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In The News…

Arts Nonprofit Launches Crowdfunding Website For Local Projects (Bethesda Now) – The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) launched a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding platform last Wednesday in a campaign to gain more donors who will actively be able to see the difference that they are making. The site, called, features 21 community-based programs that are seeking up to $7,000 in funding. “This is an opportunity for us to find people who really can’t give that much,” said Erin Gifford, an Imagination Stage marketing associate. “This is a very big thing on social media and we find there’s a lot of younger people on social media who probably don’t have as much accessible income to give us.” With this effort, every dollars counts, and like Kickstarter, donors can enjoy certain prizes and benefits based on the amount of their gift.

The Overhead Myth (The Nonprofit Quarterly) – A recently published letter by Art Taylor of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Jacob Harold of GuideStar, and Ken Berger of Charity Navigator is drawing a lot of attention in the philanthropic community. Entitled “The Overhead Myth,” the letter urges donors to not just analyze a nonprofit’s “overhead”- or charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs- when deciding where to donate. The letter argues that while for some organizations, this ratio of donations to administrative costs can be used as reasoning to not donate (the recent Susan G. Komen scandal comes to mind), for most charities, these overhead costs are crucial to nonprofit improvement, advancement, and sustainability. The Nonprofit Quarterly, one of the many philanthropic journals featuring the letter, said in an editor’s note, “The NPQ is proud to highlight this important letter from GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Wise Giving Alliance calling for an end to the obsession many have had with nonprofit overhead costs as a proxy for measuring effectiveness BUT for the letter to be effective it is important that people share it in every way they can.”

Fannie Mae’s Rosie Allen-Herring tapped to lead United Way of the National Capital Area (Washington Business Journal) Rosie Allen-Herring, Fannie Mae veteran employee, has recently been selected to lead the UWNCA with the upcoming retirement of Bill Hanbury, current CEO. Ted Davies, incoming Chair of the United Way of the National Capital Area Board of Directors, said the Allen-Herring was “extremely passionate about the success of the organization, but in a confident, humble way.” This news comes the same week that Diana Leon Taylor, founder of SageGroup-DC Consulting, LLC and special adviser on Haitian affairs to the State Department and White House, was selected out a national search to become the new president and CEO of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. Both women bring with them business savvy and commitment to the local community. This could be the beginning of a new trend in the nonprofit sphere according to a report by the Nonprofit Center; while more than 70% of nonprofit employees are women, a majority of men still hold leadership positions.

Around Town: June 15-16

We have two great nonprofits with fun ways for you to celebrate dad this weekend! Join Academy of Hope for a fun field day or Dance Place for their Father’s Day special. No matter what event you decide to attend, be sure to let us know on Twitter (@cataloguedc) or Facebook and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Academy of Hope Field Day

Academy of Hope
Come join Academy of Hope Board of Directors, students and volunteers for a great day of fun and games! Field day games include Frisbee Toss, Tug of War, Potato Sack Races, and other kid-appropriate activities.
When: Sat Jun 15 2013 (10:00 AM – 12:30 PM)
Where: Upper Field of Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20017
Fee? yes $20 individual adult; $60 family pass; $100 field day team (up to 7 members)
Contact: Krystal Ramseur, (202) 369-6623 ext 123
For more information: click here

SpeakeasyDC’s Father’s Day Special

Dance Place
Join SpeakeasyDC on Father’s Day weekend for a night of true stories told by and for dads, proving that father doesn’t always know best; he just thinks he does. Artist co-presentation.
When: Sat Jun 15 2013 (8:00 PM)
Where: Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017
Fee? yes $22 General Admission
Contact: Carolyn Kamrath, (202) 269-1608
For more information: click here

Using Your Influence

Earlier this month, TEDxChange 2013 took place in Seattle, Washington. TED talks and TEDx events have gone viral over the past few years, taking place in cities and communities across the globe. TEDxChange 2013 focused on the theme of “positive disruption” and featured a speaker from our own community here in Greater Washington. Julie Dixon, Deputy Director of the Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) and a friend of the Catalogue, was one of the six speakers at TEDxChange 2013, talking about social change and the currency of influence.

At Georgetown, Julie considers the intersection of digital media and social good, and presented the idea in her TED talk that social influence is perhaps the most valuable resource that each of us possess today. In the nonprofit and philanthropy sectors, the focus is often on mobilizing money from donors, time and skills from volunteers, but few organizations actively ask for supporters to use their influence on behalf of the common good. Julie posed the audience with a question — do likes on Facebook and retweets on Twitter really matter? — and definitively answered it with a yes. A well-crafted tweet or Facebook comment has the potential to find a kidney donor, raise money for the victim of bullying, or gain attention for local, state, or national legislation.

In Washington, influence is the currency of the day in for-profit and government circles. Isn’t it time that the not-for-profit sectors start using for social benefit as well?

Julie Dixon – Using Your Social Currency to Support Global Causes | TEDxChange: Positive Disruption

In The News …

In speech, DC mayor pledges investment in affordable housing, other city programs (Washington Post): “A ‘prosperity dividend’ from the District’s continued economic growth should be used to make investments in key city government programs, Mayor Vincent C. Gray said in his annual State of the District address Tuesday.” In the third year of his term, Gray has his first opportunity to “pursue significant new spending — starting with a $100 million commitment to affordable housing.” Additionally, the mayor’s upcoming budget proposal “will include a $15 million ‘investment fund’ for city nonprofits. The fund would make competitive grants to groups involved in arts, job training, the environment, health and other areas.”

