Guest Post: LearnServe International

On the eve of the 5th Annual LearnServe Venture Fair, we welcome Scott Rechler, CEO and Director of LearnServe International to GoodWorks! LearnServe International’s program prepares students in greater DC to be the next generation of global leaders and social entrepreneurs. Their Fellows Program brings together over 70 high school students from 30 public, private and charter schools to learn how to bring sustainable social change to their communities. Over an academic year, students design and launch their own social ventures — action projects to benefit their schools and communities — while learning core business entrepreneurship skills, including budgeting, strategic planning, and team-building.

Can you really teach social innovation?

by Scott Rechler, CEO & Director, LearnServe International

 

Could the next Jamila Larson, Mazi Mutafa, or Robert Egger be sitting in class right now in the District, Maryland, or Virginia?

Maybe.

In a March Washington Post article, J. D. Harrison opened his article titled “Can you really teach entrepreneurship?” with a similar question, but a different cast of characters: Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg.

Toss in Bill Gates, and you’ve got the three examples of entrepreneurs referenced by every high school group I speak with. And for good reason. All three have built successful companies whose products shape our daily lives, and a personal brand that complements their corporate identities.

Ask a room full of high school students for examples of social entrepreneurs? Uncomfortable silence.

We are surrounded by powerful examples of social entrepreneurs here in the DC region. But they’re not (yet) household names — unless you happen to spend time with their organizations.

Take for example Jamila Larson, founder of the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, which brings much-needed recreation to kids living in shelters. Or Mazi Mutafa, founder of Words Beats & Life, giving young people a voice through hip-hop. Or Robert Egger, founder of DC Central Kitchen — and of C Forward, an initiative to raise the profile of the non-profit sector nation-wide.

The next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg may well be sitting in a DC classroom today, preparing to launch the next breakthrough technology or scalable business. And sitting right next to her is the next Jamila, Mazi, and Robert.

LearnServe is committed to inspiring and training the rising generation of social entrepreneurs. These are the young people who know they want to do something good in the world — but may not yet know what or how. We help them blend this passion with the tenacity, vision, and technical skills essential to entrepreneurship in order to transform the lives of their classmates, neighbors, and communities.

Tricia Granata, executive director of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in DC, reflected in Harrison’s article on the “innate entrepreneurial spirit” of young people, and the importance of helping them develop the accompanying technical skills.

LearnServe offers an outlet for our students to channel this innate entrepreneurial spirit and build those technical skills — coupled with a powerful dose of empathy and social insight.

LearnServe alumni have gone on to launch companies introducing fair trade coffee to China, and improving hygiene in India through the sale of sustainable soaps in the U.S. They have created lasting organizations teaching foreign languages to elementary school students, and science to middle schoolers. Yasmine Arrington, a LearnServe and DCPS alum and founder of ScholarCHIPS, was awarded the Washington Women of Excellence Award for Community Service earlier this month for her work raising college scholarship funds for children of incarcerated parents.

Tomorrow, 70 more young social entrepreneurs will “pitch” their social venture plans to a panel of business and community leaders at LearnServe’s 5th Annual Venture Fair and top projects will receive seed funding to help get their ideas off the ground. We invite you to join in celebrating their creative spirit and vision for our community. These are our region’s rising generation of social innovators.

Harrison concludes his article with a quote from Wendy E. F. Torrance, director of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation: “No matter what career they choose, it’s important for young people to look at the world through the lens of an entrepreneur.”

We couldn’t agree more — and we are working to ensure that lens is wide enough and community-oriented enough to include Jamila, Mazi, Robert and Yasmine, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

To learn more about LearnServe International and their Fellows Program, visit them online at: www.learn-serve.org. Meet the Fellows at the 5th Annual Venture Fair tomorrow (4/24) or get involved here!

Marketing Communications Workshop Series for Catalogue Nonprofits

At the Catalogue for Philanthropy, one of our main goals is to increase the capacity of each of the 350+ charities in our network. This spring — thanks to generous support from Integrity Management Consulting — the Catalogue is hosting our first-ever series of workshops on Nonprofit Marketing Communications.

The series kicked off in early April with Barbara Harman’s workshop, “Telling Your Story,” in which she shared with attendees how to adapt their organizational stories for a variety of audiences and uses. Barbara’s experience as Executive Director of the Harman Family Foundation, as well as her experience as a published author and English professor, gave nonprofits unique perspectives on writing grant applications, thanking donors, communicating with corporate sponsors, and talking about impact. She encouraged nonprofits to speak in a human language (i.e. avoid sector jargon), find organizing themes when describing programs, and empower their readers through engagement.

Barbara Harman speaking with nonprofits

Our 2nd workshop in the series, “Communicating via Imagery” showed attendees how to take their stories to the next level. The Catalogue for Philanthropy and the Meyer Foundation hosted Leigh Vogel- a press and nonprofit photographer (and a longtime Catalogue friend) to share how to integrate imagery into communications plans. The workshop explored how to create an image strategy that that enhances an organization’s storytelling, and included practical, actionable advice for nonprofits about an overview of the kinds of photos they need, how to collect and organize them, and what to do with them both on- and offline. Leigh even gave attendees the opportunity to shoot photos during the workshop using two of her professional cameras!

Attendees had the chance to experiment with professional cameras during Leigh's workshop on the use of imagery in nonprofit storytelling

Stay tuned for a roundup of the Catalogue’s 3rd and final workshop in this series on May 6th, when Aline Newman, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Catalogue for Philanthropy, will work with attendees on how to identify and share their “brand story” in order to motivate donors, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and partners.

