How foundations, teachers and investors are partnering to change education

EDUCATION | Teachers and others in the education field have been working on personalizing learning to ensure that all students are successful in the classroom for decades. Here are some examples of how philanthropy, investors, nonprofits and teachers are partnering to make this happen. (Barron’s, 9/22)

In the U.S., wealthy investors and foundations that agree that the traditional public school system isn’t serving most students have become attracted to personalized learning initiatives because, unlike innovations practiced at a single charter school, approaches to personalizing instruction can be adopted by any school—public, private, or charter.

“It’s scalable and not dependent on any one teacher or school or school system—it’s looking at empowering students to get the skills that they need to be successful in the classroom,” says Nick Tedesco, senior philanthropic advisor at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

PHILANTHROPY FELLOWS | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2018-2019 Philanthropy Fellows! Read about them here. (Daily, 9/26)

ARTS & HUMANITIES‘The Smithsonian can do more and should do more,’ says advocate for a Latino museum (WaPo, 9/25)

ECONOMY | Arlington County’s manager says there will be a gap of $20 million to $35 million in the next fiscal year, and residents should brace for increased real estate taxes and program cuts. (WaPo, 9/25)

GENDER GAP | A new study from GuideStar found that the gender pay gap in large nonprofits persists but is shrinking at the smaller nonprofits. (Chronicle, 9/24 – Subscription needed)

PUBLIC SAFETYD.C. Aims To Crack Down On K2 Suppliers With Emergency Legislation (WAMU, 9/25)

HOUSING | DC Students from the Academy of Construction and Design at IDEA Public Charter School have built two tiny houses in Deanwood. (Urban Turf, 9/25)

WORKFORCE | Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan has announced that as of October 1, state employees will get 60 paid parental leave days after their child’s birth or the adoption of a child. (WTOP, 9/25)


How many people in the US have your name?

– Kendra

Introducing the 2018-2019 Philanthropy Fellows

2018_Philanthropy_Fellows_no_background
Top Row: Pamela Vega, Tenneh Johnson Kemah, Jesse Graves, Sylvia Umegbolu; Bottom Row: Fabrizio Aguirre, Joury Bell, Kayla Good

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2018-2019 Philanthropy Fellows! Seven graduate students from the University of Maryland are working at five WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Fabrizio Aguirre is working on the implementation of the Windward Fund’s new strategic plan at Arabella Advisors.
  • Joury Bell is supporting grantmaking and donor services activities at the Greater Washington Community Foundation’s Montgomery County.
  • Kayla Good is assisting safety net and housing security initiatives at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
  • Jesse Graves is working on strategic initiatives at the Mayor’s Office of Partnerships and Grant Services.
  • Tenneh Johnson Kemah is developing a special report for The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.
  • Sylvia Umegbolu is working on donor recognition efforts at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
  • Pamela Vega is supporting the community health needs assessment implementation strategy at Kaiser Permanente.

The Philanthropy Fellows program is a partnership between WRAG and the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute. This internship pipeline and professional development program provides WRAG members with knowledgeable and skilled fellows, and gives the next generation of philanthropic and nonprofit leaders the opportunity to gain practical, hands-on experience in grantmaking, build a professional network, and learn about local community needs.

To learn more about each fellow, click here. Check out our website to learn more about WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program.

While an opioid crisis rages across the US, black men in the District feel the brunt of its wrath

HEALTH | The District endured a heroin addiction epidemic in the 1960s and 70s. A doctor reporting on the epidemic found that 13.5% of the city’s males born in 1953 were addicted and low-income black men were predominantly affected. These men are now in their 50s and account for majority of the city’s opioid-related deaths. (WCP, 10/12)

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid originally used to treat pain, is the substance cut into heroin in recent years that has killed so many across the nation.

“These gentlemen who have been using for many years are teetering on this line of safety,” says Dr. Tanya A. Royster, Director of D.C.’s Department of Behavioral Health. “They know how much to use. They know when to use. They know where to get it.

