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January 8, 2013 
 
 
New Home For
Whitman-Walker

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Whitman-Walker Health has spent the last five years transforming itself. So today's announcement shouldn't be too big a surprise.
 
Whitman-Walker Health
The DC-based health center is moving all of its healthcare services to a new building under construction at 1525 14th St. (Move in will actually happen in mid 2014.) It will serve patients in Logan Circle and Dupont Circle and draws not only the LGBT community, but anyone in need of healthcare services. The organization will also keep its current 1701 14th St NW location. Executive director Don Blanchon says the 43k square foot building comes after the organization decided its path in a post-healthcare reform world would be one where it will have to compete with other healthcare providers.
Whitman-Walker's Don Blanchon
Don says Whitman-Walker started its evolution five years ago from an HIV/AIDS services organization funded by grants and donations to a community health center funded primarily through third-party payments. The source of funds has evolved from 50-50 fundraising and grants to 65% third-party payers, including commercial and public insurance. The organization started changing before talk of fiscal cliffs and debt ceilings, says Don. (Wait, does anyone remember such a time?) The strategy has worked as the organization enters into a 10-year lease that will run $2M annually in lease payments for its neighborhood health center.
Dupont Circle
Whitman-Walker is working with the building owner and construction firm to design a health center for 9,000 primary care patients, including 3,000 of them living with HIV. The health center is based on an integrated health care model that offers HIV testing and treatment, along with primary medical care, mental health, dental care, nutrition, legal services, and clinical research. Don, whose brother died of AIDS complications in 1999, says the organization also has funds set aside for tenant improvements. The dental services, optical, acupuncture and wellness programs will be added later. “We felt like this was a good way to tell people we’re not going anywhere,” Don says.

Non-Profits' 2013 Plans
 
Reach executive director Mark Hecker
There was a non-profit sigh of relief after the fiscal cliff legislation was passed; not only did it keep the country from going over, but it also spared the tax deduction advantage people have when making charitable gifts. We checked in with a few non-profits to see the outlook for this year. Uncertainty in the business world (federal cuts are still to come) means some uncertainty in fundraising, says Reach Inc. executive director Mark Hecker. His DC-based non-profit teaches academically struggling students how to be tutors to younger students. The organization is still young and Mark will spend the next year building the program and diversifying its funding sources.
Dana Tai Soon Burgess
Expansion plans are in place for Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co., a DC-based non-profit modern dance company. Founder and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess tells us the organization will expand its artistic and educational programs this year. One plan is for Dana to start working with the National Portrait Gallery, creating large works of dance that will then go to the Kennedy Center. It means that the organization will get more exposure and potentially more support. “The whole year is geared toward much larger audiences and different sorts of space,” he adds.
 
Salvation Army
Salvation Army National Capital Area Command never experienced a drop in donations at the end of last year, says development director Paul Hebblewaith. The organization started pushing online donations to diversify the way it engages with donors, resulting in an increase in holiday donations from a year ago. Salvation Army now has plans to launch initiatives for vets, letting them know of resources available to them. The organization will also reach out to larger donors, letting them know the impact of their contributions.

Crowdfunding Has Good Year
 
Razoo has best year ever
Razoo, the crowdfunding cause platform, announced last week that 2012 was its biggest year yet for charitable giving. Since its launch in 2011, the company has raised over $135M for 16,000 nonprofits, with over half of that being raised in 2012. (The site raised over $20,000 for Sandy Hook already.) The company credits its Giving Days program, which are 24-hour online fundraising competitions that combine games and social interaction to raise money for causes. This year’s Giving Days raised $25M for 14 targeted communities. The company already has eight scheduled for Q1.

Non-Profits Getting Priced Out?
 
Colliers' Fern Barrueta
High rents may be pricing non-profits and associations out of the District, says Colliers’ Fern Barrueta. Non-profits like charter schools need rents under $30/SF, according to Fern (snapped in his office last week), but the lower rents on the Hill and NoMa check in at $40/SF or higher. Associations are feeling the crunch, too, he says, as they rely on membership dues, which don’t generate huge revenues.
 
Fern, who spent nine years as CEO of the Hispanic College Fund, knows these challenges firsthand, adding solutions include buying over leasing. That “brings donors out of the woodwork” and offers ownership prestige.
 
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