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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.


Summer 2020 Issue of SECF’s Inspiration Magazine Now Available!

Tags: Inspiration 
Category: Announcements, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul23

SECF members now have access to the Summer 2020 issue of Inspiration, SECF’s quarterly magazine dedicated to sharing stories of innovative philanthropy throughout the region. 

In this special edition of Inspiration, we asked foundation leaders to offer their reflections on the rising calls for racial justice that have taken place across the nation in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Each of them offered powerful words, not only on responding to the current moment, but also on what philanthropy must do going forward to spark lasting change and promote equity in the South.

Other features in this issue include:

  • Part two of our four-part series on equity journeys undertaken by SECF members. In this installment, we look at the James Graham Brown Foundation as it deepens its commitment to equity amid protests in its hometown of Louisville in response to Floyd’s death and that of Breonna Taylor.
  • A rural perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic, which is now on the rise in many states throughout the region and spiking well beyond the large metropolitan areas where it first took root. As a recent study shows, these areas now battling the pandemic were already among some of the most disadvantaged in the country.
  • A look at the values and guiding principles that are pointing the way forward for foundations in a turbulent time. Like SECF’s own Values & Guiding Principles, these statements provide a north star that inspires strategy and tactics.

This issue also includes a letter from President & CEO Janine Lee, who reflects on the inequitable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation’s reckoning with racial violence and systemic racism.

Due to the ongoing closures caused by the pandemic, this issue of Inspiration will be exclusively available to SECF members online at SECF.org – you can view our full Inspiration archive here.

Do you have a story you’d like to see told in the next issue of Inspiration? Let us know by contacting David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org.

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51st Annual Meeting Speaker Highlight: Richard Rothstein

Category: Annual Meeting, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul16

Federal law has outlawed housing discrimination based on race since 1968, yet nearly all of America’s major population centers are still heavily segregated – why?

That question lies at the heart of Richard Rothstein’s work, particularly his book, The Color of Law, which was released to acclaim in 2017 and has recently surged on bestseller lists in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd that have sparked a national conversation on racial justice.

Rothstein’s work is centered around debunking what he calls America’s “national myth”: the idea that ongoing segregation isn’t the fault of public policy, but rather other factors outside the control of government.

“It’s pervasive across the political spectrum. Liberals and conservatives hold it. Blacks and whites hold it,” Rothstein says. “The name of that myth is we have de facto segregation. Not something that was created by government like all the other segregations that we undid in the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, but this is something that sort of just happened by accident.”

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Registration Now Open for SECF's 51st Annual Meeting!

Category: Annual Meeting, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul15


Are You Ready to Lead the Way?
Registration Now Open for SECF's 51st Annual Meeting

Today, more than any other time in recent memory, our communities, region and nation are calling out for leadership.

An ongoing, deadly pandemic has turned lives upside-down, devastated our economy and stretched many of the organizations philanthropy supports to the breaking point. A long overdue reckoning on racial justice has shown the work of undoing centuries of systemic racism can no longer wait.

We cannot meet in person, but we must come together however we can. The moment demands it. Philanthropy must lead the way – but how?

We will explore this question, and many more, at SECF’s 51st Annual Meeting: Leading the Way.

Join us November 11-13, 2020, for an online event that will bring Southern philanthropy together in new ways while delivering the powerful speakers and sessions that have made the Annual Meeting the region’s premier philanthropic event for over 50 years!

Highlights of this year’s agenda include:

Powerful Keynote Speakers

Dr. David Williams
Harvard professor and
health equity expert
Richard Rothstein
Author, The Color of Law
Susan Taylor Batten
President & CEO, ABFE


Diverse & Dynamic Sessions, Including:

Storytelling for
Social Change
Foundation
Life
Courage in
Practice
Giving Community
Voice to Grantmaking
Race, Place &
Systemic Inequities
Equitable
Evaluation

And more - View the Full Agenda!

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51st Annual Meeting Speaker Highlight: Dr. David Williams

Category: Annual Meeting, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul09

This is the first in a series of profiles of speakers at SECF's 51st Annual Meeting, an online event taking place November 11-13. Registration opens next week!

The two dominant stories of 2020 – the COVID-19 pandemic and a national reckoning on racial justice sparked by the murder of George Floyd – will both be reflected throughout the 51st Annual Meeting, from the virtual keynote stage to several breakout sessions.

Both topics, and the intersection between them, are familiar to this year’s Opening Keynote speaker, Dr. David Williams.

Williams, a professor of public health and chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is one of the world’s leading experts on the social determinants of health, a list that includes socioeconomic status, race, stress, racism, health behavior and religious involvement. 

