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December 18, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

South Arlington residents worry about Amazon’s impact

BUSINESS | Many in Virginia are excited to be the location of Amazon’s second headquarters, but some residents in South Arlington, a multi-ethnic area south of U.S. Route 50, are worried that it will cause rising rents and displacement. (Curbed, 12/13)

…some urban policy experts say South Arlington may see adverse effects from HQ2, such as an increase in income inequality and gentrification.

“You’d expect the biggest impacts of Amazon to be in easy commuting distance, and South Arlington is a prime target for that,” says Jenny Schuetz, a fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. “A lot of these neighborhoods are likely to be pretty vulnerable because they have a lot of older apartment buildings, garden apartments, and older single-family houses that aren’t in great shape.”

PHILANTHROPY | Joi Ridley, director of communications at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, discusses how grantmakers can evaluate their capacity-building support to make it fit the needs of its grantee partners. (CEP, 12/13)

HIV/AIDS | Here’s a look at why HIV/AIDS funding is declining globally and across the US. (Inside Philanthropy, 12/12)

– These grandmothers created the Overground Railroad, a caravan of activists grandmothers that travel to meet asylum seekers once they are released from detention to give them food and other comfort. (YES! Magazine, 12/17)

– LGBTQ caravan migrants may have to ‘prove’ their gender or sexual identity at US border (The Conversation, 11/30)

ENVIRONMENT | Until We Confront Capitalism, We Will Not Solve the Climate Crisis (Truthout, 12/16)

REMINDER | Daily WRAG readers, we want your opinion! In order to improve your reading experience, we ask that you complete this short survey by Wednesday, December 19 to let us know what you like and what could be better on the blog.

A poem for the arts in Arlington.

– Kendra

December 17, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Virginia’s economy has recovered from the recession, according to a new report

ECONOMY | A recent report from Old Dominion University has found that Virginia has finally recovered from the 2008 recession. The report cites the state’s dependence on federal government spending, like other jurisdictions in the region, as a major reason why it took so long. (WaPo, 12/15)

Virginia’s gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services, has grown for five consecutive quarters since March 2017, the ODU report found. That’s a surge of strength for an economy that had been stubbornly anemic. Once a powerhouse state, Virginia lagged the nation as a whole in economic growth for six years in a row, with some quarters tumbling into contraction.

A big reason the state took so long to recover from the recession is that government spending was slow to ramp back up. Sequestration — the trick Congress used in 2013 to impose automatic government spending cuts — has hamstrung Virginia’s economy ever since.

WRAG ANNOUNCEMENT | Yanique Redwood, president and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation and chair of WRAG’s board of directors, has announced her decision to resign from WRAG’s board. Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the Meyer Foundation and current vice chair of WRAG’s board will move immediately into the position of Chair. Read more here (WRAG, 12/17)

CSR | Katy Moore, WRAG’s managing director of corporate strategy, presents the business case for corporate community involvement in a new blog. (Daily, 12/17)

PUBLIC SAFETY | I’m a Trauma Surgeon and a Shooting Victim. I Have Every Right to Speak Out on Gun Violence. (Atlantic, 12/15)

REGION | For the first time, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has nominated board leaders who are all Black. It has also approved all women for its 2019 Corporate Officers. (WTOP, 12/15)

CHARITABLE GIVING | Why You Shouldn’t Donate Angry: Pitfalls of Rage Giving (YES! Magazine, 12/12)

FOOD | The new farm bill includes funding for grants that specifically help farmers of color and indigenous communities. (Atlantic, 12/16)

Hey all! I’ve really enjoyed my time here at WRAG and creating the Daily WRAG for two years, but I’m writing to say Wednesday will be my last day. Thanks to everyone who’s engaged with the Daily or have left a comment or an email. Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, who served as Daily WRAG editor before, will take over writing the Daily – on a modified schedule- in the new year.

– Kendra

REMINDER | Daily WRAG readers, we want your opinion! In order to improve your reading experience, we ask that you complete this short survey by Wednesday, December 19 to let us know what you like and what could be better on the blog.

Here’s something to make you smile on this Monday:

work joke

– Reader’s Digest

December 17, 2018 / WRAG

The Business Case for Corporate Community Involvement

This blog originally appeared in the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce here.

