From beginning to end, SECF’s 50th Annual Meeting provides countless opportunities for learning, engagement, connection and inspiration. Our agenda, focused on the next 50 years of Southern Philanthropy, includes:

  • Internationally renowned keynote and plenary speakers, including Isabel Wilkerson, Philippe Cousteau Jr. and Bryan Stevenson
  • Preconference opportunities for community foundations, corporate grantmakers, trustees and more
  • Salon dinners Thursday evening showcasing expertise and innovation in the arts, education, civil rights and sustainability
  • Site visits you won’t forget, including the Atlanta Beltline and Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Registration & Marketplace Schedule

   Tuesday, November 12  Wednesday, November 13  Thursday, November 14  Friday, November 15
Registration & Information 2:00pm–5:00pm
7:30am–4:30pm 7:30am–11:30am
Marketplace & Exhibitors  2:00pm–5:00pm (setup) 7:30am–6:00pm (AM setup)
7:30am–4:30pm 7:30am–11:30am

Program Agenda

  • Tuesday, November 12
  • Wednesday, November 13
  • Thursday, November 14
  • Friday, November 15

The kickoff session to the 2019-2020 Hull Fellows Program will introduce Fellows to their cohort, the intensive curriculum, the leadership development journey ahead and the challenges and opportunities facing philanthropy in the South and beyond, as we start writing Southern Philanthropy’s next chapter.

Board of Trustees meeting prep.

Board of Trustees meeting.

Board of Trustees reception.

Board of Trustees dinner.

This year, SECF has partnered with MedShare, giving Annual Meeting attendees the opportunity to help improve health care in communities in need around the world. MedShare helps increase health system capacity and drives sustainability by providing biomedical equipment training and service to health care organizations and medical professionals serving populations in need. MedShare’s deliveries of vital medical supplies and equipment have decreased our nation’s carbon footprint and brought health, healing and the promise of better lives to 100 countries and countless patients. For our service project, you’ll help assemble packets of surplus medical supplies and equipment that MedShare will deliver to qualified health care facilities in medically underserved communities. For our service project, you will help us reduce the number of deaths associated with childbirth by assembling Clean Birthing Kits. These kits provide expectant mothers with the clean medical supplies and equipment they need to help ensure safe births and healthy babies. For more information please visit https://www.medshare.org/maternal-child-health/.

The continuation of the kickoff to the 2019-2020 Hull Fellows Program (includes breakfast and lunch).

This year, SECF has partnered with MedShare, giving Annual Meeting attendees the opportunity to help improve health care in communities in need around the world. MedShare helps increase health system capacity and drives sustainability by providing biomedical equipment training and service to health care organizations and medical professionals serving populations in need. MedShare’s deliveries of vital medical supplies and equipment have decreased our nation’s carbon footprint and brought health, healing and the promise of better lives to 100 countries and countless patients. For our service project, you’ll help assemble packets of surplus medical supplies and equipment that MedShare will deliver to qualified health care facilities in medically underserved communities. For our service project, you will help us reduce the number of deaths associated with childbirth by assembling Clean Birthing Kits. These kits provide expectant mothers with the clean medical supplies and equipment they need to help ensure safe births and healthy babies. For more information please visit https://www.medshare.org/maternal-child-health/.

Preconference Sessions

Cost: $250 Members/$350 Non-members (includes continental breakfast and optional lunch)

Session I: Market Updates and Expectations

Global capital markets – public and private alike – continue to be buffeted by conflicting economic data and geopolitical trends; this is to be expected in the later stages of an economic cycle. Our opening session will present insights on what drove market performance in 2019 and will look ahead to 2020 and the important signals that may inform whether economic expansion continues or falters. Our presenters will offer views from the United States to Europe and China on growth prospects, valuations, central bank influences, market dynamics and more. This session will provide a worldview on equity and bond markets as well as private equity, venture capital and natural resources. Most importantly, we’ll have time for your questions as well.

