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Catalogue Blog

Around Town: September 29 – October 2

Have a good Friday, Greater Washington! And check out what’s coming up at our nonprofits …

Hospice Caring (at Bolger Center, 9600 Newbridge Drive, Potomac, MD)

On Saturday at 6:00 PM, gather to support and celebrate Hospice Caring at the Annual Gala, with cocktails, dinner, dancing, and auctions. Much more information right here.

District of Columbia Arts Center (2438 18th Street NW)

At DCAC, “Microscapes” (capturing “the humbling and fascinating flux of the universe”) is open until October 7; and this Sunday at 5:00 PM, you can join in an artist talk, curated by Amanda Jiron-Murphy.

Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League (at Mandarin Oriental, 1330 Maryland Avenue SW)

At the 15th Annual Fall Brunch, coming up this Sunday at 11:00 AM, SMYAL e will honor Maryland First Lady Katie O’Malley with the Outstanding Community Ally Award. Learn more about tickets right this way!

Washington Bach Consort (at Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G Street NW)

Be sure to catch this week’s free Noontime Cantata Series on Tuesday at noon (of course); each 50-minute concert consists of a cantata and an organ piece performed by orchestra, chorus and soloists.

Smith Center for Healing and the Arts (1632 U Street NW)

Join the YACS (Young Adult Cancer Survivors) for a cooking demonstration with seasonal dishes that take full advantage of fall’s produce on Tuesday at 7:00 PM; learn more this way.

Getting Connected with the Catalogue

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Nonprofit collaboration is a hot-button term these days. With a network of over 300 of the best small nonprofits in greater Washington, Catalogue nonprofits are in great position to learn from and collaborate with each other.

This past Monday night, the Catalogue offered the first of many opportunities for Catalogue nonprofits to come together in a casual and informal setting at the Catalogue September Happy Hour. The happy hour event brought together nonprofit staff and other Catalogue supporters to meet each other, connect, network, and begin strengthening relationships among the community. Catalogue staff, including President Barbara Harman, was on hand to meet and greet the 80+ event attendees.

The new Catalogue happy hour series follows on the heels of Catalogue’s “From the Field” project, in which Catalogue staff Marie LeBlanc and Sherika Brooks spend time on the ground with at least two nonprofits a month. These two nonprofit outreach initiatives are a response to many nonprofits’ expressed desire to connect with other nonprofits in the network, as well as Catalogue staff. We’ve heard over and again that many nonprofits — especially the smaller ones — struggle with similar issues, and that great benefit can come from simply sharing these struggles (and successes) with others who can relate. The Catalogue is privileged to offer the opportunity for small nonprofit leaders to do just that — whether over a glass of wine or cup of coffee. We look forward to continuing this series of nonprofit networking events into next year!

Thank you to all who attended this week’s happy hour — we hope to see you at the next one! Have suggestions for future events for the Catalogue network? Miss out this time and want to hear about our next event? Leave us a comment and let us know.

In The News …

DC officials change policy on charter schools’ occupation of surplus buildings (Washington Post): “District officials have tweaked the way they determine which charter schools should be allowed to move into surplus public school buildings [...] The new points-based system gives an edge to high-performing charter schools that are already operating in the city.” Newer charters can also receive points if they have strong prior records of raising achievement elsewhere. At present, the DGS is accepting offers from charters for two buildings: the former Young and J.F. Cook elementary school sites in Ward 5. “For fast-growing charter schools, which often struggle to find and afford suitable real estate, the unused buildings offer a rarity: a long-term home.”

Bill Clinton Urges Donors to Think About Results From the Start (Chronicle of Philanthropy): “The theme of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative is “Designing for Impact,” a nod to the growing influence of “design thinking” in shaping efforts to eradicate poverty and improve society. Explained Tim Brown, the chief executive of IDEO, “design is about being intentional about what you want your outcome to be” in the context of efforts to eliminate hunger and poverty. Have you ever planned in similar terms on a local scale? Or is this type of thinking, in fact, more inherent in local philanthropy?

With Charity for All: Big Philanthropy and the Challenge of Democracy (Forbes): “Philanthropy remains vital as a force for change and societal support — and as a growing portion of the US social safety net; where governments cut services, nonprofit organizations often step in to support those on the bottom economic rungs. Giving rebounded after the Great Recession of 2008, rising to $298.3 billion in 2011 according to Giving USA, an increase of nearly four percent over 2010.” The article also cites two “extraordinary chapters in US philanthropy” — the Giving Pledge, made public two years ago, and the annual gathering of the Clinton Global Initiative — and asserts that “there remains a disproportionate power gap between those doing the work (nonprofits and other organizations) and those funding that work.” Do you agree or disagree?

Catalogue Milestones: 2003

Good morning, Catalogue friends! We are looking forward to our 10th anniversary and launch event, coming up on December 3.

So to start celebrating both that anniversary and our network of awesome local nonprofits, we’ll be counting down the 10 weeks to December 3 right here — and chatting a bit about several “Catalogue Milestones” from each year, each week.

