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SECF's Blog

Engage, SECF’s blog, is a space for SECF members, staff and partners to share their thoughts on the latest trends and best practices in philanthropy. Engage is also used for important announcements about upcoming SECF events and programs.

Do you have a story or insight you’d like to share with our members on Engage? Contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org or at (404) 524-0911 to discuss your idea.


Announcing the First Selection of the Chair's Book Club: The Sun Does Shine

Author: Regan Gruber Moffitt and Robert Dortch

May14


We are excited to invite you to join the new SECF Chair’s Book Club. Our hope is that the books we read and the discussions we have will inspire us to find common ground, build meaningful relationships, and deepen our understanding of equity.
The first book, The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice by Anthony Ray Hinton, builds on the deeply moving and passionate keynote by Bryan Stevenson at the SECF’s 50th Annual Meeting last November.  Stevenson, who spent his career helping those who were unjustly accused or wrongfully convicted, called upon philanthropy to be proximate to the places, people and problems that our organizations support, to change existing narratives, to remain hopeful and, most importantly, to do things that are uncomfortable and inconvenient. Anthony Ray Hinton was one of those who was represented by Stevenson. 

The Sun Does Shine is Hinton’s memoir of peace, purpose, and eventually freedom after serving 30 years on Alabama’s death row after being wrongfully convicted. The brilliantly written personal narrative instructs, inspires, and creates an imperative for action. 

SECF is providing access to the eBook version of the title through our recently launched Lending Library, or you can obtain a copy through your local bookseller or public library. Sign up here to participate in the Chair’s Book Club and we’ll soon share more information on how to get started and how to engage in discussion groups with your fellow SECF members.

Regan Gruber Moffitt is chief strategy officer at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and chair of the SECF Board of Trustees. Robert Dortch is vice president of program and community innovation at the Robins Foundation and chair-elect of the SECF Board.

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Southeast Responses Needed for 2020 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

May07

SECF is pleased to partner with the Council on Foundations (COF) and the United Philanthropy Forum to encourage participation in the 2020 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey.

The annual Grantmaker Salary and Benefits (GSB) Survey provides grantmakers with the most comprehensive data on foundation staff and board compensation. Through this partnership, SECF is able to provide custom salary tables for Southeast grantmakers each fall. 

Your participation in the GSB survey is needed – the greater the participation, the greater the insights for the sector and for your fellow SECF members. 

What’s the benefit for participating organizations?

All survey participants (both COF members and non-members) will receive a copy of the full GSB report, the board compensation report, and access to COF’s benchmarking platform to create custom salary reports. The full report otherwise sells for $438 but is offered free to participating organizations. Reports and data will be released in October 2020.

How to Participate:

If you participated in the 2019 survey, go to Benchmark Central (https://bmc.cof.org/) and log in using your cof.org credentials to start the survey. Need help with your login? Email research@cof.org

If you did not participate in the 2019 survey, email research@cof.org with the first and last name, title, and email for each individual needing access.

Note that multiple individuals from your organization can work on your submission simultaneously, but each team member will need their own login and it is recommended that you appoint one person to coordinate your submission. 

See this page for answers to frequently asked questions as well as a list of documents you’ll need to complete the survey.

Thank you in advance for completing the GSB survey! Please submit your responses by Sunday, May 31. For more information, visit cof.org/2020GSBSurvey or email research@cof.org.

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SECF's Lending Library Is Now Online!

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Apr02


Today marks the debut of the SECF Lending Library – a members-only source of books and audiobooks on philanthropy, equity, leadership and more!

Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen that SECF members are eager for resources to inform and inspire their work. The SECF Lending Library makes obtaining these easier than ever – our curated collection is accessible from most of the devices you’re using at home, including laptops, smartphones, tablets and Kindle devices!

You can check out titles from the SECF Lending Library starting now! Our selections include works by national experts and thought leaders, plus recent Annual Meeting speakers like Bryan Stevenson and Isabel Wilkerson!

The Lending Library will also serve as the platform for the upcoming Chair’s Book Club, a key initiative inspired by our Equity Framework. We look forward to revealing the first Chair’s Book Club selection soon!

