Responding to Our Members' Needs With Relevant Programming

SECF has long demonstrated a high level of commitment to being responsive to the educational needs of its membership. As part of our recently conducted biennial member survey, we intentionally asked our members to provide feedback on what programming offerings they would most like to see delivered in the near future. The purpose was to ensure that our programs were both relevant and in alignment with our member interests.

We received a robust number of suggestions that have aided us in the planning and design of our in-person and virtual programming activities over the course of 2017. As our member survey key findings report indicates, there a few top areas of interest that our members expressed. We have aimed to be responsive to these interests based on our recent and upcoming programs.

1. Successful Grantmaker Collaborations

In February of this year, SECF partnered with the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to deliver a webinar titled “Working Well with Grantees.” The discussion was moderated by Kelvin Bolduc, Vice President, Assessment and Advisory Services, at CEP and featured two leaders from SECF member The Healing Trust: Kristen Keely-Dinger and Jennifer Oldham. Kristen and Jennifer both profiled some of the best practices that they have implemented in order to enhance their effectiveness with their grantee partners.

In April, we partnered with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) on a Grantee Inclusion Workshop that introduced members to the different tools, resources and frameworks to foster effective grantee collaboration and inclusion within their organizations. The main objective was to equip participants with new approaches to engaging their grantee partners in more authentic ways. Foundations from throughout the region and across the country were in attendance. One of our members in attendance (Molly Talbot-Metz, Mary Black Foundation) wrote a great Engage Blog post about her experience at the workshop recently. We look forward to offering more grantmaker collaboration related programming for our members in the near future.

2. Next-Generation Education & Leadership Succession Planning

SECF, via its relationship with the National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP), offers a monthly family philanthropy webinar series on a host of topics which includes next generation leadership. We will be hosting a webinar exclusively for SECF members in the coming weeks to better inform members about the family philanthropy webinar series as well as the various resources that are accessible in the Family Knowledge Center.

In addition, we are designing a next-generation engagement and leadership succession workshop in partnership with Richard Marker of Wise Philanthropy. The workshop will be conducted as a preconference at the upcoming 2017 Annual Meeting. You can visit our Annual Meeting site now to learn more and register.

3. Governance & Trustee Education Opportunities

We are in the process of designing a webinar series on governance best practices that will be offered in the coming months. In addition, SECF will have governance-oriented as well as “trustee-only” sessions at the upcoming 2017 Annual Meeting in November.

4. Mission & Impact Investing

SECF has partnered with RBC Global Asset Management to deliver an interactive three-part webinar series to better educate our members on the opportunities that exist within the mission and impact investing landscape. The series will feature thought leaders who will provide an overview of the sector and answer any pressing questions that you might have. The featured topics are as follows:

5. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within Philanthropy

In an effort to better inform SECF members on the latest developments on diversity, equity and inclusion in the philanthropic sector, we are partnering with the Change Philanthropy network to offer a webinar series to profile best practices that leading foundations have implemented to produce effective results. Change Philanthropy is a consortium of identity-focused affinity groups working to integrate diversity, equity and social justice into philanthropic practice. Please be on the lookout for more details on this webinar series and its structured content in the coming weeks.

SECF will continue to address the educational needs of our members through insightful and innovative programming – and you can help us in achieving this goal! Please keep us informed on how we can better serve you – we look forward to hearing from you and to responding to your voice as we plan our events going forward.

Dwayne Marshall is SECF's senior director of programs & partnerships.


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

Visiting SECF:
All staff are working remotely at this time but can still be reached via email and by calling (404) 524-0911.

Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)
Friday from 9:00am–12:00pm (ET)

Phone: (404) 524-0911
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Mission: SECF strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.