Anita Hariton, Managing Director, Commonfund Capital, Inc. (Wilton, CT)
Kris Kwait, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Commonfund Asset Management Company (Wilton, CT)
Keith Luke, President and CEO, Commonfund Securities (Wilton, CT)

Session 2: The Role of Strategic and Tactical Asset Allocation in Reducing Risk

Experts from Sterling Capital Management will discuss their approach to developing and applying both strategic and tactical risk and return expectations. The session will emphasize strategic asset allocation as a means for aligning portfolio risk with an investor’s risk profile, while tactical asset allocation is used within a framework that carefully manages tracking error to generate returns exceeding market performance.

Anthony G. DeLucia, Executive Director and Head of OCIO Solutions, Sterling Capital Management (Raleigh, NC)
Kevin J. Stoll, Managing Director and Head of Qualitative Research, Sterling Capital Management (Raleigh, NC)

Session 3: Moving Beyond the E in ESG: How Market-Rate Investors can Push for Racial Equity in Capital Markets

Inequality, particularly structural racism, remains one of the South’s deepest challenges. Pushing for equity outcomes requires that we use as many tools as we can – particularly grants and program-related investments. But what about market rate investments? This session will offer strategies that foundations can use to advance racial equity through manager diversity, addressing implicit bias in the investing field and using innovative market-rate investments and tools to promote social justice.

Catherine Chen, Managing Director and Financial Advisor, RBC Wealth Management – SRI Wealth Management Group (San Francisco, CA)
Daryn Dodson, Founder and Managing Director, Illumen Capital (Los Angeles, CA)
Napoleon Wallace, Co-Founder, ACTIVEST (Durham, NC)

Session 4: Are Hedge Funds and Private Equity Necessary for Your Portfolio? The Answer May Surprise You.

As endowments and foundations consider “Writing Their Next Chapter,” should they consider challenging the often-held belief that sophisticated endowment investing requires illiquid assets? While the use of hedge funds and private equity is seen by some as a necessary element of any endowment portfolio, some research suggests that these investments may cause more harm than good. In this session, speakers will discuss the merits of using illiquid alternative assets in endowment portfolios.

Speaker: Will Thorpe, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Mason Investment Advisory Services (Washington, DC)

Donor Advised Funds and high-net-worth donors continue to be a high-growth opportunity for community foundations. But they’re facing scrutiny by journalists, researchers, and advocacy groups. To survive that scrutiny, community foundations will have to better define their portfolio of philanthropic services – active programming to educate and activate donors, funds advisors, and their successors. Done well, those same services are also key to planting seeds for planned gifts and retaining successor generations. Through this interactive workshop, participants will use a Business Model Canvas and design thinking tools to more clearly define customer segments, social value proposition, impact measures, capacities to grow, financial models, and more

Robert M. Fockler, President, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (Memphis, TN)
Barrett Coker Krise, Senior Philanthropic Officer, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Tony Macklin, Independent Consultant (Fort Wayne, IN)
Nina Waters, President, The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
This session includes lunch

This session provides an opportunity for corporate grantmakers to gather and discuss challenges unique to the field of corporate philanthropy. There will be time during the session to hear from experts in the field as well as peers from across the region. We will also dive into group discussion over lunch to wrap up the program. We hope you will join us for this opportunity to network with your corporate philanthropy peers and discuss how corporate grantmakers can begin writing the next chapter of Southern Philanthropy!

Charlotte Coker Gibson, Executive Director, PwC Charitable Foundation (Charlotte, NC)
Shawn Kahle, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility & Community Engagement, and Executive Director, Assurant Foundation (Charleston, SC)
Rachael Wall, Public Affairs Director, CMT (Nashville, TN)
This session includes lunch

The National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers and foundation colleagues will discuss how grantmakers can leverage consultant expertise to tackle equity, power, and accountability as they work to be responsive to the needs of their grantees and the communities they serve. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from philanthropy consultants and grantmakers about how they developed effective and authentic partnerships to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Marion Johnson, Consultant, Frontline Solutions (Durham, NC)
Kien Lee, Principal Associate, Community Science (Gaithersburg, MD)
Moderator: Lisa McGill, Ph.D., Project Advisor, National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers (Homewood, IL)

