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Engage - The SECF Blog

BEST + NEXT PRACTICE Engage - The SECF Blog

SECF's Blog

Engage, SECF’s blog, is a space for SECF members, staff and partners to share their thoughts on the latest trends and best practices in philanthropy. Engage is also used for important announcements about upcoming SECF events and programs.

Do you have a story or insight you’d like to share with our members on Engage? Contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org or at (404) 524-0911 to discuss your idea.


Responding to Hurricane Florence

Category: Grantmaking, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Sep13

UPDATE (Monday, September 17): After making landfall last week, Florence has continued to bring catastrophic rain and flooding to the Carolinas. SECF has partnered with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to present a special webinar, Hurricane Florence: What's Next?, at 3:00pm Eastern on Tuesday, September 18. Click here to register!

Within hours, Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall somewhere along the Carolina coast. The Category 2 storm is expected to produce high winds, massive flooding and torrential rains.

Many SECF member foundations, and their staff and trustees, are in areas that have already been evacuated or will be affected by the storm as it moves through the region in the coming days. We are keeping everyone affected by this storm in our thoughts and hope those who have had to leave their communities are able to return home soon. SECF is also ready to support any member organization directly affected by the hurricane.

Many grantmakers are already wondering what they can do to assist with relief and recovery in the wake of Florence. SECF has partnered with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy for a special webinar at 3:00pm Eastern on Tuesday, September 18, on how grantmakers can respond to the storm. Registration is now open at CDP's Hurricane Florence overview page.

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Member Highlight: Roderica Williams

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Member Highlight, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Sep13

SECF's Programs & Partnerships team is now more effective than ever thanks to the new addition of Senior Programs & Partnerships Associate Roderica Williams, who joined the staff September 4.

Roderica comes to SECF with significant experience in program management and project development. She most recently worked for Fulton County Schools, where she served as Early Intervention Program Educator, a role that required her to use data analysis to improve language arts and math programs, while also administering effective teaching strategies. She also has extensive experience overseeing student support programs at the College of Lake county and Bacone College.

"I worked in education for many years, and it was my work in higher education that aligns most with what I do here at SECF," Roderica said. "I served as program director for federally-funded programs and performed many of the administrative duties that I have now. Evaluation and reporting was a huge part of my job, and I will lead similar efforts in my role at SECF."

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Welcome to the new SECF.org!

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Announcements, 
Author: Janine Lee

Sep05

If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably already noticed an entirely new look to our website – but the changes you’re seeing run much deeper than a new design!

The new SECF.org is more modern, more user-friendly and designed to help you gain even more out of your SECF membership. Our staff has put plenty of thought and work into creating an online experience that provides easy access to opportunities for connection, learning, engagement and inspiration!

Our website provides you access to the resources and services you need, no matter what device you’re using, from a smartphone to a desktop. We’ve also reorganized and streamlined the content from our previous site, making it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

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New UBIT Guidance May Offer Relief for Foundations, Grantees

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Matthew L. Evans

Aug23

SECF has been closely tracking developments related to changes affecting the Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) – you may have joined the webinar we hosted last week on this topic. Today, we wanted to share with you some good news that may help your foundation and its grantees.

Since the start of 2018, organizations that offer employees transportation or parking benefits are subject to a 21 percent Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) on those benefits – this is a significant change that would increase the UBIT owed by many organizations and lead other nonprofits to pay UBIT for the first time. Nonprofits would have to determine the value of any provided transportation and parking benefit. This is especially problematic for organizations in rural or suburban areas that, for example, have an employee parking lot.

New rules issued by the Treasury Department this week, however, allow for organizations to net their parking and transportation expenses against any other income subject to UBIT, which could wipe out any tax.

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New NNCG Partnership Connects SECF Members to Knowledge and Expertise

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Member Benefits, 
Author: Dwayne Marshall

Aug23

SECF works every day to ensure our members are not only aware of the latest trends and emerging best practices in the field, but also are given the tools to integrate them into their own work.

That’s why I’m excited to announce a new partnership between SECF and the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (NNCG) to share an online resource that puts expert skills and knowledge at the fingertips of our members across the Southeast.