“Now that these new things are introduced into the opioid supply, like fentanyl and some of the other synthetics, they are much more lethal and much more deadly. So what they have been doing for the last 20 or 30 years is not necessarily safe. That’s our message to them: What you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore because the supply has changed.”

PHILANTHROPY FELLOWS | Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2017-2018 Philanthropy Fellows! Read about them here. (Daily, 10/12)

POVERTY | john a. powell of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley and Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, discussed why America’s perception of poor people is preventing us from ending poverty. (Citylab, 10/11)

GIVING | Nonprofits Battle to Get Charitable Deduction Extended to All Taxpayers (Chronicle, 10/11 – Subscription needed)

PHILANTHROPY | Tyler Nickerson, co-chair of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy Washington, D.C. Chapter, advises white people in philanthropy on how they can become more bold on social justice issues. (Medium, 10/6)


I will not create a pun for this link because it would be terrible, so here’s a series of puns to brighten your day.

– Kendra

Introducing the 2017-2018 Philanthropy Fellows

(Top Row: Naresh Poonia, Monique Riley, Nicole Fillion; Bottom Row: Colleen Shipley, Aurin Lewis, Stephanie Areizaga, Mah Afroze)

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2017-2018 Philanthropy Fellows! Seven grad students from the University of Maryland are working at five WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Aurin Lewis (MBA/MPP ‘18) is working at the Greater Washington Community Foundation to support their Safety Net Initiative and Philanthropic Services grantmaking programs.
  • Colleen Shipley (MPP ’18) is working on development and donor engagement at the Greater Washington Community Foundation.
  • Mah Afroze (pursuing a PhD in Public Policy) is supporting monitoring and evaluation activities in Kaiser Permanente’s community benefits department.
  • Monique Riley (MPP ’19) is supporting donor development and engagement at the Community Foundation in Prince George’s County.
  • Naresh Poonia (MBA ’18) is at the Greater Washington Community Foundation working on development and philanthropic engagement.
  • Nicole Fillion (MPH ’18) is supporting the Sharing Montgomery and Children’s Opportunity Fund initiatives at the Community Foundation in Montgomery County
  • Stephanie Areizaga (MPP ’18) is supporting evaluation and communications activities at the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth & Families.

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.

Northern Virginian homeowners are fighting eviction and sale

HOUSING | Affordable housing is an issue across our region, but for this community of homeowners the issue is a little more complex. Residents of a mobile park community in Manassas are fighting to stay on the land they’ve lived on and repaired after the owner entered into a deal to sell it to the city. (WaPo, 4/4)

Many East End families saved up money to buy their trailers while sharing cramped space in overcrowded houses and apartments. Selfo Sosa, a leader in the fight to stop the sale of the park, purchased his four-bedroom trailer for $17,000 five years ago, after crowding his family of six into a two-bedroom unit in a nearby trailer park.

“None of us can afford a house anywhere else in this area,” said Sosa, a construction worker originally from Mexico who has organized community cleanups in an effort to win the favor of local officials. “We are all poor. . . . The cost of living is too high.”

– The District has received eight proposals for the New Communities Initiatives redevelopment of the Temple Courts property. (UrbanTurf, 4/3)

PHILANTHROPY  | WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program, our partnership with the Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland, has had a real impact on the students and the organizations that host them. We followed up with some former fellows to find out how their experience working in philanthropy as students has influenced their careers since graduation. (Daily, 4/5)

Related for WRAG Members: Click here to learn more about the Philanthropy Fellows program and to apply to host a fellow for Fall 2017 or Academic Year 2017-2018. Applications are due by Friday, May 12.

