Data Shows More Needs to be Done to Bring Widespread Prosperity to the South
Author: Stephen Sherman
While economic disparities in the U.S. are widespread, nowhere in the country is the gap in economic mobility more pronounced than the South. Just look at the map below and you’ll notice the broad swath of red indicating the lack of upward mobility in the region. Raj Chetty and a team of researchers from Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley used data from the most-recent Census and tax returns to chart the chance a child born into the bottom fifth income bracket could reach the top fifth by adulthood.
From a list of 741 commuting zones, four Southern cities were ranked in the bottom ten in terms of upward mobility. These were Atlanta, Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Raleigh, all of which have shown indicators of strong economic growth. The chances of a child going from the bottom quintile to the top in these cities were some of the lowest in the country—nowhere higher than 5 percent. By contrast, the leading cities in upward mobility – New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, to name a few – all measured 10 percent or higher.
But is it just geographic differences that are to blame for the lack of economic mobility in the South? In addition to location, Chetty and his fellow researchers found that another primary factor in upward mobility was an individual’s racial identity. The latest research from the Equality of Opportunity Project finds that in 99 percent of Census tracts in the United States, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys who grew up in families with comparable income. This suggests that differences in resources at the neighborhood level, such as access to quality schools, cannot by themselves explain the intergenerational gaps between black and white children.
Staying in Touch With Philanthropy
“Let’s stay connected!”
I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard and overheard phrases like this exchanged among SECF colleagues. Our members crave connection with one another for a variety of reasons. Some appreciate the opportunity to learn and share information about best practices. Others enjoy the camaraderie of friends and colleagues who share a common passion and purpose. Some relish the tailor-made resources and network of potential collaborators. Still others rely on their SECF relationships to build networks beyond their local geography. For most, it’s a combination of the above.
For all these reasons and more, SECF serves as a source of deep and lasting regional connections. Through relationships, conversations, events, reports, newsletters and more, we’ve built a network like no other. And now, we’re pleased to introduce another way to communicate with peers, learn from experiences and opinions, and share stories: ENGAGE, the SECF blog.
Reinventing Food Banks
Last week I had the opportunity to attend a forum From Feeding People to Ending Hunger: Reinventing Food Banks, a forum hosted by the Social Enterprise program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. The panelists represented organizations working to address hunger at the national, state, and local level and provided a layered perspective on strategies for ending hunger in the U.S.
The event included remarks from Kim Hamilton, Chief Impact Officer at Feeding America, Jon West, Vice President of Programs at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, and Jeremy Lewis, Executive Director of Urban Recipe.
Each of these organizations is doing its part to fight hunger: Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that provides food and services to more than 46 million people each year. The Atlanta Community Food Bank is part of Feeding America’s network and partners with more than 600 nonprofit partners to distribute over 60 million meals to more than 755,000 people in 29 counties across metro Atlanta and north Georgia. Urban Recipe operates within a unique co-op model in which each family served becomes a member of a 50-family co-op that meets biweekly to apportion donated food.
Responding to Our Members' Needs With Relevant Programming
SECF has long demonstrated a high level of commitment to being responsive to the educational needs of its membership. As part of our recently conducted biennial member survey, we intentionally asked our members to provide feedback on what programming offerings they would most like to see delivered in the near future. The purpose was to ensure that our programs were both relevant and in alignment with our member interests.
We received a robust number of suggestions that have aided us in the planning and design of our in-person and virtual programming activities over the course of 2017. As our member survey key findings report indicates, there a few top areas of interest that our members expressed. We have aimed to be responsive to these interests based on our recent and upcoming programs.
Getting to Know SECF
If you’re new to the SECF family, or are considering applying for membership, we want to make sure you know everything that makes SECF a grantmaker network like no other.
Last week, we hosted “Getting to Know SECF,” a webinar highlighting the people, programs, events and benefits that have made us one of the strongest and most vibrant grantmaker networks in the country, one that has continued to attract new members all while hitting a 96 percent retention rate in the last year.
If you couldn’t make this webinar, or joined us but would like to review what makes SECF membership so valuable, you can view the entire presentation below. Our speakers included me, as well as SECF President & CEO Janine Lee, Senior Director of Programs & Partnerships Dwayne Marshall, Director of Marketing & Communications David Miller, and three members of the SECF Board of Trustees – Bob Fockler of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Stephanie Cooper-Lewter of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, and Gilbert Miller of the Bradley-Turner Foundation.
