In The News …

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

20 DC schools targeted for closure (Washington Post) “One in six traditional DC public schools is targeted for closure under a plan put forth Tuesday by Chancellor Kaya Henderson, the latest sign of a system facing budget pressures and increased competition from fast-growing charter schools. The 20 schools marked for closure are spread across six city wards but are concentrated in Northeast Washington and east of the Anacostia River. The chancellor said her plan would shift resources from maintaining under-enrolled schools to focus on improving academic programs,” Find a list of all proposed public school changes here.

Partnership Leads to New Beginning for Homeless Veterans (Huffington Post: DC Impact) “Across the country, men and women who served in the armed forces are becoming homeless at a rate that is higher than the civilian population. Sadly, this is consistent with a history of overrepresentation of veterans in the homeless population. This year, Veteran’s Day marks a new beginning for many homeless veterans in the District who are benefiting from an innovative housing program and critical community partnerships. Our organizations — Pathways to Housing DC and Miriam’s Kitchen — are working together to identify chronically homeless veterans with mental illness and/or disabling medical conditions in the District who are eligible to move into their own apartments as part of a pilot project sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Housing and Urban Development.”

Region leaders hoping for federal spending cuts compromise (Washington Examiner) “The region’s leaders say they’ve prepped their 2013 budgets for what will be hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue if federal spending cuts start in January. But they are also holding out hope those cuts — and the devastation they say it would bring to the region — never come. ‘It’s like Hurricane Sandy — there’s only so much you can do with powers beyond your control,’ said Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. at a Greater Washington Board of Trade panel discussion Thursday.” How is your organization preparing for possible cuts and sequestration?

CFP Milestones: 2009

As we approach our celebration of the 10th Catalogue for Philanthropy, we look back to see how the Catalogue has grown and evolved.

Along with our annual print Catalogue, the CFP website is the best way to meet and support our nonprofits — any day, any time. In 2009, Catalogue launched our web 2.0 interactive site with gift cards, gift registry, kids portal, and dynamic pages for all catalogue charities. The new site took donations “in house” to bring the cost down for donors.

Last year, we offered a “Feature of the Month” here on GoodWorks to highlight the site’s unique tools and capacities. You can check those out right here.

CFP Milestones: 2008

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

As we approach our celebration of the 10th Catalogue for Philanthropy, we look back to see how the Catalogue has grown and evolved.

From year to year, the Catalogue’s base of donors and supporters has increased and strengthened. In 2008, the initial group of three Catalogue donors had increased to 30, including a variety of individual and foundation supporters.

This year also marked the first annual launch event held at the Harman Center for the Arts. In its first year at the Harman Center, the Catalogue’s annual event welcomed 500 guests to celebrate the sixth publication of the Catalogue for Philanthropy. Since then, Harman Center has hosted the Catalogue’s annual event every year.

The following charities were featured in the Catalogue for the first time in 2008, and are relisted again this year. Get to know them here:

In print:

Arlington Arts Center: Contemporary visual arts center featuring exhibitions, classes, and studios.
Center for Adoption Support and Education: Helping adoptive families overcome challenges and become “forever families.”
DC Youth Orchestra Program: Music education organization providing instruction and performance opportunities for youth.
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital: Film festival presenting 160 environmental-focused films to large citywide audiences.
FAIR Girls: Girls’ empowerment organization keeping girls safe from exploitation.
For Love of Children: Providing free educational services to low-income Washington, DC students.
Inner City-Inner Child: Early learning and book distribution program for at-risk preschool children.
Iona Senior Services: Community-based organization supporting people through the challenges of aging.
Latino Economic Development Center: Community-based, direct service, economic development organization for low- to moderate-income Latinos.
New Futures: Helping DC’s lowest income youth gain access to post-secondary education.
Red Wiggler Community Farm: Creating fertile ground to nourish a healthy and inclusive community.
San Miguel School: Private middle school for at-risk Latino boys.
Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (SMYAL): Supporting metro DC area LGBTQ youth.
Synetic Theater: Washington, DC area’s premier physical theater.
Teen and Young Adult Health Connection: Providing high quality, low-cost reproductive health care to female youth and their partners.
A Wider Circle: Providing a unique, holistic approach to ending poverty.
Words Beats & Life: Transforming lives and communities through hip-hop.


AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly: Premier provider of legal services and advocacy for vulnerable seniors.
Audubon Naturalist Society: Local environmental education and conservation organization serving Washington, DC region.
Building Bridges Across the River THEARC: Founder and managing agency for arts and social service campus.
The Christ Child Society of Washington DC: Women’s organization meeting emotional, educational, and material needs of children.
DC Vote: Education and advocacy organization seeking full democracy for DC.
Rachael’s Women’s Center: Day shelter providing comprehensive services for homeless women in Washington, DC.

Roundtable Summit

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Yesterday morning, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington celebrated its tenth anniversary with a touching look back and a pressing call to action for the future. As a young nonprofit professional, the messages I heard were both disheartening and inspiring. According to Mario Morino, Co-Founder and Chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, the nonprofit sector faces quite a few challenges in the years ahead. Even with potential economic upturns (which are by no means guaranteed yet), the changing economic and employment landscape in the US will have a profound effect on the demand for social sector services. Effectively funding those services will require a dramatic re-think of current funding mechanisms, and above all the willpower from funders, investors, government, and social service providers/nonprofits alike to meet the needs that our country, regions, and cities will face.

Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, passionately spoke of the civil rights crisis facing America today — what he called the “most massive and simultaneous attack on rights happening in recent history.” Women, immigrants, and the LGBT and black communities are on the front lines of this battle — one primarily fought within state boundaries, not on the federal level. Such a multifaceted problem requires intense collaboration and coordination to solve it — and an acknowledgement of the political and systemic barriers that contribute to (and often cause) the larger problems nonprofits work to address.
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In The News …

Letting Employees Call the Philanthropy Shots (Forbes): “Corporate volunteerism is on the rise, yet companies still face challenges getting employees engaged [...] While these programs are growing, engagement is not following suit, with some studies showing that volunteer participation is holding steady.” The piece then profiles Freudenberg-NOK, a technology company whose annual volunteer time comes to “more than 55,000 man hours.” In addition to hiring employees who already believe in corporate philanthropy, the “employee-centric quality of [their Your Community Partner plan] allows not just for greater engagement, but also greater community impact.” How does your company encourage and catalyze volunteer projects?

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Back On Their Feet

By Jill Carmichael, Neighbors First Division Director
Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place

The day our staff found out that the Department of Veterans Affairs chose Friendship Place as a recipient of a $1 million Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) grant, the excitement in our office was off the charts. As the director of our Veterans First program, I of course am thrilled about our newly expanded grant to work with Veterans and their families. It’s so gratifying to think about how many people we will be able to help get back on their feet.

We launched our Veterans First program at Friendship Place about nine months ago, and in that time our staff learned invaluable information about working with this population. We now know what homeless Veterans’ unique needs are, and we’re using that information to tailor our expanded Veterans First program to be as effective and efficient as possible.

I’m particularly looking forward to rolling out our new specialist positions. Our Housing Specialist, for instance, will be fully trained in tenant rights and will create partnerships with landlords throughout the DC Metro Area. This will allow us to rapidly rehouse the people we?re working with while serving as a liaison between client and landlord.

The VA wants us to do our best to move our clients into housing with employment opportunities on the horizon. Our Employment Specialist will continue to expand upon the great employment services that Friendship Place already provides. This position will focus on job development as well as marketing to potential employers the special skills that Veterans bring to the table. We’re also creating specialist positions in benefits and outreach/intake.

Above all, we want to make a lasting impact on Veteran homelessness in DC. We are dedicated to working to prevent homelessness and to house those experiencing homelessness. This grant couldn’t have come at a better time — when the need for services continues to rise in our community. But in my eyes, seeing the dedication of my staff and the willingness of places like the VA to fund these efforts, I truly believe that we’re getting one step closer to ending homelessness every day.

