Hull Fellows Highlight: Julianna Cagle


This year has provided an education for many in philanthropy – a reality that is doubly true for this year’s class of Hull Fellows.

Members of the 2019-20 Hull Class began their experience at last year’s Annual Meeting and has continued since then through monthly webinars. While those have continued, the Hull Spring Retreat, normally an in-person experience, became a virtual one. Coffees with Hull Mentors have become Zoom calls. Capstone projects are being planned via Skype.

The pandemic hasn’t taken away from the overall value of the Hull experience, however. Julianna Cagle, vice president of programs at The Goizueta Foundation in Atlanta, says the program has helped her better understand the value of philanthropy.

“I have learned that this work truly matters,” she says. “We have had incredible speakers come and share with us how we, as philanthropists, can actively be impacting outcomes related to COVID-19 and racial equity. Though the program has primarily been virtual at this point, we have been able to form connections and bonds within this group that go beyond just ‘networking’ and have become more intentional and strategic thought-partnerships.”

Julianna says she was attracted to the program to help her gain grounding in a field she joined just over a year ago. She also had plenty of encouragement along the way.

“I knew that this program would be a wonderful way for me to make connections within the foundation space while also learning so much about the sector, as a whole,” she says. “Plus, it didn’t hurt that a few colleagues who had completed the program encouraged me to apply to learn more and make connections.”

Now that the program is well underway, Julianna has also had the chance to connect with her Hull Mentor, former Turner Foundation President Judy Adler.

“My Hull Mentor is AMAZING!!,” Julianna says. “We have wonderful conversations about the Atlanta nonprofit and philanthropic sector, what it’s like to parent during a pandemic, and navigating the waters of grantmaking in Atlanta when there are so many needs. She has been a confidant and I know that our relationship will continue well after this fellowship is complete.”

The Hull experience is well-timed for Julianna, providing her with insight, wisdom and connections at a time when philanthropy, including The Goizueta Foundation, has seen its grantmaking drastically altered amid the pandemic.

“The Goizueta Foundation typically makes large, multi-year programmatic grants in the 10-metro county area of Atlanta. With the leadership of our foundation President, Mary Judson, we set up a three-phased approach to respond to our grantee partners to provide support in these unprecedented times due to COVID-19,” she says. “We are now in our Phase 3 response of COVID-related grantmaking and are taking a more “surgical” and “long-game” approach to provide funding to current grantee partners who are setting up strategic programs related to K-12 education and needs due to COVID. I am proud of the work that our team has done in relation to COVID emergency response.”

The overall experience – being a Hull Fellow, helping lead the foundation’s work and helping raise three children at home – has taught Julianna valuable lessons about the importance of philanthropy, she says.

“While we often ‘sit in seats of power and privilege,’ we are also doing very important and impactful work on a daily basis to provide for those who have needs,” she says. “Some days when I look around at the chaos in my home due to three little ones running around, I think about the community at large. It may feel as though we are living in a time of chaos in so many ways – politically, racially, health-related – and yet in our roles, we have the ability to make a huge difference and change lives for the better. For that, I am grateful.”

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