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Communities of Excellence

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Last Thursday night, I sat in the back of a packed room at the Washington Post and listened to five nonprofits tell stories — stories about their successes, their challenges, but mostly their creativity in the field of nonprofit management. Last Thursday, May 24, one of those nonprofits received the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, but it felt to me like all five had accomplished a great deal and were ‘winners’ for their constituencies.

The is a program of the , and selects one leader in the field every year to be recognized for their exemplary management. This year’s finalists represented a range of nonprofit work in DC — from Bread for the City and Community of Hope, who offer a variety of services to thousands of low-income clients, to Young Playwrights? Theatre and Imagination Stage, who teach life lessons through creativity for young artists, and Byte Back, who provides crucial computer and job training.

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Tenant Profile

By Housing Unlimited, Silver Spring, MD

Steve Lindstrom, 47 years old, born in Los Angeles California, moved to the Montgomery County area at age 5.

Lindstrom’s therapist helped him apply to Housing Unlimited, and shortly thereafter he received the call. “Life before HUI to life now has been a big change. Before I was living in a program-type of environment, and to live independently has been very positive.” With his family close by, Lindstrom has been living in his particular Housing Unlimited home for close to two years.

He expresses gratitude for his kind housemates, and his comfortable living accommodations. In this quiet Germantown neighborhood, Lindstrom thrives in his independent living situation. “I have been working on some goals of mine … I have been able to overcome a lot of obstacles, working on being the person I want to be … I have been able to quit smoking because I feel so comfortable here. Just before I quit, I sat right here, and I looked at my surroundings and I decided, I could handle it, I am in a safe place, and I was able to quit.”

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Pictures for the Day – Part 2

By LearnServe International

Last week, we offered a glimpse into LearnServe International, which guides students through the creation of their own “social venture” and empowers them to make a difference.

This week: meet Khadijah Wilson, a student at Luke C. Moore Academy. She is a phenomenal artist, a LearnServe Fellow, and a child in the foster care system.

Over the two years that she has been in foster care, Khadijah has become an outspoken advocate for other foster children. Through LearnServe International, Khadijah has launched “Foster Teen Expression,” an initiative to help other foster teens cope with the past and present trauma through artistic expression.

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Around Town: May 26-27

Have a great Memorial Day weekend, Greater Washington! If you’re in town, consider spending your Saturday at …

Youth Media Festival (1 Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring, MD)

From 1:00 to 8:30 PM, the Gandhi Brigade presents a celebration of youth voices through video, photography, and graphic design, plus a PSA contest, performances, and creative social justice workshops; and middle school students from Passion for Learning will showcase their digital media projects. More information right here.

Workshop: LinkedIn Basics for Career Success (Fairlington Presbyterian Church, 3846 King Street, Alexandria, VA)

LinkedIn is the premier networking site for the business world. At 1:00 PM, Computer CORE will offer an affordable, hands-on computer workshop to help students create an effective profile that draws hiring managers (or potential customers) to find you. For more information, call (703) 931-7346 x103.

Chinese Menu Improv (2438 18th Street NW, Washington, DC)

Big laughs are being served up as Chinese Menu Comedy comes back to DCAC! Peter Bergen gathers some of the best improv and stand-up taken from the District and beyond. Learn more about DCAC performances this way.

Philanthropy in the Classroom

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Did you think about studying philanthropy in college? Take any classes on nonprofit management? Would you have taken those courses if you had the chance? I didn’t and yet my career has mostly stayed within the bounds of the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors. However, for a small group of graduating undergraduates at Indiana University, philanthropy has been both an in- and out-of-classroom pursuit during their college years.

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University has long been an academic leader in philanthropic studies, but only recently started offering degree programs in the field. In 2008, the first Doctorate in Philanthropic Studies was awarded by the university, and this year marks the first class of graduating undergraduates, earning Bachelors’ in Philanthropic Studies. (Note: when I say the “first,” I mean the first degrees ever issued in this area — not just from Indiana University.)

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In The News …

Investing in Education, Workforce Development, and the Safety Net Will Close the Income Gap (Give It Some Thought: Community Foundation blog): “[...] while our region’s economy has led to economic growth and prosperity for many on the middle and higher rungs of the ladder, residents on the bottom of the income scale largely are being left behind [...] Our philanthropic efforts take on a new urgency as local and state governments are grappling with budget cuts that would have a devastating effect on low-income residents already hit hard by the recession.” CFNCR President Terri Lee Freeman advises focused investment in “three key areas: education, workforce development and the safety net.” You can learn more about Catalogue Education nonprofits here, and those with a job training-based mission here.

