The Community Foundation in Montgomery County appoints Anna Hargrave as new Executive Director

COMMUNITY 
The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (CFNCR) has appointed Anna Hargrave as the new Executive Director of the Montgomery County office. Hargrave has served at The Community Foundation for nine years in many roles. Bruce McNamer, president and CEO of CFNCR said of the appointment:

“Anna is a strong, effective, and generous leader. She has the perfect combination of on-the-ground experience and strategic vision that we need to support and grow our work in Montgomery County. I join the Board and my colleagues in congratulating her on this appointment and look forward to working with her in this new capacity.”

FOOD ACCESS
A new study published by the American Journal of Public Health finds that, despite the presence of ‘big-box retailers’ who have begun selling fresh produce in areas considered food deserts, many American shoppers still opt for junk food options. The question of whether it’s the type of store or consumer preference that leads to unhealthy choices remains unanswered for researchers. (NPR, 10/14)

CHILDREN/EDUCATION | Hispanic student enrollment has surged in the Montgomery County school system, with Latino children now making up 30 to 32 percent of those in kindergarten through 4th grade. Youth advocates call for the county, and other areas seeing demographic changes, to go beyond programming in order to appropriately cater to students. (WaPo, 10/14)

HOUSING | In D.C., officials looking to reduce the number of vacant homes across the city are often met with challenges like legal loopholes. (WAMU, 10/9)

HOMELESSNESS | Debate On Replacing D.C. Shelter Finds That Bathrooms Are a Crucial Question (WAMU, 10/14)

HEALTH
–  A writer explores what the District’s proposed 16-week paid leave policy could mean for transgender patients pursuing transitional surgeries. (Blade, 10/9)

– A recent study finds that medical costs in D.C. are relatively affordable in comparison with other major U.S. cities despite the true costs of care varying widely within the city. (WBJ, 10/12)

Why 80 Percent of Addicts Can’t Get Treatment (Atlantic, 10/13)

ECONOMY | The states where people have the best and worst financial habits (WaPo, 10/13)


This week in new studies that will probably be debunked again by next week: this and this

– Ciara

Meet the 2015-2016 Philanthropy Fellows

(Back row: Catherine Oidtman, Rebecca Kates, Sarah Gordon; Front row: Hannah Davis, Dominique Covelli, Jessica Finkel)

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2015-2016 Philanthropy Fellows! Nine students from the University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership are working at WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Alex Gabriel is undertaking research for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s foundation assessment initiative, Philamplify, with Lisa Ranghelli.
  • Catherine Oidtman is working with Crystal Townsend of the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, assisting with grants administration and the implementation of the HIF Scholars professional mentoring program.
  • Dominique Covelli is strengthening Grantmakers in Health’s communications and marketing efforts with Leila Polintan.
  • Hannah Davis is supporting the development and administration of WRAG’s Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility with Katy Moore.
  • Jessica Finkel is assisting with the design of Kaiser Permanente’s philanthropic strategy, working with Tanya Edelin.
  • Mary Kolar is supporting the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s Safety Net Initiative and Philanthropic Services grantmaking programs with Silvana Straw.
  • Rebecca Kates is supporting grantmaking, communications, and donor services with Amina Anderson at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
  • Sarah Gordon is working with Phyllis Kaye and WRAG’s Healthy Communities Working Group on developing effective communications about the social determinants of health to reach a wider funder audience.
  • Shaundra Patterson is researching potential national funding partners with Nicky Goren in support of the Meyer Foundation’s new strategic plan.

These students are gaining valuable professional experience in philanthropy, making new connections in the community, and bringing fresh ideas and energy to their host organizations. To learn more about each fellow, click here. Check out our website to learn more about WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program.

The many hurdles for domestic violence survivors

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/HOMELESSNESS
For many families experiencing homelessness, the circumstances leading them there can be traced back to domestic violence. In D.C., obstacles, like a lack of affordable housing, make recovery much more difficult. (WCP, 8/28)

The problem is with mid- and long-term shelter: The District’s competitive real estate landscape, as well as its complicated victim compensation programs and antiquated city code, make it difficult to create a consistently reliable network of places to stay after the survivor is out of immediate danger.