By Katy Moore
WRAG’s Managing Director of Corporate Strategy

What if I told you that giving back to your community was a great business development strategy? Or, that giving back could help you recruit top talent, reduce turnover, and make your employees more productive? What if dedication to your community could increase your brand’s reputation and improve customer loyalty? Would I have your attention?

Employee Engagement 

According to Gallup, only 33% of American workers are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. These highly engaged employees, according to a recent PwC study, “put in 57% more effort on the job—and are 87% less likely to resign—than employees who consider themselves disengaged.” Higher employee engagement levels are linked to a range of positive business outcomes such as higher productivity, sales, and profitability, as well as lower absenteeism and turnover.

How, then, does a company go about engaging the other two thirds of its workforce? One way is through community involvement – what Gallup calls “moving from paycheck to purpose.”

More than ever, employees are driven by mission and purpose. We spend so much of our time at work, we want to feel like our work matters. According to Cone Communications, “88% of millennials [who will make up 75% of the global workforce in the next 5 years] say their job is more fulfilling when employers provide opportunities to make a positive impact.” In addition, “three quarters of millennials said they would take a pay cut to work for a socially responsible company.”

In addition, according to Covestro, “68% of executives believe their employees would be more engaged in their work and perform at higher levels if they had opportunities to be challenged by working on purpose projects inside and/or outside the company.” And, “83% of executives believe skills-based volunteerism could help employees satisfy their desire for purpose and hone their teamwork and/or leadership abilities, develop new skills and/or strengthen existing ones (77%), and become more engaged and productive in their own work (67%).”

Reputation & Consumer loyalty

According to Cone, 86% of Americans expect companies to do more than make a profit, they should also demonstrate their commitment to social and environmental issues. More than two decades of benchmark data illustrates a growing positive correlation between a company’s community commitment and its reputation and consumer loyalty. In addition, Cone’s research indicates that 87% of consumers will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about and 76% will refuse to purchase a company’s products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.

Finally, the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer indicates that 56% of consumers agree that companies that only think about themselves and their profits are bound to fail.

Community Engagement Components

If your company doesn’t have an active community engagement strategy or if you haven’t been focusing on it as a key business driver, now is the time to integrate community into your company. Click here to learn the basic steps for launching an employee volunteer program and an employee giving program. And, here are a few additional components you might consider:

katy chart


If you’d like to learn more about community engagement or corporate social responsibility, here are a number of resources to get you started:

second chart

I’d love to learn how your company is engaging in the community and how these efforts have contributed to your business success!

December 14, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How DC is interrupting violence in neighborhoods without police reliance

– Here’s the story of one of DC’s Violence Interrupters, a position created to be an alternative to policing. This person’s job is to try to de-escalate neighborhood disputes before someone is seriously hurt, especially after a shooting. (WaPo, 12/14)

Similar initiatives have been started in Baltimore, Chicago and some other cities. The hope is fellow residents, those who understand what it is like to live in a violent neighborhood, can convince others to join a jobs program, stay in school, stop selling drugs. Lower a gun.

The impact is hard to measure — a dispute quieted, anger channeled elsewhere, retaliation that is never carried out. But city leaders hope small success stories eventually will show up in the broader violent crime numbers, which for now are trending the wrong way.

Death sentences and executions continue falling across Virginia and U.S. (Richmond Times, 12/14)

BUSINESS | Anna Powell Bard, senior vice president of community affairs for Maryland, Virginia and DC at Wells Fargo, is profiled in Riveting Women’s latest blog post. (Riveting Women, 12/12)

YOUTH | Eric Braxton, executive director of the Funders’ Collaborative on Youth Organizing, discusses why funders should be invested in youth leadership development. (PND Blog, 12/13)

ENVIRONMENT | 3 things the federal farm bill funds besides farming: Chesapeake Bay cleanup, food stamps and renewable energy (Baltimore Sun, 12/13)

TRANSIT | Metro’s board has voted to charge riders peak fares for special events and to hold a public hearing on expanding rush-hour service hours. (WaPo, 12/13)

Social Sector Job Openings 

Vice President of Programs | Gill Foundation– New!
Administrative Associate | United Philanthropy Forum
Director of Administration | Public Welfare Foundation
Process Systems Expert | Client of SHG Advisors
Programs Manager | DC127
Development Manager | DC127
Director of Development (East Coast) | Rocketship Public Schools
Director of Development | ECHO
Executive Director | The Volgenau Foundation
Gifts and Grants Administrator | Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Manager of Communications & Events | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Director of “Count the Region” | The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
President | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
Receptionist/Administrative Assistant | Exponent Philanthropy
OST Community Impact Program Manager | United Way of the National Capital Area
Development Coordinator | National Building Museum
Grants Program Manager | Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County
Special Grants Coordinator/Program Analyst I | Legal Services Corporation
Program Associate for Strategy, Equity, and Research | Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

Hiring? Post your job on WRAG’s job board and get it included in the Daily! Free for members; $60/60 days for non-members. Details here.

