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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.


Now Available: 2021 Salary Data for Southeast Grantmakers

Author: Stephen Sherman

Oct13

One of our most popular member benefits – regional salary data for foundation staff and CEOs – has just been updated on SECF.org!

Each year, SECF partners with the Council on Foundations (COF) to produce salary benchmarking reports for foundation staff and CEOs in the Southeast. These reports include the average, median, minimum and maximum salaries for a range of 36 staff positions at all levels in foundations based in the 11 Southeast states. Salary tables are organized by both grantmaker type and asset size to provide quick access to comparable data for foundations of all shapes and sizes.

You can view this data now under the For Members section of our website – or access the information directly here (SECF.org login required).

Salary information for 2021 is drawn from data on nearly 10,000 full-time paid staff at over 900 organizations across the United States. The South region accounted for 27 percent of all respondents.

Thank you to all SECF member organizations that responded to the 2021 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey earlier this year, providing the valuable benchmarking data that informs these reports.

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July 2021 Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports in the Field

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Stephen Sherman

Jul29

SECF’s online Research Library is regularly updated with the latest reports relevant to Southern philanthropy. SECF members can browse over 400 research reports, websites, case studies, and other resources that we’ve cultivated to help funders stay abreast of trends in the field and learn about emerging best practices in philanthropy. 

Below are some of the key findings and highlights of the newest additions to the Research Library. If you would like to suggest a resource or have other feedback, contact Stephen Sherman, SECF’s Director of Research and Data, at stephen@secf.org or (404) 524-0911.

 

Values Proposition: How and Why We Transformed Our Investment Model to Align Our Capital with Our Mission

Nathan Cummings Foundation (2021)

This report from the Nathan Cummings Foundation examines the organization's experience with aligning the full corpus of its $450 million endowment with its mission. The foundation accomplished this both by reallocating its investments and by reassessing its investment advisors and fund managers. Based on the foundation's success, this publication explores the potential for mission-aligned investing to enhance mission impact while continuing to meet financial goals. The report discusses key findings from the foundation's experience with mission investing and offers insights for other funders wishing to follow a similar path. Points of discussion include engaging an OCIO, developing measurement strategies, and investing in racial equity. Appendices include NCF's statement of values, its equity lens framework for investment advisors, and sample language for requesting diversity, equity, and inclusion data as part of a request for information from investment firms.

 

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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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Share Your Grants Data to Show Philanthropy’s Response to 2020

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar25

As a partner on the Get on the Map campaign, SECF works with Candid to promote data sharing in the philanthropic sector. Last month, Candid launched its annual data collection campaign, and we invite our members to join this effort by sharing grants data through Candid’s eReporting program.

By joining the eReporting campaign, your organization will help inform resources like SECF’s Southern Trends Report and interactive tools like Candid’s Foundation Maps. These resources are used daily by your peers to assess gaps in funding, seek out potential partners, and determine where and how to target their investments. 

Your participation is also critical to ensuring that researchers, sector leaders, policymakers, and others have a clear picture of Southern philanthropy’s response to events in 2020. Last year, Candid launched two new data portals tracking philanthropy’s efforts in responding to COVID-19 and grantmaking to promote racial equity, both of which rely heavily on data shared directly by funders. Candid’s data is also regularly cited in research in the field, including recent reports from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Schott Foundation for Public Education, and Media Impact Funders. We need your help to provide the most current and accurate data on foundation grantmaking for resources like these. 

If your organization is already an eReporting partner, thank you! You should have received instructions from Candid for reporting FY20 and FY21 data. Please remember to share your data by June 30, 2021

If your organization is new to eReporting, it’s easy to share your grants data. You can follow the instructions on this page, or simply email your grants data to egrants@candid.org. For those who have never shared grants data before, we recommend using the “Simplified Template” available here. If you have questions, please feel free to email egrants@candid.org

As an added benefit, organizations that participate in eReporting receive an interactive map that visualizes their foundation’s grantmaking (see a sample here). Grants data is also incorporated into our regional giving map, available exclusively to SECF members. 

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2021 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is Now Open!

Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Mar18

The 2021 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is now open for responses. Since 1980, the annual Grantmaker Salary and Benefits (GSB) Survey has provided the philanthropic sector with the most comprehensive data on foundation staff and board compensation. Grantmakers across the country rely on the survey findings to inform budgeting, talent recruitment and retention strategies. 

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. Through a partnership with the Council on Foundations (COF), SECF provides custom salary tables for Southeast grantmakers each fall. 

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 (a $499 value) and access to COF’s benchmarking platform to create custom salary reports. Reports and data are expected to be released in September 2021.

How to Participate:

  • Visit the COF website to learn more about how to participate and for detailed instructions. 
  • See this page for answers to frequently asked questions as well as a list of documents you’ll need to complete the survey.

The deadline to complete the GSB Survey is May 24, 2021.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

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Fall 2020 Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports from the Field

Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Stephen Sherman

Oct15

SECF’s online Research Library is regularly updated with the latest reports relevant to Southern philanthropy. SECF members can browse over 300 research reports, websites, case studies, and other resources that we’ve cultivated to help funders stay abreast of trends in the field and learn about emerging best practices in philanthropy. 