ECONOMY/REGION
– The Washington Post recently asked D.C. business leaders, as well as WRAG president Tamara Copeland, their thoughts on how the region should respond to the effects of sequestration. (WaPo, 8/29)

– Last week, many of us learned that D.C. is the most expensive city to raise a family of four, particularly due to high child care costs. Many of us also wondered why in the world child care is so expensive in the city. WAMU explores the reason. (WAMU, 8/28)

Millennials have transformed Arlington, but will they stay? (WaPo, 8/29)

EDUCATION
– Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, discusses in the New York Times how the Common Core education standards can tilt the scales in the struggle for skills vs. knowledge in today’s classrooms. (NYT, 8/28)

 Opinion: Former WRAG Board member Patrick Corvington writes about the stunning correlation between asthma and lead poisoning as they relate to school attendance. (HuffPo, 8/27)

Related: In a previous edition of What Funders Need to Know, WRAG discussed the link between safe and healthy housing and education outcomes.

PHILANTHROPY |  The Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled a number of resources for organizations looking to prepare for the wave of Americans turning 65 years old – about 10,000 people each day. (Chronicle, 8/31)

TRANSIT | Here are three potential scenarios for future expansion plans for Metro’s Silver Line to Dulles Airport. (Loudoun Times-Mirror, 8/28)

JOBS | The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region has two exciting new openings: An Executive Director for the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, and a Grants Associate.


A sociology lecturer-turned-artist is going to beaches and putting all our sandcastles to shame.

– Ciara

New data on average household income by Metro station

REGION
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has released new data on the average household income of Metrorail riders by line and station. The visualization also shows how income levels rise and dip at various times throughout the day (GGW, 7/7):

You can see the Washington region’s wide range of income levels in the data visualization, which uses data from Metro’s 2012 rider survey. This visualization is different from similar ones in that it uses self-reported data from Metrorail riders.

A high quality transit system is a key to ensuring opportunities for people of every socioeconomic status.

– Loudoun Schools fight hunger through summer meal program (Loudoun Times, 7/7)

Related: Interested in learning more about the needs of Loudoun County? Join WRAG on Tuesday, July 14 at 1:00 PM for Loudoun Philanthropy: Next steps for developing a strong social sector. This meeting is open to the community and is supported by the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, and the Middleburg Community Center. Click here to find out how to register.

– Can you afford to retire in Loudoun County? (Loudoun Times, 7/8)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | In Arlington County, a new citizen’s group is concerned about the discrepancies in where the county’s additional affordable housing units will be clustered. The group worries that there are disproportionate numbers of affordable housing being built in certain areas, which will lead to a great deal of socioeconomic segregation. (ARLnow, 7/7)

PHILANTHROPY | The Center for Effective Philanthropy has released a new publication, Investing and Social Impact: Practices of Private Foundations, which takes a look at the state of practice of impact investing and negative screening at large, private U.S.-based foundations. (CEP, 5/2015)

EDUCATION
– EdBuild has released a new interactive map that displays the poverty rates in each of the school districts in the United States. You can access the map here. (WaPo, 7/8)

– The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) released a new report on the differences in the quality of preparation students in high-poverty schools receive compared with students in low-poverty schools. The study, Course, Counselor, and Teacher Gaps: Addressing the College Readiness Challenge in High-Poverty High Schoolsanalyzes 100 of the largest school districts in the U.S. (PND, 7/5)

COMMUNITY | The Foundation Center offers a multi-functional training facility for rent for groups looking to host meetings, conferences, seminars, or computer-based training programs. For more information, click here.


Are your reusable grocery bags making you buy more cookies?

– Ciara

Promoting effective philanthropy for Greater Washington | A second quarter report to the community

By Tamara Copeland
President
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

A few years ago, there was a lot of talk in the social profit sector about moving from good to great. Some in that sector may be surprised to learn that folks in philanthropy have been having a similar conversation. What does it take to ensure effective philanthropy? How can we ensure that funds are being invested in the best way to truly improve the region?

