SECF's Next Chapter: A Commitment to Courageous Leadership
This week, we proudly announced our Courageous Leadership Strategy, a new strategic direction that will guide SECF’s work through 2025. We are incredibly excited to begin this new chapter of SECF’s history – one we believe will be transformative for not just our organization, but also all of Southern philanthropy and the communities in our region.
While this strategic direction will be used to establish concrete goals for our staff and Board – you can view our specific goals here – we sought to develop a plan for 2021-25 that would go beyond a list of items. We wanted to define a new approach for SECF that reflects all we have done in recent years as well as the challenges and opportunities of today.
Thanks to the hard work of our Strategic Planning Task Force, our staff and our Board, I am confident we have succeeded in putting SECF on a bold path defined by a commitment to courage.
Our overriding goal for this new chapter is to not only demonstrate courageous leadership, but also call our members to it. We believe answering the call to courageous leadership will be essential to meet the opportunities and challenges facing both philanthropy in the South and communities in the South during the next five years.
We plan to exercise courageous leadership by pursuing 10 priorities, both internal and external, plus a vital cross-cutting priority: ongoing integration of our Equity Framework, first introduced in 2019.
By committing ourselves to courageous leadership, SECF is also committing itself to mobilize people and resources, in our organization and our network, in service to a new mission: We will strengthen Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.
This work, we hope, will bring into reality a new vision: a courageous community of philanthropists, leading work that results in an equitable South defined by justice, hope and opportunity for all.
Fulfilling commitments to our new mission and vision, as well as the values and guiding principles we adopted last year, will require hard work. We must address critical issues facing philanthropy in the South and its communities. We must take risks and make bold leaps.
By adopting this new direction, we pledge to do all of these things – and will call our members to do the same. I am confident that many of you will answer this call. We look forward to sharing this journey with you!
Janine Lee is president and CEO of the Southeastern Council of Foundations.