NNCG’s Directory of Consultants contains hundreds of highly qualified, carefully vetted consultants — all searchable by skill set, geography, foundation type or program area. The NNCG Directory of Consultants is the only directory of experienced, vetted philanthropy consultants serving all types and sizes of grantmakers.

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Philanthropic Networks Have a Powerful Role to Play in Advancing Equity

Author: David Maurrasse

Jul19

Racial inequities have persisted over generations. Social movements have challenged structural racism and encouraged the societal and policy changes required to alter various dimensions of deep-seated inequities. Whatever progress has transpired over the last several decades, recent developments have reminded us of the depth and breadth of contemporary racism. From incidents of police brutality, to the continued criminalization of people of color, to the normalizing of anti-immigrant sentiments and white supremacist thinking that were exacerbated during the 2016 elections, we have received many reminders how much work is to be done. And it is difficult to grapple with, what feels much more like movement backward in an area where so many had hoped we were on a faster track to progress with the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

In this context, conversations about race and racial equity and DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) have increased in the field of philanthropy. As philanthropic contributions are often designated to address many of the issues (education, health, etc.) in which racial disparities are highly apparent, it is no wonder more voices inside and outside of the field are wondering about the role of foundations in advancing racial equity. While there is much to be done in society at large, there is also a great deal of work required if philanthropy is going to become a reliable catalyst toward racial equity and inclusion.

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Improving the Lives of Older Tennesseans Through the Power of Collective Advocacy and Public-Private Partnerships

Category: Collaboration, 
Author: Scott Perry

Jul17

A unique example of a statewide private-public partnership is part on an ongoing story which should affect Tennessee for years to come.

As a result of two court settlements, $36 million in funding is being granted to six different organizations in Tennessee for the purposes of implementing statewide initiatives designed to make lives better for older residents. Working with the court, five philanthropic organizations – the West End Home Foundation (Nashville), United Way of Greater Knoxville, Memorial Foundation (Hendersonville), HCA Foundation (Nashville), and Assisi Foundation (Memphis) – provided their expertise to develop a process to accept, then carefully vet, statewide proposals in four specific areas:

  • Senior Legal Assistance

  • Senior Affordable Housing

  • Senior Transportation

  • Senior Dental

These areas were selected based on statewide need and a history of limited resources. Proposals were evaluated based on their level of innovation, ability to implement and sustainability. The process took almost two years to complete.

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Dianne Oliver on the Value of Connection and Supporting Aging Populations

Category: Grantmaking, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul05

Editor’s Note: This year, Grantmakers in Aging’s annual conference will come to the Southeast, taking place at Memphis’ legendary Peabody hotel October 17-19. Ahead of this event, we asked Dianne Oliver, executive director of the West End Home Foundation, based in Nashville, for some thoughts on the value of membership associations like SECF and GIA, as well as the importance of supporting aging populations.

What do you find valuable about being a member of SECF? GIA?

The benefits of being a member of SECF and GIA can be captured in three words: relationships, information and community.

Membership in these associations has provided me the opportunity to develop relationships with other grantmaking professionals that I can call on for advice and counsel on issues related to management and governance or issues related to best practices in the field. SECF gives me strong regional connections where I can access incredible information about grantmaking best practices, policy issues and legal issues impacting our industry. GIA has connected me with grantmakers across the country who focus on my specific content area – aging and older adults. Through both organizations I feel part of a philanthropic community that supports and nurtures its members so that we can all achieve greater impact.

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Hear SECF's Janine Lee on Independent Sector's Civil Renewal Podcast

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Announcements, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul05

This week, SECF President & CEO Janine Lee joined her counterpart at Independent Sector, Dan Cardinali, for a discussion about civil society and values, with a particular focus on the American South. The discussion is featured in the latest episode of Independent Sector's Civil Renewal podcast. The episode, Finding Hope in the American South, is now available on the web and through Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.



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Inside Our New Framework for Grantmaking and Learning

Category: Grantmaking, 
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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Southeastern Council of Foundations
100 Peachtree Street NW
Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Hours: M–F from 9:00am to 6:00pm (ET)

Phone: (404) 524-0911
Fax: (404) 523-5116
Mission: The Southeastern Council of Foundations serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.