So, for the second quarter of 2015, WRAG took “promoting effective philanthropy” as our focus:

WRAG’s “Fundamentals of CSR” seminar, held in April, aimed to promote effective partnerships between corporate funders and the region’s social profit community. Our belief was that corporate philanthropy’s impact would be strengthened by having community partners who better understood the unique philanthropic perspective of corporations. Over 50 members of the local social profit community participated in this very well-received workshop and told us that their knowledge about CSR improved from an average of 4.8 on a 1-10 scale before the seminar, to 7.9 by the end of the two-day seminar. Great. Now, we have to wait a bit to see if that knowledge gain makes a difference.

In May, Community Wealth Building took front and center as we hosted – along with the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Consumer Health Foundation, and City First Enterprises – the first community update on this initiative. The standing-room-only audience was eager to learn the status of the first business launched under the community wealth building umbrella, and to consider if they saw a place for themselves in this initiative. Many did! So, after several years of planning, community wealth building is taking off in our region. Great? I sure think so.

Next, affordable housing. We all know the current state of this as a crisis in our region. In May, WRAG and Enterprise Community Partners collaborated to present to the Federal City Council on a new funding pool that we are establishing for developers of affordable housing units. It will provide these developers with access to low interest bridge loans. This is exciting and innovative work for WRAG, and is creating buzz as we move into the impact investing arena. Stay tuned for an announcement next month about how you can be involved in this effort, too. It’s not just for institutional philanthropists. We can all play a role in enabling affordable housing in our region. Definitely a move from good (info gathering) –> to great (taking action and making a difference).

And, last, but definitely not least, what will it take to move the social profit sector in Loudoun County from good to great? More communication across sectors and more targeted and increased philanthropic investments. To get there, WRAG hosted our first philanthropy conference in Loudoun County. Over 100 people attended, including 40 funders, along with representatives of social profit organizations and local government. Now that interest in the county has been kindled, the next step is a meeting this summer to really talk about how to move from interest to action.

There will be no lazy, hazy days of summer at WRAG. Moving from good to great takes time, energy, and focus. We’re glad to play a part with philanthropy in our region. Happy summer everyone!


You can read Tamara’s first quarter report to the community about growing philanthropy in our region here

New reports on the critical need for affordable housing in the Greater Washington Region

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/REGION
In response to alarming data surrounding housing affordability in the region, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group (GWHLG) presents a new report by Nonprofit Quarterly columnist Rick Cohen. The report – supported by Enterprise Community Partners, Citi Foundation, and WRAG – highlights the need for collaboration to invest in solving the region’s affordable housing crisis. Click here to access the full report, Call the Question: Will the Greater Washington Region Collaborate and Invest to Solve its Affordable Housing Shortage? 

Since June 2014, the Greater Washington Housing Leaders Group – a collection of more than a dozen public and private sector leaders concerned about housing affordability – has been meeting to examine: 1) the nature of the affordable housing shortage in the greater Washington area; 2) the relationship of housing affordability to economic growth; and 3) strategies to increase affordable housing for low- and moderate-income households in the region.

In July 2014, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region released new research, Housing Security in the Washington Region, prepared by the Urban Institute and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments based on 2011 data, the most recent available. A key finding of the study concludes that, currently, 250,000 households (including 147,000 renter households) making less than 80 percent of the area median income are paying more than half of their gross income on housing costs.

The full extent of the affordable housing shortage required an analysis of future economic growth and accompanying populations. Research from the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) shows that future growth industries for our region will be in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, and construction sectors – jobs which pay lower wages. Thousands of critical jobs in today’s workforce also fall in the lowerto moderate-income range, including teachers, health care professionals, entry level office workers, and local government employees. In 2015, CRA developed affordable housing need projections based on their latest regional economic outlook projections showing a need for the region to provide 149,000 new low-income housing units between 2011 and 2023 to accommodate projected job growth in the region.

