PRESIDENT & CEO
WASHINGTON REGIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GRANTMAKERS
About the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers
The power of strategic, collective grantmaking is that the impact has the potential to be greater than the sum of the siloed efforts of individual funders.
For nearly three decades, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) has been dedicated to improving the health and vitality of the Greater Washington, D.C. area and all who live there.
A nonprofit membership association comprised of over 100 of the region’s leading foundations and corporate-giving programs, WRAG provides a robust arena for grantmakers to collectively learn, problem-solve, and develop cross-sector solutions to achieve greater impact.
A unique forum for collaboration, thought leadership, strategy development, and knowledge sharing
Through convenings such as the Housing Leaders Group of Greater Washington, thought leadership opportunities such as the annual Cafritz Lecture on Philanthropy, and facilitated networking programs like the Impact Investor Network, WRAG enables effective, strategic, and responsible philanthropy.
Other knowledge forums include work groups, “brown bag” discussions, affinity groups (e.g., corporate philanthropists), funding collaboratives, time-sensitive briefings, and WRAG’s Annual Meeting.
This collective exploration is a resource for the region’s community of funders, offering insight into how philanthropy can be effectively leveraged to address the region’s needs.
A comprehensive approach to understanding and addressing the needs of communities across the Washington area
Outlined below are work groups that WRAG is currently facilitating on key issues. While these initiatives have been key in implementing WRAG’s mission, an important role of the incoming CEO will be setting vision and strategy on the best way to 1) cultivate an equitable region where everyone can prosper and 2) support and lead the region’s funding community toward this vision.
- Census 2020 – #CountDMVIn is the mobilization of area funders to increase the likelihood that all area residents are counted in the 2020 Census because “when children, people of color, immigrants, low-income families, and other vulnerable populations are undercounted, they are effectively made invisible.”
- Children, Youth, and Families (CYF) – The CYF Working Group at WRAG is focused on understanding the needs of young people and families across the region and identifying how funders can best support the nonprofits that serve them.
- Healthy Communities – WRAG’s work in this area seeks to address the disparities in health status and outcomes related to race, ethnicity, and class in the region with the understanding that several factors, including social and economic ones, contribute to overall health and wellness.
- HIV/AIDS – The Washington AIDS Partnership – a WRAG initiative since 1993 – is a collaboration of local grantmaking organizations and individuals committed to ending the HIV epidemic in the Greater Washington region and serves as the largest private funder of HIV prevention, care, and advocacy in the region.
- Racism and Racial Equity – The members of WRAG’s Racial Equity Working Group are dedicated to continuing to better understand how structural racism – particularly anti-Black racism – manifests in the region and aims to take collective strategic action toward dismantling it.
- Housing – WRAG’s Affordable Housing Action Team works to sustain affordable housing units, improve public policy and advocacy efforts related to housing, and educate the philanthropic community about the region's housing needs and effective solutions.
A Clear and Growing Commitment to Equity
Reflected in WRAG’s work across all of its focus areas is an understanding of disparities as they relate to race. Over the last decade, WRAG has made the pursuit of racial equity increasingly central to its work:
2011: The pipeline to representation
Since 2011, WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellows program has facilitated the professional development and exploration of philanthropy for 70+ graduate students. They have gained in-depth experience in this space with over 30 funders/foundations, with many fellows taking on full-time positions in philanthropy upon graduation.
2015: In from the margins
In 2015, WRAG hosted the first-ever Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference to introduce the region’s philanthropic community to the specific needs and opportunities in Loudoun County, Virginia. The conference launched an ongoing cross-sector effort to advance equity and build opportunity for this often-overlooked area within the region.
2016: Confronting the impact of structural racism
In 2016, WRAG launched Putting Racism on the Table, a learning series to educate funders about the breadth, depth, and impact of structural racism. Continuing this work, the Racial Equity Working Group (REWG) was launched within WRAG.
2018: Examining and dismantling structural racism within and without
In 2018, WRAG’s Board of Directors voted to elevate the pursuit of racial equity and leverage the organization’s resources to dismantle structural racism, examine implicit biases within the sector, and commit to creating a racially equitable and just society.
New Leadership at a Critical Moment
Our country has reached a pivotal moment in its pursuit of racial equality, and we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to channel our collective energies and resources to drive lasting, systemic change.
The next President & CEO of WRAG will intentionally and boldly prioritize racial equity in organizational operations, the region’s understanding and application of philanthropy, and the role of funders in creating the necessary conditions for greater justice, wellbeing, access, and opportunity for people of color.
The next President & CEO of WRAG will advance the organization’s vison of an equitable region in which all can participate and prosper by:
- Cultivating relationships among current WRAG member organizations.
- Actively working to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the field of philanthropy.
- Facilitating an inclusive process to address the needs and capitalize on the knowledge, experiences and resources of individual member organizations.
- Rallying a diverse group of member organizations to collectively focus on and invest in a core set of goals that reflect their shared commitments.
- Leading the development of new strategies that bring the region’s philanthropic resources to bear to more effectively address the region’s greatest challenges.
- Evaluating programs and laying the groundwork for performance improvement.
- Collaborating with diverse partners and stakeholders – e.g., government, nonprofit, and corporate entities – to produce broader societal impact.
- Fostering an internal culture and working environment that fully embody the organization’s commitment to equity and inclusion.
- Ensuring the fiscal health of the organization and running a culturally competent, mission-driven organization.
The next President & CEO of WRAG will bring an entrepreneurial drive to ensure that WRAG is on strong financial footing to achieve near-term and long-term priorities. WRAG currently relies on a membership business model. In recent years, the financial outlook for many trade associations and other membership organizations has been uncertain as organizations become more discerning regarding expenditures.
The next President & CEO of WRAG will be a proven professional with a clear perspective on and demonstrated track record of success in several of the following areas:
- Nonprofit management
- Philanthropy and grantmaking
- Community organizing
- Corporate social responsibility
- Racial equity and social justice
- Stakeholder engagement/Relationship building
- Social innovation/entrepreneurship
- Public policy
The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers is partnering with POLIHIRE to find its next President & CEO. If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a cover letter outlining your qualifications and your resume in WORD format to WRAG_CEO@polihire.com.
Please include only your name (Last, First) in the subject line when submitting these materials.