Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Some #GivingTuesday Online Resources

With #GivingTuesday being a little less than three weeks away, thought I'd share some of the helpful resources that I've come across.

Here are some highlights from their website's Tools page:

  • Logos - This actually includes not just logos, but "save the date"s, like the image above.
  • Toolkits - A social media toolkit, a PR toolkit, and more
  • Ideas - Ideas for Nonprofits, ideas for businesses, you get the...idea. ;-)
One thing with the logo, they have one labeled as a customizable profile image, which (in a program as simple as Paint), I was able to do this with the logo of the nonprofit I work at, taking our original logo:

 And did this:

Sorry for the resolution. The original was better, but that's on the work computer.

Anyway, here are just a few other resources.

Blackbaud's Giving Tuesday page on their website is pretty good. Their main offers are a webinar series which has recordings up, and #GivingTuesday trends report going back to 2012. Part of the quality of their knowledge is because they are a founding partner with the #GivingTuesday global movement.

Network for Good also provides free #GivingTuesday resources. These, they provide straight to your inbox, once you sign up. They say you will "Get eGuides, checklists, and webinar invites sent straight to your inbox and you'll be ready for the biggest giving day of the year."

And on Razoo's #GivingTuesday resources page, even though their primary pitch is to use their platform on this giving day, steps 4 & 5 has some great guids and tips you can use, even if you don't participate in #GivingTuesday through them.

My own personal tips, based on my own homework so far?

  • Set a goal for your effort this day.
  • Make it modest and achievable.
  • Use it to kick off your whole end-of-year fundraising efforts.

That's it, hope this was helpful. Leave any tips or resources you've found helpful yourself in the comments. As well as whatever organization you might be fundraising for, that day,


P.S. Just wanted to embed a great Twitter chat #GivingTuesday had yesterday, with the #MyGivingStory hashtag. There were a lot of great nuggets shared in it.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Take the Giving 15 challenge with me

Hey there,

So as I'm getting ready for end-of-year giving on the fundraising side, I was thinking of ways to ramp up my own personal philanthropy, which is where the Giving 15 challenge came to be.

The actual challenge is Giving 15/15/15/, which is giving $15 in '15 to 15 organizations, beginning on #GivingTuesday, through the end of year. And #GivingTuesday is December 1, which means spreading out $225 of giving over the 31 days of the last month of the year.

This is a little over $7.25 per day, or just about $15 every 2 days.

I don't have much disposable income, but I know I can budget at least that much.

So, the first step is identifying the 15 organizations you'd like to support. Here are mine, a collection of organizations I'm professionally affiliated with to ones I just personally love, in no particular order.

1) DC Alliance of Youth Advocates [I work here]
The DC Alliance of Youth Advocates (DCAYA) is a coalition of youth-engaged organizations, youth and concerned residents formed to ensure that all children and youth in the District of Columbia have access to high-quality and affordable developmental opportunities. We accomplish this mission by crafting policy recommendations, providing structured advocacy opportunities for our members and allies, networking and empowering youth.
Donate to DCAYA here.

2) Story District [I'm on the board]

Story District's mission is to turn good stories into great performances, to be a platform for diverse perspectives, and to serve as a pipeline and training ground for new voices and talent in storytelling. Named the "gold standard" in storytelling by the Washington Post and nominated for the 2012 DC Mayor's Arts Awards for Innovation in the Arts, Story District reaches an audience of more than 10,000 annually through the production of more than 25 performances, ongoing adult education classes, and custom trainings and performances for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. We value storytelling as a space for people to listen and be heard, connect with others, embrace different perspectives, examine their own lives, and explore what it means to be human.
Donate to Story District here.

3) dog & pony dc [I'm working on a project with them]
dog & pony dc is an ensemble of artists who devise innovative performances that incorporate new ways for audiences to experience theatre.
Donate to dog & pony dc here.

4) Capital Fringe
Capital Fringe’s mission is to present the work of innovative performing artists; energize and expand audiences through dynamic accessible programming; serve DC-area artists by providing career-building opportunities; and create sustaining year-round outlets for experimental performance in the Nations Capital.
Donate to Capital Fringe here.

5) Whitman-Walker Health
Whitman-Walker Health's mission is to be the highest quality, culturally competent community health center serving greater Washington’s diverse urban community, including individuals who face barriers to accessing care, and with a special expertise in LGBT and HIV care.
Donate to Whitma-Walker Health here.

6) Atlas Performing Arts Center
The Atlas Performing Arts Center is home for adventurous audiences, artists and ideas — presenting contemporary music, film, dance, theatre and performing arts unlike anywhere in the city. An artistic anchor in Washington, DC’s historic H Street NE corridor, the Atlas is committed to its neighborhood and the arts community.
Donate to the Atlas Performing Arts Centere here.

7) Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Woolly's mission is to ignite an explosive engagement between theatre artists and the community by developing, producing, and promoting new plays that explore the edges of theatrical style and human experience, and by implementing new ways to use the artistry of theatre to serve the people of Greater Washington, DC.
Donate to Woolly Mammoth here.