Preconference Site Visits & Activities

Preconference Site Visit

Over the past decade, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has partnered with an array of residents, community organizations, funders and government agencies to bring public and private investment back to disinvested communities in Southwest Atlanta. Together, the foundation and its partners support services and programs that help low-income families achieve financial stability, enable their children to be healthy and successful learners and foster communities where both can thrive. During this site visit, you will get an up-close look at some of Casey’s investments in the area, including quality early learning, sector-specific job training, affordable housing redevelopment, homeownership and economic development with an emphasis on creating jobs. 

Stops on the tour will include: 

  • The new Sheltering Arms early learning center 
  • The Construction Ready job-training program at the Georgia Hill Center 
  • Several Casey-owned homes undergoing rehabilitation and development 
  • The Pittsburgh Yards redevelopment project 

Ryan Akin, Project Manager, Columbia Core Partners (Atlanta, GA)
Kweku Forstall, Director, Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site (Atlanta, GA)
James Harris, Partner, Columbia Core Partners (Atlanta, GA)
Chantell Glenn, Program Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site (Atlanta, GA)
Natallie Keiser, Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site (Atlanta, GA)
John O’Callaghan, President and CEO, Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (Atlanta, GA)
Blythe Keeler Robinson, President and CEO, Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers (Atlanta, GA)
Scott Shelar, President and CEO, Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (Atlanta, GA)
Rubye Sullivan, Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site (Atlanta, GA)
Janelle Williams, Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site (Atlanta, GA) 

Cost: $15

Preconference Site Visit

Join us for a tour of the Atlanta BeltLine, a massive public/private partnership recognized as one of the most ambitious and wide-ranging urban redevelopment and mobility projects in the country. Ryan Gravel’s joint master’s thesis from Georgia Tech in 1999 was the original vision for the Atlanta BeltLine – a 22-mile transit greenway that transforms old railroad corridors with light-rail transit, parks and multi-use trails to generate economic growth and protect quality-of-life in 45 historic neighborhoods throughout the central city. This transformational project is well underway and is literally changing the face of the city. The bus tour follows the entire planned Atlanta loop, passing through each of the 45 neighborhoods that the trail connects. Our expert guide will offer insight into the project’s past, present and future, providing tour-goers with an interactive learning experience about the project and surrounding neighborhoods. We will be joined by Rob Brawner, Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. We will also visit the Atlanta BeltLine Center and meet with BeltLine visionary Ryan Gravel. 

Rob Brawner, Executive Director, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (Atlanta, GA)
Ryan Gravel, Founder, Sixpitch (Atlanta, GA) 

Cost: $15 - (Meet promptly at 8:30am in the Hyatt lobby to board the BeltLine bus. Please wear casual clothes and walking shoes. Coffee, snacks and beverages will be provided)

Atlanta’s new multipurpose stadium, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, offers great views of the city, the action on the field and even the sky through its mechanized roof that allows for both indoor and outdoor events. Yet the stadium offers much more – it’s also a reflection of a commitment to sustainability and quality design.

As you tour the home of the Atlanta Falcons and the reigning Major League Soccer Champions Atlanta United, you’ll learn how this facility takes green infrastructure to new levels and earned its Platinum LEED Certification. The stadium features innovative methods for managing stormwater runoff integrated into its design in a multi-disciplinary way. Runoff from the roof and plaza structure is diverted to an above-ground rainwater cistern, then reused to offset potable water use for the building’s mechanical system and landscape irrigation. The structure also includes an underground detention vault designed to managed larger volume storm events to mitigate downstream impacts within the Proctor Creek Basin. These and other parts of the stadium’s stormwater management system incorporated requirements for the latest version of LEED certification even before they were adopted as standard! 

Dawn Brown, Tour Operations & Education Program Manager, Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)
Scott Jenkins, General Manager Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)

Cost: $30

Optional Activity - Our optional activities are designed not only for friends and family who are joining you in Atlanta, but also for conference attendees who want to explore our host city! 

