With the dust not even settled from the 2016 elections, more than 800 foundation leaders, philanthropic experts and renowned thought leaders gathered in Amelia Island, Florida, for SECF's 47th Annual Meeting – Navigating the Currents of Change.
Over three days, SECF members connected with one another, learning valuable lessons, sharing stories of the positive impact of grantmaking and analyzing the issues affecting the communities and people in the Southeast that philanthropy seeks to lift up and empower.
An opening keynote from Karl Zinsmeister set the stage by focusing on examples of philanthropic success – sometimes unlikely success – from the country's past. This year's meeting also put a strong focus on data, with Dr. Jim Johnson and Professor Robert Putnam both using numbers and statistics to tell stories about the "browning" and "graying" of the Southeast, as well as the growing economic disparities confronting children in America.
For the first time, SECF added its own original research to the discussion, releasing the first edition of Southern Trends Report: Philanthropy in the Southeast Region, in partnership with the Foundation Center.
The election that was on so many minds at the meeting's start was the focus on this year's closing keynote, featuring Dr. Larry Sabato, one of America's foremost political analysts.
In between keynotes, grantmakers attended packed sessions on a diverse array of topics – all generated by SECF members – and made connections that will spark new ideas and initiatives in Southern Philanthropy.
Thank you to our attendees and our sponsors for making the 47th Annual Meeting a smashing success!