The Weekly WRAG - May 5

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Honoring Diane Bernstein, 1933 - 2021 

Diane Bernstein, a co-founder of the Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation, died peacefully at her home on April 30, 2021. Diane lived a fifty-year commitment to children’s issues and organizations. She worked at Children's National Medical Center, where she founded the Patient Representative Office, co-founded the Department of Child Life, the New Horizons cultural enrichment program, and the hospital’s Quality Assurance Program. In 1992, she co-founded and was President of DC Action for Children for over twelve years. She also served on the board of the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Her activism sometimes got her into “good trouble”, including being arrested and briefly jailed in 2011 while protesting for DC voting rights.

As an active partner with Norman in their philanthropy, she brought her expertise to their funding of programs supporting the most vulnerable children in the region. In 2004, she took the reins as President of the Diane & Norman Bernstein Foundation.

The WRAG family honors Mrs. Bernstein's commitment to bettering our region and investing in our shared community. We look forward to honoring her legacy by promoting equitable investments in the National Capital Region and supporting our most vulnerable populations. 


WRAG Strategic Planning is underway! We are happy to start the next phase of our strategic planning process. As part of this exciting and critically important opportunity for our region, we look forward to your input. Thank you for taking this survey to help us create a shared vision for the future of philanthropy in the Greater Washington, DC region. 

Click here to have your voice heard


Friday Philanthropy Call:
COVID-19's Impact on the AAPI Community

Friday, May 14, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | 
Register Here

Join us for our regularly scheduled Friday Philanthropy Call!  Registering once automatically registers you for the complete series! Please note that this call is for funders only. 

The pandemic hit AAPI businesses and front-line workers hard. In addition to dealing with the financial and economic crisis, AAPI community members have experienced increased racial violence and discrimination. This panel will discuss the pandemics' economic and social impact on the region's AAPI community and explore ways the philanthropic community can build mutual solidarity to eliminate anti-Asian racism and dismantle structural racism and oppression.  


  • MODERATOR | Hanh Le, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy of Metro DC
  • PANELIST Janet Namkung, Asians* in Focus + Total Liberation Collective
  • PANELIST  | Naznin Saifi, Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center
  • PANELIST Sina Uipi, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities
  • PANELIST Akil Vohra, Asian American LEAD

Reimagining the Criminal Legal System
Register Here

There are two remaining webinars in our spring webinar series! Join us to explore different strategies for funders' roles in reimagining the DMV's systems of courts, jails, and prisons. See below for information on the first event!

Inclusive Community Reinvestment

Friday, May 21, 2021
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | 
Register Here

Those closest to the problem should be closest to the solution. Community change agents and groups drive justice reform and support families through transformative justice, mutual aid, and re-entry empowerment, access, and opportunity.  Philanthropy can bolster community-led development and transformation by deepening relationships and investment with local change agents. We will discuss reshaping grantmaking to amplify funding and partnerships with Black-led grassroots organizers and groups during the panel.  


  • MODERATOR | Clinton Lacey, Credible Messenger Mentoring Program
  • PANELIST Qiana Johnson, Life after Release
  • PANELIST Nee Nee Taylor, Harriet’s Wildest Dreams

Click here to nominate

Click here to nominate
Pssst! You can also nominate yourself!

For AAPI Heritage month, WRAG looks to uplift local AAPI leaders in philanthropy. Let's honor our AAPI community members!

Looking For Shared Office Space?

WRAG is currently seeking subtenants for our space at the Navy YardDo you know of a nonprofit or foundation looking for temporary office space? If so, we would love to connect with them and provide a socially distanced tour. Reach out to Tia Pickeral at

#WRAGMember Spotlight

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties recently awarded $5,000 COVID-relief grants to eighteen minority-owned small businesses in Loudoun County for a total of $90,000 granted to the community. Minority-owned small businesses located in Loudoun and demonstrating hardship due to COVID-19 were eligible to apply, and the final awardees were chosen by lottery. 

The Minority-Owned Small Business Grant Program is one of several initiatives undertaken by the Community Foundation in the past year to address racial equity. The Community Foundation also launched its Racial Equity Framework, a series of programs and workshops addressing racism and racial equity. Learn more here.


Action & Advocacy

WRAG and other Philanthropy Leaders Sign Letter to Congress

WRAG has signed an open letter urging Congress to consider the charitable sector in all upcoming legislative proposals and policies. Any policy reform impacting the sector should be achieved through thoughtful, data-driven decisions that include input from the organizations and donors being impacted. 