This guided two-mile loop will showcase many of the sights and landmarks of the Civil Rights Movement. The tour requires about 40 minutes of walking and will make 6-8 stops before concluding with an optional lunch on your own on Decatur Street in Underground Atlanta. 

Cost: $35

If you are new to SECF or the Annual Meeting, join this orientation session to be introduced to SECF leadership, the chair and vice chair of the Annual Meeting, and the entire SECF staff. 

Tiffany Friesen, Vice President of Programs & Partnerships, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Janine Lee, President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
David Miller, Director of Marketing & Communications, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Gilbert Miller, SECF Board Chair and Trustee, Bradley-Turner Foundation (Columbus, GA)
Regan Gruber Moffitt, SECF Board Chair-Elect and Vice President, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)
Cabot Pyle, 51st Annual Meeting Chair and Executive Director, Dugas/Turner Family Foundations (Nashville, TN)
David Weitnauer, 50th Annual Meeting Chair and President, R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

1:45pm-2:00pm | Networking Break

SECF’s 50th Annual Meeting officially opens with a welcome from the Annual Meeting Chair, along with a few other surprises to help us kick off an event 50 years in the making! 

Janine Lee, President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
David Weitnauer, 50th Annual Meeting Chair and President, R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Isabel Wilkerson’s 2010 book, The Warmth of Other Suns, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, among other accolades, for its study of the Great Migration – the 20th century movement of African Americans out of the Southeast and into other regions of the country. Wilkerson, the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, will discuss these population shifts while also looking toward the future to offer her perspective on what she thinks emigration and immigration will look like in the South over the next 50 years. 

Speaker: Isabel Wilkerson, Author, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Atlanta, GA)
Isabel Wilkerson will sign copies of 'The Warmth of Other Suns' outside the Centennial Ballroom immediately following her keynote!

3:15pm-3:30pm | Networking Break

3:30pm-4:45pm | Concurrent Sessions

To ensure the longevity and sustainable impact of your foundation for generations to come, it is critical to engage family members of all ages so they not only learn the tenets of effective philanthropy, the family’s values and its mission, but also take advantage of opportunities for leadership training and guidance along the way. This session will explore concrete strategies to empower the next generation. 

David Beach, Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation (Baton Rouge, LA)
Renee Joyal, Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation (Baton Rouge, LA)
Dena Kimball, Executive Director, The Kendeda Fund (Atlanta, GA)
Moderator: Sara Southwood, Director of Client Engagement, 21/64 (New York, NY)

Explore the perspective of millennial-age philanthropists, as well as millennials who serve on the staffs of Southern foundations. As we seek to frame the future of philanthropy, we will address these questions:

  • Do millennials see a role for themselves in philanthropy as it is currently structured? 
  • In what ways are millennials inspired by traditional patterns in philanthropy, and what frustrates them? 
  • What lessons have millennials learned from older generations when it comes to getting it right as far as philanthropy is concerned? 
  • How will technology and the desire to create “movements” affect the traditional grantmaking and the stewardship patterns of foundations?

Dr. Leroy Davis, Trustee, Jesse Ball duPont Fund (Jacksonville, FL)
Amber Williamson, Program Officer, Grantmaking & Community Leadership Department, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
Andrea Lee-Zucker, NEXUS Washington, DC, City Ambassador, Artist, Activist, and Social Impact Investor (Washington, DC)
Moderator: Gilbert Miller, Trustee, Bradley-Turner Foundation (Columbus, GA)

High health care costs and poor health outcomes don’t emerge from a vacuum – both have been linked to non-medical factors like access to quality housing, transportation, nutritious food and other categories, collectively known as social determinants of health. Last year, North Carolina approved a pilot program to address these factors as part of its approach to Medicaid expansion. The program will target the health of high-risk and high-cost beneficiaries and will provide support for services in areas such as housing, food and transportation. One of the program’s architects will join us to discuss what the state is hoping to learn. We will also hear from neighboring Virginia, where the Danville Regional Foundation has established itself as a leading voice in the effort to make the community healthier by addressing key social factors. 

