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Catalogue Blog

That Swing

It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing
It don’t mean a thing all you got to do is sing
It makes no difference
If it’s sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm
Every little thing you’ve got …

music by Duke Ellington, born this past Sunday in 1899 in Washington, DC

You can learn about the Ellington Fund, which ensures a dynamic arts and academic experience for students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, right here.

Around Town: April 28-29

So what might strike your fancy this weekend?


The 2nd annual Fairfax CASA Run for the Children 10K Race & 3K Run/Walk is coming up on Saturday at 8 AM — prizes, food, and entertainment all included. Sign up right here. And in running-related events, Girls on the Run founder Molly Barker will share words of wisdom at a brunch to benefit the GOTR of MoCo scholarship fund on Saturday at 8 AM. Admission tickets are sold out, but you can still buy raffle tickets here!

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Let’s Publish …

By Marie LeBlanc, Catalogue Community Partnerships Coordinator

Earlier this week, the Nonprofit Quarterly published an article by Joe Waters on the importance of nonprofit publishing — not advertising, not promoting, but publishing. In today’s whirlwind world of social media, the re-tweet and “like” often take precedence over extended, printed content creation. Waters points out a couple of reasons why nonprofits benefit from quality publications (branding, differentiation, publicity), but I would argue that the community at large stands to gain from quality nonprofit publications as well.

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In The News …

The cost of a nation of incarceration (CBS News): “Nationwide, the numbers are staggering: Nearly 2.4 million people behind bars, even though over the last 20 years the crime rate has actually dropped by more than 40%.” Michael Jacobson, director of the Vera Institute of Justice, points out that the US has “about 5% of the world’s population, but we have 25% of the world’s prisoners.” A report from Vera, “The Price of Prisons, finds that the cost of incarcerating one inmate runs up to $60,000 per year in some states. Says Walter McNeil, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, “… the vast majority of the people in prison are going to return to prison unless we do something different.”

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Come Forward

In a Politico op-ed, “Violence against women is no ‘women’s issue’,” Women Thrive Worldwide co-founder & President Ritu Sharma writes:

This lesson has been learned by longtime activists, who have been battling this scourge that affects one in three women globally. Gender-based violence can take many forms: rape and assault used as weapons of war, domestic violence, acid burnings and female infanticide. The list is long.

But ending this violence has one common element: The men who are political leaders — village elders, pastors and mullahs, fathers, brothers, husbands and boyfriends — need to come forward and say stop. [...]

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Of Invention

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
(Henry V)

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
(The Tempest)

– William Shakespeare, whose 1564 birth is observed today

Around Town: April 20-22

And here are some great DC-area destinations for the weekend …

Happy Hour Fundraiser with Art Enables (at Lace, 2214 Rhode Island Ave NE)

On Friday at 4:00 PM, join Art Enables for cocktail and food specials at Lace — while having a fun time for a good cause.

Latino Youth: Reach for the Stars! with Educacion Para Nuestro Futuro (at NRECA Conference Center, 4301 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington)

Edu-Futuro honors the talents & spirit of Latino youth on Friday at 6:30 PM in their first-ever talent show — which will also support grassroots education and leadership development.

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In The News … (cont)

Baker plan aims to “bring our neighborhoods back” (Gazette): “Six Prince George’s County communities will get some extra attention from the county government, as officials believe assisting the areas will help cut down on crime and improve economic development. Department leaders from the county executive’s administration will lead Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative in six areas: East Riverdale/Bladensburg, Glassmanor, Hillcrest Heights/Marlow Heights, Kentland/Palmer Park, Langley Park, and Suitland/Coral Hills. CE Rushern L. Baker said that the program “would provide a holistic approach utilizing county services [...] to aid some of the county’s most vulnerable communities.”

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In The News …

For homeless single dad, nothing’s easy, even when it’s good (Washington Post: Local): “Hours later, after he produced his ID with no fixed address, his Social Security card, his medical records, the paperwork for Kai, the letters from readers, two tellers still wouldn’t cash it. Finally, a branch manager took him into her office, closed the door behind them and listened to his story. [...] If this is the process to simply cash a check when you’re without an anchor, imagine how hard it is to find work, housing and child care when your address is a shelter and a 1-year-old is clinging to your neck.” Juan Jordan, who recently received a place at the former DC General Hospital with help from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, daily faces a specific array of challenges in securing food and shelter for himself and his daughter — precisely because it is just the two of them.

Program That Sends Urban Students to Elite Colleges Comes to Houston This Fall (New York Times via the Texas Tribune): Catalogue nonprofit the Posse Foundation is now expanding to the Houston Independent School District! “Teachers, principals and community leaders will get to nominate students to become members of the city’s inaugural “posses” — groups of students from large, urban districts organized by the Posse Foundation, which sends them to elite colleges and universities as a unit to serve as a pre-established peer support network.” Since its inception in 1989, Posse has grown “grown tremendously, sending more than 4,000 students from eight of the country?s largest cities to about 40 universities. Those students have netted nearly $500 million in scholarships [...] and have a graduation rate of 90 percent.”

How Do Your Nonprofit’s Online Numbers Compare? (Huffington Post): “The 2012 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study showed nonprofit online fundraising grew for a second year in a row, driven largely by an increase in gifts to rights-based nonprofits. While the response rates to fundraising email messages stayed fairly consistent for nonprofits in 2011, the average rates of new Facebook fans, mobile subscribers, and people who took action from an advocacy email soared.” Among the notable results? By December 2011, “nonprofits on average had 70 percent more Facebook fans than they did at the start of the year” and “the number of email subscribers responding to calls to action online [... had] increased 28 percent.” M+R principal Bill Wasserman suggests taking similar stock of your own numbers and brainstorming how to improve them in 2012.

The Bridge

“Oh, I’ve never forgotten for long at a time that living is struggle. I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for — whether it’s a field, or a home, or a country.”
(The Skin of Our Teeth, 1942)

“But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”
(The Bridge of San Luis Rey, 1927)

American novelist & playwright Thornton Wilder, born today in 1897