8) Dance Place
Founded in 1980, Dance Place builds a community of artists, audiences, and students through high quality performances, commissions, training and educational programs. We are committed to enriching the field of dance locally, nationally and internationally. Our thriving arts campus serves as an anchor in the development of our Brookland/Edgewood neighborhood in Washington, DC.
Donate to Dance Place here.
9) Synetic Theater
Synetic redefines theatre by blending innovative techniques and movement, investing in artists’ growth, and creating unforgettable visceral experiences for every audience.
Donate to Synetic Theater here.

10) Casa Ruby

Casa Ruby's mission is to create success life stories among Transgender, Gender Queer  and Gender Non-conforming Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual people. Casa Ruby's vision is to create a world where Transgender, Gender Queer, and Gender Non-conforming people pursue their dreams and achieve success in their lives without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence due to their sexual orientation and or Gender Identity/Gender Expression.
Donate to Casa Ruby here.

11) Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue for Philanthropy is Greater Washington’s trusted guide to local giving. Our mission is to create strong and vibrant communities by connecting caring citizens with worthy community causes.

Donate to the Catalogue here.

12) DanceSafe
DanceSafe is a 501(c)(3) public health organization promoting health and safety within the nightlife and electronic music community. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998 by Emanuel Sferios, DanceSafe quickly grew into a national organization with chapters in cities across North America.
Donate to DanceSafe here.

13) Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas empowers artists, arts organizations, and other cultural sector stakeholders by eliminating practical barriers to artistic expression, so as to foster a more agile and resilient cultural ecosystem.
Donate to Fractured Atlas here.

14) Burning Man
Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome. The mission of the Burning Man organization is to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into the larger world.
Donate to Burning Man here.

15) Foundation Center
Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen the social sector by advancing knowledge about philanthropy in the U.S. and around the world.
Donate to Foundation Center here.

So that's it. And even if you might not be able to give $15 to all 15 organizations, how much do you think you CAN give? $10? Maybe just $5? Maybe all you can do is spread the word among your own networks, throughout December.

Whatever you do, just do something. And I would encourage you to start by looking at 15 organizations that are a part of your own life, that you believe in and support.

In case you didn't know:
  • 30% of all giving occurs in December.
  • 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year.
Just some fun nuggets of info from this blog post at Network for Good.

And that's why I wanted to try and do something a bit special this year, not just to support the organizations I love, but to encourage my friends and family to support them to. Because you never know if that one email, tweet, or Facebook post might be the one that encourages someone to support an org that might have already been thinking of it, or might not have even know about it but fits with their own values perfectly.

Some might ask, why not just support one organization with the entire $225. Personally, the first reason that comes to mind is because my life is too multi-faceted to be able to pick one singular thing that is THAT much more important than the others. Another reason is I'd like to believe that spreading it out AND spreading the word will have more of a multiplier effect among my own community and network, because different friends of mine will have affinities for different organizations.

So will you join me? Which 15 organizations will you support in '15 with $15 each? Let me know in the comments.


Sunday, November 08, 2015

Conversations to join in the DC area this month

So I was looking at my calendar, and noticed there were a good deal of conversations to join this month. Wanted to list them here, in case anyone else was interested. While I mentioned one of them in a previous post, regarding my agenda for the month, others were not included. And there were enough I thought it warrented a dedicated entry

Just a note, most of these events only have Facebook event pages with their information. If you're not on Facebook and would like more information, send me a message and I'll shoot it over to you.

Here we go:

Beyond Blackface: A conversation on cultural appropriation
in entertainment and popular culture

Sunday, November 8
5 pm to 7 pm

Busboys & Poets
1025 5th St NW

More information at their Facebook event page.

[Re]Organizing the Arts | Fall Colloquium

Friday, November 13
3 pm to 6 pm

Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

More information at their Facebook event page.

A TedxMidalantic Salon:
Everyone Values Equality

Monday, November 16
5:30 pm to 9 pm

Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D St NW

Imagine a future free of gender roles and stereotypes, where anatomy doesn’t influence one’s destiny and women can make career, family and personal decisions without societal pressure, stigma or discrimination. In this future, we understand that equality is not about bolstering a gender or group into a position of privilege, but instead about liberating both women and men, by eliminating gender norms, fixed roles and the judgment that comes with living outside these societal constructs.

More information on their website.

Kojo In Your Community: "Black Lives Matter" in Prince George's County

Tuesday, November 17
7 pm to 9 pm

Busboys and Poets Hyattsville
5331 Baltimore Ave

More information at their Facebook event page.

And yes, I am hoping to make it to most of these.

Hope to see you at one of them,


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Two Ben Carson interviews that went south

Honestly, I can't even...

I'm just going to let the clips speak for themselves.

Just when you think it couldn't get worse.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

My November agenda, so far

Hey there,

While I'm trying to wrap my head around what's going on this month, I thought it might be a good opportunity to share. So here it goes:

Thursday, November 5

Kleen City: Sunrise Yoga, Wellness, Art & Dance Party at Penn Social
Join Us Thursday, November 5th, 6am to 10am. We are beyond excited for our new location at the cavernous Penn Social in Chinatown/Penn Quarter. This is going to be an event of epic proportions so don't miss out on the coolest event in DC!
Get your tickets on Eventbrite.

