News

Countdown to our Future: Census 2020

Caitlin Furey Mayo

“The 2020 Census is here, and it is up to us to get counted and ensure that all of us, our families and our communities, are part of American’s narrative for the next decade.” – Stacey Abrams, Founder, Fair Count  

As the 2020 Census approaches its latest deadline of October 15, the Greater Washington region is inching closer to achieving a complete count, thanks to the work of community partners: Ayuda, Identity, Inc., Latin American Youth Center, Liberty’s Promise, and Mary’s Center.  These five organizations were part of the Crimsonbridge Foundation’s Bridges for Census 2020 program, which awarded $60,000 in grants to expand multilingual outreach work in engaging populations that have been historically undercounted in the census.

Developed by program officer, Caitlin Mayo, the Bridges for Census 2020 program is an outgrowth of the foundation’s Bridges and Bridges for Schools communications capacity building programs. Through these programs the Crimsonbridge Foundation has partnered with nonprofits, hospitals, and schools to leverage multilingual communications to connect families with resources that will support their success and full community participation. For Bridges for Census 2020, Mayo sought out nonprofit partners within the Crimsonbridge network who were not only committed to supporting a complete count effort that included the clients, families, and communities they work with every day, but had a history of successful outreach strategies, established relationships, and expertise in working with multilingual immigrant communities.  The work has been ongoing throughout 2019 and 2020. All of the organizations have adapted in response to COVID-19 in order to continue census outreach while keeping their staff and communities safe.  During the 2020 Census, multilingual outreach has proven to be a key strategy to ensure that all people receive the information and resources needed to get counted.  Innovative strategies have included lifting youth voices through educational podcasts, setting up census “pop up tents” in outdoor spaces to provide guidance while complying with social distancing measures, and creating multilingual video tutorials to distribute widely on social media and directly with clients. 

 All over the country, nonprofit organizations have worked tirelessly to get a fair and accurate count, which can only be achieved if the census data includes populations that have been historically undercounted.  Though the Census Bureau uses the term “Hard to Count” to refer to these populations, which include immigrants, people of color, and young children, the reality is that although the census is meant to count every person living in the United States, the systems in place to do so are inadequate, which in the past has left certain populations and communities uncounted.  This is where nonprofits step in to play a crucial role in obtaining a fair and accurate count.  

“We know that the census informs how government, businesses, researchers, and communities make significant decisions, including allocating political representation, opening or closing businesses, providing social services, and allocating funding for schools, healthcare facilities, and basic infrastructure.” said Mayo. “For our region to thrive, we need this information to be accurate and inclusive.”

 The census matters.  It is a source of power in the sense that information gleaned from the census can be used to build a more inclusive and equitable Greater Washington region.  The census will impact our region’s recovery from COVID-19.  During these last two days, get out the message – we all count

To see the response rate in your community, visit the Census 2020 Hard to Count/Response Rate Map!

read more read less

Crimsonbridge Celebrates its 5 Year Anniversary with Executive Director Danielle M. Reyes

Bethesda, MD, October 5, 2020 – Five years ago, Danielle M. Reyes joined the Crimsonbridge Foundation as its founding Executive Director.  In partnership with Gabriela Smith, the Founder and President of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, Danielle has developed the Crimsonbridge Foundation to be an innovative and highly engaged philanthropic platform that is committed to working alongside its community partners to achieve impact.  In addition to designing grantmaking programs that have served more than 150 nonprofit organizations, Catholic schools, and universities throughout the Greater Washington region, Crimsonbridge has grown from one full-time employee to four, guides the investments of Crimsonbridge Group, has established an affiliated LLC, and has increased its grantmaking annually.

Danielle came to the Crimsonbridge Foundation with over 25 years of experience in the education, nonprofit, and philanthropy sectors. Her experience in education includes several years as a public-school teacher, university instructor, afterschool program director, and as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.  Danielle’s time as an educator working with students from under-resourced and immigrant families motivated her to take on program and leadership roles at education-focused nonprofit organizations. In 2002 she transitioned to working in philanthropy and spent more than a decade at the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, where she developed grantmaking programs and communications strategies. During that time she actively pursued leadership experiences in philanthropy as a Council of Foundations Emerging Philanthropic Leader Fellow, the chair of the Metro DC Chapter of Hispanics in Philanthropy Funders’ Collaborative, and as a board member of the Taproot Foundation and Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.  She has been an outspoken voice challenging philanthropy to be inclusive, innovative, and intentional – principles that were very aligned with the vision of Gabriela Smith.