Mandy Cohen, Secretary of Health & Human Services, State of North Carolina (Charlotte, NC)
Annie Martinie, Senior Program Officer, Danville Regional Foundation (Danville, VA)

The benefits of having a diverse staff and board are seen across our region. But how to get to that point, even with the best of intentions, isn’t always clear. Learn how to engage people with lived experiences and rich backgrounds and give them a meaningful voice in foundation decision-making. 

Justin Maxson, Executive Director, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)
Meg Baesmith, President, Laughing Gull Foundation (Durham, NC)
Rhea Williams-Bishop, Director of Mississippi and New Orleans Programming, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Jackson, MS)
Moderator: Flozell Daniels, President & CEO, Foundation for Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)

With an increasing number of immigrants and children of immigrants in our region, and with so much public attention on immigration, foundation staff and trustees need to have an understanding of the history that created the structural challenges this issue presents. While some insist that the United States has always been a nation of immigrants, others respond by insisting that today's immigration problems — illegal entry, globalization of labor and threats to national security — are unprecedented. This session will help attendees understand the history of immigration in the United States and how it shapes and informs the current day practices in this area. 

Doris Meissner, Senior Fellow & Director, U.S. Immigration Policy Program, Migration Policy Institute (Washington, DC)
Daranee Petsod, President, Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR) (Sebastopol, CA)

Is the future of philanthropy to help our nation bridge the divides caused by economic inequality and political division? In this interactive session, Mark Gerzon and Chris Gates, co-directors of Philanthropy Bridging Divides, will explain why they believe it is. They will share their view that one of the key challenges of philanthropy during these contentious times is to address the two great, interlocking challenges of our time: unequal opportunity and civic fragmentation. They hope that their perspectives will spur a conversation with attendees who should come prepared to share their own perspectives. 

Chris Gates, Co-Director, Philanthropy Bridging Divides, Mediators Foundation (Camden, ME)
Mark Gerzon, Co-Director, Philanthropy Bridging Divides, Mediators Foundation (Boulder, CO)

Foundation boards play an important role in foundation leadership and performance, especially through the trustee/executive partnership. Drawing from BoardSource's recent study, Foundation Board Leadership: A Closer Look at Foundation Board Responses to Leading with Intent 2017, Anne Wallestad will share insights on trends, strengths and challenges that boards and executives are facing. Through an interactive conversation she will discuss what it takes from the trustee side to build the executive/trustee relationship, where there are common misunderstandings between executives and trustees, and why investing in this partnership is critical to the foundation's success.

Speaker: Anne Wallestad, President & CEO, BoardSource (Washington, DC)

Before the crowds make their way to the Chair’s Reception & Dinner, newcomers to SECF and the Annual Meeting have the opportunity to receive a warm welcome and connect with one another, the SECF staff and Board members.

The premiere networking event of the Annual Meeting is here! We will also celebrate 50 years of SECF as we recognize the people and organizations whose contributions to Southern Philanthropy helped build it to where it is today. 

The Business Meeting features the election of new Trustees to the SECF Board, updates on governance and finance, and remarks from the outgoing and incoming Board Chairs. Before the call to order, President & CEO Janine Lee will provide a recap of SECF’s key accomplishments for 2019.

Robert Dortch, SECF Governance Chair and Vice President of Program & Community Innovation, Robins Foundation (Richmond, VA)
Janine Lee, President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Gilbert Miller, SECF Board Chair and Trustee, Bradley-Turner Foundation (Columbus, GA)
Regan Gruber Moffitt, SECF Board Chair-Elect and Vice President, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)
Mike Sweeney, SECF Finance Chair and Chief Financial Officer, Healthcare Georgia Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Reliable journalism has long been the lifeblood of informed communities and functioning democracy. But newspapers have lost nearly half their revenue since the Great Recession, leaving too many Southern communities without a trusted local news source to provide transparency, context, and competing points of view. What can foundations do to preserve this pillar of democracy? Many have invested in pioneering new forms of nonprofit journalism. Earlier this year the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation pledged $300 million toward strengthening local journalism to “rebuild trust in democracy.” Knight Foundation grantees are pursuing local journalism in ways that are visionary, replicable, and relevant to any funder.

