Hull Fellows Highlight: Alice Hall
The Betty and Davis Fitzgerald Foundation, a family foundation based in Atlanta, focuses part of its giving on education – a subject quite familiar to Alice Hall, one of the foundation’s newest trustees and a learning specialist at Atlanta’s Pace Academy.
For Alice, however, experience as an educator wasn’t enough. She wanted to expand her knowledge of philanthropy itself. For that, she turned to SECF’s Hull Fellows program.
“This program almost feels like getting a personalized degree in philanthropy, which was exactly what I needed to be a productive, impactful part of the Fitzgerald Foundation,” Alice said. “As a foundation board member who does not work professionally in the world of philanthropy, I wanted to be a part of the Hull Fellows program so that I could gain a deeper understanding of how philanthropy works.”
Alice says she’s gained exactly during her year in the program, which culminated earlier this week when she and a group of her Hull classmates gave a Capstone presentation on Inspiring the Next Generation of Philanthropy.
“Through the Hull Fellows program, I expanded my knowledge of philanthropy from only being familiar with a small family foundation in Atlanta to understanding how a wide variety of organizations function throughout the entire Southeast,” she said. “I was privileged to hear from speakers who are experts in the field, as well as have personal conversations with my fellow classmates, who are respected professionals at their foundations.”
Alice said the relationships she’s built in the Hull program were “one of the most enriching parts of the program.” That’s especially true of the connections she’s made with her Hull mentors, Nancy Robitaille and Marie Foster from The Zeist Foundation.
“I learned a great deal about place-based philanthropy from them, and we were also able to have wonderful conversations about transitioning to the next generation of board members, as both of our foundations are currently in the midst of this process,” Alice said. “They were the perfect mentors for me, as they both have backgrounds in education and are now part of an Atlanta-based family foundation.”
The Hull program has broadened Alice’s professional network and her perspective on philanthropy, taking it from one foundation in Atlanta to an entire region. Now, she wants to take that even further by connecting to a place near to her heart: Zimbabwe, where an immersive poverty studies internship gave provided her first significant experience with philanthropy.
“I lived with nonprofit leaders in the heart of the community they served, and I have been back multiple times and maintain a relationship with them to this day,” she said. “I would love to one day build a connection between my philanthropic work in Atlanta and international communities like the one I love in Zimbabwe!”