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Mikva Challenge DC: Project Soapbox

In a place like Washington DC, when people think of power and politics, they think of the President, Congress, CEOs, or lobbying chiefs, but Mikva Challenge DC is on a mission to reshape that perception. Mikva DC exists to enhance the expertise and power of young people to create change, and to inform both local and national policy making. Modeled after the successful civic engagement programming developed for youth in Chicago, Mikva Challenge DC develops youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who will promote a just and equitable society.

One way Mikva DC students ‘do civics’ is by speaking out on how to address issues in their communities via an annual citywide speech competition called Project Soapbox. This past December, students took to the stage to speak about a range of deeply important topics, like mental health support, LGBTQ discrimination, racism & xenophobia, food deserts, and homelessness.

Mikva_2018_Dec-202_mjhiuz

One of this year’s competition winners, Nehemiah Jackson, enthralled the room when he proclaimed from his soapbox:

“When I grow up, I want to put an end to this nonsense. I believe that police officers need a punishment for brutality. My solution is for police to have better training on how to deal with the public. Better and longer training would help police understand that people might have mental illnesses or might be nervous when stopped by police. During training police learn state laws, criminal investigations, patrol procedures, firearms training, traffic control, defensive driving, self defense, first aid, and computer skills. But something they don’t learn is how to help people with mental illnesses. Something they don’t learn is how to deal with scared citizens, something they don’t learn is how to handle their own anger. Also, how about we can create non-deadly weapons that don’t kill. It seems to me if you can send Rovers to Mars, have cars that drive themselves, then why can’t we make weapons that don’t kill?”

Mikva_2018_Dec-209_bpvvme

After experiencing a day of these incredible speeches, one student remarked: “I am not done in this fight. There are others struggling like I am and our challenges united us. I feel inspired seeing my peers use their stories and identities to fight for change.”

It was not just students and the Mikva DC staff who felt the power in the room. As Jenny Abamu of our local NPR station, WAMU, said: “Though there is only one winner, students didn’t treat the event like a contest. They encouraged each other – judges listened and responded to some impassioned performances by noting resources for students dealing with crises. Many students said they wanted to raise awareness. In this way, they were already winners.”

Mikva Challenge DC’s credo is that young people who do civics will help make the nation become its very best democratic self. And who can argue against that when you hear, see, and experience the vision and power of DC youth for yourself?

Collaboration in Bloom

Conversations around “Collective Impact” and “Nonprofit Collaboration” continue to gain traction as more and more funders and nonprofits see the progress that happens when organizations gather together to leverage their collective resources, networks, and knowledge.

At the Catalogue, we hear countless examples of our nonprofits joining together to collaborate, innovate, and accomplish big goals. And since we believe in the power of nonprofits to spark big change, we want to help them leverage the power of collaboration as much as possible. Beginning in April, the Catalogue for Philanthropy will be debuting several new features on our website to promote nonprofit collaboration.

Collaborative Fundraising Campaigns
Collaborative Fundraising Campaigns (1)Our Collaborative Campaigns encourage the Catalogues network of 350+ charities to use their collective impact to tackle important issues in Greater Washington. With a common, clear goal in mind, two or more Catalogue nonprofits can fundraise together to achieve that goal. When a donor makes a gift to the campaign, funds are split evenly across the participating organizations. We’re excited to debut our Collaborative Campaigns this Thursday, April 7th with Girls on the Run councils of Greater Washington (DC, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia). You can preview their campaign for healthy & strong girls here.

Collaboration Corner Blog
Our Collaboration Corner blog posts will feature perspectives from two or more nonprofits that give readers an inside look at the collaborative process. From learning how the organizations came together, to what issue(s) they’re trying to tackle, any benefits/challenges along the way, and how the public can get involved in supporting their efforts, this blog not only serves to inform our community, but also nonprofits looking to glean “lessons learned” in the process of collaboration.

We’re excited to debut these features in April, and hope you’ll support those organizations collaborating with one another to create a greater, Greater Washington.

Want to get involved with a fundraiser, or submit a blog post? Contact us at info@cfp-dc.org.

Want to give back before “back-to-school”? We’ve got you covered.

Support Local Back-to-School Supply DrivesLooking for a way to help local students and their families kick off the school year on the right foot? Consider supporting one of the back-to-school supply drives from the following Catalogue for Philanthropy charities (click the image to visit the supply drive homepage — and please, don’t forget to tell the charity that you found it through the Catalogue!).

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6

5

CFNC

Project Create

Generation Hope

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Celebrating Meyer Foundation’s Julie Rogers

Last night, Catalogue President Barbara Harman joined other leaders in the DC nonprofit community to celebrate the work of Julie Rogers, President and CEO of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, who will be stepping down from her position after 28 years of leadership.

