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Celebrating 70 Years of Fostering Change

Author:

Jun28

This month, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust celebrates 70 years of investing in community well-being and improving North Carolinians’ health and quality of life. At the same time, I celebrate my one-year anniversary at the Trust.

During this past year, I have learned so much about the people and organizations the Trust has helped since it began in 1947 – from its first grant to a Forsyth County home visiting program for new moms to our recent investment ensuring every baby born in Forsyth County receives a home visit from a nurse.

The Trust truly has come full circle.

Yet these two home visiting programs – separated by 70 years – are not the same; because the world is different, and it’s our job to deliver on Mrs. Reynolds’ vision in today’s context. As I have traveled around the state, I have observed enormous strength and entrepreneurship locally and in our rural communities – as well as systems and policies that hold once-thriving communities back and increase the chances of poor health, poverty, and job loss. I have seen places where the social determinants of health – the conditions where people live, work and play – have a greater impact on health outcomes than the quality or proximity of a local hospital.

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Introducing the Rural Philanthropy Analysis Project

Author: Allen Smart

Oct19

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Campbell University's website. We're sharing it here due to the strong interest among SECF members in rural philanthropy, as well as the author's strong ties to Southern grantmakers.

I am excited to welcome you to become part of Campbell University’s new Rural Philanthropy Analysis (RPA) project.* The RPA is taking a deep look at rural philanthropy – foundation behavior and practice – around the country that is helping rural communities move forward for the health and well-being of all their residents.

For nearly 20 years, I have been involved in the practice and study of rural philanthropy. At no time previously has the interest in rural philanthropy been as strong as now. Some of this interest is undoubtedly stimulated by the recent elections and the accompanying sense that the domain of rural America has been excluded from the public discourse. Philanthropy is no different. Within hours of the results of last year’s presidential election being finalized, I received a call from a national philanthropic publication and a separate call from a national foundation wanting to know more about how they could “learn about rural.”

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Inside Our New Framework for Grantmaking and Learning

Author: Maurice "Mo" Green

Jul05

For the past two years, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has been on an exciting, exploratory journey, as we have taken a step back to examine our own work and determine how we can best serve the people of North Carolina moving forward.

One thing we’ve learned is that this process of discovery and reflection will be ongoing and in many ways our learning, and the journey, is just beginning. It is in this spirit of ongoing learning that we recently announced the launch of All For NC: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation's Framework for Grantmaking and Learning.

Our new framework reflects the foundation’s longstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians and infuses what we heard during our statewide listening and learning tour about what is critical, and visionary, at this moment in time.

All For NC: ZSR’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning builds from the strategies of our “emerging direction” and aligns with our mission and core values to:

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Member Highlight: Jerry Gonzalez

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Oct04

At this year's Annual Meeting, the Breakfast with Champions of Southern Philanthropy will, for the third year in a row, put SECF members on the main stage for a rich conversation about leadership within the field and the region.

This year, however, comes with one change: All the champions on stage are trustees. One of them, Jerry Gonzalez, a trustee at the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, says attendees will benefit from the perspective he and other champions will bring to the plenary session.

"Trustees provide great perspective and leadership for many foundations and have a great responsibility for carrying forward the mission and vision of the foundations to which they serve," he said. "Being asked to share my thoughts is really an honor and a humbling experience."

The wide-ranging session will once again be moderated by Mark Constantine, president and CEO of the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation. Gonzalez said he hopes he and the other trustees will have the chance to talk about an issue important to his own work: equity and its connection to policy.

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Member Highlight: Amy Mandel

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar20

The Amy Mandel and Katina Rodis Fund, based out of Asheville, North Carolina, has a very specific mission: supporting social justice work that advances LGBTQ rights, forwards racial justice and combats anti-Semitism on a global, national and local scale. While the organization supports dozens of organizations around the world, Asheville and its surrounding areas in Western North Carolina get special attention – more than 20 nonprofits in the area have benefited from the Fund's work.

Last month, in a series of posts on the website for one of the foundation's programs, the Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship, Amy wrote an extended essay on her life and how she has leveraged her privilege to promote equity.

"In hearing others describe what led them to do what they do, I have come to see the importance of telling my story and sharing publicly why I do what I do," Amy wrote as she introduced the series. "My hope is that sharing the paradoxes and questions I sit with is a step towards the transparency and accountability which are so essential for building trust and community."

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Member Highlight: Brian Collier

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Apr25

Since 2018, the Foundation for the Carolinas has made affordable housing a priority through its Charlotte Housing Opportunity Investment Fund. Started with a $5 million program-related investment from the foundation, the fund received a big boost earlier this month when it announced commitments from BB&T, SunTrust and the SunTrust Foundation.

Those commitments bring the fund to $31 million - well on its way to meeting its $50 million goal. The foundation's executive vice president, Brian Collier, said the fund will be able to address a growing housing crisis in Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County.

"Mecklenburg County faces a deficit of more than 30,000 affordable housing units, and nearly half of our residents – including moderate, low and extremely low-earning households – are cost-burdened, which means housing costs exceed 30 percent of their income," he said. "This is unsustainable and a major reason increasing access to affordable housing was a key recommendation of our 2017 Leading on Opportunity report, which analyzed causes of our community’s lack of economic mobility."

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Member Highlight: Dr. John Lumpkin

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul18

In April, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation welcomed a new president, Dr. John Lumpkin.

In a recent Q&A released by the foundation, John said he is joining at a critical time for North Carolina. The state is currently debating whether to expand access to Medicaid.

“I am excited about the opportunities we have in front of us at the foundation to be able to participate in improving the health of North Carolinians,” he said. “Many national health policy experts are looking to North Carolina for good reason. The foundation has helped to set the stage for transformation of the systems that impact health in the state.”

Though John had an accomplished career in medicine – he was the first African-American trained in emergency medicine in the country after completing his residency at the University of Chicago – he has no shortage of philanthropic experience. Immediately before taking on his new role, he spent 15 years at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

John said his experience at a national funder offers plenty that can be applied at a state-based foundation.

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