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Three Lessons Learned at Community Foundation Boot Camp

Author:

Jul12

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Community Foundation Boot Camp presented by SECF and the Florida Philanthropic Network. As a practitioner transitioning from the world of private philanthropy to the world of community foundations, nothing could’ve been more timely. A training that summarizes the history of the field, gets me acquainted with the “art” of grantmaking, and expands my network to 40 new colleagues in the span of two days – sign me up, please! The training was also made worthwhile by a faculty that represented some of the most respected and experienced professionals in the field.

I’ll share three quick things I learned during my experience at Boot Camp:

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Member Highlight: Eric Kelly

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Nov15

When Eric Kelly became president of the Quantum Foundation five years ago, he quickly learned that SECF would be there to support him as he settled into his new role.

"I had been in philanthropy for 15 years and had served in executive-level leadership, but this was a new leadership role for me. One of the very first calls that I received was from Janine Lee," Eric said. "That year I attended the CEO Forum and had a chance to experience SECF at a closer level- It was amazing!"

Those initial experiences set Eric on the path to being engaged with SECF events and programs year after year. Now, he'll get to play an even larger role in the organization as a member of the Board of Trustees. He said he felt "both ecstatic and completely humble" when asked to serve.

"It was such an honor to be asked to join the board," he said. "Every event I attend is so helpful to me and to our team. I would comment to myself, 'it would nice to serve on the board of SECF when I grow up.' I wanted to serve in a capacity that would give me a chance to offer leadership and service to the foundations in our region."

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11 States in 11 Months: Southern Philanthropy in... Florida

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar28


Note: This post is the third of a series that will run throughout our 50th Anniversary year. Each month, we'll focus on philanthropy in one of the 11 states in the SECF footprint, using both current and historical data while highlighting a variety of voices. This month's state: Florida.


Florida Philanthropy Snapshot

First SECF Member: The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (founding member -- joined 1970)
Newest SECF Members: Cordelia Lee Beattie Foundation, John and Katherine Duda Foundation (both joined May 2018)
Number of SECF Members: 28




Learn more about Florida foundations from SECF's Southern Trends Report!


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50th Annual Meeting Speaker Highlight: Alberto Ibargüen

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul25

Earlier this week the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a major investment in research that will help us better understand how technology is transforming American democracy and the way we receive and engage with information.

The $50 million initiative will support cross-disciplinary research at 11 universities and research institutions. This will include $5 million for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics to help the public, journalists, and policymakers understand digital media’s influence on national dialogue and opinion, and to develop sound solutions to disinformation. 

Spearheading this work is the Knight Foundation’s president, Alberto Ibargüen, who will also kick off a plenary discussion at the 50th Annual Meeting that asks a crucial question: Can Philanthropy Preserve the Pillars of Democracy?

For Ibargüen, the answer to that question is an emphatic “yes.”

“We’re living the most profound change in how we communicate with each other since Gutenberg invented the printing press,” Ibargüen said in announcing Knight’s latest initiative. “The internet has changed our lives and is changing our democracy. We have to take a step back and a step forward. To understand what is actually happening, we need independent research and insights based on data, not emotion and invective. To go forward, citizens must be engaged, and including university communities in the debate is a step in that direction.”

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SECF Meets with House Ways & Means Committee Member in Florida

Author: Matthew L. Evans

Aug22


Earlier this month, SECF was among a group of other charitable organizations that met with U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) in Orlando, Florida. Murphy heard from us as we discussed the current state of giving, nonprofits and grantmaking in her district, and possible legislative proposals that would encourage increased giving throughout the country.

Rep. Murphy shared her concerns with us and acknowledged the importance of the work grantmakers do in Florida and across the South. She provided advice on the best ways to share our message with her congressional colleagues so they, too, may get a better understanding of how the charitable sector works to uplift communities across the country. 

SECF is grateful for the opportunity to meet with Rep. Murphy, beginning a dialogue with her office that will continue in the months ahead. SECF is also working with allies in the sector through the Charitable Giving Coalition, a group dedicated to preserving and expanding the charitable deduction. We will continue working with colleagues to reach out to members of Congress and inform them about sound public policy that seeks to uplift charitable giving.

If you would like to learn more about SECF’s public policy work, or would like support engaging with policymakers, including scheduling in-district

meetings with members of Congress, please send an email to matthew@secf.org

Matthew L. Evans is SECF’s director of public policy and special projects.

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Philanthropy Responds to Hurricane Dorian

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Sep05

After battering the Bahamas earlier this week, Hurricane Dorian is now bearing down on the Southeastern coast, bringing dangerous rain, wind and storm surge flooding to the Carolinas. 

Current projections show the storm’s effects will be felt most strongly in South Carolina through Thursday night before moving up the coast to North Carolina and Virginia.

Already, several SECF members and partners have activated relief funds that will support recovery once Dorian passes. These include:

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has already announced a webinar for funders interested in supporting recovery efforts in The Bahamas. We will notify SECF members of other programs as they are announced.

SECF is also ready to provide support to any members directly affected by the storm – please contact our offices at (404) 524-0911 to reach our staff.

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Member Highlight: Hannah Saeger Karnei

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Feb06

Since last June, Hannah Saeger Karnei has played a unique role at The Patterson Foundation – she’s the inaugural fellow of a program launched by the foundation in partnership with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

The Patterson Foundation Fellows Program, the foundation announced on its website, is “a year-long career-building opportunity to learn innovative philanthropic principles.” The foundation’s goal in launching the program is to “create a network of future leaders aligned in their innovative approach to philanthropy.”