Penny Abernathy, Knight Chair of Journalism and Digital Media Economics, School of Media and Journalism, University of NC at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC)
Ryan Nave, Editor-in-Chief, Mississippi Today (Jackson, MS)
John Thornton, Co-Founder, American Journalism Project and Co-Founder, Texas Tribune (Austin, TX)
Moderator: Jennifer Preston, Vice President, Journalism, Knight Foundation (Miami, FL)
Introduction: Alberto Ibargüen, President, Knight Foundation (Miami, FL)

9:00am-9:30am | Networking Break with Volunteer Opportunity

This extended networking break is a great opportunity to participate in this year’s service project!

This year, SECF has partnered with MedShare, giving Annual Meeting attendees the opportunity to help improve health care in communities in need around the world. MedShare helps increase health system capacity and drives sustainability by providing biomedical equipment training and service to health care organizations and medical professionals serving populations in need. MedShare’s deliveries of vital medical supplies and equipment have decreased our nation’s carbon footprint and brought health, healing and the promise of better lives to 100 countries and countless patients. For our service project, you’ll help assemble packets of surplus medical supplies and equipment that MedShare will deliver to qualified health care facilities in medically underserved communities. For our service project, you will help us reduce the number of deaths associated with childbirth by assembling Clean Birthing Kits. These kits provide expectant mothers with the clean medical supplies and equipment they need to help ensure safe births and healthy babies. For more information please visit https://www.medshare.org/maternal-child-health/.

9:30am-10:45am | Concurrent Sessions – Block 1

Many foundations have recently prioritized equity – shifting funding strategies, re-evaluating operations, engaging in listening tours and changing program areas. Regardless of your foundation’s equity journey – from discovery, to exploration, to expansion – it’s critical to connect with peers and understand their strategies. Learn from fellow funders about their journeys and explore how your foundation can increase its “equity footprint.”

Participants will learn about: 

  • Strategies including grantmaking and more, that can advance equity. 
  • Lessons from peers who are pushing their foundations at all levels by improving transparency, relationships and partnerships, DEI, operations and more. 
  • Short and long-term ideas to grow their equity footprint. 

Rhonda Broussard, Founder and CEO, Beloved Community (New Orleans, LA)
Linetta Gilbert, Managing Partner, Gilbert & Associates (New Orleans, LA)
David Maurrasse, Ph.D., Founder & President, Marga, Inc. (New York, NY)

Note: To ensure maximum impact, we recommend participants attend with a colleague and/or board member. Part II of this session will take place from 11:00am to 12:15pm. Given the design of the workshop, participation in Part I of the series is a prerequisite for attending Part II.

Grantmaking that truly supports nonprofits and the communities they serve requires a deep understanding of organizational culture and its connection to nonprofit success. But how we initiate conversations about culture within our organizations, and how we make the connection to our external work, is not always clear. 

Through individual reflection, storytelling, peer coaching and small group discussion, this intimate, hands-on workshop will help you understand and begin to assess your current organizational culture and how it impacts your effectiveness and the success of your nonprofit and community partners.

In Part I of this session, we will gain an understanding of what organizational culture is, why it matters and how it affects internal foundation operations and external relationships. We will introduce a framework for understanding culture and what GEO is learning about productive organizational cultures. Participants will then begin to apply this framework to understanding their own organizational culture. 

Facilitator: Meghan Duffy, Vice President of Programs, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (Washington, DC)
Speakers: Lise Landry Alives, Vice President of Operations, Allegany Franciscan Ministries (Palm Harbor, FL)
Molly Talbot-Metz, President/CEO, Mary Black Foundation (Spartanburg, SC)
Upendo Shabazz, Regional Vice President, Allegany Franciscan Ministries (West Palm Beach, FL)

Using public data to drive collective impact, Louisville, Kentucky, has a remarkable story. A city determined to become more competitive among its peers, to be a place people want to raise their families and locate their businesses, this community took a creative approach. Visualizing and communicating public data has brought the philanthropic, business and government sectors together to tackle complex community challenges. Learn how a relatively small, but consistent, investment can create a shared, community-wide vision and catalyze action that is having a striking impact in education, health and quality of life. Any community can do this! 