“Danielle possesses a unique combination of strengths and talents” said Smith. “She is a dynamic leader, deeply rooted in community, and very entrepreneurial when it comes to developing philanthropic programs and strategies.” The Crimsonbridge Foundation recognizes Danielle M. Reyes for her bold and exceptional leadership, her contributions to philanthropy, and her unwavering commitment to our work in Education, Leadership Development, and Capacity Building.

read more read less

Latinos’ Degree Completion Has Increased but Acceleration Is Still Needed to Close Equity Gaps

Washington, D.C. –  On August 12, 2020, community partner, Excelencia in Education, released new research and benchmarks to close equity gaps in Latino education attainment and to ensure Latino student success in higher education. Latinos make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population. This number is projected to increase in the coming years. If the U.S. is to have a competitive workforce and robust civic body, increasing college completion rates for Latinos is critical.

Danielle M. Reyes, Executive Director of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, shared that Crimsonbridge supported this analysis because it, “provides valuable data and resources, and creates the opportunity for funders, policy makers, and higher education leaders to take action towards increasing and supporting college student success.”

The research analyzed the top Latino enrolling and graduating institutions at the national and state level (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico).  Excelencia has been analyzing and releasing information on Latino college completion rates since 2009. They are excited to break down the data to assess results from two- and four-year institutions separately for the first time this year.

In addition to making the research available for free online, Excelencia will host a webinar on September 2, 2020 to discuss the implications of the research and to share a tactical plan for institutions to close the equity gap in education attainment and reach the goal of Latinos earning 6.2 million degrees by 2030. To register, click here.

Read the full article: Latinos’ Degree Completion Has Increased but Acceleration Is Still Needed to Close Equity Gaps

Read the Latino College Completion US-National Fact Sheet. For the complete findings, click here.

read more read less

Crimsonbridge’s Danielle M. Reyes joins DC Bar Foundation Board of Directors

October 2019

The District of Columbia Bar Foundation has elected Danielle M. Reyes, executive director of the Crimsonbridge Foundation, as one of three new members to its Board of Directors. In joining the Foundation’s Board, these individuals demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that all District residents have a fair and equal legal experience.

For DC residents in poverty, the DC Bar Foundation makes strategic investments to strengthen and expand the civil legal aid network, addressing critical needs and improving our community. As the largest funder of civil legal aid in the District, it is a steadfast community partner, committed to protecting access to justice in life’s most pivotal moments.

read more read less

Beth Hess Joins the Crimsonbridge Foundation

March 2019

In March the Crimsonbridge Foundation welcomed Beth Hess as its Grants and Communications Officer. In this role Beth will provide grants management and be responsible for administering grant processes. She will also support the Foundation’s communications including its website, publications, and social media presence.

Beth brings more than a decade of experience in nonprofit communications, program management, and capacity building to her work at the Foundation. Most recently she raised awareness of behavioral health issues and helped to connect Maryland families to needed support as Director of Social Marketing and Outreach at Maryland Coalition of Families. This role included coordination of an annual statewide public awareness campaign on the importance of children’s mental health. Previously, she connected nonprofits throughout Greater Washington to capacity building resources and supports as Director of Communications and Membership at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.  In this role she used a variety of communications strategies to share best practices around nonprofit management, leadership, and board governance with organizations across the region.

In prior communications and program management roles, Beth has helped to bring hands-on after-school science education to elementary-age children in communities across the country, and supported media relations for a variety of corporate and nonprofit organizations.

“Investing and engaging in strategic communications and innovative grantmaking are essential to Crimsonbridge,” said executive director, Danielle M. Reyes. “We know Beth’s knowledge of the region’s nonprofit sector and wealth of communications experience will be valuable assets for our growing team.”

Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Beth is an artist primarily working and teaching using hot glass. She enjoys exploring nature and supporting local crafts people.

read more read less

Crimsonbridge’s Laurie Fisher Becomes First Full-Time Executive Director of Literacy Council

February 2019

Laurie Fisher, grants manager and member of the Crimsonbridge team since the Foundation’s inception in 2015, will leave this month to become the first full-time executive director of the Literacy Council of Frederick County, Maryland. Mrs. Fisher brings more than 30 years of nonprofit experience to this leadership role, including past roles with the American Red Cross, the Girl Scouts, and the Literacy Council. “Laurie has been an integral member of the Crimsonbridge Foundation and has contributed significantly to the development of our grantmaking programs,” said executive director, Danielle M. Reyes. “She will continue to be a valued partner in our shared work of improving lives in the Greater Washington region through adult English language programs.”

read more read less

Thinking Creatively/Differently About Grant Agreements

December 2018

Foundations typically use grant agreements to serve as a contract to confirm terms, conditions, required reports, and deadlines. In this Exponent Philanthropy blog post, Crimsonbridge Foundation’s Executive Director, Danielle M. Reyes, shares ideas for how a grant agreement presents a unique opportunity for funders to go beyond the transaction and build an engaged and mutually beneficial relationship with grantees.

read more read less