Download Southern Trends Report Data With a Single Click
We’re excited to let you know about a recent upgrade to our Southern Trends Report. Users now have the ability to download the data behind each of the tables, charts and lists featured on the site. You might use the data to create your own charts and graphs, compare figures for different states, or format lists of top funders to share with your board.
This function is also context-sensitive, meaning that if you change one of the parameters on an interactive chart, the data included in the download for that page will reflect your modifications.
Try it out:
Help Put Southern Philanthropy – and Your Foundation – On the Map
In 2016, SECF teamed up with Foundation Center to release the Southern Trends Report – a comprehensive look at giving in our region. This year, we’re working to update the Southern Trends Report with new data on giving by Southeastern foundations.
Like any report, it’s only as good as the data that goes into it – and that’s why we’re encouraging all SECF members to Get on the Map by joining the eReporting program with Foundation Center. Grants data that is submitted through eReporting is fed into the Foundation Maps platform, which is the driving force behind such interactive sites as YouthGiving.org, BMAfunders.org, and our very own Southern Trends Report.
The more foundations we have participating in eReporting, the more reliable our sample becomes and the more confident we can be in drawing conclusions or predicting trends from the data.
2017 Salary Data for Southeast Grantmakers Now Available
Author: Stephen Sherman
In SECF’s 2016 market analysis, 43 percent of responding organizations stated that they anticipated adding new staff within the next 12 months and close to a third reported having replaced their executive director within the past three years.
With each new staff member, promotion, or position added, there are crucial decisions that have to be made regarding compensation. Not only do foundations want to remain competitive and attract the best talent, but they also have to show due diligence and demonstrate that staff and CEO compensation is, according to IRS guidelines, “reasonable and not excessive.” As a best practice, it is recommended that foundations and other charities review comparable salary and benefits data for other organizations with similar missions and of a similar budget or asset size.
Each year, SECF partners with the Council on Foundations (COF) to produce comparative analyses of salary data for foundation staff and CEOs in the Southeast. These reports are generated using COF’s Benchmarking Central tool that includes salary data for staff in multiple roles within foundations.
New Reports Highlight Growth of Donor-Advised Funds and Giving Circles
Author: Stephen Sherman
Even taking into account the Great Recession, we’ve generally seen the numbers, assets, and giving for private and community foundations in the United States continue to rise over the past decade. Over the long term, that growth has been steady and alludes to the staying power of foundations in spite of changing social, economic and political circumstances. However, while foundations have the capacity to make transformative grants in their respective communities, collectively they account for a relatively small share of charitable giving when compared with contributions from individual donors.
Donor-advised funds (DAFs) and giving circles lie somewhere in between foundations and individuals on the giving spectrum and are two of the fastest growing philanthropic vehicles. Two recent studies offer insight into the growth of these giving instruments in the United States.
The 2017 Donor-Advised Fund Report, published by the National Philanthropic Trust, surveys the growth of DAFs in the United States from 2010-2016 and provides an analysis of funds by sponsor type. Data was gathered from over 1,000 organizations that sponsor DAFs, including national charities, community foundations and single-issue charities. In 2016, there were approximately 285,000 individual donor-advised funds across the country – more than three times the number of private foundations. Nearly 44,000 DAFs are housed in organizations within SECF’s 11-state footprint, representing around 15 percent of all donor-advised funds in the country.
The 2017 report offered a glimpse at the growth and concentration of DAFs by state. Massachusetts (82,643), California (38,590) and Pennsylvania (20,819) were home to more than half of all DAFs in the country in 2016 thanks to prominent charities such as Fidelity and Vanguard. Georgia was one of the fastest-growing states for DAFs and ranked fourth nationally with 19,736 funds, slightly ahead of New York (18,481). Georgia’s leading position can be largely attributed to the National Christian Foundation, located in Alpharetta, which houses more than 16,000 donor-advised funds. Within the Southeast region, Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia also host significant numbers of DAFs.
Exponent Philanthropy Resources for Small-Staff Foundations
Author: Jaci Bertrand
Through a partnership between SECF, the United Philanthropy Forum and Exponent Philanthropy, members can take advantage of discounts on Exponent publications and programs. Keep reading to learn more about this SECF member benefit!
Exponent Philanthropy Publications
SECF members are eligible for a 20 percent discount on the following Exponent publications:
The Foundation Guidebook
This signature publication is written especially for newcomers to foundations or philanthropy. Gain the baseline knowledge to operate your foundation, including board responsibilities, tax and legal issues, administrative details, investment matters, grantmaking basics and more.