Through his research, Williams has found that experiencing racism itself leads to negative health consequences – for example, Blacks with college degrees have a lower life expectancy than whites who only have a high school diploma.

“When I started my career, many people believed that it was simply about racial differences in income and education,” Williams said in his TedMed talk, How Racism Makes Us Sick. “I discovered that while economic status matters to health, there is more to the story.”

Central to Williams’ research has been his work to quantify racism – not only major experiences like unfairly losing a job or being wrongly stopped by the police, but also everyday indignities that, over time, have real health consequences. The Everyday Discrimination Scale he devised in 1997 to measure experiences like these is still used today.

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New Titles Available at SECF's Lending Library!

Category: Member Benefits, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul09


SECF’s Lending Library allows SECF members to borrow e-books and audiobooks on a variety of topics relevant to Southern philanthropy. Like any library, we’re constantly updating our offerings with new titles that reflect emerging trends and topics in the news.

We’ve recently added several new titles focused on systemic racism and other topics. We’ve highlighted a few below, and a list of all new titles is at the end of this post.

Visit our Lending Library information page to learn more and to sign up for an account!

 

How to Be an Antiracist
By Ibram X. Kendi

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.


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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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Public Policy Update - July 2020

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jul07

Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@secf.org.


Bills to Expand Charitable Giving Introduced in House and Senate

Two Southeastern lawmakers are among the lead sponsors of bipartisan, bicameral proposals to expand the temporary universal charitable deduction put into law earlier this year.

In the Senate, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is a lead sponsor of the Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act (S. 4032), which would expand the temporary $300 universal charitable deduction included in the CARES Act to one-third of the standard deduction, or roughly $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for joint filers. The increased deduction would be available for tax years 2019 and 2020. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) has partnered with Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) to introduce an identical version of this legislation in the House.

The lead sponsors on the bill have indicated they are trying to get the expansion included in the next COVID relief package, which is expected in late July. The Senate Finance Committee is also considering expanding the universal charitable deduction in the next package, but committee members are also interested in adding compliance provisions to reduce the cost to the federal government and avoid fraud.

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Episode 2 of The Bridge Now Available for Listening!

Category: The Bridge, 
Author:

Jun25



Episode 2 of The Bridge, SECF's podcast, is now available on all major podcast platforms!

This marks the first episode of The Bridge since both the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide calls for racial equity and justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. SECF President & CEO Janine Lee leads a conversation addressing both these topics, talking with Cory Anderson, chief innovation officer at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Robert Dortch, vice president of program and community innovation at the Robins Foundation in Richmond, Virginia.

Each episode of The Bridge shares stories of the ways foundations are bringing together people in their communities to spark dialogue and lasting change. This new offering is one of the first initiatives to come as a result of our Equity Framework.

The Bridge can be streamed below and is also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and other podcast providers! (Using another podcast app? Copy this link to add The Bridge to your subscriptions.) We expect to release at least one more episode of The Bridge this year – if you'd like to suggest a topic or person to interview, please contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org

We hope you enjoy listening!

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Responding to COVID-19 in... Appalachian Kentucky

Category: Coronavirus, 
Author: Southeastern Council of Foundations

Jun11

This post continues a series highlighting the responses of SECF members to the COVID-19 pandemic in their communities. We will use this series to highlight partnerships, coalitions and innovative examples of giving that help those affected by this crisis. If you are involved in a program you would like to see highlighted here, contact David Miller, director of marketing and communications, at david@secf.org.


While the COVID-19 pandemic first took root in densely-populated cities, it has since found its way to rural communities – a shift that has contributed to rising hospitalization levels in Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky over the last two weeks.

Communities in eastern Kentucky, the hilly region once dominated by the coal mining industry, were already in a precarious state before the pandemic. Residents there have long experienced higher rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity, opioid addiction and pulmonary diseases, particularly Black Lung disease. The collapse of the mining industry brought with it widespread poverty and greatly reduced access to health care.

“Throughout central Appalachia, COVID is acting in a familiar pattern, one that we see in so many Southern places – effecting people who are already marginalized and living with health disparities at a greater rate,” said Gerry Roll, executive director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky. “This in a region that has a rural healthcare system that we know is under-resourced and could be overwhelmed in the coming months.”

The pandemic’s arrival amid a massive economic shift has put incredible stress on the small towns that dot the region, Roll said, including nonprofit organizations.

“Small business and entrepreneurship have been major drivers for this economic transition, and we are concerned that our entrepreneurial sector may not be able to recover,” she said. “Nonprofits in our region are struggling just like they are across the country. The difference here, again like most rural and marginalized communities, is there are far fewer places to turn for support.”

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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:
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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.