More than 150 public, public-charter and private school teachers and leaders from 20 states and five countries will gather at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Md. from July 23 to 27 for the Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy. At the Academy, teachers and school leaders will experience a five-day deep dive into research and strategies in how the brain learns, works, and thrives. “These educators each recognize that Mind, Brain, and Education Science represents the most promising research being applied to closing the achievement and teacher quality gap that continues to plague schools around the world,” said Glenn Whitman, Director of The Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. “St. Andrew’s is the only pre- collegiate school in the United States that houses an internationally recognized Mind, Brain, and Education Science research center and we are honored to host the Academy.”
At the Crimsonbridge Foundation, I have the privilege of working with transformational nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly to have a positive impact on the lives of youth in our community. One of those inspiring organizations is Girls on the Run of Montgomery County, where for eight seasons I have also had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer running coach.
As a coach, I have learned that it can be difficult to keep twenty 3rd-5th grade girls motivated as they prepare for the 5K that takes place at the end of each ten-week season. Every season, inevitably, one of the girls on the team asks me some variation of this question, “Why do we have to run?” To all of the girls who have asked that question, I would offer one simple word in response: empowerment.
Aligned with the goals of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, Girls on the Run envisions a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. It is much more than a running program. At each practice, coaches lead their team through a lesson such as “Attitude of Gratitude,” “Real Beauty,” and “Putting an End to Gossip.” The girls learn to recognize their inner strengths, and to celebrate what makes them unique. They learn about the importance of giving back to the community, and are empowered to make a difference in the world by designing and completing a community impact project as a team.
These lessons are more important now than ever before. Studies show that by adolescence, girls’ confidence drops about twice as much as boys’. Exacerbated by social media and celebrity culture, girls can feel pressured to conform to certain images and stereotypes. Girls on the Run challenges these false ideals, and inspires girls to respect themselves and others. The girls’ completion of the end of season 5K gives them a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment, as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals.
In Montgomery County, each fall and spring, 2,500 girls from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds come together to achieve the goal they have been working towards all season. Girls run, walk, skip, and jump across the 5K finish line, and in that moment, they are empowered. They raise their arms in victory, they high-five teammates, they dance, they smile.
At a final practice, I asked each girl to share one thing she had learned at Girls on the Run. I smiled as a 4th grader, announced, “I learned that I can do anything!” Such a simple, but powerful, lesson. The finish line really is just the beginning. #Community @GOTRMoCo
The Crimsonbridge Foundation joined over 160 grants management staff representing 135 foundations to learn about grantmaking best practices and explore the latest technological innovations in grants management at the 2017 Foundant Technologies’ Summit in Leesburg, VA this month.
The Summit is a national user conference, designed to help foundation staff learn, share, and connect with Foundant professionals as well as other grantmakers from 43 states around the country. Effective grantmaking and the ability to evaluate and measure impact is key to a foundation achieving its mission and operating as a valuable community partner. With this in mind, the two and a half day conference included sessions, workshops, and Learning Labs – providing practical tools to help foundations maximize the impact of their grantmaking and make their grantees’ lives easier (!) through improved streamlining of grant workflows, building collaborative communication channels, reinforcing smart and simple outcomes, and learning about new tools to collect and utilize data to facilitate effective reporting.
Foundant Summit 2017 partners included Exponent Philanthropy, Peak Grantmaking, GuideStar and PFK O’Connor Davies, who all contributed their expertise and perspectives on challenges and opportunities in today’s philanthropic sector.
Henry Berman, CEO of Exponent Philanthropy, a national foundation membership association with nearly 2,000 members, challenged participants to take steps to maintain “forward thinking” and “achieve true impact investing.”
These words resonated with Crimsonbridge’s grants manager, Laurie Fisher. “It’s important to make full use of the tools and technology available to us,” said Fisher “in order to make the grant process as efficient and seamless as possible for both the foundation and nonprofit grantees, to evaluate and share what we learn, and to achieve greater impact in the community.”
As Foundant celebrates 10 years of supporting communities through effective grantmaking, it is clear to the sector that effective grants management is not a quick fix, but an ongoing process built on regular communication between all parties, a willingness to adapt to new technologies, and a continuing dialogue on feedback and lessons learned. #FoundantSummit2017
This month, Reaching and Engaging with Hispanic Communities: A Research-Informed Communication Guide for Nonprofits, Policymakers, and Funders, a publication produced by Child Trends Hispanic Institute and The Crimsonbridge Foundation, was presented at the Washington State Charter Schools Association Annual Conference. The annual conference is the association’s largest convening of the year, bringing together more than 300 national, regional and local experts engaged in the state’s growing charter school sector.
Conference organizers first learned about the Communication Guide at a session presented at The Communications Network’s Annual Conference in Detroit last September, and asked if the session could be replicated for their audience of teachers, administrators, board members, and others. The association’s conference participants were encouraged to attend the session to receive specific recommendations on the strategies that have the best potential for reaching and serving Latinos that are highly relevant to student recruitment and enrollment.
“The Latino population in the U.S. is heterogeneous. For this reason, a one-size-fits-all approach to engaging the population will not be effective” noted Selma Caal, the Child Trends research scientist who presented the session. “In partnership with the Crimsonbridge Foundation, we were able to identify an evidence informed, multi-prong strategy to engaging Latinos of varying backgrounds and ages.”