Around Town 4/18-4/24

Catalogue nonprofits are always up to something! Check out what some of these great nonprofits are up to this week around town!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Mon Apr 21 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Open House with Court Appointed Special Advocate

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County
We welcome volunteers, sponsors, supporters, stakeholders and community members to stop by CASA’s office to see our new space and join us in honoring National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Light food and refreshments will be served
When: Wed Apr 23 2014 (3:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
Where: CASA’s Offices, 6811 Kenilworth Avenue, Suite 402, Riverdale, Maryland 20737
Fee? no
Contact: Kara Marie Bundy, (301) 897-0827

One Hour, One World Tour

Ayuda
If you would like to get a first person introduction to Ayuda’s work and learn how you could get involved, please join us for one of our frequent One Hour, One World tours. Please sign up for a time and feel free to bring friends. (Tours are conducted in English)
When: Wed Apr 23 2014 (6:00 PM – 7:00 PM)
Where: Ayuda DC office, 6925B Willow Street NW, Washington, DC 20012
Fee? no
Contact: Elise Webb, (202) 387-4848 ext 130
For more information: click here

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Thu Apr 24 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Getting to Know the Catalogue Review Team: Part III

Today marks the 3rd and final installment of our “Getting to Know the Reviewers” blog series. We’re excited to introduce our readers to Hedrick Belin, President of the Potomac Conservancy (a CFP charity) and 4-time Catalogue reviewer. Approximately one-quarter of our review team is comprised of members from peer nonprofits. Between these reviewers, members from foundations, corporate giving programs, other partner organizations and philanthropists, the Catalogue team is always confident in the work of this group to help us determine which small charities are truly “the very best” in Greater Washington.

What do you enjoy most about reviewing nonprofits for the Catalogue?

Hedrick Belin, Potomac Conservancy: It lets me see what other innovative conservation groups are undertaking to clean our air, safeguard our drinking water supply and protect wildlife. There are many amazing groups making a real difference in our overall quality of life with very few financial resources. Every spring, I come away re-energized after spending a weekend reading through a dozen applications.

What is one piece of advice you would give to future Catalogue applicants?

Hedrick: Specifics matter. Assume the reviewer does not know anything about your organization. What can you put in your application that shows the concrete impacts and on-the-ground differences that your organization is making? Quantify by including lots of metrics to demonstrate you are not just a nice organization doing nice things, but are really filling a community need and making a difference when it comes to changing lives or improving the community. Make it easy for me to recognize immediately that you are one of the best.

What is one piece of advice you would give to new/future Catalogue reviewers?

Hedrick: Come with an open mind, but a critical eye. The Catalogue is supposed to represent the best small non-profits in Washington, DC, not every small non-profit. You should be open to innovative approaches to solving some of the chronic problems in the region, but also read the applications carefully to see which groups have the best return on investment.

How has being a reviewer had an impact on your views of philanthropy in Greater Washington?

Hedrick: The region is blessed with an incredibly strong non-profit sector that is getting stronger every year. I’m constantly impressed with the passionate individuals fighting every day on the front lines to build a more just and sustainable world and have seen the power of this sector to change lives and save lives. The larger non-profits that have been around for decades tend to get the press, but the non-profits that the Catalogue selects deserve to be recognized as well for the tremendous difference they are making in our local communities.

What do you feel your unique background brings to the Catalogue review process?

Hedrick: As an Executive Director, I quickly assess organizational alignment. Do the organizational mission, vision and strategies tie together in a concise, compelling way? Is there a clear theory of change that the organization is employing to drive every decision?As a former consultant working with over 100 social purpose organizations across the non-profit spectrum, I’ve developed an ability to evaluate the entities’ efficacy and impact by looking at a few key answers in the application. For example, I look at the size and composition of the board. I also look at revenue streams, both in terms of diversity of sources and also if they have the revenue engine to drive the short and long-term goals listed in question.

To learn more about Potomac Conservancy and find out how you can donate or volunteer, head over to their Catalogue web page, or connect with them on their website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Around Town: 4/11-4/17

Well, we finally made it to the real spring weather! With our first 70 degree day behind us and the cherry blossoms in bloom, we all are starting to smile a little more and…get out of the house! Check out what these great CFP nonprofits have going on around town!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Invasive Species Removal

Earth Sangha
Our Conservation Coordinator, Matt, will lead the removal of several species of invasive plants. Please wear long clothes and workboots as the work may be muddy and there are plenty of thorny plants present. Tools and gloves will be provided, but your own work gloves and hand clippers are useful tools to bring.
When: Sat Apr 12 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Marie Butler Leven Preserve, 1501 Kirby Road, McLean VA 22101
Fee? no
Contact: Matt Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Bach Mass in B Minor

National Philharmonic
Rosa Lamoreaux, soprano Magdalena Wor, mezzo-soprano Matthew Smith, tenor Christopheren Nomura, baritone National Philharmonic Chorale Stan Engebretson, conductor The magnificent Mass in B minor, Bach’s sacred magnum opus, glorifies voice and instruments with brilliant harmonies and a depth of sound. Stan Engebretson conducts the National Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra and four outstanding soloists in a concert that will thrill every listener with its lofty design, scope and expression. Beautiful arias and glittering choruses combine with colorful orchestral music to create an unforgettable journey through Bach’s musical version of this religious ceremony.
When: Sat Apr 12 2014 (8:00 PM)
Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Fee? yes $28-$84 (Kids Free)
Contact: Deborah Birnbaum
For more information: click here

The Romantics: Schubert and Goethe

The In Series
A tribute to Franz Schubert on the 200th year of his giving birth to the German lied (Art-Song), when he composed Gretchen At The Spinning-Wheel to Goethe’s words. Our salon-style concert-discussion explores early German Romanticism in the treasure-filled salons of the Heurich Mansion. Directors: Greg Stevens and Carla Hubner
When: Sat Apr 12 2014 (8:00 PM)
Where: Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Fee? yes $30 general; $27 senior; $16 for students and youth
Volunteer Info: Ushers, box office
Contact: Gregory Stuart, Executive Assistant, (202) 204-7765
For more information: click here

