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November 16, 2009 

Our Wednesday breakfast ("Where do Women Stand?") is sold out. That means we've reached capacity at even our new, bigger venue, Sequoia Restaurant. But we're thinking of making these get togethers a regular monthly series. Speaker suggestions?

There should be no shame in making money as a non-profit leader, says fundraising pioneer Dan Pallotta, keynote at the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers' annual meeting last week at the National Housing Center. And don't call him greedy: He started the multi-day AIDSRides and the 3-day Breast Cancer Walk.
Dan Pallotta at Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers meeting

Dan says the top five highest paid health insurance executives make 74 times more than the highest paid health charity executives. The pay disparity, he notes, often dissuades top talent from working at non-profits. He suggests taking a cue from for-profits when it comes to spending on advertising and investing in long-term growth that may not pay off right away. He wants to do away with the question: "What percentage of my donation goes to the cause?" because there’s no correlation between low overhead costs and effectiveness. "We don't walk into a shoe store and say, 'Bring me the pair with the lowest overhead.'"

Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers meeting crowd

Local grantmakers expect to give fewer grants in 2010, according to a Washington Grantmakers survey of local foundations and giving programs released last week. Get ready, we're about the throw some stats at you:

  • Grant budgets: Half say theirs went down in '09, but more than a quarter reported an increase of up to 15%.

  • Funding requests: Eight out of 10 grantmakers saw more funding requests in '09. The greatest increases were for human services, followed by arts and society benefits.

  • Internal impact: 42% say they've reduced their operating budgets, 40% have changed investment strategy, and 28% laid off staff.
Washington Grantmakers president Tamara Copeland

We dropped by the Washington Grantmakers' 16th St office to talk to prez Tamara Copeland about what these numbers actually mean. (Our math skills are tailored to counting change for our lattes.) Tamara says the economy has caused foundations to form more partnerships. She sees a trend toward investing in "big change," which she defines as a greater focus on root causes rather than symptoms.

Washington Grantmakers president Tamara Copeland

From the Great Wall of China to the great state of Kansas, Tamara has collected snow globes from her travels. Her son also has caught the travel bug (though apparently not the love for snow globes). He's on a mission to travel to 50 states by the age of 50. Tamara says she has been to 48, putting her at least 25 years ahead of that schedule, right? Alaska and North Dakota are the only states to go.

Prescription for a New Building
American Pharmacists Association HQ on National Mall ribbon-cutting
Craig Thoburn

Our Real Estate Bisnow is usually the one with pics of oversized ribbon-cutting scissors. It was our turn Friday, at the newly-renovated HQ of the American Pharmacists Association—the only privately owned building along the National Mall. Making the cut: APhA president Ed Hamilton and RevolutionCare CEO Cal Knowlton. The association rents a portion of its expanded space, located just north of the Lincoln Memorial, to a high-profile tenant: The State Department.

American Pharmacists Association HQ on National Mall

It was originally designed by John Russell Pope, renowned architect behind the National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial. The historic building is now also a green building. High-efficiency heating and cooling systems reduced energy use by 25%, and 10% of the building materials are made from recycled content.


November 17 - NCMA Tysons ? Monthly Dinner Meeting - Topic: Role of the GAO in Oversight of Government Procurement - Carolyn R. Kirby. 5:30-8:30pm - Maggiano's in Tysons Galleria. 

November 18 - Bisnow Breakfast & Schmooze - "Where do Women Stand?" - SOLD OUT

November 19 - AGC of DC - Economic Update with Ken Simonson and FMI Consultant Mark Bridgers - 8-10:30AM. Info

Arent Fox (Smart)
Cardinal (Bird)
WorkSpaces (Eyes)
Reed Smith

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