The Reaching and Engaging with Hispanic Communities Communication Guide is available as a free downloadable resource. To date it has been shared with thousands of professionals throughout the United States and has become a resource for nonprofit, public and private sector users. As explained in the session description on the conference website in Washington State, “As the Latino population has grown, so has the number of organizations that provide services to them. Successfully reaching and engaging Latinos involves knowing your audience and making investments in the most relevant communications and outreach strategies.”
In recognition of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a commemorative month that pays tribute to and celebrates the culture, contributions, and sacrifices of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States–the DC office of the Gates Foundation co-hosted a special event with the Metro DC Chapter of Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) that featured a panel of three Asian American women leading private foundations in the Greater Washington region.
Nageeb Sumar, a member of AAPIP and Gates Asians in Philanthropy, organized the event as a way to recognize, “a panel of three impressive, successful AAPI leaders in philanthropy” and to bring together local Asian American foundation and nonprofit staff as well as Gates staff, for a casual and candid, conversation about diversity and leadership in philanthropy. Surrounded by images of famous Asians, executive directors, Hanh Le, of the Weissberg Foundation, Sapphira Goradia, of the Goradia Foundation, and Danielle M. Reyes, of the Crimsonbridge Foundation each shared personal accounts of their career paths, experiences and lessons learned in the philanthropic sector, and information about the foundations they lead.
Hanh Le detailed her journey from public service, to building playgrounds in the nonprofit sector, to eight years at Exponent Philanthropy, before assuming her current position. While Sapphira Goradia revealed that her father initially invited her to lead the foundation until he “found someone more qualified” only to watch the foundation flourish under her leadership.
“It sounds like several of you had some wonderful and influential mentors who encouraged and supported you along the way” said one attendee, “I wish I had that.”
Affinity groups such as Asian Americans in Philanthropy provide a venue for foundation and nonprofit staff of Asian and Pacific Island heritage to develop as professionals in the sector, while also working together to increase philanthropy from and to the API community.
“Many of us are the only Asian American, Hispanic or other ethnicity at our nonprofit or foundation,” said Reyes, who is of multiracial heritage. “Like many, I am an American, born and raised in the United States, but still regularly asked, ‘Where are you originally from?'” Added Reyes, “So I’m grateful to Nageeb and AAPIP for putting this event together and creating space for our voices and our stories…it’s a wonderful way to not only honor our heritage this month, but to find new ways to support each other and our work in the sector.” #Community
Launched in 2016 in partnership with Georgetown University’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership (CPNL), the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund provides full and partial scholarships for nonprofit leaders to attend the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program. These scholarships are available for senior and executive level leaders of diverse backgrounds who are working at locally-based and locally-serving nonprofit organizations in the Greater Washington Region.
Offered both in the winter and the summer, the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program is designed as an experiential leadership lab. The week-long summer session provides a stimulating and supportive climate for exploring the pressing issues that current and future nonprofit leaders face. The program also gives participants the opportunity to become part of a network of nonprofit leaders committed to working across organizations, communities, and sectors to address public needs.
To date, more than a dozen nonprofit leaders have received support from the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund and have worked on a range of capstone projects from board development to succession planning. The feedback from leaders has been extremely positive. As stated by Patricia Funegra, Founder and CEO of La Cocina VA who participated in 2016, “I am a strong believer in integration, collaboration, and inclusiveness to achieve a broader impact. I am certain that spaces like this, where knowledge and ideas are shared, are the best way to create real social and economic transformation.”
The Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund is administered by the staff of the CPNL. Nonprofit leaders interested in learning more or applying to both the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program and the Crimsonbridge Leadership Fund should apply directly to the CPNL. Please note, the deadline to apply to the summer 2017 session is May 1, 2017.
The IDB kicks off its 2017 application process for the Improving Lives Grant Tuesday, March 28th. This year, it will identify 10 of the most inspiring and creative initiatives that primarily address the challenges of the Latino and Caribbean communities located in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The Improving Lives Grant competition consists of a comprehensive approach that combines financial assistance of up to $25,000 and pro-bono volunteerism to assist the top 10 nonprofit organizations implementing the winning initiatives.
The Center for Transformative Teaching & Learning at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School announces the launch of its Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy in 2017! The Academy is the next frontier in teacher and school leadership professional development.
The Crimsonbridge Foundation is pleased to announce that it has engaged Steven Muñoz, a grants management specialist, as its new senior grants management advisor.
A former national board member of the Grants Managers Network, Muñoz brings 15 years of professional and leadership experience in the nonprofit and government sectors including grants management work at the Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation and The Philip L. Graham Fund. As a member of the Foundation’s grants management team, Muñoz will help guide and develop the foundation’s internal grantmaking controls and develop governing policies utilizing best practices in grants management.
“The work of a grants manager requires significant attention to detail and compliance knowledge. Steven’s ability to communicate with grantees and staff will play an important role in the overall success of the foundation.” said Danielle M. Reyes, executive director of the Crimsonbridge Foundation.
A member of Leadership Greater Washington, Steven has lived in the Metropolitan DC area since 1993 and has a long history of nonprofit and public service in philanthropy and the Arts. He believes his diverse experience working with private foundations, local government agencies, and nonprofit board service will help inform and guide the Foundation’s grants management work.
“It is an honor to join a creative foundation that is finding ways to innovate in philanthropy.” said Muñoz. “My goal will be to support the foundation’s grantmaking so that it can continue to address social needs and maximize its impact in the community.”
TOP 10 of 2016! Our Communications Guide on reaching and engaging with Hispanic families makes the list!