Below are some of the key findings and highlights of the newest additions to the Research Library. If you would like to suggest a resource or have other feedback, contact Stephen Sherman, SECF’s Director of Research and Data, at stephen@secf.org or (404) 524-0911.

 

Healing Work: An Action Guide to Equitable Grantmaking Supporting Youth of Color
Forward Promise (2020)

Research shows that young people of color exposed to discrimination have poorer sleep habits, higher levels of stress hormones, and higher levels of obesity. The effects of racism follow them throughout their lives and may lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and hypertension in adulthood. Despite this evident need, there exists a significant disparity in the proportion of funding awarded to organizations led by and serving people of color. To rectify systemic inequities and disparities in funding, philanthropy must be intentional about implementing an effective set of equitable practices which allows them to hold space for, learn from, and better support the communities they wish to serve. 

This report from Forward Promise identifies opportunities for more equitable practice in six stages of the grantmaking process: the call for proposals, communicating funding opportunities, the reviewer pool, review process, data analysis, and site visits. The report includes worksheets to help funders assess and redesign their own grantmaking procedures.

 

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SECF’s Southern Trends Report Now Includes Five Years of Data on Philanthropy in the Southeast

Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Stephen Sherman

Sep03

The Southern Trends Report, SECF’s statistical dashboard on Southeast foundations, has recently been updated with 2018 data on foundations and grantmaking, providing a five-year snapshot of trends in the field. Data will continue to be added for 2018, but the latest figures show a number of key findings. 

  • Assets of Southeastern foundations contracted slightly to $108 billion: In 2017, assets totaled $118 billion for all foundations. With financial data for some foundations still forthcoming, assets of Southeastern foundations were about $10 billion less in 2018.
  • Giving by Southeast foundations stayed steady at over $8 billion: Total giving by the region’s foundations, with some grants data still to be counted, was more than $8.2 billion.
  • Children and education remain the leading focus areas of foundation grants in the Southeast: Over $2.4 billion in grants were awarded to education-related purposes in 2018, more than twice as much as the next leading category - health. Nearly $1.5 billion was awarded to programs or organizations serving children and youth, making that population group the top recipient of foundation funding. 
  • Program development and general support were the top types of support provided: Close to a third of grant dollars awarded by Southeast foundations were designated for program development and a just under a quarter were allocated for general operating support. 
  • Two-thirds of giving by Southeast foundations stayed within the region: The share of in-region giving by Southeast foundations rose slightly to 66 percent.

The Southern Trends Report is developed in partnership with Candid. The dashboard provides an at-a-glance overview of institutional philanthropy in the Southeast region and is updated annually incorporating data from foundations that participate in Candid’s eReporting program and with data from IRS filings. For historical data and analysis of longer-term trends, see the Key Findings section of the site. 

Stephen Sherman is SECF's director of research and data.

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Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports in the Field

Tags: SECF Staff 
Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Stephen Sherman

Aug06

SECF’s online Research Library is regularly updated with the latest reports relevant to Southern philanthropy. SECF members can browse over 300 research reports, websites, case studies, and other resources that we’ve cultivated to help funders stay abreast of trends in the field and learn about emerging best practices in philanthropy. 

Below are some of the key findings and highlights of the newest additions to the Research Library. If you would like to suggest a resource or have other feedback, contact Stephen Sherman, SECF’s Director of Research and Data, at stephen@secf.org or (404) 524-0911.


Funder Support During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Center for Effective Philanthropy (2020)

CEP conducted a survey of nonprofit leaders in May 2020 to understand how nonprofits and the communities they serve have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, how funders have responded to the crisis, and what nonprofits will need most from funders going forward. Responses to the survey show that while the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the sector as a whole, the negative effects have been especially severe for nonprofits that provide direct services and for those that serve historically disadvantaged communities. In terms of financial impact, nonprofits that rely on foundation funding have experienced more stable funding than those that rely more on earned revenue or gifts from individual donors. Nonprofit respondents said that funders can be most helpful in the future by providing greater support, specifically unrestricted funds, and by being transparent about how the pandemic may impact future support. 


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Taking an Objective Look at Homelessness in Florida

Category: Research & Data, 
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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Get on the Map: Help Us Share the Story of Philanthropy's Role in COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jun11

As part of the Get on the Map campaign, SECF is partnering with Candid to help track philanthropy’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Candid has created a pop-up page, candid.org/coronavirus, which is updated daily with the latest information on philanthropic efforts to aid global response and recovery. The page includes the latest figures on foundation grantmaking to address the pandemic, a listing of funding opportunities, and news items on philanthropy’s efforts. 

Candid has also created a custom map that allows users to explore COVID-19-related funding at the state, county and local levels. You can see which foundations are giving in the Southeast region, where grantmaking is concentrated most, and what gaps might still exist in funding.  

 

If your foundation is funding organizations or initiatives as part of the response to the current crisis, please share information on this grantmaking with Candid. You can follow the instructions on this page, or simply email your grants data to egrants@candid.org. For those who have never shared grants data before, Candid recommends using the “Simplified Template” available 

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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: SECF strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.