 

– Another newly-released report (mentioned above) by Jeannette Chapman of the George Mason University Center for Regional Analysis – commissioned by Enterprise Community Partners, and supported by GWHLG – focuses on regional solutions for Greater Washington’s affordable housing needs by the year 2023. The report titled, The Greater Washington Region’s Future Housing Needs: 2023, can be found here.

– The Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) has released a public service announcement campaign to raise awareness about the great need for affordable housing using statistics about the average take-home pay for the professionals who are often very important in our daily lives. Have you seen this PSA around yet?

What’s ‘new’ in affordable housing? Not a lot — yet (Elevation DC, 6/19)

EDUCATION/DISTRICT | After a recent independent evaluation on the state of D.C. schools by the National Research Council, education leaders agree that although the system has come a long way, it still needs a lot of work to get to where it needs to be. (WaPo, 6/22)

POVERTY | A quarter of Americans are one emergency away from financial ruin (WaPo, 6/23)


How’s this for a real Metro map? What do you think?

– Ciara

Cleaning (and greening) D.C.-area rivers

ENVIRONMENT/EQUITY
D.C. Water plans to utilize green infrastructure – surfaces that will reduce combined sewer overflow to the Potomac River and Rock Creek – in areas around Columbia Heights, Takoma, Petworth, and surrounding neighborhoods. The project will bring with it a number of additional benefits, but critics wonder if the plans continue a history of neglect of the  Anacostia River and its surrounding neighborhoods. (City Lab, 6/9)

Green infrastructure’s ability to absorb water where it falls has been proven to be effective, and to have a number of “co-benefits.” After all, a lot of what we’re talking about are trees, plants, and soil. Installing green infrastructure in strategic spots creates additional green space for the neighborhoods. That also means a reduced heat-island effect, improved air quality and health outcomes, more wildlife habitats, job creation, and increased property values. It’s exciting news for the District, which will join New York City, Philadelphia, and a handful of other U.S. cities embarking on major green infrastructure projects.

[…]

But longtime residents of [the] Anacostia area won’t get quite the same added benefits of green development as in Takoma and Georgetown, where income levels are historically much higher. [CEO and General Manager of D.C. Water, George] Hawkins says he hopes that the city will focus more greening efforts in the Anacostia area, to make up for what D.C. Water won’t be doing there. Yes, years from now, the river will be clean, an amazing and long unimaginable future. But as the co-benefits of green infrastructure go to show, a clean river is just the beginning of truly expansive environmental justice.

To stop sewage from overflowing in the Anacostia, Nannie is digging in (GGW, 6/10)

EVENTS/HOMELESSNESS | On Tuesday, June 30 at 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm, The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region will hold a forum on youth homelessness in the region. For more details and to register, click here.

PHILANTHROPY | The Foundation Center has released a new paper by Emmett Carson, CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (and keynote speaker at WRAG’s 2013 annual meeting), in which he examines the role of U.S. community foundations and their continued impact in their communities. (GrantCraft, 6/8)

POVERTY
– In a national survey of educators, teachers cited student poverty as the biggest barrier to learning. Respondents to the survey shared that as much as 20 percent of their time is spent helping students with nonacademic problems. The number of public school children who live in poverty continues to rise nationwide. (WaPo, 6/9)

How Poverty Alters the Young Brain (City Lab, 6/9)

– For those in poverty, the money-based bail system imposed by most jurisdictions can often mean spending months behind bars for nonviolent offenses before ever getting a day in court. (NYT, 6/10)

Though money bail is firmly entrenched in the vast majority of jurisdictions, the practice is coming under new scrutiny in the face of recent research that questions its effectiveness, rising concerns about racial and income disparities in local courts, and a bipartisan effort to reduce the reliance on incarceration nationwide.

– When it comes to unequal access to wealth creation and social mobility, for some, we must first determine if the real problem lies in inequality or opportunity. (Atlantic, 6/5)

ARTS/IMMIGRATION | Coming This Fall: A Film on D.C.’s Undocumented Immigrant Youth (WCP, 6/10)


Check out these photos of what might be D.C.’s largest public art project. 

– Ciara