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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.


50 Meetings in 50 Days: The Annual Meeting from 1979 to 1981

Category: 50th Anniversary, 
Author: David Miller

Apr11

Registration for SECF's 50th Annual Meeting will open May 15 – between now and then, we're going to take a look back at the history of SECF's signature event and how it's evolved over the years.


1979 Annual Meeting

When: November 7-9, 1979
Where: Hyatt House Hotel, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Notable Speakers: Joyce Ream (Executive Director, Women and Foundations/Corporate Philanthropy), Douglas Covington (Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University), Landrum Bolling (Chairman, Council on Foundations)

This meeting featured a preconference luncheon that served as a convening for Women and Foundations/Corporate Philanthropy, which had been founded in 1975.

A 1984 Los Angeles Times article on the organization quoted its then-board chair: Alicia Philipp, who also -- just as she does today -- led the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, then known as the Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation. Alicia was quoted saying "having women making recommendations on grants has heightened awareness in the philanthropic community of women's and girls' organizations and their needs and made the boards of trustees, which approve grants and which are mostly male, understand that these organizations are not as risky as they had thought. A lot of men had it in their minds that these organizations were radical."

Alicia, who would preside over another meeting of "Women And" at the 1980 Annual Meeting, said women and young people were still a rarity in those days.

"I was about 26 and a woman, so on both counts, I was unusual at the SECF conference," she told SECF. "Everyone was gracious and made me feel very welcome, but it would be a number of years before more women and what we now call 'next-gen' were in any significant numbers at the conference."


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Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports in the Field

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Stephen Sherman

Apr04

The first quarter of 2019 has seen a number of new reports released that will be of interest to foundations. Here we offer some key findings and highlights of a few recently-published works. These and other reports are profiled in our Research Library, available exclusively to members (login required). Browse over 150 research reports, websites, case studies, and other resources that we’ve cultivated to help Southern funders stay abreast of trends in the field and learn about emerging best practices in philanthropy. If you would like to suggest a resource or have other feedback, contact Stephen Sherman, SECF’s Research and Data Manager, at stephen@secf.org or (404) 524-0911.


 

The 2019 Nonprofit Employment Report
Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

Drawing from data in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, this report provides insights into job growth and sector employment for nonprofit organizations. The report includes employment data from 2007-2016 and finds that jobs created by U.S. nonprofits rose by 16.7 percent during that period, compared with only 4.6 percent job growth in the for-profit sector. In 2016, nonprofits employed 12.3 million paid workers, accounting for 10.2 percent of the total U.S. private workforce. That makes the nonprofit sector a major employer and the third-largest industry in the United States, behind only retail trade and accommodation and food services and on the same level as manufacturing. The nonprofit sector is also the third-largest generator of payroll in the United States, paying more than $638 billion in wages for 2016.

 

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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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Are You Part of Southern Philanthropy's Next 50 Years? We Want to Hear From You!

Category: 50th Anniversary, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar28

To mark its 50th Anniversary, SECF wants to look forward as we write our next chapter – and we need your voice! “50 Voices, 50 Years” seeks thoughts from emerging leaders who can articulate their unique vision for Southern Philanthropy over the next half century.

Are you a recent Hull Fellow or prospective Hull candidate? Have you recently attended SECF’s Essential Skills and Strategies program? Are you a relatively new foundation trustee? Have you been actively involved in philanthropy for less than 10 years? If any of these apply to you, we want to hear from you. All we ask is 500 words.

We are seeking at least 50 distinct visions for Southern Philanthropy over the next 50 years. All submissions will be used in some manner to commemorate SECF’s 50th anniversary. Select submissions and their authors will be featured this November at SECF’s 50th Annual Meeting in Atlanta.

If you’d like to add your voice to the conversation, prepare an essay of up to 500 words addressing one of these questions:

  • How will Southern foundations and philanthropy contribute to the issues that define our next half-century?
  • What innovation(s) will likely have the most impact on the practice of philanthropy over the next half-century?
  • Why do you feel called to make philanthropy your life’s work?

Click here to submit your essay – submissions are due June 15, 2019. Consider making your essay personal by sharing your own story of how you began working in philanthropy or your connection to your foundation or community.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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11 States in 11 Months: Southern Philanthropy in... Florida

Category: 50th Anniversary, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar28


Note: This post is the third of a series that will run throughout our 50th Anniversary year. Each month, we'll focus on philanthropy in one of the 11 states in the SECF footprint, using both current and historical data while highlighting a variety of voices. This month's state: Florida.


Florida Philanthropy Snapshot

First SECF Member: The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (founding member -- joined 1970)
Newest SECF Members: Cordelia Lee Beattie Foundation, John and Katherine Duda Foundation (both joined May 2018)
Number of SECF Members: 28




Learn more about Florida foundations from SECF's Southern Trends Report!


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Member Highlight: Amy Mandel

Category: Member Highlight, 
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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50 Meetings in 50 Days: The Annual Meeting from 1976 to 1978

Category: 50th Anniversary, 
Author: David Miller

Mar20

Registration for SECF’s 50th Annual Meeting will open May 15 – between now and then, we’re going to take a look back at the history of SECF’s signature event and how it’s evolved over the years.


