Celebrating 70 Years of Fostering Change
This month, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust celebrates 70 years of investing in community well-being and improving North Carolinians’ health and quality of life. At the same time, I celebrate my one-year anniversary at the Trust.
During this past year, I have learned so much about the people and organizations the Trust has helped since it began in 1947 – from its first grant to a Forsyth County home visiting program for new moms to our recent investment ensuring every baby born in Forsyth County receives a home visit from a nurse.
The Trust truly has come full circle.
Yet these two home visiting programs – separated by 70 years – are not the same; because the world is different, and it’s our job to deliver on Mrs. Reynolds’ vision in today’s context. As I have traveled around the state, I have observed enormous strength and entrepreneurship locally and in our rural communities – as well as systems and policies that hold once-thriving communities back and increase the chances of poor health, poverty, and job loss. I have seen places where the social determinants of health – the conditions where people live, work and play – have a greater impact on health outcomes than the quality or proximity of a local hospital.
Inside Our New Framework for Grantmaking and Learning
Author: Maurice "Mo" Green
For the past two years, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has been on an exciting, exploratory journey, as we have taken a step back to examine our own work and determine how we can best serve the people of North Carolina moving forward.
One thing we’ve learned is that this process of discovery and reflection will be ongoing and in many ways our learning, and the journey, is just beginning. It is in this spirit of ongoing learning that we recently announced the launch of All For NC: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation's Framework for Grantmaking and Learning.
Our new framework reflects the foundation’s longstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for all North Carolinians and infuses what we heard during our statewide listening and learning tour about what is critical, and visionary, at this moment in time.
All For NC: ZSR’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning builds from the strategies of our “emerging direction” and aligns with our mission and core values to:
SECF's Next Chapter: A Commitment to Courageous Leadership
Author: Janine Lee
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.