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SECF Staff Highlight: Gratia Sullivan


The arrival of summer means a new addition to the SECF team – intern Gratia Sullivan, who comes from the Emory University Center for Ethics Servant Leadership Summer program.

Gratia, a rising senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in sociology, says supporting SECF will give her another perspective on the nonprofit sector, where she already has extensive internship and volunteer experience.

“I was excited when I saw that SECF was accepting an intern through the program and knew that working with SECF would be an incredible opportunity to increase my understanding of effective philanthropy in hopes of entering the nonprofit sector well prepared to inspire change in the issues I care about,” she said.

Gratia has a long history of volunteering and community activism, particularly with programs and organizations that support survivors of sexual assault and also train bystanders on how to successfully intervene in situations before they result in harm or trauma.

She has also interned in the development offices of two nonprofits, giving her an inside perspective on the need for support from philanthropy.

“I understand the time and energy that goes into securing reliable funding and would love to look at this from a different perspective,” said Gratia, a native of New York state.” Additionally, my time at Emory has shown me how wonderful the South is, and I hope to gain exposure to philanthropic work occurring in the region.”

That exposure through SECF came very quickly – Gratia’s first week as an intern was largely spent attending the most recent meeting of the SECF Board of Trustees. She saw the experience as a unique learning opportunity.

“Attending a Board Meeting was an amazing way to get to know the organization on a deeper level before jumping into assignments,” she said. “The information I learned about SECF’s current work and ambitions, as well as the relationships I began to develop with staff, will guide the rest of my time as an intern. The Board Meeting also introduced me to the kindness and collaboration that underlies the work of SECF.”

After her internship is over, Gratia will get to work on her honors thesis, focused on how successful nonprofit interest groups market social issues to potential donors. She hopes after graduation to do development or communications work in the nonprofit sector. In the meantime, outside of school she also plans to enjoy time outdoors playing ultimate frisbee and rock climbing.

SECF members will see Gratia throughout the next two months, at both our offices and at programs in the Atlanta area.

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Southeastern Council of Foundations
100 Peachtree Street NW
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Mission: The Southeastern Council of Foundations serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.