The event, held at the Carnegie Institution for Science, included performances and tributes from grantees (such as 2013-2014 Catalogue charity DC Scores), past and present board members, and staff.

Reflecting on the event and Meyer Foundation’s impact on the Catalogue for Philanthropy under Julie Roger’s leadership, Barbara said:

“I met many people in the assembled group who talked about the impact that a Meyer grant had had on their organization: Meyer’s stamp of approval was critical in their growth. We can say the same at the Catalogue: Meyer gave us our VERY FIRST grant and has been a loyal funder and partner since the Catalogue began in 2003.?Meyer trusted us, even when we were new guys in town, and their support grew over the years.

Julie’s faith was sustaining. Now she is heading off on a new journey, passing the baton, as smart leaders do, to someone she has great faith in and in whose hands she has confidence the Meyer Foundation will continue to grow — Nicky Goren, former head of The Women’s Foundation. Julie ended her brief remarks with the word Namaste, a greeting that means both hello and farewell. We wish Julie the best of best wishes as she embarks on the next phase of her journey. She will be missed!”

Best wishes to Julie Rogers from the entire Catalogue for Philanthropy team!

Helping Nonprofits Build Their Brand

On Tuesday, May 6th,the Catalogue’s Marketing Communications Workshop Series culminated with a session focused on brand-building for nonprofits. The series, sponsored by Integrity Management Consulting, was designed to help nonprofits strengthen their storytelling and value propositions through their writing, imagery, and branding.

Aline Newman, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Catalogue for Philanthropy, presented this session to 40 Catalogue nonprofit attendees. The discussion focused on understanding what a brand is, why branding is important for nonprofits, how it differs from corporate branding, and how nonprofits can use their brand to accelerate their mission. Attendees shared their takeaways from the event on social media with the hashtag #cfpstorytelling.

#cfpstorytelling tweet from Joe's Movement Emporium

It spite of resistance to branding among some in the nonprofit sector (some fear that it is too “corporate” or distracts from activities such as fundraising and program management), the truth is that a brand is one of the most valuable assets in any nonprofit organization. When rooted firmly in an organization’s mission and values, a brand has potential to unite staff, donors and volunteers, as well as attract partners who are best suited to broaden overall impact.

During the workshop, attendees explored the initial steps needed to build a strong brand. A strong brand is not built primarily on logos, colors, or websites, but instead on a thorough understanding of internal identity and external image, and aligning these to establish a sense of trust.

Following the presentation was a lively Q&A and brainstorming session in which nonprofits shared their challenges — and insights — with one another based on recent experiences. Due to the large amount of interest in the topic of branding, the Catalogue is exploring the possibility of developing a new series of workshops devoted to the many areas of this topic. Stay tuned!

Marketing Communications Workshop Series for Catalogue Nonprofits

At the Catalogue for Philanthropy, one of our main goals is to increase the capacity of each of the 350+ charities in our network. This spring — thanks to generous support from Integrity Management Consulting — the Catalogue is hosting our first-ever series of workshops on Nonprofit Marketing Communications.

The series kicked off in early April with Barbara Harman’s workshop, “Telling Your Story,” in which she shared with attendees how to adapt their organizational stories for a variety of audiences and uses. Barbara’s experience as Executive Director of the Harman Family Foundation, as well as her experience as a published author and English professor, gave nonprofits unique perspectives on writing grant applications, thanking donors, communicating with corporate sponsors, and talking about impact. She encouraged nonprofits to speak in a human language (i.e. avoid sector jargon), find organizing themes when describing programs, and empower their readers through engagement.

Barbara Harman speaking with nonprofits

Our 2nd workshop in the series, “Communicating via Imagery” showed attendees how to take their stories to the next level. The Catalogue for Philanthropy and the Meyer Foundation hosted Leigh Vogel- a press and nonprofit photographer (and a longtime Catalogue friend) to share how to integrate imagery into communications plans. The workshop explored how to create an image strategy that that enhances an organization’s storytelling, and included practical, actionable advice for nonprofits about an overview of the kinds of photos they need, how to collect and organize them, and what to do with them both on- and offline. Leigh even gave attendees the opportunity to shoot photos during the workshop using two of her professional cameras!

Attendees had the chance to experiment with professional cameras during Leigh's workshop on the use of imagery in nonprofit storytelling

Stay tuned for a roundup of the Catalogue’s 3rd and final workshop in this series on May 6th, when Aline Newman, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Catalogue for Philanthropy, will work with attendees on how to identify and share their “brand story” in order to motivate donors, staff, volunteers, beneficiaries and partners.

