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Please Stand With Us

As 2012 turns into 2013, we are particularly grateful to all of you who have helped us raise over $19mm (and counting) for some of the best small charities in the greater Washington DC region.

Your support means:

* 47,639 people served in outdoor education programs each year
* 3,486,841 hours of tutoring/mentoring annually
* 957,570 people served in arts outreach programs
* 99,578 medical exams and referrals
* 1,474,415 meals served to hungry people each year

If you haven’t contributed this year, please take a moment to make your tax-deductible contribution before the year ends Choose the charities that mean the most to you, and please give generously. You can do so with confidence, knowing that Catalogue nonprofits have been vetted in a rigorous review process that takes months to complete.

And consider making a contribution to the Catalogue itself, and helping us help the 330 nonprofits in our network to do what they do best. The Catalogue is a tremendous community resource and we charge no fees for the work we do: generous donors like you make the Catalogue possible.

So stand with us as we work together to make this community a better place to live. And if you’ve already given, please accept our thanks — on behalf of all the great nonprofits that are proud to say they are part of the Catalogue family.

Stepping Into the Holidays

by Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with a step show? This month, Step Afrika! is ringing in the season with its Magical Musical Holiday Step Show. Last weekend, Catalogue’s Sherika Brooks and I stopped by the Atlas Performing Arts Center to check out the show and volunteer as ushers for the performance.

The Magical Musical Holiday Step Show demonstrated all that is good about Step Afrika!, and how traditional rhythms and moves can be translated into any type of dance celebration. While the holiday show is light, fun and family-friendly, the history of Step Afrika! and its work tells a very rich story.

Step Afrika! is the first professional company in the world dedicated to stepping. For almost 20 years, the company’s performances have celebrated the connection between the type of stepping common in college fraternities in the US and the gumboot dance, created by South African mineworkers. Step Afrika! brings its dance tradition to communities across the US through an annual college and theater tour, as well as performing across the world.

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In The News …

How to Help Families Affected by Newtown School Shooting (Newtown Patch): “In the wake of the unimaginable tragedy at Sandy Hook School Friday people from all over the world — in Connecticut, California, Canada and much farther away in Australia and India — sent an outpouring of support and want to know how they can help.” Newtown Patch has compiled a list of ways to support individual families, the community, and local resources; instate residents can call 211 “for information about how individuals or businesses can support the victims and their families.” The article also invited readers to post “I want to help” in the comment section if they wished to receive updates on what they could do. Currently, over 1350 comments have appeared. The Chronicle of Philanthropy also reports that “more than $1-million has poured into a fund to help Newtown.”

New Maryland system measures school progress (Washington Post: Education): “The Howard and Frederick county school systems scored slightly higher than Montgomery County under a new Maryland accountability system that [...] takes into account each school’s benchmarks on overall student performance, student growth, closing the achievement gap and preparing students for college and careers.” This new state data, which was released this past Monday, “comes from the School Progress Index, which is permitted under new federal rules that allow states to create their own ways to measure progress in public schools.” Maryland and Virginia, along with 34 other states and the District, have received waivers from the 2002 No Child Left Behind provisions.

‘Hugely complex’ work for philanthropy in the next decade (Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers): “The rise of a wide variety of strategies for mobilizing private resources to address common societal problems is now, and will increasingly in the future, blur the lines between what we call philanthropy and commerce,” writes Susan Raymond, Executive Vice President of Changing Our World, Inc. “That makes for exciting times. It also makes for challenges. Not the least of these challenges for the formal philanthropic sector — for foundations and corporate giving — is how to partner with these new resource strategies.” What new strategy, do you think, is having the greatest impact on philanthropy today?

Catalogue: Winter 2012 News

Read the full Winter 2012 newsletter right here.

December is a big month for the Catalogue for Philanthropy. In addition to promoting the 2012 Catalogue and our new group of nonprofits, we also hosted our 10th anniversary celebration, Inspiration to Action. We hope that many of you were able to join us for the festivities.

The Catalogue team was honored to celebrate 10 years of creating meaningful connections between caring citizens and worthy community causes with such a passionate group of nonprofits, donors, friends, and other community supporters. The event featured a reception, nonprofit performance showcase, and intimate benefit dinner. A highlight of the dinner was a live auction, featuring ‘exclusive experiences,’ which raised over $20,000 for the Catalogue.

Jane Harman and the Harman Family Foundation also made a surprise announcement — a Challenge Grant, which matched new and increasing gifts made or pledged on December 3rd to either the Catalogue or our charities. The grant raised $200,000 for Catalogue nonprofits at the dinner — $100,000 in pledges matched by the $100,000 challenge: a great way to kick off the giving season!