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bach Mass in B Minor

National Philharmonic
Rosa Lamoreaux, soprano Magdalena Wor, mezzo-soprano Matthew Smith, tenor Christopheren Nomura, baritone National Philharmonic Chorale Stan Engebretson, conductor The magnificent Mass in B minor, Bach’s sacred magnum opus, glorifies voice and instruments with brilliant harmonies and a depth of sound. Stan Engebretson conducts the National Philharmonic Chorale and Orchestra and four outstanding soloists in a concert that will thrill every listener with its lofty design, scope and expression. Beautiful arias and glittering choruses combine with colorful orchestral music to create an unforgettable journey through Bach’s musical version of this religious ceremony.
When: Sun Apr 13 2014 (3:00 PM)
Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Fee? yes $28-$84 (Kids Free)
Contact: Deborah Birnbaum
For more information: click here

The Romantics: Schubert and Goethe

The In Series
A tribute to Franz Schubert on the 200th year of his giving birth to the German lied (Art-Song), when he composed Gretchen At The Spinning-Wheel to Goethe’s words. Our salon-style concert-discussion explores early German Romanticism in the treasure-filled salons of the Heurich Mansion. Directors: Greg Stevens and Carla Hubner
When: Sun Apr 13 2014 (3:00 PM)
Where: Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Fee? yes $30 general; $27 senior; $16 for students and youth
Volunteer Info: Ushers, box office
Contact: Gregory Stuart, Executive Assistant, (202) 204-7765
For more information: click here

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Mon Apr 14 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Imagination Stage at THEARC presents “Inside Out”

Building Bridges Across the River t/a THEARC
It’s bedtime! But, instead of getting ready for bed, two children use their imaginations to turn their room into a wonderland of mess! While playing dress-up, a glove becomes a dancing fish, a shirt becomes a fantastical creature, and a sock dance rocks the closet! In this interactive show, audiences will discover the joy of turning things “inside out.” Performance also includes a “free play” session, allowing show-goers to explore props from the show’s set. Most appropriate for children ages 1-5.
When: Wed Apr 16 2014 (10:30 AM)
Where: THEARC Theater, 1901 Mississippi Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20020
Fee? no
Contact: Jasmine Taylor, (202) 889-5901
For more information: click here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Thu Apr 17 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Getting to Know the Catalogue Review Team: Part II

Welcome to week two of our “Getting to Know the Catalogue Review Team” series, where we invite you to get to know the members of our community who help us determine which small charities are the very best in Greater Washington. Part one can be found here.

This week we’re featuring Sandra Hoehne, ‎a 2-time reviewer and Catalogue supporter, and Maegan Scott, Program and Communications Officer at Meyer Foundation. This year marks Maegan’s 3rd as a Catalogue reviewer.

How did you hear about the Catalogue? And, how did you become a reviewer?

Sandra Hoehne, Catalogue supporter: I cannot remember how I found out about the Catalogue. Around ’09 or ’10 I was planning our yearly giving. Like many people, I give at the end of the year so that I know exactly how much we can afford to give. I found the Catalogue’s Donate Now / Decide Later option and was hooked. Also, my husband and I live and work in Arlington and so many of my favorite local non-profits have been featured in the CFP.

As to reviewing – after meeting Barbara [Harman] and Nancy [Swartz] and being infected by their enthusiasm and energy, I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to help them. Donating money was one way, but getting my hands dirty with the reviewing process was the next step.

Maegan Scott, The Meyer Foundation: The Meyer Foundation has been a long-time supporter and partner of the Catalogue, and was one of the funders that helped to bring the publication to DC in 2003. Meyer staff has served as reviewers each year since the Catalogue launched in the Washington region. I was honored to become part of that tradition three years ago.

What do you enjoy most about reviewing nonprofits for the Catalogue?

Sandra: I enjoy seeing that though the need in the DC area is so great in all areas that the Catalogue covers, the drive to help is just as strong and lack of resources does not discourage dedicated people.

Maegan: There are actually two things. I love being introduced to organizations that haven’t or may never apply to Meyer for funding. I feel like it gives me a much more comprehensive understanding of the great work taking place across the region. I use that information in a lot of different ways, for example connecting friends to organizations they may fall in love with or even to pursue volunteer opportunities myself. I also just love the Catalogue’s mission and the emphasis it places on storytelling. I know that the organizations that are selected to be Catalogue nonprofits are going to get excellent visibility and coaching and become part of a network that will help increase their overall effectiveness.

What is one piece of advice you would give to future Catalogue applicants?

Sandra: Be succinct. And, maybe don’t include the resume of each Board Member in your application.

Maegan: Remember that this application will be read by a real live human being. I think so many groups are used to producing proposals and reports that are highly structured (especially groups with government grants and contracts) that they hesitate to tell their organization’s story beyond numbers and metrics. Of course, numbers and metrics are important, but don’t lose the passion and enthusiasm that brought you to the work in the first place. I want to read about it!

What is one piece of advice you would give to new/future Catalogue reviewers?

Sandra: Clear your schedule for a day to do this. It is more taxing emotionally than you would think and you will need a little recovery time.

Maegan: Give yourself plenty of time and look at everything, including websites. Spend just as much time with the organizations you’re familiar with as you do with the groups that are new to you. Be honest in the comments; constructive feedback is sometimes more useful than glowing praise.

Given your experience as a reviewer, when you see a nonprofit with the Catalogue’s “seal of approval” what does that mean to you?