Around Town 10/25-10/31

We are in the final stretch of October (can you believe it?)! See what these great nonprofits are doing to help October go out with a bang! Continue reading

Around Town: 10/18-10/24

With Fall in full swing, our nonprofits are getting busy! See what great events you can head to in the upcoming week. Are you a current Catalogue nonprofit with an event to promote? Make sure to put it in your portal so you can see your event in an upcoming Around Town! Continue reading

Around Town: 10/11-10/17

No matter what type of event you are looking to head to this weekend, the events featured below will all help you make a difference in your community. See what you can do to give back to great nonprofits in your own backyard. Continue reading

Around Town: September 27-October 3

Catalogue nonprofits are staying busy! If you are looking for something fun to do with your friends and family this upcoming week, try one of these events put on by some great Catalogue nonprofits!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Beethoven’s Eternal Masterworks

National Philharmonic
Soovin Kim, violin, Piotr Gajewski, conductor – Come hear award-winning violinist Soovin Kim perform one of the most popular works ever written: Beethoven’s only violin concerto, a virtuosic masterpiece both lyrical and serene, radiating surprises and a soaring spirit. When Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 was premiered, the press commented that it “projects its force upon all people of all ages, just like the great natural phenomena, which leave us in awe every time they appear. This symphony alike, will still resound centuries to come, for as long as there will be man and music.” Beethoven Violin Concerto Symphony No. 5
When: Saturday, September 28, 2013 (8:00 PM)
Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Fee? yes $28-$84 (Kids Free)
Contact: Deborah Birnbaum, (301) 581-5100
For more information: click here

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Montgomery County Farm Tour (by bike!)

Montgomery Countryside Alliance
MCA is partnering with Potomac Pedalers for the 5th annual MoCo Farm Tour. Bikers can choose from winding farm routes of 17-75 miles through Montgomery County’s Ag Reserve. There is also a picnic for bikers and event volunteers at Kingsbury’s Orchard.
When: Sunday, September 29, 2013 (09:00 AM)
Where: Start: Pooleville Golf Course, 16601 West Willard Rd, Poolesville, MD 20837
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Help set up the picnic for bikers- shuttle biker’s belongings back to their cars, engage with event attendees about the purpose and importance of the Ag Reserve. Service learning hours are available for MCPS students.
Contact: Kristina Bostick, (301) 602-4013
For more information: click here

Beethoven’s Eternal Masterworks

National Philharmonic
Soovin Kim, violin, Piotr Gajewski, conductor – Come hear award-winning violinist Soovin Kim perform one of the most popular works ever written: Beethoven’s only violin concerto, a virtuosic masterpiece both lyrical and serene, radiating surprises and a soaring spirit. When Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 was premiered, the press commented that it “projects its force upon all people of all ages, just like the great natural phenomena, which leave us in awe every time they appear. This symphony alike, will still resound centuries to come, for as long as there will be man and music.” Beethoven Violin Concerto Symphony No. 5
When: Sunday, September 29, 2013 (3:00 PM)
Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852
Fee? yes $28-$84 (Kids Free)
Contact: Deborah Birnbaum, (301) 581-5100
For more information: click here

Teddy Bear 5K & 1K Fun Walk/Run

Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center
Register now to Join Boston Marathon runners and a local Junior Olympiad recordholder for the Teddy Bear 5K and 1K Walk/Run on the W&OD Trail starting in the heart of Falls Church, VA. All participants will receive T-Shirts and great prizes will be awarded the top three male and female runners in 8 age categories, plus best overall male, female and Stroller-Runner. Bring your Teddy Bear or favorite stuffed friend to be admitted to a tea party after the race. Online Registration thru Sept. 26 at www.safetyandhealthfoundation.org/TeddyBear. Proceeds benefit the Falls Church-McLean Children’s Center, a high-quality early childhood education program serving all children, regardless of their family’s financial resources.
When: Sunday, September 29, 2013 (4:00 PM – 6:00 PM)
Where: W&OD Trail, 400 N. Oak St., Falls Church, Virginia 22043
Fee? yes 5K thru Sept. 26, $30; 1K thru Sept. 26, $15.
Volunteer Info: Volunteers welcome to assist along the trail, giving out water to runners.
Contact: Renee Boyle, (703) 534-4907
For more information: click here

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Volunteer Opportunity at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children’s National Medical Center

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, DC
Volunteer Opportunity at the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Children’s National Medical Center Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Greater Washington DC needs volunteers to work a weekly 3 hour shift in the Ronald McDonald Family Room located at Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC). Shifts are seven days a week: 9AM to Noon, Noon to 3PM, 3PM to 6PM and 6PM to 9PM. Volunteers will be cross trained by both RMHC and CNMC. A commitment of two shifts a month/60 hours a year is required. Contact: Karen Judson, 202-529-8204/kjudson@rmhcdc.org. www.rmhc.greaterdc.org.
When: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 (09:00 AM)
Where: Children’s National Medical Center (CNMC), 111 Michigan Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20310
Fee? no
Volunteer Info: Greeting and helping families, coordinate family programming activities and more.
Contact: Karen Judson, (202) 529-8204
For more information: click here