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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.


SECF's Lending Library Is Now Online!

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Apr02


Today marks the debut of the SECF Lending Library – a members-only source of books and audiobooks on philanthropy, equity, leadership and more!

Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen that SECF members are eager for resources to inform and inspire their work. The SECF Lending Library makes obtaining these easier than ever – our curated collection is accessible from most of the devices you’re using at home, including laptops, smartphones, tablets and Kindle devices!

You can check out titles from the SECF Lending Library starting now! Our selections include works by national experts and thought leaders, plus recent Annual Meeting speakers like Bryan Stevenson and Isabel Wilkerson!

The Lending Library will also serve as the platform for the upcoming Chair’s Book Club, a key initiative inspired by our Equity Framework. We look forward to revealing the first Chair’s Book Club selection soon!

SECF has partnered with OverDrive to provide this new benefit – OverDrive works with hundreds of public library systems across the country to offer e-books and audiobooks to patrons free of charge. Just like these public libraries, the SECF Lending Library catalog will be accessible from Libby, a user-friendly app for iOS and Android devices that allows for borrowing and reading all in one place as well as Kindle devices. 

You can view our full guide to the SECF Lending Library here. If you’re ready to get started, click here to view all our available titles!

If you have questions or recommendations for future Lending Library titles, contact Stephen Sherman, SECF’s director of research and data, at stephen@secf.org or by calling (404) 524-0911.

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SECF's Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus

Author: Janine Lee and Regan Gruber Moffitt

Mar12

Like many of you, SECF has been closely monitoring developments related to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11. As a membership association, we want to provide you with information on how you and your organization can best respond to this outbreak. We also want to update you on how SECF is responding, including the impact on our events and programs.

Last week we posted a collection of resources on SECF.org to help foundations take action to protect their employees and visitors – foundations, like any other workplace, should follow these guidelines and make their employees aware of actions they can take to limit the spread of the virus. We will continue to update this post as new information and resources become available. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also continually updating their COVID-19 pages with new information. SECF.org also includes links to resources from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy on how philanthropic organizations can support response and recovery to the outbreak.

Several of our members have contacted us regarding the status of upcoming SECF programs. The health and safety of our members and staff is our highest priority – in order to reduce the need for traveling and maintain social distancing, we have made the following modifications to our program schedule:

  • The Atlanta Foundations Forum event scheduled for April 9 has been postponed. We are working to reschedule this event for a date later in 2020.
  • We will announce by Friday, March 20, whether the CEO Forum, currently scheduled for April 23-24 in Sarasota, Florida, will need to be moved to another date later this year.
  • No other changes to our program lineup have been made at this time; however, we will continually assess whether events need to be rescheduled as the situation develops.

The SECF staff will remain available to support you during this time. However, out of an abundance of caution, our staff will begin working remotely on Friday, March 13 through Friday, April 3, at which point we will evaluate whether to reopen our offices. We believe we have the technology in place to make this an easy transition, though we do ask for your flexibility and patience over the first two days of this process in case technical complications arise.

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Two SECF Staff Members Promoted Heading Into 2020

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

Dec19

SECF enjoyed incredible success during its 50th Anniversary year -- in more ways than one, we exceeded the high expectations we placed on ourselves for 2019, a year capped off by our largest Annual Meeting ever!

This success could not have happened without the hard work, leadership and dedication of the SECF staff. Heading into 2020, two staff members have earned promotions that reflect not only the work they have done previously, but also the added leadership responsibilities they will take on going forward.

First, Dena Chadwick has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO). Dena has been with SECF for more than a decade. In that time, she has brought a level of discipline, rigor and sophistication to SECF's operations that is unmatched within the field. Dena has provided unparalleled staff leadership in multiple areas, especially finance and auditing, Board relations, governance and human resources. For many years, she led the planning for one of SECF's signature events, the CEO Forum, and was the staff lead on the development of our Equity Framework.

Meanwhile, she has run a tight ship while also ensuring that SECF provides the best support possible to our high-performing staff. In the year ahead, Dena will also serve as the staff lead as SECF works toward the development of our next strategic plan.

Second, Stephen Sherman has been promoted to Director of Research and Data. Since joining the staff in 2017, Stephen has proven himself essential to making SECF a go-to source of research and data on Southern philanthropic trends and history -- the first stated goal of our current strategic plan. After joining our team, Stephen immediately dedicated himself to working with our partners at MDC on the release of Philanthropy as the South's Passing Gear: Fulfilling the Promise and, in the years following, a series of successful Passing Gear events held around the region.

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Member Listservs Offer a New Way for SECF Members to Connect

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Oct23


Starting today, SECF Members can connect to hundreds of their colleagues simply by sending an email! 

Our new Member Listservs make it easy to ask questions, solicit advice and share insights with foundation staff and trustees from across the Southeast. All SECF members in our database have been automatically subscribed to at least one list and can start discussions immediately! 

At launch, seven listservs are active:

  • Community Foundations & Grantmaking Public Charities
  • Corporate Foundations & Giving Programs
  • Family Foundations & Philanthropic Individuals
  • Health Legacy Foundations
  • Independent & Operating Foundations
  • CEOs, Presidents & Executive Directors
  • Hull Fellows Alumni

In order to provide them access to as large a community as possible, Supporting Organizations within SECF were each given the choice of which constituency-based list they’d like to be part of. Lists will be refreshed monthly, though new staff members and trustees can be added earlier on request.

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Immigration Enforcement Must Put Families First

Author: Janine Lee and Sammy Moon

Aug09

            


Earlier this week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) carried out a series of raids at facilities throughout Mississippi that resulted in nearly 700 men and women being apprehended and accused of being in the country illegally. 