To show a large sector presence and consensus, as well as underscore the importance of this matter, this letter is open to any sector-related organization. Please consider signing on to this letter and sharing with your networks by May 14. 


Charities Lost $300 Billion to DAFs Between 2014 and 2018

According to a new report from Boston College law professor Ray Madoff and University of California at San Diego economist James Andreoni, charities lost out on $300 billion from 2014 through 2018. Their findings indicate that instead charitable donations went into donor-advised-fund accounts and private foundations and didn’t come out. The amount lost is substantial: For context, “Giving USA” estimated individuals donated $295 billion to all charities, including DAFs, in 2018 alone.

“There’s basically no evidence that the rise of DAFs has increased the total amount of giving,” said Madoff, noting that individual charitable giving has hovered around 2 percent of income for at least four decades, according to “Giving USA,” the annual study of American philanthropy. Read more>>



Nathan Cummings Foundation Releases Report on Transitioning to 100% Mission-Aligned Assets

In November of 2017, the Nathan Cummings Foundation board made a unanimous decision to advance their mission: they committed to deploying 100 percent of their assets (grants and financial investments) in service of their mission. This new report explores their experience with this transition and showcases best practices, opportunities for improvement, and a broader analysis of the mission-aligned investing field.

"We looked at every aspect of how we invest," said Board Chair Jaimie Mayer. "We started by removing investments that held positions in companies that were causing harm to people or the planet. Then we began shifting increasingly large portions of our assets into a) companies that actively seek to benefit a broad range of stakeholders and b) those that meet the even-higher bar of helping to solve systemic challenges."
Read the report here.

Other Upcoming Events

Community Conservation Series
The Current State of Affordable Housing in Northern Virginia

Hosted by Leadership Prince William

Saturday, May 8, 2021
12:00 p.m. | 
Virtual Event


  • Casandra C. Monroe, Prince William County NAACP
  • Michelle McDonough Winters, Housing Solutions
  • Pat Johanson, Good Shepherd Housing
  • Nora Daly, Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance
  • Dr. Andrea Wilson, Social Services Advisory Board

Pro-Bono Consulting Services: Info Session
Hosted by Compass Greater Washington

Tuesday, May 18, 2021
1:00 p.m. | 
Virtual Event

Compass grants pro bono consulting services to nonprofits that benefit the Greater Washington community. Projects run from September 2021 through May 2022. The application deadline is June 7 at 5:00 p.m.

Compass volunteer teams, composed of experienced business professionals, provide pro bono consulting to nonprofits in the following areas: Decision Support, Board Development, Funding Strategy, Strategic Alignment, Strategic Planning, Partnerships, Collaborations & Mergers, Strategic Marketing, and Technology Strategy. Details are available at Greater Washington Client Application

Join Compass for an Information Session for Prospective Nonprofit Clients to learn about their pro bono consulting services. The recommended audience is Executive Directors, Board Chairs and senior leadership.

Celebration of Community Champions
Hosted by #WRAGMember the Greater Washington Community Foundation

Thursday, May 20, 2021
6:00 p.m. | 
Virtual Event

Over the past year, our community has come together to respond to the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, economic crisis, and racial reckoning. Thanks to your steadfast partnership and support, the Greater Washington Community Foundation was able to address our community's most pressing needs while working toward an equitable recovery for our region.

On Thursday, May 20, at 6:00 p.m., join the Greater Washington Community Foundation for an hour of inspiration and celebration of our collective efforts and impact. As a champion for our community, they want to uplift you and the everyday heroes - including the donors, nonprofit partners, corporate supporters, and local government advisors - who stepped up to help our community navigate this crisis.

This virtual celebration will share the incredible stories of neighbors helping neighbors that have continued to inspire us. You will also enjoy special performances from local artists and arts organizations, supported by the Arts Forward Fund, representing a range of creative expression, including music, theater, visual arts, and dance.

Grantmakers in Health Annual Conference

June 8-11, 2021 | Virtual Event

Registration is now open for the 2021 GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy, Building a Just and Equitable Future. This year’s conference invites participants to help reimagine how efforts to improve health outcomes are designed and implemented. In sessions related to philanthropy’s evolution and leadership, the new Administration’s priorities, climate change, mental health, public health, rural health, and the design of an equitable COVID-19 recovery, compelling speakers will present cutting-edge ideas designed to inspire philanthropic action and inform foundation funding. 

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