Understanding the World Around Us: A Basic Human Need

(Washington) – On Monday night, young people displayed artwork, pounded on drums, performed a harpsichord solo, and read a book aloud. A young boy voiced his dream to amass the “most grandiose home library” imaginable. A young girl recited her poem “I Have the Potential,” delivered with the kicker: “My work is more than just the results of some standardized tests.”
The children displayed their enthusiasm for learning and artistic talents on stage and during receptions at the Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, as part of the Harman Family Foundation’s salute to small-budget nonprofits in the Greater Washington DC region.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism was one of the nonprofits honored. FIJ belongs to a select group of international, cultural, educational, nature, and human service organizations chosen for the 2011-2012 edition of the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington. The production of the Catalogue, with both printed and online editions, is an initiative started by the Harman Family Foundation, founded by Sidney Harman, the well-known philanthropist and businessman who purchased Newsweek Magazine in 2010. He died earlier this year at the age of 92. His daughter, Barbara Harman, created the Catalogue in 2003 to introduce well-managed, small-budget charities to philanthropists in the DC area.
FIJ is the first journalism organization to be recognized as “One of the Best” by the Catalogue, after going through a vetting process that evaluates both programs and finances.
Most organizations featured by the Catalogue address basic human needs for food, shelter, education, and culture.  To cite a few examples, they serve nutritious meals to chronically homeless men and women, find housing for families, help teenaged girls be kids rather than produce them, work with young boys to produce works of art, and go inside the DC jail to run a book club and writing workshops for teens being held on adult felony charges.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism serves another basic human need: the need to understand the world around us.
Grants awarded to independent journalists across the globe help tell stories that powerful business and government leaders prefer to conceal. Our grantees are under financial pressure and lack the protections given by major news organizations. But with our financial and editorial support, reporters expose human rights violations, spread understanding of environmental damage caused by agricultural and industrial processes, and challenge self-serving stories that distract the citizenry or cover up the truth.
The organizations featured in the Catalogue for Philanthropy rely on volunteers and individual donors to carry out their work. To learn more about them, click onto the Catalogue’s online giving guide.

“One of the Best” 2011-2012