Maegan: I love seeing the Catalogue seal! I think it’s such a powerful branding tool. When I see the seal, I know that this is a well-managed organization doing meaningful and impactful work and that it survived a thorough financial review by RAFFA. And because not all Catalogue nonprofits use the seal, I also know that this organization cares about leveraging and maximizing its inclusion in the Catalogue.

How has being a reviewer had an impact on your views of philanthropy in Greater Washington?

Sandra: It has really educated me on how much work nonprofits do, in addition to their primary purpose, to handle the very rigorous scrutiny to which something like the Catalogue subjects them. Having good intentions, identifying a need, and addressing it seem to me only a part of the equation. I have new respect for nonprofits that make it through these vetting procedures and are able to sell themselves and prove their worthiness. They not only have to accomplish their stated goal, but the organization itself and the administration have to be exemplary.

What do you feel your unique background brings to the Catalogue review process?

Sandra: I have been involved in small businesses my entire career. I find myself reading every application as if it were a business plan and the investment being sought is placement in the CFP. I wonder what kind of returns can be expected and how quickly. Since space in the Catalogue is limited, I only want the organizations that seem most poised to leverage that “investment” to have access to it.

Maegan: Even before working at the Meyer Foundation, a lot of the work I did focused on systems-building — who and what need to be in place to get the job done. Since joining the Foundation, I have seen and learned SO much about what works and what doesn’t work in how nonprofits are built (especially in terms of finance, boards, and executive leadership) and my belief that solid infrastructure matters if we’re going to see the social change that we’re all working to create has deepened exponentially. So a lot of what I bring to the review process is that — I’m assessing the organization’s capacity (including its potential) to advance its mission, I’m asking how well are the internal gears working.

When reading applications, have there been any “industry trends” (i.e. program design, donor engagement, ways of measuring impact, etc.) you have noticed since becoming a reviewer? Or, what trends in the nonprofit sector have caught your attention in the past year?

Maegan: I’m partially biased because of my role at the Meyer Foundation, but increasingly I’ve noticed organizations using social media as a way to strategically engage all of their stakeholders and not just the rote “thank you” tweet or Facebook post to a foundation or donor as a way of acknowledging a gift. We’re seeing more active engagement with clients and volunteers, and assertive program messaging and advocacy.

I’ve also seen more comprehensive and creative ways of talking about sustainability. Beyond secure and diverse funding streams, nonprofits applying both to Meyer and the Catalogue are writing about infrastructure and investing in talent and talent pipelines.

Stay tuned next week when we hear from Hedrick Belin, Catalogue reviewer and President of Potomac Conservancy!

Spring2ACTion in Alexandria on April 9th

On April 9th, the City of Alexandria will Spring2ACTion with 24 hours of giving to support the powerful work of community charities. Hosted by ACT for Alexandria, this year’s goal is raise $1,000,000 (last year, Spring2ACTion raised more than $600,000 for 97 charities)!

Currently, 13 charities in the Catalogue for Philanthropy network are Alexandria-based. Spring2ACTion is your chance to support these organizations in a big way: each donation provides a chance for them to win up to $40,000 in grants and prizes.

Each charity has a campaign page on Razoo that details how you can make a difference at various giving levels, from $10 (which can provide fresh coffee for 80 residents at Carpenter’s Shelter, for example), all the way up to $1,000 (which can pay for an educational field trip for 105 students in Community Lodging’s summer program).

See below for the Spring2ACTion campaign pages for participating Catalogue for Philanthropy charities:

ALIVE!

The Art League

Carpenter’s Shelter

Center for Alexandria’s Children

Community Lodgings

Computer CORE

Empowered Woman International Inc

Friends of Guest House, Inc

Liberty’s Promise

SCAN of Northern Virginia

Senior Services of Alexandria

The Child and Family Network Centers

The Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund Inc

Don’t forget to tweet us @CatalogueDC to tell us how you’re participating in Spring2ACTion 2014!

Getting to Know the Catalogue Review Team: Part I

At the Catalogue, we’re always so eager to tell people about our unique vetting process that helps us determine which small charities are the best in Greater Washington. Of course, our vetting could not take place without the help of our 100-person review team, which consists of experts from the local philanthropic community who each evaluate 10-11 charity applications during the months of March and April.

So, just who are these reviewers? Over the next three weeks, we’re pulling back the curtain and inviting you to get to know these members of our community of knowledge as they share their perspectives on the Catalogue review process and philanthropy in Greater Washington.

This week, we’re featuring Joseph Suarez, ‎a 6-time Catalogue reviewer and Executive Advisor, Community Partnerships at Booz Allen Hamilton, and Jade Floyd, Director of Communications at The Case Foundation. This year marks Jade’s 2nd as a Catalogue reviewer.

How did you hear about the Catalogue? And, how did you become a reviewer?

Joe Suarez, Booz Allen Hamilton: I originally learned of the Catalogue having received a copy at home in the mail. My home fell into one of the targeted zip codes the original Catalogue was mailed to a few years ago. I contacted the Catalogue and eventually Booz Allen became one of the corporate supporters. We were impressed with the concept of the Catalogue and the potential impact it represented for smaller area nonprofits. Eventually [Catalogue President and Editor] Barbara Harman asked me to serve as one of the Catalogue reviewers.

Jade Floyd, The Case Foundation: I have served on the board of directors and development/fundraising committees for two nonprofits in the Catalogue portfolio, the DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative and Project Create. This opened the door to becoming a reviewer for the class of 2013 and 2014.

What do you enjoy most about reviewing nonprofits for the Catalogue?

Joe: Having spent the better part of my career in the non-profit community, mostly with large national non-profit organizations as a development professional and now on the corporate grants side of the house, what I enjoy most about reviewing non-profits for the Catalogue is the opportunity to learn about the many smaller organizations in our community. Many of these non-profit organizations I was not familiar with, but who across our community provide vital services to those in need or add to the richness of the region. In many cases these organizations are not household names, but the Catalogue provides them an opportunity to showcase their services and the diverse constituents they touch. This platform — the Catalogue for Philanthropy — plays an important role in helping member organizations build their brand and name recognition while also helping generate new financial support.