Heading into the late 1970s, the Annual Meeting fell into a consistent rhythm, hitting new states and cities while also providing time for discussion of the economic climate, investment strategies, and a range of programmatic concerns – many of which remain deeply relevant today.


1976 Annual Meeting

When: October 20-22, 1976
Where: Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia
Notable Speakers: McGeorge Bundy (President, The Ford Foundation), Dr. Ray Marshall (Professor of Economics, University of Texas, and president of the National Rural Center)

If our records are correct, Dr. Ray Marshall is the oldest living Annual Meeting keynote/plenary speaker – 90 years old today, he is a professor emeritus at the University of Texas. He spoke at the meeting's closing luncheon, and was only a year away from being appointed Secretary of Labor in the Carter administration. Marshall's National Rural Center had just been founded – it was described by The Washington Post as "a nonprofit research organization with a $750,000 annual budget that he founded [to] focus national attention on rural problems."

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Member Highlight: Andrea Young Kellum

Category: Member Highlight, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar14

"Capacity-building" is a term heard often anytime enough grantmakers are in the room. The general idea -- investing in the infrastructure of a nonprofit organization, as opposed to a specific program -- is a firmly established trend.

But what does it actually look like in practice? And how can a desire to boost nonprofit capacity be balanced with the need to invest in programs that directly support people in need?

These are difficult questions, but Southern grantmakers aren't shying away from them. At the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, senior program officer Andrea Young Kellum has devoted plenty of thought to the subject -- in fact, her reflections on the topic have received attention on the national level. A blog post she wrote last year, The Audacity of Building Capacity, was recently featured in a newsletter from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.

"Our current funding strategies reflects the Foundation's values and commitment to place- based grantmaking and to supporting programs that address health equity, thereby reducing health disparities," Andrea wrote. "So one may question why, given all of the pressing health issues and disparities in Georgia, does the Foundation have the audacity to support capacity building?"

The answer, she writes, is simple: "We believe that strengthening nonprofits not only helps us to achieve our mission, but that providing organizations with the tools and resources necessary to build their capacity to better fulfill their missions' leads to stronger organizations, programs, and ultimately, better health outcomes for Georgians."

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50 Meetings in 50 Days: The Annual Meeting from 1973 to 1975

Category: 50th Anniversary, 
Author: David Miller

Mar14

Registration for SECF’s 50th Annual Meeting will open May 15 – between now and then, we’re going to take a look back at the history of SECF’s signature event and how it’s evolved over the years.

The Annual Meeting had become an established event by the mid-1970s, and SECF had solidified itself as an organization – in 1972, paperwork filed with the State of Georgia had officially established the Southeastern Council of Foundations as a nonprofit corporation. The initial board included representatives from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina and Florida.

With its initial growing pains out of the way, in 1973 SECF felt confident enough to begin moving the Annual Meeting throughout the region. The event’s programming also began to expand beyond the legal and regulatory concerns that had dominated its first three years.


1973 Annual Meeting

When: November 1-2, 1973
Where: Holiday Inn of Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Notable Speakers: Terry Sanford (President, Duke University), David Freeman (President, Council on Foundations)


Recognizing that one-size-fits-all programming wouldn’t be sufficient for a growing number of attendees, this year’s meeting featured concurrent sessions for foundations without staff, with full-time staff and, separately, community foundations. While these sessions were focused on the familiar topic of foundation administration, the agenda also included sessions on scholarship and loan programs, as well as “regional needs and opportunities for foundation responses.”

Luncheon speaker Terry Sanford, then president of Duke University, had previously served as governor of North Carolina and would eventually represent the state in the U.S. Senate. Not unlike previous year’s speaker Alexander Heard, Sanford was a Southerner with a progressive attitude on civil rights. Two years before speaking at the Annual Meeting, he famously said “the South can lead the nation, must lead the nation – and all the better, because the nation has never been in greater need of leadership.”


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Member Highlight: Lewis Whitfield

Category: Member Highlight, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar07

Convening power is one of the greatest assets a foundation has -- by leveraging its reputational capital, funders can bring people from different sectors, and possessing different viewpoints, together for conversations that boost a sense of community and can even inspire collaborative action.

The CREATE Foundation in Tupelo, Mississippi, recently tapped into its convening power by holding a summit for educators and business leaders to discuss how schools in the region are addressing the needs of students and connecting them with jobs.

The foundation's senior vice president, Lewis Whitfield, spoke at the event. He said the summit aligned well with the foundation's mission.

"CREATE Foundation's Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi has been focused on lifting the personal incomes of the people of our region -- primarily by helping improve the educational attainment levels of our population," he said. "Community foundations are a great source of data on key issues. Moreover, they are uniquely positioned to provide a forum for nonthreatening discussion of these underlying data and the issues. We believe in being a convener and catalyst for these discussions, but we also realize that without cooperative community partners our effectiveness would be limited."

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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.