Naughty Snowball tickets go on sale at 7pm!!
It is a time of holiday Mischief. Striking from Santa's secret North Pole Base, Rebel Toys have descended upon Washington, DC on a mission of mayhem and merrrymaking. Set blasters to full and celebrate with us at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC.
More information on Facebook.

Kostume Karaoke: Fall Back for What, begins around 8pm
Come out and celebrate the end of tyranny from over the weekend, aka Daylight Savings Time, with your KJ for the night, me!! Sing and rejoice with all your heart, and forget about that dreaded day we have to Spring forward. Fire up that mic, another round of songs, Fall back for what!!
More information on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 10

If I Were You: Stories about giving and taking advice
Story District's Our monthly storytelling series -- their first program -- has been taking place on the 2nd Tuesday of every month in Washington, DC since 1997. Over the years, they've added tons of other shows and events, but their monthly show remains Story District's backbone. Tonight's show, like all of their shows, will feature a mix of eight to ten first-timer storytellers and regulars, who will take the stage to share their twist on the night's theme.
Disclaimer: I am a Story District Board Member. More infromation on Facebook.

Thursday, November 12

Avenue Q with Constellation Theatre Company
Avenue Q is a laugh-out loud musical that tells the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who arrives in New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He moves into a shabby apartment all the way out on Avenue Q, a neighborhood full of mischievous and raunchy puppets, as well as other colorful characters.
More information on their website.

Monday, November 16

TedxMidAtalantic Salaon: Everyone Values Equity
Imagine a future free of gender roles and stereotypes, where anatomy doesn’t influence one’s destiny and women can make career, family and personal decisions without societal pressure, stigma or discrimination. In this future, we understand that equality is not about bolstering a gender or group into a position of privilege, but instead about liberating both women and men, by eliminating gender norms, fixed roles and the judgment that comes with living outside these societal constructs.
More information on their website.

Friday, November 20 to Sunday, November 22

Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil for Healing the Drug War
On Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6pm on the NW-side of the Washington Monument, a vigil for healing the chasms and scars of the drug war will begin. We invite you to join us for a multi-day Vigil on the National Mall. This Vigil will offer space for community building, information sharing, art, music, healing, and celebration. An art installation, The Temple of Essence, will stand as a monument to honor the victims of the drug war. It is a peace-building structure focused on the communities impacted by this conflict and the mass incarceration of our citizens. This Temple will bring people together and create a space for reflection and healing.
More information on Facebook.

That's it for now. But it's just the beginning of the month. Who knows, I might do a mid-month update, as other things pop-up and/or are confirmed.

Hope to see folks out at any of these happenings!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What Pew Research shared during Democratic Debate

Whether or not you watched the first Democratic Debate of this presidential election season, last night, you might be curious to know what the Pew Research Center tweeted in real time with the debate. If you're not, you should be.

That is to say, these are things they themselves know, supported with facts and figures and studies and, well...research, about issues brought up over the course of the evening.

Here are ten highlights, the most retweeted ones as of the time of this blog post, in chronological order:
For the rest, you can just check out their Twitter Feed (sooner than later). While I appreciate the debate format, I know I personally need to ground myself in the contexts of the various topics being discussed so I don't get emotionally wrapped up in what can sometimes be a somewhat theatrical, if not dramatic display of our body politic.

So I thought I'd share. Curious to see what you think about any of this. Please leave a comment,


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

FY18 Funding for the DC Commision on the Arts and Humanities

So...come FY18, which begins in about 2 years, funding for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is going to be a little different.

Have you heard of the Arts and Humanities Enterprise Fund? If you're like me, the answer would be no. I came across this while doing work related research on arts related city legislation. When I came across the code, I thought I should take a look at the letter and word of what makes the DC Commission tick, in the eye of the law.

Anyway, I wanted to highlight these:
(a) There is established the Arts and Humanities Enterprise Fund ("Fund") to be operated by the Commission.
(a-2)(2) Notwithstanding § 47‑392.02, beginning in fiscal year 2018 and for each fiscal year thereafter, except as provided by paragraph (4) of this subsection, 1/23rd of the sales-tax revenue reported in the prior fiscal year Comprehensive Annual Financial Report shall be deposited in the Fund.
(f) Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the Commission shall be funded entirely from moneys deposited into the Fund.
Definitely check out the rest of the code concerning this Fund at, "An open source, searchable, linkable platform for the DC Code by the Open Gov Foundation".

Or check the official code as posted on The only problem with the latter link is that you'll have to search for this particular code, because different sections aren't linkable. Which is why was created.

Anyway, would be curious to see what others make of this fund. Is this saying exactly what it seems to be saying? I'd also be curious to see if the next strategic plan would be taking this into account.

It should be noted that while the Fund became effective back in 1998, (a-2) and (f) were among  a number of items introduced in a 2013 ammendment.

Also, stay tuned for future posts regarding grants and public art regarding the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and DC Code.