Community Calendar

To add an event to WRAG’s community calendar, email Rebekah Seder. Click here to view the community calendar.

REMINDER | Daily WRAG readers, we want your opinion! In order to improve your reading experience, we ask that you complete this short survey by Wednesday, December 19 to let us know what you like and what could be better on the blog.

Are you going to Arlington National Cemetery for “Wreaths Across America” tomorrow? Virginia has these tips for you.

– Kendra

December 13, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

How these queer youth became entrepreneurs

LGBTQIA/BUSINESS | Last month, a local nonprofit, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, hosted a panel discussion with four LGBTQIA youth who have experienced homelessness. The youth cited challenges they experienced, but also talked about how they became entrepreneurs. (GGWash, 12/12)

Unsurprisingly, employment opportunities are frequently among the highest-ranked needs homeless LGBTQ youth report. Panelists said the work they find is often part-time and isn’t sustainable. Chris noted that workplaces can be unwelcoming to LGBTQ people, and that they have experienced prejudice on the job, both intentional and unintentional.

Panelists created small businesses to supplement their income and, in some cases, to feel comfortable being at work. Some of their enterprises include house cleaning, catering, jewelry making, and makeup design.

PHILANTHROPY | Tenneh Kemah, a  WRAG/UMD Philanthropy Fellow with The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and a student in UMD’s Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership program, discusses how her experience with the foundation is helping her gain valuable skills for her work at her own organization. (Daily, 12/13)

IMMIGRATION | This is what sanctuary means for a woman who is undocumented in Virginia. (WaPo, 12/12)

ENVIRONMENT | Big company, big dollars, small community: Dominion deal sparks dissent in community facing gas project (WaPo, 12/9)

WORKFORCE | A D.C. Superior Court judge has ruled that elections officials failed to follow proper procedure when they allowed supporters of the Initiative 77 referendum to collect signatures. (WAMU, 12/12)

PUBLIC SAFETY | Prince George’s County Police Officers of Color File Racial Discrimination Lawsuit (WAMU, 12/12)

TRANSIT | A few weeks ago, the DC Council voted to decriminalize fare evasion, which would stop the targeted arrests of youth of color and Black men. This week, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission wrote a letter to DC’s mayor expressing its disappointment with the passing of the legislation. (InsideNOVA, 12/12)

HOUSING | Arlington County has released a new report analyzing the progress of its affordable housing master plan. The report found that although it was able to create or preserve 515 homes guaranteed to remain affordable to low-income renters this year, the number is short of the county’s goal. (ARLnow, 12/12)

REMINDER | Daily WRAG readers, we want your opinion! In order to improve your reading experience, we ask that you complete this short survey by Wednesday, December 19 to let us know what you like and what could be better on the blog.

Would a robot take your job? Find out here.

– Kendra

December 13, 2018 / WRAG

Philanthropy Fellows in the Field: Tenneh Kemah, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation

Tenneh Kemah is currently serving as a Philanthropy Fellow with The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation while she completes the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of Maryland. She shared with us a bit about the skills and experiences she gained from her time at Cafritz.

Talk a bit about your background in the nonprofit field. How did it lead you to become a Philanthropy Fellow?

My background is in clinical social work, and I have spent my whole career developing and implementing programs for vulnerable families and children in the nonprofit sector. After years in that sector, I am confident that if you give me a pressing issue, I can help figure out a solution! But after starting my own nonprofit called Child Steps International, I realized that I was missing executive management skills, especially those related to board governance and financial management. That realization inspired me to pursue a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Maryland, and learn more about grantmaking and leadership styles through my internship at the Cafritz Foundation through the Philanthropy Fellows program.