High Proportion of Veterans Live in Rural Areas Less Served by Philanthropic Efforts (Nonprofit Quarterly): “[The Daily Yonder’s Bill] “Bishop points out that 30.6 percent of US military veterans live in rural and exurban counties that house only 25.9 percent of the nation’s over-18 population [...] Veterans in Washington, DC — near the Pentagon, Fort Myer, Fort Meade, and Fort Belvoir — account for only 6.9 percent of the adult population in the area.” In other words, veteran populations tend not to be as concentrated in metropolitan areas, which are often the areas with the greatest philanthropic resources to help out. And overall, “if foundations aren’t paying sufficient attention to rural America, they are likely to be underfunding rural communities — communities with disproportionately high numbers of military veterans.”

Prince George’s County April home prices rise (Washington Post): “While local markets vary significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood, almost all of the 22 jurisdictions in the Washington region have seen some price growth over the past year. The notable exception has been Prince George’s County. But in April — for the first time since they started to plummet in early 2007 — home prices in Prince George’s County are up.” The average detached home price in the County peaked in 2006 and then fell by nearly 50% by 2012 (from $400,000 to $185,000); the foreclosure crisis also had a profound affect on Prince George’s. But this month, the average price has risen to $207,000.

A Meaningful Mother’s Day

By Kathy Widenhouse, Healthy Babies Project, Inc.

For twenty-five at-risk DC teen mothers, Mother’s Day 2012 was not only their first as new parents or parents-to-be. It was also especially meaningful.

On Monday, May 14, Healthy Babies Project paid tribute to these young women with a special Mother’s Day Dinner Celebration. It was a fitting way to honor one of HBP’s principal constituencies — teen moms enrolled in HBP’s cornerstone Teen Parent Empowerment Program (TPEP) — and the steps these disadvantaged young parents are taking to turn their lives around.

At HBP’s inception in 1991, the District of Columbia had among the highest infant mortality and infant illness rates in the nation — rates on par with some Third World countries. Today, those rates have been cut in half, thanks in large part to HBP. The agency works to reverse this needless cycle of poverty, illness, and despair by equipping at-risk DC families to have healthy babies. Case management, health education, and life skills training are keys to the agency’s success. HBP’s infant mortality rate is nearly two-thirds lower than the District’s; HBP client low birth weight rate is half that of other delivering mothers in DC.

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5 Year Plan

by Adam Tibe (Philippines, Class 8 serving at Operation Smile)
Reposted with permission of Atlas Service Corps, Washington DC

At 27 and ambitious, I have sketched my life’s plan in the next 5 years.

I guess soon after you hit the quarter life, that’s when you start seriously to rethink about your life and make a mental note reflecting circumspectly about your direction both personally and professionally.

I have arrived in the United States last January to join an 18-month professional fellowship program. This has been part of my “5-year plan” and being able to tick it out in my list excites me more than anybody. It was also a sweet bonus to learn that I will be serving with Operation Smile International as one of their Program Coordinators. The organization works in more than 60 countries and brings free medical surgeries to children with facial deformities especially those with cleft lips and cleft palates. Another box is set to be marked off — trip around the world! I went on my first mission last month in San Cristobal, Mexico and had a real awesome time with some of the most amazing in-country and international volunteers. It was incredible to see an unmatched level of professional skills coupled with passion and dedication to serve the children in that part of the world that otherwise may not have had the opportunity to have a normal smile and life if not for Operation Smile. Without a doubt, I more convinced that I made the right decision to volunteer. The happiness I felt to be there was simply irreplaceable.

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Around Town: May 19-20

Hey, Greater Washington! Enjoy the weekend — and consider spending it with a Catalogue nonprofit:

Hands on DC: 18th Annual Work-a-thon
Join thousands of other volunteers from all around the city on Saturday to improve the physical learning environments in DC public schools; register right here.

Accokeek Foundation: Green Thumbs Volunteering
On the first and third Thursdays and third Saturdays, volunteers will have an opportunity to learn more about the history of heirloom vegetables and the practices behind organic gardening, from planting and harvesting to managing weeds; learn more right here.

Joseph’s House: Walk and Talk Tour
You are warmly invited to a free, one-hour “walk and talk” tour on Saturday at 10:30 AM; please RSVP to (202) 328-9161.

Our Daily Bread: Money Management Workshop
Topics include at this free Saturday 12:30 PM seminar include borrowing basics, understanding your credit report, paying yourself first, and grasping money maters.

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2012 Corporate Philanthropy Awards

By Marie LeBlanc, Catalogue Community Partnerships Coordinator

Every year, the Washington Business Journal honors the top corporate philanthropists in greater Washington. Last Friday May 11, the 2012 Corporate Philanthropy Awards breakfast recognized the area’s top ten corporate donors, as well as a handful of other corporations for the time and money they dedicated to social causes in 2011. Two Catalogue for Philanthropy partners were among those acknowledged at the event.

Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) was recognized as one of the top ten Corporate Philanthropists, donating $3.49 million locally in 2011. BAH sponsors the Nonprofit Conference on Fundraising and Development speaker series, and the Catalogue for Philanthropy serves on the planning committee for these events. BAH also cultivates a strong culture of employee giving, pro bono work, and volunteerism.

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