Jade: Learning about the vast number of quality nonprofits across the region is one of the most enjoyable parts of this process. These organizations are providing critically needed services to disadvantaged populations. The quality of candidates we review is enlightening because each organization is so unique and dedicated to their missions.

What is one piece of advice you would give to future Catalogue applicants?

Joe: Take the time to apply! It is a lot of work to apply for admission to the Catalogue, but it is worth every bit of it. The return to your organization for the time invested is priceless. Over the years, recognition in the Catalogue for Philanthropy has been the “Good Housekeeping seal of approval” in many ways. Individual, Foundation and Corporate donors understand the high standards the Catalogue places in their selection process. This rigor in reviewing the mission and impact of the nonprofits selected for the Catalogue along with the auditing provides a high level of confidence that any donation given is going to be well used and have maximum impact. In addition, the Catalogue provides a tremendous platform to help member nonprofits build their name identification and in competitive markets, this can mean the difference in gaining that financial support or not.

What is one piece of advice you would give to new/future Catalogue reviewers?

Joe: Enjoy yourself, wade into the pool, it’s not deep, but use it as an opportunity to learn a little more about the community that we live in and those we might not see or know too much about. Your role as a reviewer will give you greater insight!

Jade: Venture outside of the box and get to know these nonprofits personally. Don’t simply rely on the application. Visit their websites, follow them on twitter and Facebook, or take the time to attend a performance. You are not only a reviewer; you are becoming an advocate and sometimes a patron for life for many of these organizations.

Given your experience as a reviewer, when you see a nonprofit with the Catalogue’s “seal of approval” what does that mean to you?

Joe: When I see the Catalogue’s “seal of approval” I know right away, the rigor and consistency that went into reviewing these nonprofit organizations and clearing them for their impact, performance and good fiscal stewardship. This high standard provides a level of confidence that any contribution or grant being made will be well used by the organization to address the need in the community they are focused on.

Jade: Individuals who donate to an organization want to be assured that their dollars will make an impact and be used wisely. The Catalogue’s “seal of approval” gives donors the confidence that these nonprofits are delivering on their mission to the community. As a reviewer, we have an insider’s look at the data and program outcomes that the general public may not have access to. It is our responsibility to evaluate their programs to the best of our ability and make very tough decisions about each nonprofit that determines their entry into the Catalogue family.

How has being a reviewer had an impact on your views of philanthropy in Greater Washington?

Joe: The diversity of organizations represented in the Catalogue stands out to me right away. For an affluent community, there is tremendous need and opportunity across the region. The Catalogue touches many communities and focus areas ranging from social service activities, to educational, environmental and arts and culture to name just a few. To me this diversity speaks to the richness that these organizations bring to the region, helping those needing a hand up so that they do not fall through the cracks in the system to helping bring or improve the vitality to the community as a whole.

What do you feel your unique background brings to the Catalogue review process?

Jade: For several years I have used the Catalogue as a tool to find reputable nonprofits to support in my own philanthropic endeavors. Years of board service have given me an inside look at the best practices and fail forward moments at several organizations that are within the Catalogue family. I also work at the Case Foundation and have gained a deepened knowledge of the social sector. Each day I see the impact a grant or large-scale donation can have on an organization and its mission.

When reading applications, have there been any industry trends (i.e. program design, donor engagement, ways of measuring impact, etc.) you have noticed since becoming a reviewer? Or, what trends in the nonprofit sector have caught your attention in the past year?

Jade: Several trends are catching my eye. The first is organizations who are failing forward.Often, the social sector is hesitant to admit their failures, fearing damage to their reputations or that funders will be dissuaded from supporting their efforts. Many organizations are taking the exact opposite approach and sharing their fail forward moments, tweaking programs and learning from them. For example, when the DC-based GlobalGiving Foundation University Scholarships for Women program failed, the nonprofit shared their learnings with the sector. Similarly, when the DC-based Cause “philanthropub” closed its doors after just one year, owner Nick Vilelle reflected on their challenge?publicly.

Second, nonprofits are reaching beyond their bubble.When nonprofits can work together with others in the sector on programs you often see greater returns and more impact on larger segments of the community. Collaborating spurns innovation and enables these organizations who partner to move the needle on the serious problems we face within our communities. The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative partners with nearly 70 cultural institutions across the city — from Kennedy Center to National Geographic — to provide quality arts and humanities education for nearly 30,000 DC public and chartered public schools each year. Without their members it would be a challenge to provide this much access for students in the region.

And lastly is diversification of income. Nonprofits have learned a big lesson post-recession and are no longer reliant on just two or three sources of income. When I see an organization that has five or six areas of revenue (i.e. foundation grants, individual donations, earned income, in-kind, board giving, etc.) this is reassuring that they can sustain for the long term.

Stay tuned next week when we hear from two more members of our review team, Catalogue donor Sandra Hoehne, and Maegan Scott of The Meyer Foundation!

Guest Post: Thinking Like a Business

We’re eager to kick off our three-part workshop series on Marketing & Communications this Thursday. This series is made possible by Integrity Management Consulting, Inc., a friend of the Catalogue and to several of our charities. Before kicking off the series, we asked Integrity’s Communications Manager, Tracey Wright, to share a few ideas and examples of how nonprofits can communicate to a corporate audience.

Could Thinking Like a Business Help Non-Profits Connect With Business?

