaPo, 4/11)


Go, Twiggy, go!

– Ciara

April 11, 2016 / Ciara Myers, Editor

Income, geography, and shorter life expectancies

HEALTH/NATIONAL
A new study, based on the tax and Social Security records of everyone in the U.S. between 1999 and 2014, examines how income and geography profoundly affect life expectancies for Americans (WaPo, 4/11):

Overall, the new study offers the most exhaustive account yet of the rich-poor gap in American life expectancy. The data reveal that life expectancies continuously rise with income in America: The modestly poor live longer than the very poor, and the super-rich live longer than the merely rich.

A new divide in American death (WaPo, 4/10)

PHILANTHROPY
Opinion: In this op-ed, Public Welfare Foundation president and WRAG Board member Mary McClymont sheds light on the need for long overdue reforms to the civil justice system, and the need for more foundations to support civil legal aid for vulnerable citizens. (Chronicle, 4/8)

Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) president and WRAG Board member Yanique Redwood, and CHF Administrative and Communications Assistant Kendra Allen, share how their organization has used learning journeys to further connect with their grantees and view their work from a different perspective. (NCRP, 4/7)

COMMUNITY 
– Congratulations to Washington Area Women’s Foundation president Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat and her team for receiving Leadership Greater Washington’s 2016 Innovative Community Partner of the Year award! The award was sponsored by The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

CSR | The Advisory Board Company has released their 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, detailing their investments in their CSR program, Community Impact, over the past two years.

INCOME INEQUALITYIs America Having the Wrong Conversation About Income Inequality? (Atlantic, 4/6)

HOUSINGDoes job growth strengthen a region’s housing market? (GGW, 4/8)

JOBS
Exponent Philanthropy seeks a Chief Program Officer

Wellspring Advisors is currently hiring for a Children’s Anti Poverty Program Officer.


 In what may be the coolest science project ever, a toy dog goes where no toy dog has ever gone before

– Ciara

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