LGBTQ | A federal appeals court has ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay workers from job discrimination. However, this matter will eventually have to be decided by the Supreme Court. (NYT, 4/4)

RACIAL EQUITY | Yesterday, in my Consumer Health Foundation position, I reflected on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr and the state of racial equity today. (CHF Blog, 4/4)

BUDGET | Mayor Bowser has released her 2018 budget proposal for the District. (WAMU, 4/4)

TRANSIT | Due to a lack of short-term bicycle parking in Montgomery County, city planners recommend that the county launch a bicycle parking program. (Bethesda Beat, 4/4)

EDUCATION | CityBridge Education wants to revamp the District’s city and charter schools within the next five years. (WaPo, 4/3)


Frederick Douglass is actually being recognized more everyday. He and his home are now engraved on a quarter.

– Kendra

Introducing the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows

(Top Row: Anisha Boucher, Anne Wagner, Catie Oidtman; Bottom Row: Delisha Thompson, Kevin Donnelly, Nicole Rodriguez)

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is excited to welcome the 2016-2017 Philanthropy Fellows! Six students from the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute (formerly known as the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership) are working at five WRAG member organizations this year:

  • Anisha Boucher is supporting communications and development with Amina Anderson at the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.
  • Anne Wagner is  supporting the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region’s Safety Net Initiative and grantmaking programs with Silvana Straw.
  • Catie Oidtman is working on grants administration and the Healthcare Initiative Foundation Scholars program with Crystal Townsend at HIF for a second year.
  • Delisha Thompson is a public policy fellow working with Maggie Osborn at the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.
  • Kevin Donnelly is supporting donor services and grants administration at the Community Foundation in Montgomery County, working with Bridget Hanagan.
  • Nicole Rodriguez is working with Tanya Edelin and the Community Benefit department at Kaiser Permanente.

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.

Even a small amount of savings can make a difference for families

POVERTY
A new Urban Institute report explores the relationship between the economic health of cities and the financial health of its residents. While it’s no surprise that having wealthier families leads to wealthier cities, the study looks at how families experiencing hardships with even a small amount of savings can avoid spiraling into instability and creating greater costs for municipalities. (City Lab, 4/26):

Hardship outcomes matter to cities. Eviction is a leading cause of homelessness, especially for families with children. Eviction also leads some families to seek out substandard living conditions. Residential instability limits opportunities for children and youths. Missed utility payments, another form of hardship, is a cost for municipalities. So are public benefits.

[..]

Financial insecurity is a problem for families that can take the form of food insecurity, poor health outcomes, and homelessness. The Urban Institute’s research shows that a family’s financial insecurity is also a city’s problem. When families without savings suffer income disruptions (which are common), they may turn to public benefits. Or they may turn to more expensive forms of support. Or they may suffer. All of these outcomes at the family level detract from a city’s overall financial health.

– Ahead of WRAG’s upcoming Brightest Minds event featuring author and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University Eldar Shafir on May 18WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellow Hannah Davis explains the notion of the “scarcity trap,” and why having too little is a big deal. (Daily, 4/26)

– Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, explores why it’s so important for decision makers to stop viewing reading as the “broccoli” that low-income students must eat before getting to the “dessert”- art, history, music and more. (DC Eduphile, 4/18)

– The Growing College-Degree Wealth Gap (Atlantic, 4/25)

HEALTH
–  Heroin epidemic worsens in Virginia (WTOP, 4/25)

– Suicide rates are on the rise for every age group under 75, with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 experiencing the highest percent increase. Economic stagnation, drug use, lack of health coverage, and even earlier puberty ages are counted as possible reasons for depression that leads to more suicides. (WAMU, 4/21)

– Do Local Governments Have a Role to Play in Mental Health? (City Lab, 4/19)

ARTS
– Americans for the Arts delivers their sixth and final publication of the National Arts Index, an annual report on the health and vitality of arts and culture in the U.S.

– With a number of recent transitions in the District’s dance scene, here’s a look at what’s on the horizon in the near future. (Dance Magazine, 4/15)

AudioIs Jazz Sustainable In Washington, D.C.? (WAMU, 4/21)


Have you read any of these remarkable book titles?

– Ciara