By Tracey Wright, Integrity Management Consulting

Non-profits are in the business of helping people. That means that for many, especially small non-profits, their primary focus is on service delivery, with little time or resources to spare. Just like any business that wants to grow its market share though, non-profits that need to fund their missions or that want to expand their services, need to secure more support. Could thinking like a business help them connect with potential corporate givers? Here are five ideas, gleaned from my experience working at the small but growing business and Catalogue for Philanthropy sponsor – Integrity Management Consulting – where I help manage the company’s non-profit partnerships.

1. Think about your audience: Integrity is sponsoring a three-part Catalogue training series beginning this Thursday on how to better tell non-profit stories. In the first session, Catalogue President and Editor Barbara Harman will discuss the need to consider your audience when designing your outreach. It’s one of the first things communications professionals are taught: don’t focus only on the message you want to convey, but also what your audience wants to know. For example, Integrity’s staff-led Community Impact Group reviews small non-profits when approving employee applications to support their favorite charities in our 5x$500 program. Often, a website review doesn’t give us all the information we’re looking for — such as the Form 990, a list of board members, short- and long-term goals and the strategies for achieving them. When we don’t find this information, it requires us to call the non-profit — another step for us and a potential roadblock to the organization securing business donations. Think about the audience and give potential supporters a one-stop information experience to speed decisions in your favor.

2. Make it easy: Of course you have a website, but how user-friendly and attractive is it? Analytics on our own website show that visitors can spend from mere seconds to just a few brief minutes on our site. The information people want to see should be easy to get to, with your story highlighted on your homepage to hook people and keep them there. It’s incumbent on all of us to ask whether we’re making it easy for our visitors to digest information and take an action, such as watching a video, downloading a report, clicking on an email address, or making a donation.

3. Use metrics to demonstrate impact: In her four-part blog series on ‘the evaluation problem,’ Barbara Harman pointed out that while it’s difficult to measure some kinds of impact, there’s a growing requirement by government and donors for metrics that measure results. Many of us respond from the heart, but just as businesses need to show potential customers how they fix problems, improve lives, or save money, non-profits can strike a chord by showing that they are results-driven organizations. For example, longtime Integrity partner Homestretch provides housing and other services to homeless families with children, many of them fleeing from domestic abuse. The simple fact of homelessness and abuse should be enough to convince the public to support the cause. Beyond the emotion though, what demonstrates good stewardship at Homestretch are the numbers it recently added to its new website, highlighted in large, bold type: 92% of last year’s graduates employed a year after graduation, $681,352 of debts repaid in the last six years, $1,157,921 in client savings deposits over the past six years. The numbers validate the Homestretch claim of transformational change in the lives of desperate families.

4. Use creativity and speed to cement a relationship with business: Meeting, or even better, exceeding customer expectations is a goal of most businesses, including Integrity. So when a non-profit exceeds expectations, business leaders notice. In 2013, Integrity used the Catalogue to find a new charity to support with a back-to-school drive. We chose Child and Family Network Centers (CFNC) based on the Catalogue’s review. Before our team returned to the office after delivering the new books and shoes we collected, CFNC had already posted a short, simple video clip to its Facebook page, which Integrity then shared on its own page. Days later, CFNC followed up with an unexpected “Stewardship Report” which recapped the project, the need for shoes among its pre-school population, photos of our team and the children, a child’s quote, screen captures of Facebook and Twitter traffic between us, and of local press coverage that CFNC’s media outreach had generated. We were blown away that they would make such an effort to demonstrate the value of Integrity’s contribution. CFNC’s enthusiastic response led directly to Integrity’s Community Impact Group choosing to adopt 11 adults and 14 children during CFNC’s subsequent year-end holiday gift drive. From a business perspective, it was clear that CFNC really “gets” the interconnection between corporate goals, employee engagement, traditional and shareable new media.

5. Market your strengths: Every business is looking for its differentiators. Whether it’s a unique product or service, a new award or a customer testimonial, a good marketer will use these assets to describe the business in a way that will stand out and make potential customers feel like they’re choosing a winner. The Catalogue stamp of approval achieves this and the logo is likely proudly displayed on your website and materials. Are there additional superlatives you can use? At a Catalogue reviewer function in 2013, one executive director casually mentioned that his non-profit had been chosen for the print and web versions of the Catalogue three times. I said he must have “three-times named ‘one of the best’ by the Catalogue for Philanthropy” in bold on the website. It hadn’t occurred to him. My advice – think like a marketer!

A final suggestion is to repurpose all the hard work you put into your Catalogue application. You have analyzed and clearly stated the need, measured your impact, and described your goals. That’s all good information to help you reach more individuals and more business donors.

There’s still time to register for this Thursday’s workshop, on Telling Your Story in Words, with Barbara Harman (4/3 @ 10am). Registration is full for the second workshop, Communicating via Imagery, but registration will open this week for the third workshop, Telling Your Story by Building Your Brand.

Integrity Management Consulting, Inc. is a rapidly growing small business that delivers acquisition, financial, and program management support services to Federal customers. Based in McLean, VA, Integrity has grown from two to about 100 employees and now supports a range of Federal agencies. An award-winning company for innovation, and job growth, in 2013 it also received the Outstanding Corporate Citizenship – Small Business award from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. Integrity has been a corporate sponsor of the Catalogue since 2009. It’s employee-led Community Impact Group and company matching program use the Catalogue to find new non-profits and are guided by its standards when approving donations.

Tracey Wright is the Communications Manager at Integrity Management Consulting, Inc., where she is in charge of all internal and external communications. She also leads the employee Community Impact Group and manages company partnerships with non-profits. A former television journalist and an ongoing advocate for children with special needs, Tracey was also a Fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication. She connected with the Catalogue in late 2009, when she and a team from Georgetown helped rebrand and plan the Catalogue’s Inspiration to Action event. On behalf of Integrity, Tracey was a reviewer for the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Catalogue.