“To me, this year-long fellows program represents an invaluable opportunity to work with and learn from a team of meticulously innovative philanthropists,” Hannah wrote on the foundation’s website when her fellowship began. “The Patterson Foundation strives to engage individuals, business, nonprofits, government, and media in every initiative. By including young philanthropic leaders such as myself as they work to build these networked initiatives, TPF is providing a unique learning opportunity in the art and science of relationship building, community engagement, strategic philanthropy, and achieving shared aspirations.”

Since her fellowship began, Hannah has regularly shared what she’s learned and experienced on the foundation’s blog. Not surprisingly, one benefit of her experience has been a rapid expansion of her professional network – though it hasn’t always come easily, she writes. 

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Taking an Objective Look at Homelessness in Florida

Author: Katie Ensign and Kathleen Shaw

Jul08

The issues surrounding homelessness, and what we as funders need to consider, were brought into sharp relief this week with the release of Snapshot: A High-Level Review of the Regional Approach to Homelessness in Jacksonville, FL

This report, commissioned by a collaboration of funders including the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the United Way of Northeast Florida, and the Henri Landwirth Family Advised Fund, outlined the progress made and the opportunities ahead for supporting Jacksonville’s homeless population. 

We learned that while Jacksonville has experienced a 32 percent decrease in the overall homeless population (compared to the national reduction average of 10 percent during the same period), there are notable areas for improvement, including a troubling 20 percent increase in unsheltered, single adults in Jacksonville.

Jacksonville is a very collaborative community and, as funders, we have a strong history of working together to address community issues. We were each supporting homelessness with our own grantmaking, and even serving on some of the same community committees – and we have seen some progress in our community with specific populations such as veterans and homeless families. But, as we thought collectively with one another and the providers in our community about the best approach to deepening our commitment to support this area, we weren’t convinced we had the right information to make the best decisions regarding a more comprehensive plan to move forward. 

There were conflicting opinions regarding a best practice approach, and we wanted to understand more about positive outcomes in other communities. So, we decided to engage an outside, objective expert to help us review our work and provide advice on the best approach moving forward. 

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Member Highlight: Upendo Shabazz

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar18

One year ago, Upendo Shabazz was in a role that suited her extroverted nature: As leader of Allegany Franciscan Ministries’ Common Good Initiative, she got to work in the community with individuals and organizations in three underserved Florida communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic upended all that – being out in the community, at least physically, was no longer an option. But that’s when she discovered her pandemic mantra: “TRUST THE WORK.”

“This saying has shaped my entire scope of work this past year,” she said. “I work in community on the ground with residents, stakeholders, government and philanthropy. When the pandemic began, I had to ‘trust’ that everything we set in motion through the Common Good Initiative would continue. I had to let go of the power and allow the power of community that we had invested in to cultivate.”

It turned out that multi-year investment paid off – the Common Good Initiative had helped build relationships and capacity that allowed organizations to respond to the pandemic in ways they might not have before, helping local businesses secure federal loans and ensuring connections developed with business and faith groups persisted despite the need for physical distancing.

The Initiative is shaping up to be a Passing Gear philanthropy success story, an example of how foundations can use multiple forms of capital to achieve a greater impact than through grantmaking alone. That work is one reason why Upendo was a natural choice to lead a module at SECF’s recent Philanthropy Essentials program called Maximizing Impact with Large-Scale Strategies.

“Traditional grantmaking will always be a strategy to addressing basic needs and will continue to be a measure for charity,” Upendo said. However, large-scale strategies often involve listening, learning and leading – convening – and development of an ideal that represents the ‘solution.’ This type of approach becomes less about activity and more about building relationships that become vested in a collective outcome.”

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Data Sharing Made Easy

Author: Erin Baird

Jun24

If there was something easy that you could do to improve the quality and availability of grant data for your region, would you do it? Well, there is. You can become an eReporter with Candid and share your giving data with grantees, other funders, and the public. This data is fed into resources such as the Southern Trends Report, Candid’s many pop-up resource pages, and interactive platforms such as Foundation Maps, which visually displays over 22 million grants from over 158,000 foundations mapped by geographic location. 

Allegany Franciscan Ministries has been an eReporter since 2013. The process is easy. Candid has a template of the information they are looking for. This includes fields like organization name, recipient address, project description and grant amount. At Allegany, we use a report template Foundant created for us specifically for eReporting. Twice a year, we simply adjust the reporting dates, run the report and review it prior to sharing the information with Candid. It’s that easy.

As a benefit of sharing our grant data, we receive free access to our organization’s foundation map. Our updated foundation map helps grantseekers and other funders learn about our work. Take a look at ours here. We share our map on our website and use this tool to communicate how we are meeting our mission of being a compassionate and transforming, healing presence within our communities. If you are interested in sharing your work with the broader philanthropic community, consider being an eReporter for Candid.

Learn more about sharing your grants data by visiting the SECF website here. For details on how eReporting works, see this new how-to-guide from Candid. 

Already an eReporter? Be sure to submit your FY2020 grants data by June 30!

Erin Baird is director of grants at Allegany Franciscan Ministries.

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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.

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


Phone: (404) 524-0911
Fax: (404) 523-5116

Mission: The Southeastern Council of Foundations serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.