What are you currently working on at the Cafritz Foundation? How does it relate to your coursework at UMD?

I’m currently developing a report that summarizes the key lessons learned from the nonprofit mergers supported by the Cafritz Foundation in the last 15 years. In order to learn how the Foundation can best support nonprofit mergers in the future, I have spoken with staff and executive management at more than 20 organizations that have been supported by Cafritz Foundation grants.

This work is the perfect compliment to my Graduate Certificate coursework at UMD. Through my interviews, I have been able to compare managerial styles of nonprofit executives, apply leadership theories from my classes, and incorporate those lessons into my own leadership style at Child Steps International. My coursework and the Fellows program have given me so many ideas on how to improve my organization!

What are some of the knowledge and skills you’ve gained from your experience at Cafritz?

The biggest takeaway from my time at Cafritz is the fact that grantmakers and nonprofit direct service providers really are partners. I didn’t really understand the structure of nonprofit and grantmaker relationships, and I had no idea that grantmakers have such strong social missions. By working at Cafritz, I realize now that an important role of nonprofit leaders is to closely engage and build relationships with grantmakers. By doing so, we truly can work together to accomplish our shared missions.

At the same time, I have learned so much about board governance and the importance of financial health for nonprofits. In my Nonprofit Financial Management course at UMD, I am learning more about 990s than ever before! I’ve learned how an organization can present itself externally to grantmakers through its 990 form.

After all my experience on the ground implementing programs, the coursework at UMD and my time with Cafritz has been filled with ‘a-ha’ moments that I can’t wait to use during my future work in the nonprofit sector.

The Philanthropy Fellows program was created in partnership between WRAG and the University of Maryland Do Good Institute in 2011. The program matches qualified students with high-impact projects at WRAG member organizations. If you are interested in learning how you can host a Philanthropy Fellow for the 2019-20 academic year, please contact Rebekah Seder.

The UMD Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership was launched in Fall 2018. The four-course certificate, which can be completed in two semesters, is designed for professionals who want to join an elite network of nonprofit and philanthropy leaders and hone their skills in (1) leadership and management, (2) strategy, (3) fundraising and (4) financial management. Applications are being accepted for the Spring 2019 semester. You can learn more here or contact Charlie Cummings.

December 12, 2018 / Kendra Allen, Editor

Providence Hospital is set to shut down some of its services on Friday

HEALTHCARE | On Friday, DC’s Providence Hospital will shutdown its acute-care services. Although the hospital recently announced it will keep its emergency room open until April 2019, many residents, advocates and nurses still worry about the impact on the neighborhood and communities east of the river. (WAMU, 12/11)

At a rally Tuesday outside of the hospital, nurses said that residents east of the Anacostia River still need a “fully-functional hospital.”

Healthcare advocates say residents living in the eastern part of the District already have limited options for care; several hospitals are clustered on the western side of D.C.

“We are not satisfied with what Ascension is doing here. They are offering a small and I think dangerous hospital, potentially,” said Stephen Frum, a labor representative with National Nurses United, the union which represents nurses at Providence.

BUSINESS | ACT for Alexandria, the Arlington Community Foundation, the Community Foundation for Loudoun & Northern Fauquier Counties, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation sent a letter to welcome Amazon to Northern Virginia. Read it here (CFNova, 12/15)

How the Neighborhood Funder Group is Disrupting Funder-Grantee Dynamics (Surdna Foundation, 12/5)

– Vu Le, Nonprofit AF blogger, warns progressive funders that they can learn from conservative funders and lists a few of their strengths. (NAF, 12/10)

INCOME | A new idea to address income inequality in the US is becoming popular – having the government provide a job with good wages for everyone who isn’t employed. (Citylab, 12/10)

FOOD | New Program Offers Southeast D.C. Families Discounted Rides To Grocery Stores (WAMU, 12/11)

EDUCATION | Arlington County, Alexandria and DC are all creating a more inclusive school environment for students who identify as nonbinary or transgender. (DCist, 12/10)

ENVIRONMENT | D.C. backs away from special water rate relief for churches (WaPo, 12/11)

REMINDER | Daily WRAG readers, we want your opinion! In order to improve your reading experience, we ask that you complete this short survey by Wednesday, December 19 to let us know what you like and what could be better on the blog.

Ready for an afternoon snack? Get a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts today for $1.

– Kendra