It quickly became clear that these actions did not take into account the impact on the families of those taken into custody. The raids came on the first day of school – many children emerged from what should be a day of promise and possibility to find no one to pick them up, with no information on what happened to their mother or father. In some cases, children lost both parents to these raids. 

We have since seen images of children crying in the street, confused and afraid. Many children were left with, literally, nowhere to go. The local residents and businesses that volunteered to house these children until they could be connected with loved ones deserve our highest praise. While many of those initially taken into custody have since been released, hundreds more are still in detention. 

Sadly, these actions are all too reminiscent of the family separations that took place at the Southern border last year. Back then, SECF leadership wrote that “the treatment of children and families is not a political issue – it is a humanitarian one.” This remains the truth today.

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SECF Staff Highlight: Gratia Sullivan

Tags: SECF Staff 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

May23

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.

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Tiffany Friesen Joins SECF as Vice President of Programs & Partnerships

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

Mar28

Earlier this month, Tiffany Friesen joined the SECF staff as Vice President of Programs & Partnerships. In her new role, Tiffany will lead SECF's resource development efforts and also develop a slate of programs that succeeds in helping members build connections, keep up with emerging trends and provide leadership on the issues that drive their work.

“Tiffany has proven herself to be a strong leader, developing programs focused on best practices, collective impact, youth development and other topics that are key priorities for SECF members,” said SECF President & CEO Janine Lee. “This rich mix of experience makes Tiffany a great fit for our work going forward.”

Tiffany says she was drawn to SECF by its work to find common ground in a diverse region.

“I like the work the organization is doing to bring voices together around a shared vision for people and communities,” she said. “Since then, I’ve gotten to know the SECF team and already know I am going to enjoy working with them!”

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SECF's Jaci Bertrand Promoted to Vice President of Member Engagement

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

Jan08

At the start of 2019, SECF's Jaci Bertrand was promoted to Vice President of Member Engagement in recognition of her work over the last five years that has been marked by strong member recruitment, retention and relationship-building.

"Thanks to Jaci's hard work, positive attitude and strong commitment to our members, SECF has thrived in an increasingly competitive climate while building a robust network that lies at the core of our value," said Janine Lee, SECF's president and CEO. "Since she joined SECF, Jaci has become a familiar face across the region, making regular visits to SECF members, ensuring we stay in touch with their needs and also maintaining SECF's reputation as an organization that forges deep, personal bonds with its membership."

Jaci has been with SECF since 2013, when she was hired as director of member engagement. During her tenure, member retention rates have been among the best in the field. SECF's list of members has grown to include a range of foundations, including national funders seeking to build their presence in the Southeast, as well as organizations that are new to organized philanthropy and benefit from the wealth of knowledge and expertise available to SECF members.

Jaci also provides staff leadership for the Hull Fellows program, the region's premiere professional development program for emerging leaders in philanthropy, as well as the Grantmakers of Kentucky, a regional affinity group supported by SECF.

"The highlight of my time at SECF has been meeting with and getting to know a group of people committed to improving lives and communities throughout the Southeast," Bertrand said. "Our members are truly our greatest asset and it's an honor to help them connect and collaborate in ways that will make an impact for years to come."

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Winter 2018 Issue of Inspiration Now Available to SECF Members

Tags: Inspiration 
Author: David Miller

Dec20

The final 2018 issue of Inspiration, SECF's quarterly magazine, is now online, with print copies on the way to foundations across the region.

This issue includes:

  • The final installment of our series, Fulfilling the Passing Gear Promise, looking at how foundations across the region are using the Passing Gear approach to address systemic issues in their communities. In this issue, we look at how the Danville Regional Foundation has used its Regional Report Card to spark change - in particular, the foundation has worked to put the Report Card's findings in the hands of community groups and leaders best poised to act on its findings.
  • The first installment of a new series, Then, Now & What's Next, marking SECF's 50th Anniversary! We open with a look at public policy - tax legislation in 1969 was the motivating force behind SECF's founding and has played a crucial role in our work ever since. This article not only looks at how SECF's public policy work has evolved into the robust program that exists today, but also previews a few things set to happen in the year ahead.
  • A look at the Family First Prevention Services Act from an expert who knows it best: Casey Family Programs President & CEO Dr. William C. Bell. Bell reviews how the legislation, which became law earlier this year, opens up new avenues for foundations to support children in their communities. He focuses strongly on cross-sector collaboration and looks at seven key areas foundations should consider as they work to capitalize on the new law.

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SECF’s Dwayne Marshall Accepts New Position with Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga

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

Dec13

Dwayne Marshall, SECF's senior director of programs and partnerships, has accepted a new position as vice president of community investment at the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. He is expected to transition to his new role by the end of the year.

Marshall, who for more than six years has successfully led the development, execution and evaluation of SECF's grantmaker education programming while strengthening relationships with other regional and national philanthropy serving organizations and beyond, has made significant contributions to SECF's growth and development during his tenure.

"Today is a bittersweet day for SECF," said President & CEO Janine Lee. "Dwayne has proven himself to be a true leader in our field. His tireless work ethic and deep belief in the power of philanthropy are reflected in the strong slate of programs and opportunities for connection SECF offers its members today. During Dwayne's time at SECF, we have become the first point of contact for many national organizations looking for greater engagement in the Southeast - a development undoubtedly due to Dwayne's work in positioning SECF as a national leader in the philanthropic sector."

Marshall's staff leadership on resource development, in particular, stands out, Lee said.

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Southeastern Council of Foundations
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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.