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The people who run community foundations across the US are a close knit group. So when Terri Lee Freeman heard about the deadly tornadoes in Moore, Okla., she knew what she had to do.
The president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region sent an email to all its donors and supporters
asking for donations to the Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund. It's a pot of money for long-term recovery
efforts established by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. It plans to donate all of its gifts to help people impacted by the tornadoes. But for Terri, the gesture was a little more personal
When 9/11 hit the Washington region, Terri sought the guidance
of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in setting up a fund to help victims with long-term needs
. It had successfully set up a similar survivors fund after the 1995 bombings at the Murrah building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people
. Terri says president Nancy Anthony guided her through the process of establishing the Survivors' Fund, which was designed as a case management
system and gave her tips on how people might seek help. One helpful hint was that first responders are not typically the first to seek help. "We always felt indebted
to Oklahoma City for the support they provided us," says Terri.
Same Mission, New Tactics
Smart Growth America's mission is simple: advocate for people who want to live
in great neighborhoods. And the nonprofit has been doing that for exactly 10 years. But VP and chief of staff Ilana Preuss
says the organization is now evolving
as it looks at the next decade from an outreach and education think tank to one that can provide technical assistance
. The DC-based group is putting more focus on federal policy change and offering hands on technical help to communities going through their evolution.
So what's the biggest thing causing
communities to change? The Millennials
. It's the generation more focused on urban living
, which doesn't always mean living in the heart of a major city. (Think mixed-use development projects in suburbs like Clarendon
in Arlington, Va.) It's a major shift from 40 to 50 years ago where people lived in the suburbs separated
by big yards and communities that weren't very walkable. Ilana says local elected officials are finally seeing the market shift
and realizing that businesses benefit
from being in walkable communities. The challenge though is making sure communities are investing in meeting everyone's needs
, especially the people who have been in those communities since the beginning.
The organization doesn't take a position on specific development projects but Ilana says DC is often viewed as a model for smart growth. Indianapolis
is also an example of strategic public transit where people have lots of different ways to get around
. Lincoln, Neb., is also held up as a model. Ilana says the organization is thinking of itself as an AARP for people who have chosen the smart growth lifestyle
. (Unlike AARP, you can't say you like smart growth just for the discounts.) If you're a resident who wants strategic growth, the nonprofit is looking to partner with you.
Real Estate Strategies for Associations
The National Restaurant Association made its purchase
earlier this year of 61k square feet at 2055 L St., NW look so easy. But one of the most daunting
decisions an association can make is whether to invest in real estate. Or is leasing better? Is it even time for a move? Answers
will be sought at Bisnow's Real Estate Strategies for Associations & Law Firms
event on June 11 at the elegant Willard in Washington. Real estate and design experts will shed light
on these most head-spinning decisions. Sign up
so you don't make the wrong move.
One City Fund Intact
Photo credit: Andrew Bossi
The DC City Council voted to keep a proposal from Mayor Vincent Gray
to create One City Fund, a $15M pot of money
for nonprofits to compete for grants of up to $100k. The only thing that changed was its name to the Innovation Fund
. (Let's hope technology startups don't get confused and think it's for them.) Now the final vote on the FY14 Budget Support Act, which includes the fund, will be on June 18
. The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington launched an aggressive
campaign asking nonprofits to send e-mails, make phone calls, and testify on behalf of the fund.
Good Shepherd Gets Management Award
Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services won this year's Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management
. The Alexandria, Va.-based organization, which works to reduce homelessness
, was recognized for several measures, including effective risk management
in support of day-to-day operations and active engagement of board
and staff during budget creation and approval. On hand to celebrate at a reception in DC last week were Center for Nonprofit Advancement board chair George Jones
and CEO Glen O'Gilvie
who flank The Washington Post president and GM Steve Hills
, Good Shepherd Housing executive director Shannon Steene
, Good Shepherd Housing board president Cheryl Ellsworth
, and 2013 Selection Committee chair Marshall Ginn
What's your organization's best management trait? Tell Bisnow's Tania Anderson.