Plus Character

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “The Purpose of Education” (1948)

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I’ve Been to the Mountain Top” (1968)

Around Town: January 13-16

Have a good Friday, Greater Washington! We have some great events, particularly volunteer opportunities, coming up for this Martin Luther King Day weekend.

Weekend Events

Head to Capitol Hill Arts Workshop on Friday at 7:00 PM for a free tango practica, open to dancers of all experience levels. Also at 7:00 PM, the semi-finalists of the DCAC decathlon will exhibit their works, all exploring the significance of being an “unspecialized” working artist. On Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 3:00 PM, Fairfax Symphony Orchestra presents Masterworks Concert #4, featuring cellist Sergey Antonov, at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts.

Monday Service Opportunities

Join Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment at 10:00 AM in Bancroft Park (Arlington) to clean up a section of the Four Mile Run road and keep trash out of the County’s largest stream watershed. Starting at 10:30 AM, Volunteer Fairfax invites you to its third annual Give Together: A Family Volunteer Day, expanding this year to Fairfax City, Herndon, and Alexandria; all service projects are targeted towards elementary-aged children and geared toward the involvement of the entire family. Last but not least, Rock Creek Conservancy will offer seven projects in Aspen Hill and Redland, MD, and around the DC area: tidy up community gardens, save large trees, and remove invasive plants, all starting at 10:00 AM (two events are already full).

Getting To Know You (More)

Last Thursday, we posted a question-and-answer walk-through of the CFP application process. Applications are due in one month and one day, so we’re adding a few more FAQs — and just leave a comment or tweet us @cataloguedc with any other questions:

Have you announced the dates for the financial supplement workshops yet?

We have! Two workshops will be held, one on February 14th, 2-4 PM and the other on March 5th 2-4 PM, at Smith & Wollensky’s, 1112 19th Street NW. You can sign up online right here.

When and how do you notify applicants of the decisions?

If we need to see financial information, we will request it in early to mid-April. Final decisions are made in early to mid-May and we will be sure to email you the decision either way. The new Catalogue comes out in early November in time for the giving season.
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In The News …

Why Low-Income Kids Miss Out On Play (DCentric): “‘Free play’ helps boost childhood development and leads to better behavior in schools. But a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics found low-income children in cities have limited opportunities to play [...] Low-income kids are more likely to see recess cut from their school day [and] there are fewer playgrounds in low-income, urban communities [and] Parents are busy insuring their families? day-to-day survival.” So definitely get to know the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, whose 100+ volunteers give children a much-needed opportunity to play and relax.
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Feature of the Month: Advanced Search

Is a search engine a super crazy feature? Probably not. But we have 328 DC-area nonprofits on the CFP team, so we want to offer you some easy ways to find the ones that speak to you.

First, head to “Our Nonprofits;” then click “Advanced Search” on the lower left. That will take you to this screen:

Under “Quick Links” on the left side, we have some simple categories — so you can pull up a list of all CFP nonprofits that serve, say, youth ages 6-15 or that work in schools or that have an international focus. And with this handy link, you can find a list of all the CFP organizations that have their headquarters in your DC ward or your MD or VA county.

And under “Organization Search” on the right, you can do an even more detailed search, say, by Category or Location. And if you remember liking a particular nonprofit in the 2009 Catalogue, for example, you can search by “Catalogue Year.” I also quite enjoy searching by Zip Code, so you can see which CFP nonprofits are right around the corner!

Wordless Ceremony

“And what is so strange about that memory is that everybody seems to be floating on those sweet sounds, moving rhythmically, languorously, in complete isolation; responding more to the mood of the music than to its beat. When I remember it, I think of it as dancing. Dancing with eyes half closed because to open them would break the spell. Dancing as if language has surrendered to movement — as if this ritual, this wordless ceremony, was now the way to speak, to whisper private and sacred things, to be in touch with some otherness. Dancing as if the very heart of life and all its hopes might be found in those assuaging notes and those hushed rhythms and in those silent and hypnotic movements. Dancing as if language no longer existed because words were no longer necessary.”

Dancing at Lughnasa by Irish playwright Brian Friel (born today in 1929)

And in this spirit, get to know our dance nonprofits today.

Around Town: January 7-8

Welcome to the first “Around Town” of 2012! Looking forward to many more …

Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (4103 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA)

Fairfax CASA will be welcoming new volunteers begins this month! For those already accepted into the program, training starts on Saturday. For those interested in applying, the first information session is on Monday at noon. A CASA is a crucial advocate for children whose families have been cited for abuse and neglect.

National Philharmonic (Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD)

At 3:30 PM on Saturday, experience Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites from Zuill Bailey, widely considered one of the leading cellists of his generation. And at 8:00 PM, enjoy works from Beethoven, Hayden, and Mozart (with a lectured offered at 6:45 PM). Tickets this way!
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Getting To Know You

Applications are now open for the 2012/2013 Catalogue for Philanthropy and due on February 13 at midnight. So let’s talk details:

Who is eligible? We try to keep the process as open as possible to a wide range of nonprofits. You just need to be a 501(c)3 organization, operating in the Washington region, with a budget below $3 million. That’s about it. And if you were featured in the 2008/2009 print Catalogue and earlier, you can apply for it again this year.
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In The News …

Montgomery tries to spur affordable housing (Washington Post): “Over the next few months, county planning and housing officials will propose broad policy changes intended to improve the local housing market [...] Yet the county, which has seen year after year of budget shortfalls, also must deal with less funding. The housing department budget for the current fiscal year is 50 percent of what it was two years ago [...] The shift in county demographics, as well as the nationwide foreclosure crisis a few years ago, has led to increased demand for affordable housing, county officials said.” You can learn more about CFP nonprofits focused on housing and homelessness in Maryland right here.

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Resolving for 2012

I tend to be a bit skeptical of New Year’s resolutions, since (for no other reason) the first day of the second month of winter feels like an odd time to restart engines or rethink strategies. Moreover, for many arts nonprofits, the new “year” actually starts in August or September. That said, rather than a time for a restart, maybe this is a good time just to pause, ponder, and reconsider. Which was the theme of many of these resolutions, compiled by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Here are three that jumped out to me:

Stop referring to our industry by what we don?t do. Not-for-profit is a tax status, not an operating model. We are social-benefit organizations that produce significant value.

– Howard Kucher, executive director, the Evergreen Project

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