A Million Strong: Helping Them Through (New York Times: Education): “As often as not, they float in and out of college like nomads, juggling deployments, families and jobs. If they are in service, they take classes at night or on weekends, studying between combat patrols and 12-hour duty schedules [...] Some have physical injuries or mental health issues that can strain their ability to study.” Thus the questions arise: are veterans given the information that they need to make the best enrollment decisions, and then provided with the resources to complete the degree requirements? To answer them, federal agencies are “creating new metrics that reflect military and veteran students’ tendencies to attend multiple colleges and to take more than four to six years to graduate.”

Three Key Takeaways from Nielsen’s 2012 Social Media Report (Nonprofit Quarterly): “Social media is here to stay, and even as others catch up, Facebook remains miles ahead of the pack [...] If you want to go where the growth is, go mobile. Mobile technology really took root in 2012 with a whopping 120 percent increase in mobile app usage.” And of those surveyed, more than 50% shared their positive and negative reactions about brands over social media — implying that organizations that are not on Facebook or Twitter “could be missing out on helping your stakeholders understand or resolve issues or concerns.”

A Pragmatist’s Guide to Social Media

By Julie Chapman, President and CEO of 501cTech

At 501cTECH, we understand the unique needs that nonprofit organizations face with regard to technology-from hardware to software, social media and cloud technology, we know that harnessing the right tools make achieving your organizational mission that much easier.

Recently, we revamped our own marketing plan in an effort to reach more supporters, volunteers, donors and client partners. As a nonprofit organization, we understand the importance of social media as a tool in a marketing toolkit. By itself, Facebook will not bring you more donations and Twitter will not recruit you more volunteers; but as part of your overall strategy, social media is an important element. There’s no one “silver bullet” strategy in terms of social media — what works for one organization may not work for another. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that there is no “one size fits all” strategy to meet all of your needs.

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Nonprofit Roundtable 2012

By Marie LeBlanc, Community Partnerships Coordinator

A week ago today, the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington hosted its 2012 Annual Meeting. As a fairly recent newcomer to the Catalogue, as well as to the DC philanthropic and nonprofit scene, I was to learn about more about the initiatives of the Roundtable and see so many Catalogue nonprofits involved in different capacities.

Congratulations to staff from the following Catalogue nonprofits who are participating in the Roundtable’s Future Executive Directors Fellowship program: Mi Casa, City Kids Wilderness Project, Young Playwrights’ Theater, Kid Power, Atlas Service Corps, and Dance Place. The Catalogue would also like to congratulate Tom Raffa, President and Founder of RAFFA, PC, as one of the newest Board members of the Nonprofit Roundtable. Tom also serves as a member of the Catalogue’s Board and is a long-time supporter of the nonprofit sector in the region.

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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 …

A bundle of non-profit and local news coming your way …

Capital Area Food Bank to begin charging members for produce (Washington Post): “For the first time in its history, the Capital Area Food Bank will begin charging its members for fruits and vegetables July 1, adding thousands in unexpected costs for some of the 700 agencies that rely on the organization to feed the region’s hungry.” The new initiative is a result of ever-increasing demands for the services of local food organizations, despite the improving economy. The trend is alarming, and indicates that local non-profits working to combat hunger will certainly require additional support in the coming year.

Gentrification a matter of economics, not ethnicity (Greater Greater Washington): At the NPR Building last week, a panel of young black professionals debated the question of DC’s gentrification … and “although the assembled group, almost entirely African-American with a majority female, acknowledged it is ‘dangerous to say that gentrification is not a race issue,’ the consensus held strongly that gentrification more closely correlates with economics.” Do you agree? Continue reading

In The News…

Welcome to a sweltering Wednesday, Washington! New news coming your way …

DC Region Faces Another Day Of Extreme Heat– Just an important reminder, as the temperatures climb into the mid-90s: the city operates Cooling Centers within the senior service network in every ward during heat emergencies. The Code Orange alert should continue into today; and WAMU cautions that “pollution levels may be unhealthy for children or anyone with a breathing or heart condition.” DCist also offers “more about watering and pledge to take care of trees near you” during the heat wave.

7 Obvious Things in Education That Are Ignored –First written for the Education Week Teacher’s blog, this post by educator Anthony Cody (an 18-year veteran of inner-city Oakland schools) appeared in the Post blog Tuesday morning. #5 sure jumped out to me: “When unemployment levels are high, and opportunities are few, students struggle to see the purpose in their education. I do not have a study for this one, just my own observations [...] There need to be visible, viable pathways to successful careers in order to keep students motivated.”

Pas de Deux With Parkinson’s – The current addition of Dance Studio Life includes a great feature on the weekly Dance with Parkinson’s Disease program, an ongoing collaboration between Catalogue non-profit Bowen McCauley Dance and the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, which is in turn modeled on a program pioneered in 2001 by the Mark Morris Dance Group. While certainly not a cure for the disease, “dance classes help alleviate symptoms and promote a stronger sense of well-being and physical agility.” Catalogue cheers to Bowen McCauley!

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Joplin, Missouri

CNN reported this afternoon that the “toll in the tornado that ripped through Joplin soared to 116 on Monday … tying it for the single deadliest twister to ever hit American soil since the National Weather Service began keeping records.” Staff and volunteers from over forty agencies are still on the ground looking for survivors. According to the Post, La Nina (“cyclical drop in temperatures in the Pacific Ocean”) might be behind the over 300 tornadoes that have swept from Mississippi to Tennessee in the past several weeks — and nearly five weeks still remain “until the traditional end of the season.”

The blog Post also provided a list of ways to help on the ground and from afar. While we’ve seen this continually (and recently), social media’s power during unexpected crises sure is striking. Case in point: the blog points out that Relief Spark is keeping track of which shelters are open and then links directly to the organization’s Twitter feed — which not only lists the open shelters, but also gives the phone numbers for triage centers and donation drop-off points. Numerous Facebook pages have sprung up to help “residents find loved ones and help one another recover.”

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