SECF has partnered with OverDrive to provide this new benefit – OverDrive works with hundreds of public library systems across the country to offer e-books and audiobooks to patrons free of charge. Just like these public libraries, the SECF Lending Library catalog will be accessible from Libby, a user-friendly app for iOS and Android devices that allows for borrowing and reading all in one place as well as Kindle devices. 

You can view our full guide to the SECF Lending Library here. If you’re ready to get started, click here to view all our available titles!

If you have questions or recommendations for future Lending Library titles, contact Stephen Sherman, SECF’s director of research and data, at stephen@secf.org or by calling (404) 524-0911.

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Fall 2019 Issue of SECF’s Inspiration Magazine Now Available!

Tags: Inspiration 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Oct24

The latest issue of Inspiration, SECF’s quarterly magazine dedicated to sharing stories of Southern philanthropy’s impact, is now available at SECF.org, with print editions arriving this week in the mail as well.

The fall 2019 issue includes:

  • A look into the health equity work being pursued by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, which was established six years ago and, since day one, has been focused on addressing the root causes of health outcome disparities in its community.
  • The final installment of our Then, Now & What’s Next series marking SECF’s 50th Anniversary. Our retrospective look at SECF’s history and impact on the field concludes by examining the evolution of foundation leadership in the South. Significant changes in the last 50 years include an increasingly diverse crop of leaders and growing complexity in duties and responsibilities.
  • FSG, which will present a special postconference session at the Annual Meeting, walks through out changes made internally to advance equity can help a foundation do the same in its community.

Also in this issue: a message from SECF President & CEO Janine Lee, updates on new hires and promotions, a round-up of the latest members to join the SECF family and more, including a profile of a longtime SECF staff member who will attend her final Annual Meeting this year.

A print copy of Inspiration is mailed to each member organization as well as individual Hull Fellows alumni. Members can also login to SECF.org to download a PDF version.

If you have a story idea for an upcoming issue of Inspiration, contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org!

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Member Listservs Offer a New Way for SECF Members to Connect

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Oct23


Starting today, SECF Members can connect to hundreds of their colleagues simply by sending an email! 

Our new Member Listservs make it easy to ask questions, solicit advice and share insights with foundation staff and trustees from across the Southeast. All SECF members in our database have been automatically subscribed to at least one list and can start discussions immediately! 

At launch, seven listservs are active:

  • Community Foundations & Grantmaking Public Charities
  • Corporate Foundations & Giving Programs
  • Family Foundations & Philanthropic Individuals
  • Health Legacy Foundations
  • Independent & Operating Foundations
  • CEOs, Presidents & Executive Directors
  • Hull Fellows Alumni

In order to provide them access to as large a community as possible, Supporting Organizations within SECF were each given the choice of which constituency-based list they’d like to be part of. Lists will be refreshed monthly, though new staff members and trustees can be added earlier on request.

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Summer 2019 Issue of Inspiration Now Available to SECF Members

Tags: Inspiration 
Category: Member Benefits, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul18

SECF members now have access to the latest issue of Inspiration, our quarterly magazine dedicated to sharing stories of philanthropy’s impact in communities across the South, as well as exploring emerging trends and best practices that are shaping the field today.

The summer 2019 issue of Inspiration includes:

  • A look at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s efforts to promote climate justice and resiliency throughout the region – the foundation’s support at the community level has enabled organizations to reshape their own neighborhoods through green infrastructure, sustainable design and public education.
  • The latest installment of our Then, Now & What’s Next series marking SECF’s 50th Anniversary. In this article, we track how philanthropy in the region has evolved from direct charity to a diverse array of tools and strategies that address both immediate needs and systemic issues.
  • Coverage of the Couchman-Noble Foundation’s work to preserve affordable housing in suburban Atlanta – work being directly led by the foundation’s founders, David and Melanie Couchman.

The latest issue also includes our regular features on new members, the latest research in the field and new hires and promotions within the SECF family. We also profile 50th Annual Meeting speaker Jim Hasson, who has worked with SECF since its earliest days. Finally, President & CEO Janine Lee writes on how this year’s Annual Meeting lineup is the best we’ve ever offered!