Development Planning Speaker Session

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Creating a comprehensive development plan is perhaps not the first item of business for a new Executive Director or Development Director when starting out in the nonprofit world. But this month’s BAH Nonprofit Conference on Fundraising Development stressed the importance of having a thought-out, written-down development plan as a priority for successful, supportive and effective development programming. Keynote speaker Barbara Ciconte outlined many of the key steps to creating an “effective” (and perhaps more importantly, realistic) development plan, as well as the bigger picture items to consider from an organizational standpoint. Ultimately, “development” is about more than just raising money — it involves creating authentic connections with others who believe in and commit to your organization’s mission.

Ciconte discussed many important features of a development plan, including these key elements:
- Detailed goals for each development activity
- Specific strategies for achieving those goals
- An action plan, with a timetable for each strategy and benchmarks along the way
- Clear assignments for staff and other involved individuals
- Marketing and communications needs for development strategies
- Budget for fundraising (it’s true; you usually have to spend money to make money!)

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In The News …

Boom in autistic students prompts new Montgomery school centers (Washington Examiner): “Montgomery County Public Schools is planning to open autism centers at three high schools in the new school year, as the district grapples with a fivefold increase in the number of students diagnosed with autism over the last decade.” Since the 2000/2001 school year, the number of MCPS students on the autism spectrum has jumped from 266 to 1,642 — which, assumedly, is in part due to improvements in diagnostic procedures. In particular, “special education staff acknowledged they also need to ramp up efforts to reach the diversifying swath of students who have special needs, such as immigrant families who may not speak English.”

Some States Looking to (and Funding) Arts as Economic Driver (Nonprofit Quarterly): “The news service for the Pew Center on the States reports that “there has been a 37 percent drop in funding for state arts agencies since 2001.” However, a creative repackaging of the arts as an economic engine has, in some states, reversed this trend over the last year.” And according to the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA), this year’s state arts funding budgets have increased by approximately nine percent. You can check out all of CFP’s local arts organizations right here.

Everything I Need To Know About Life I Learned On My Nonprofit Board (Fast Company): “This is a life lesson for people in workplaces, families, classrooms, and any relationship. That peace, happiness, and fulfillment come from creating a mutual understanding of what you?re trying to accomplish and each person?s role in achieving success,” writes Alice Korngold, CSR consultant to global corporations. She also points to the value of clearly-articulated values, discussed with the Board and shared with the public. “It is usually a [...] source of energy and even exhilaration when people finally see how and what they can contribute to achieve success for a cause in which they believe.

Impact Investing

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

This week, the Nonprofit Quarterly published an article about the Council on Foundations’ new CEO, Vikki Spruill, and her official introduction to the organization. NPQ’s Rick Cohen discusses a few key points of Spruill’s statement, including her “upbeat perspective on the societal significance of philanthropic innovation” and the need for philanthropy to assess its own value in the large society. However, Cohen also points out that “she [Spruill] and her colleagues have to remember that the vehicle for the delivery of philanthropy’s collective value is the nonprofit sector.”

How do the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors work collaboratively to achieve the goals mentioned by Spruill, and act as “investors, innovators, leaders, and partners” in society? As a bridge between these communities, the Catalogue for Philanthropy aims to increase the connections between (primarily) individual philanthropists in the Washington area and the regional nonprofits that most need their support. We use the moniker Catalogue for Philanthropy, but our main ‘clients’ are nonprofits. We recognize that small nonprofits in the area often do the most innovative, important, and thankless work, and yet also have a difficult time connecting with individuals who share their vision.

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Lessons Learned

From last week’s “Leading women offer lessons for work in philanthropy” in The Atlantic:

Katie Couric, special correspondent for ABC News and cancer advocate: “To really pour yourself into something, you have to be moved by it.”

Laurie Tisch, president of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund: “The lesson I learned is about patience and about agreed upon measures of success … You’ve got to be flexible with grantees. They also have to be honest with you.”

Ann Friedman, board chair of the SEED Foundation: “I would make a plea, if you are on a board and you have a passion and you want to fund something … please also give unrestricted donations to that non-profit. It’s how they turn the lightbulbs on.”

What do you have to add, both for nonprofits and for those that support them?