Around Town 3/28-4/3

It’s a busy weekend for CFP nonprofits across the region! Check out what fun events you can head to this weekend and let us know where you end up by tweeting at us or telling us about your time on Facebook!

Friday, March 28, 2014

March Three-Day Cancer Retreat

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
Retreats help participants engage in richer, fuller lives by providing empowering tools and knowledge in a community of others facing a cancer diagnosis.
When: Fri Mar 28 2014 (12:00 NOON)
Where: Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Fee? yes $650, application required
Contact: Adrienne Dern, (202) 483-8600
For more information: click here

Hexagon’s Midterm Madness!

Sarah’s Circle
Sarah’s Circle is the 2014 beneficiary for Hexagon, Washington’s only original political satirical musical comedy revue. Throughout the month of March 2014, Hexagon will be delighting audiences with its hilarious season, Midterm Madness, and will donate every penny of profit to the work of Sarah’s Circle, which provides supportive, affordable housing to very low-income senior citizens in Washington, DC. We hope you will join us for a show!
When: Fri Mar 28 2014 (8:00 PM)
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Fee? yes $30 per ticket
Volunteer Info: We also need volunteers to serve in a variety of functions: front-of-house services, set builders and painters, etc. Please contact Hexagon via www.hexagon.org for more information.
Contact: Jessica Petro, (202) 332-1400 ext 11
For more information: click here

Saturday, March 29, 2014

March Three-Day Cancer Retreat

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
Retreats help participants engage in richer, fuller lives by providing empowering tools and knowledge in a community of others facing a cancer diagnosis.
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (09:00 AM)
Where: Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Fee? yes $650, application required
Contact: Adrienne Dern, (202) 483-8600
For more information: click here

National Conference on Ending Poverty

A Wider Circle
Nearly 50,000,000 children and adults in this country live in poverty. They live each day without the basic need items the rest of us take for granted. No food, no bed in which to sleep, no clothes for work or school – poverty creates a different world for our neighbors. We can solve this crisis, no question about it. On Saturday, March 29, 2014, we will come together to plan how to do just that. The National Conference on Ending Poverty, presented by A Wider Circle, in partnership with Montgomery County’s Office of Community Partnerships, will focus on solutions. The conference will highlight innovative, on-the-ground approaches to ending poverty and connect attendees with concrete ways to engage. Featured speakers include: Dave Phillips, Co-Founder, Cincinnati Works Dr. Pamela Loprest, Senior Fellow, Urban Institute Jeffrey Faulkner, President, Ways to Work Tonya Jackson Smallwood, President and CEO, Family Matters of Greater Washington Scott Miller, CEO, Circles USA Aaron Bartley, Executive Director, PUSH Buffalo Cubby Graham of charity: water will also share his organization’s incredible story and groundbreaking international relief work for those in poverty. You will hear from individuals living in poverty, as well as be welcomed by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett. The conference will be moderated by Washington Post columnist and CNN and MSNBC commentator, Dana Milbank.
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (10:00 AM)
Where: Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Fee? yes $20 regular; $10 students
Contact: Mark Bergel, (301) 608-3504
For more information: click here

Spring Workday @ Girard Children’s Community Garden

City Blossoms
It’s almost that time of year again to get the Community Green Spaces ready for Spring and a new season of Open Times. Itching to get outside? Come join us for a morning of getting hands dirty, digging, and planting.
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Girard Children’s Community Garden, playground at 15th & Girard Sts NW, Washington, DC 20009
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Get the garden ready for spring planting! Individual and group volunteers are encouraged!
Contact: City Blossoms, (443) 854-1669
For more information: click here

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Nash Run Trash Trap Cleanup

Anacostia Watershed Society
Since its inception in 1989, AWS staff and volunteers have removed tons of trash from the Anacostia River each year. Our Nash Run Trash Trap cleanups have been a huge success in helping us to make progress towards our goal for a trash free Anacostia River. Located adjacent to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Northeast DC, this trash trap catches trash before it ends up in the River! But our staff can’t manage this trap alone. Volunteers are critical to our plan to collect trash and monitor this trash trap. At the event we will remove trash from the trap and sort it into 5 categories; bottles and cans, Styrofoam, plastic grocery bags, lumber, and “other”. The data collected will be used to educate the public and advocate for a better practice such as Bottle Deposit Bill.
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (12:00 NOON – 3:00 PM)
Where: Intersection of Anacostia Ave NE and Douglas St NE, Washington, DC 20019
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Remove trash from the trap and sort it into categories (bottles, Styrofoam, plastic bags, etc). The task requires squatting down for a relatively long time, and may be physically demanding. It is not suitable for young children or the elderly. Registration is required. Please register at least 2 days prior to the event dates you chose to volunteer in order to receive additional information regarding proper clothing, etc. This event may be canceled suddenly due to high flow rain events effecting Nash Run Stream.
Contact: Masaya Maeda, (301) 699-6204 ext 110
For more information: click here

2014 Generation to Generation Gala

Senior Services of Alexandria
The Generation to Generation Annual gala is a festive celebration that highlights family members in Alexandria whose dedication and passion for giving back to the community are passed down from generation to generation. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, March 29 from 6:00-11:00 pm at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Road in Alexandria, VA. For more information or to sponsor the event, please see www.seniorservicesalex.org or call 703-836-4414, ext. 14.
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (6:00 PM – 11:00 PM)
Where: Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, 5000 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304
Fee? yes
Contact: Donna Walker James, (703) 836-4414 ext 14

Night of 1000 Hotdogs @ ArtEnables

Art Enables
Ceramic hamburgers are so 2013! Join your fellow gourmands and art lovers for Art Enables’ Spring event – Night of 1000* Hotdogs. Music, Art, Amazing Circus Acts, and Hotdogs…lots and lots of hotdogs! Event is free but RSVP is required!
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (7:00 PM – 10:00 PM)
Where: Art Enables, 2204 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20018
Fee? no
Contact: Beth Baldwin, (202) 554-9455
For more information: click here

Hexagon’s Midterm Madness!