A print copy of Inspiration is mailed to each member organization as well as individual Hull Fellows alumni. Members can also login to SECF.org to download a PDF version.

If you have a story idea for an upcoming issue of Inspiration, contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org!

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2019 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey Now Open

Author: Stephen Sherman

May16

SECF is pleased to partner with the Council on Foundations and the United Philanthropy Forum to encourage participation in the 2019 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey.

The annual Grantmaker Salary and Benefits (GSB) Survey provides grantmakers with the most comprehensive data on foundation staff salary and compensation data. The 2019 survey also includes questions related to board compensation and demographics.

Your participation in the GSB survey is needed – the greater the participation, the greater the insights for the sector.

What’s the benefit for participating organizations?

All survey participants will receive a copy of the full GSB report, the board compensation report, and access to COF’s benchmarking platform to create custom salary reports. The full report and board compensation report retail for $538, but are offered free to participating organizations. Both reports will be released in October 2019.

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Spring 2019 Issue of Inspiration Now Available to SECF Members!

Tags: Inspiration 
Category: Member Benefits, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Apr25

The latest issue of Inspiration, SECF's quarterly magazine, is now available for download by all SECF members! Our latest issue includes:

  • A cover story detailing how two SECF members, The Kendeda Fund and the Kresge Foundation, are supporting a project that brings together partners from multiple sectors to address shared concerns about the environment, the economy and equity.
  • The latest installment of our Then, Now & What's Next series on the history of SECF and Southern Philanthropy. In this installment, you'll learn how SECF has kept up with changing times and the evolving needs of Southern foundations as they've grown in number and complexity.
  • A preview of The Spartanburg County Foundation's Robert Hett Chapman III Center for Philanthropy - an ambitious development that will not only house some of the foundation's staff but also will serve as home base for a series of efforts that will engage the entire community.

This issue also includes reflections from President & CEO Janine Lee, an interview with new Arthur Vining Davis Foundations President Dr. Michael Murray, an introduction to the latest members of the SECF family and more!

Inspiration is mailed to each SECF member organization, as well as Hull Fellows alumni. A PDF is also available for download - members can login to access our Inspiration archives at any time!

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Program Archives Now Online at SECF.org

Tags: SECF Events 
Category: Member Benefits, 
Author: David Miller

Jan17

SECF's events and programs are one of the top benefits of membership. However, we know that many of our members have busy calendars and can't always attend a program in person -- and for those who can, it's not always easy to keep track of everything you learned, especially months or years down the road.

That's why we've launched a new feature on SECF.org this week: program archives! Members who log in to SECF.org can find our archives under the Programs menu accessible from anywhere on the site -- just click Archived Programs to get started.

The archives currently contain materials from the past three years for the Annual Meeting, CEO Forum and Family Foundations Forum. Here you'll find presentations, handouts and more from each of these events. The archive also includes webinars going back to 2013.

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Winter 2018 Issue of Inspiration Now Available to SECF Members

Tags: Inspiration 
Author: David Miller

Dec20

The final 2018 issue of Inspiration, SECF's quarterly magazine, is now online, with print copies on the way to foundations across the region.

This issue includes:

  • The final installment of our series, Fulfilling the Passing Gear Promise, looking at how foundations across the region are using the Passing Gear approach to address systemic issues in their communities. In this issue, we look at how the Danville Regional Foundation has used its Regional Report Card to spark change - in particular, the foundation has worked to put the Report Card's findings in the hands of community groups and leaders best poised to act on its findings.
  • The first installment of a new series, Then, Now & What's Next, marking SECF's 50th Anniversary! We open with a look at public policy - tax legislation in 1969 was the motivating force behind SECF's founding and has played a crucial role in our work ever since. This article not only looks at how SECF's public policy work has evolved into the robust program that exists today, but also previews a few things set to happen in the year ahead.
  • A look at the Family First Prevention Services Act from an expert who knows it best: Casey Family Programs President & CEO Dr. William C. Bell. Bell reviews how the legislation, which became law earlier this year, opens up new avenues for foundations to support children in their communities. He focuses strongly on cross-sector collaboration and looks at seven key areas foundations should consider as they work to capitalize on the new law.

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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.