Let’s start from the beginning: 2003, the first year of the Catalogue

- The 1st print Catalogue for Philanthropy, focused on DC charities, is mailed to 30,000 high net worth individuals in the greater Washington region
- The 1st Catalogue engages 20 reviewers and 3 community partners: Harman, Meyer, and Cafritz Foundations
- 250 people celebrate the launch of the 1st Catalogue at Shakespeare Theatre Lansburgh Theatre
- The Catalogue team includes 2 staff members; 1 corporate sponsor supports the Catalogue

We’d also like to give an extra shout-out to the two nonprofits that both appeared in the 1st Catalogue and will appear in the 10th:

- Dance Place: “is a hub of activity where a 40-week presenting season, a bustling dance school, and a neighborhood cultural center thrive on each others’ energy.”
- Healthy Babies Project: ” aims to reduce the rates of infant death and low birth weight and provide comprehensive and structured health, prenatal, and childbirth education services.”

A Unified Voice

From last week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy, “Nonprofits Need a Strong, Unified Voice to Lobby Government, Report Says:”

Nonprofits need a single organization to spearhead a national advocacy network to champion public policies that help charities and foundations, especially as Washington seems poised to consider an overhaul of the federal tax code, says a new report.

A two-year study involving more than 100 interviews with experts and studies of 500 advocacy efforts was released Wednesday by Independent Sector, a coalition of charities and foundations. [...]

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Around Town: September 21-23

Have a great first weekend of fall 2012, Greater Washington!

District of Columbia Arts Center (2438 18th Street NW)

On Friday and Saturday, Matthew Vaky (a veteran of Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theatre) creates a hilarious and startling examination of US policy towards enemy combatants; call 202 462-7834 for reservations and learn more right here.

Anacostia Watershed Society (University of Maryland, UMD, College Park, MD & 38th Street, Hyattsville, MD ) — EVENTS FULL

Volunteers and staff will be installing a rain garden at Woods Hall at the University of Maryland this Saturday at 9:00 AM and removing trash and debris from the Northwest Branch at 10:00 AM. Keep up with future AWS events right here!

Washington Bach Consort (National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW)

At the start of their 35th season, WBC will explore music commissioned for state occasions, including Handel’s anthem for the coronation of George II in 1727, in “Kings and Commoners” on Sunday at 3:00 PM. Tickets right here!

And coming up next Tuesday, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts will provide a free “Sleep & Relaxation: Body and Breath” workshop, which will also serve as the Young Adult Cancer Survivors meet-up for this month. Learn more here.

From the Field: Clean Water Rally

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Swim, Drink, Fish — Clean Water!

This was the rallying cry at the Rally for Clean Water, held last Saturday, September 15, at the Georgetown Waterfront. The Rally celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a piece of landmark legislation passed in 1972 that protects and regulates standards for America’s waterways. The event was co-sponsored by Catalogue’s Potomac Riverkeeper, as well as Waterkeeper Alliance, Blue Legacy, Waterkeepers Chesapeake and Earthjustice. Hundreds of community members joined the celebration for the morning paddle, speaker series, and river clean up. We (Marie and Sherika) spent the morning at the Rally, both enjoying the beauty of the Potomac River during the paddle and volunteering during the speaking portion of the rally.

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In The News: Mayor’s Arts Awards

According to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities:

“Winners in five arts categories and three teaching categories were honored with the most prestigious award of the DC Arts Community . The night was also highlighted with a Mayor’s Arts Awards for Visionary Leadership to Anthony A. Williams and Mayor’s Arts Awards of Special Recognition to Paul Jorgensen.

The Mayor’s Arts Award is the highest honor conferred by the District of Columbia in recognition of artistic excellence and service among artists, arts organizations, and arts patrons in the city.

[...] Finalists were chosen by the Mayor’s Arts Awards Advisory Jury comprised of prominent members of the District’s arts community with expertise in dance, music, theatre, literary arts, visual arts and arts education.

Here at Catalogue, we would like to extend some special cheers to the five nonprofits in our network who were recognized last week at the 27th annual awards — many congratulations!

- Art Enables was recognized for Innovation in the Arts

- Atlas Performing Arts Center for Excellence to Service in the Arts

- Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education

- Step Afrika! for Excellence in An Artistic Discipline

- Koye Oyediji (the Duke Ellington School) for Arts for Teaching, Language Arts

Sharing Online

Did you catch “Online Mentors to Guide Women Into the Sciences” in this weekend’s New York Times?

Hundreds of prominent women working in science, technology, engineering and math will become online mentors for college students next month, part of a six-week program to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM fields.

[...] The program has no curriculum, no exam, no grades and no credit — just a goal of connecting young students with accomplished women working in STEM fields.

[...] While women now earn more college degrees than men over all, they lag in STEM fields — particularly computer science and engineering, where they earn less than 20 percent of all undergraduate degrees.

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