Sarah’s Circle
Sarah’s Circle is the 2014 beneficiary for Hexagon, Washington’s only original political satirical musical comedy revue. Throughout the month of March 2014, Hexagon will be delighting audiences with its hilarious season, Midterm Madness, and will donate every penny of profit to the work of Sarah’s Circle, which provides supportive, affordable housing to very low-income senior citizens in Washington, DC. We hope you will join us for a show!
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (8:00 PM)
Where: Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Fee? yes $30 per ticket
Volunteer Info: We also need volunteers to serve in a variety of functions: front-of-house services, set builders and painters, etc. Please contact Hexagon via www.hexagon.org for more information.
Contact: Jessica Petro, (202) 332-1400 ext 11
For more information: click here

VaVaVoom!

Joe’s Movement Emporium/World Arts Focus
Joe’s Movement Emporium and DEVIATED THEATRE bring you a late night performance full of burlesque dancer, aerial arts, amazing feats and much more!
When: Sat Mar 29 2014 (10:00 PM)
Where: Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, ME 20712
Fee? yes $30 per individual
Contact: Melissa Rosenberg, (301) 699 – 1819

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March Three-Day Cancer Retreat

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
Retreats help participants engage in richer, fuller lives by providing empowering tools and knowledge in a community of others facing a cancer diagnosis.
When: Sun Mar 30 2014 (09:00 AM)
Where: Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, 1632 U St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
Fee? yes $650, application required
Contact: Adrienne Dern, (202) 483-8600
For more information: click here

Red Shoe 5K Run & Walk

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington D.C.’s Red Shoe 5K Run & Walk helps children heal faster and better. March 30th. Race starts 9:00 AM Kids Fun Run at 8:45am. 2303 Dulles Station Blvd., Herndon, VA. Family friendly Red Shoe 5K is for racers, leisure walkers and runners. Prizes, family activities and games, awards & surprises. Kids can get community service hours. Cost: Adults $40 until March 23, $45 thru race day. Kids $25. Team & Family discounts. Kids in strollers & leashed dogs free. Sign up on-line now at www.redshoe5K.org or call 202.529.8204.
When: Sun Mar 30 2014 (09:00 AM)
Where: 2303 Dulles Station Blvd., Herndon, VA 20171
Fee? yes Adults $40 until March 23, $45 thru race day. Kids $25.
Volunteer Info: Three different volunteer shifts – 1st Shift-6:00am-9:15am, 2ND Shift- 8:45am-12:00pm and All Day Shift-6:00am-12:00pm. We will need support setting up for the race, help with all of our family friendly activities and also cheering the runners on as they run by. For more information, please contact Kristen Claus at kristen@rmhcdc.org or (202) 529-8204.
Contact: Kristen, (202) 529-8204
For more information: click here

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Sun Mar 30 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Mon Mar 31 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Dine for CASA at Franklin’s

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County
Dine and shop at Franklin’s Brewery & General Store on April 1, 2014, bring your receipt to the hostess and 20% will go back to support Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Prince George’s County!
When: Tue Apr 1 2014 (09:00 AM – 12:00 MIDNIGHT)
Where: Franklin’s Brewery and General Store, 5123 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD 20781
Fee? yes Cost of your meal and drinks
Contact: Penny Gerber, (301) 209-0491
For more information: click here

Washington Bach Consort presents the FREE Noontime Cantata Series

Washington Bach Consort
Cantata: Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin, BWV 144 Prelude and Fugue in E-Flat Major (“St. Anne”), BWV 552 Organ Soloist: Neil Weston A Washington DC tradition described by the Washingtonian as a “hidden gem,” the Noontime Cantata Series at Church of the Epiphany in downtown DC provides respite from the busy workday and the stress of city life. Each fifty minute concert consists of a cantata and an organ piece introduced by J. Reilly Lewis and performed by orchestra, chorus and soloists.
When: Tue Apr 1 2014 (12:00 NOON)
Where: Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20005
Fee? no
Contact: Janet Mullany, (202) 429-2121
For more information: click here

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

4th Annual Allies in Change Awards Luncheon

District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH)
DASH’s Allies in Change Awards recognize community partners who have made a difference in the lives of women and children facing homelessness due to domestic violence. Mistress of Ceremonies Erika Gonzalez, Reporter/Anchor, NBC News Channel 4 Special Guest Yvette Cade Hear her story of survival and courageous efforts to escape from abuse. Ms. Cade was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show and has focused her survival on speaking out against domestic violence in communities around the country.
When: Wed Apr 2 2014 (12:00 NOON – 1:30 PM)
Where: Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001
Fee? yes $150 Standard Ticket; $75 Nonprofit Ticket; Sponsorships Available!
Contact: Meghan McDonough, (202) 462-3274 ext 101

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Wild Plant Nursery Work Day

Earth Sangha
Every Monday, and Thursday (and selected Sundays), we will be out at our Wild Plant Nursery preparing pots, sowing seeds, weeding, and all the fun things that help our nursery to function! If you are a natural gardener or botanically curious, please join and become one of our “Nursery Diva” volunteers. These workdays will be dependent on weather conditions, so please check with Lisa, lbright@earthsangha.org, before heading out.
When: Thu Apr 3 2014 (10:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Where: Wild Plant Nursery, See website for directions or search Google Maps for Wild Plant Nursery., Springfield, VA 22150
Fee? no
Contact: Lisa Bright, (703) 764-4830
For more information: click here