As always, the Catalogue for Philanthropy is grateful for your continued support. While you browse through the 2012 Catalogue and select your favorite nonprofits for this year, we hope that the Catalogue for Philanthropy is one of them. Please consider making a gift to support the work that we do this holiday season, and all year long.

Warmest regards,
The Catalogue Team

Around Town: December 15-16

Have a good mid-December weekend, Greater Washington! And consider spending some time with a local nonprofit:

We Are Family Senior Outreach Network (at Kelsey Apartments, 3322 14th Street NW)

On Saturday from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, volunteers will help assemble and deliver grocery bags to low-income seniors in Columbia Heights; cars are not required, but are certainly helpful. Learn more here.

Dance Place (3225 8th Street NE)

Usher in the holiday season with Dance Place’s annual Kwanzaa Celebration on Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 4:00 PM. Gather family and friends and join Coyaba Academy, Coyaba Dance Theater, and special guests.

Joy of Motion Dance Center (5207 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC)

Don’t miss the fall Studio to Stage Performance Class Showcase, featuring choreography by Joy Of Motion’s talented faculty, on Saturday at 8:00 PM and Sunday at 7:00 PM. Tickets this way!

The Child and Family Network Centers (at The Morrison House, 116 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA) *To Be Rescheduled.

Come to the Morrison House in Old Town Alexandria for Tea with Santa, as well as children’s activities and photos, and suppor the Child and Family Network Centers at the same time.

DC Youth Orchestra Program (at Eastern High School Auditorium, 1700 E. Capitol Street NE)

DC Youth Orchestra Program’s top two orchestras — the Youth Orchestra and Junior Orchestra — perform holiday favorites, including selections from the “Nutcracker Suite” and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.” Learn more right here.

Writing to Dream

by Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

Some students grow up dreaming to write; others use writing as a way to express their dreams, desires, and inner most thoughts.

The young authors of Young Playwrights’ Theater perhaps do both, and now have a new platform from which to share their words with the world. This winter, Young Playwrights’ Theater published its first book, Write to Dream — a collection of plays written by YPT students, as well as information on YPT’s arts education program and curriculum.

The plays written by YPT students represent an artistic achievement worthy of publication in and of themselves, but the additional information on curriculum and assessment adds an additional level of justification and value to YPT’s work. Plays range in topic from satires on capitalism (written by a fifth grader!) to magnetic superheroes, inter-racial romance and gang violence.

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In The News …

Amid change, affordable housing revitalizes parts of Ward 5 (Greater Greater Washington): “As development along Rhode Island Avenue and New York Avenue take shape over the next few years, much of DC’s Ward 5 will see major changes. But can these changes draw new residents without displacing existing ones? A key element will be to preserve and expand the availability of affordable housing.” This past week, Housing For All Campaign hosted a town hall meeting focused on the options, both small and extensive, for accessible housing in Ward 5. “Ward 5 will continue to benefit from the investments in affordable housing that build vibrant spaces for current and future District residents.”

Online Giving Streak Continues With 13% Rise Last Week (Chronicle of Philanthropy): “Online giving to 8,700 charities rose 13.3 percent last week when compared with the same days last year, according to Network for Good [...] What’s more, the number of donations grew nearly 7 percent.” The week of Thanksgiving, online giving actually rose an impressive 61 percent; and after Thanksgiving, giving rose by 42 percent — primarily as a result of Giving Tuesday. The Chronicle has created an interactive graphic that compares 2012 giving with 2011 giving on a day-by-day basis; check it out here.

Obesity in Young Is Seen as Falling in Several Cities (New York Times: Health): “After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines. The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Nebraska.” While the the drops are small (5 percent or less in Philadelphia and Los Angeles), experts say they are significant because they offer the first indication that the obesity epidemic, one of the nation’s most intractable health problems, may actually be reversing course.” However, others point out that “the current declines, concentrated among higher income, mostly white populations, are still not benefiting many minority children.”

Essential Parts

From “Under new principal, Savoy Elementary shows what art can teach” in this weekend’s Washington Post:

“ Ma and Damian Woetzel, a former principal with the New York City Ballet, spent more than an hour in a classroom with students, dancing, playing music and rehearsing pieces that they later performed on stage for the whole school.

It was one small part of Principal Patrick Pope’s broader effort to use the arts to transform Savoy, where poverty is pervasive and fewer than one-fifth of students are proficient in math and reading.

As Pope sees it, song, dance, theater and visual arts aren’t tacked-on extras — they’re essential parts of creating a school where students and teachers thrive. Students agree.”

Students in grades three through five now have “twice as much art and music time” as they did previously. But Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, explains, “We are having a national conversation about how to fix our schools, and the arts were not in that conversation.”

Needless to say, the prevailing question is: how can we expand that conversation?

Learn more about Catalogue’s Performing, Literary, and Visual Arts nonprofits, many of which work directly with our schools, right here.