Marland Cole, Executive Director, Evolve502 (Louisville, KY)
Jeff Polson, Executive Director, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence (Louisville, KY)
Ben Reno-Weber, Project Director, Greater Louisville Project (Louisville, KY)

Through a combination of radical hospitality, interactive exercises, small group discussions and large group reflections, this session will help retrain eyes and ears to look beyond stereotypes, to see gifts and to hear value in the storied lives of others – thereby creating a space for hard conversations and cultivating hope that leads to sustainable change. We will be led by representatives from Fearless Dialogues, an organization that creates unique spaces for hard, heartfelt conversations between unlikely partners.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Ellison, Co-Founder, Fearless Dialogues (Atlanta, GA)
The Rev. Dr. Georgette Ledgister, Executive Director, Fearless Dialogues (Atlanta, GA)

Authentic community engagement can be tough. Many funders struggle with building relationships within the communities they serve. How can funders create relationships based on trust and accountability with members of communities often closest to the solutions but the furthest from resources and power? What are effective strategies to help funders work with partners, rather than doing things to or for them?

This session will focus on the Harwood Institute’s Turning Outward Practice, a time and road-tested practical way of making lasting change in a community. The Turning Outward model is a more purposeful, equitable, transparent and strategic approach to community engagement that ensures community residents and grassroots leaders are true partners in improving community conditions and achieving impact. You will hear stories or progress and impact from colleagues using the model and in various stages of implementation.

Jane Alexander, President & CEO, Community Foundation for Mississippi (Jackson, MS)
Jen Algire, President/CEO, Greater Clark Foundation (Winchester, KY)
Edie Blakeslee, Vice President of Grantmaking & Community Leadership, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
Rich Harwood, President & Founder, Harwood Institute (Bethesda, MD)
Debra Jacobs, President/CEO, The Patterson Foundation (Sarasota, FL)

More than 20 neighborhoods across the country are using a holistic model to create the conditions necessary for all people to thrive. Using a combination of strategies in housing, education and health and wellness, local leaders are working with communities to build strong, durable pathways out of poverty for the lowest income residents in a healthy, mixed-income neighborhood. The seeds of this movement were planted in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta in the mid-1990s. Purpose Built Communities, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, was established to take the lessons of the successful revitalization efforts in East Lake and use them to help catalyze and accelerate other holistic community revitalization initiatives across the nation. There are now more than 65 neighborhoods nationwide that are either following or considering this model. 

Shirley Franklin, Executive Board Chair, Purpose Build Communities (Atlanta, GA)
Daniel Shoy Jr., President & CEO, East Lake Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Our optional activities are designed not only for friends and family who are joining you in Atlanta, but also for conference attendees who want to explore our host city! 

Join us for a tour of the Atlanta Botanical Garden! During the month of November, the Garden will host a display of amazing chrysanthemums, while Christmas camellias will also be in bloom! Indoor collections vary but usually include the swan orchid, huntleya and Cobb’s dendrochilum in bloom and on display in the Orchid House and High Elevation Room. Lunch will be served at the Gardens and you will have time to explore before returning to the hotel.

Looking for other activities? The Center for Civil & Human Rights, World of Coca-Cola, College Football Hall of Fame and the Georgia Aquarium are all within walking distance of the hotel! Visit the hotel concierge desk for help obtaining tickets or learning about other attractions! 

Cost: $55 - (Meet in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency by 10:15am. The bus will depart at 10:30am for the Atlanta Botanical Garden.)

10:45am-11:00am | Networking Break

11:00am-12:15pm | Concurrent Sessions – Block 2

Structural inequities often start locally and with how our cities are, and were historically, designed. This session will explore cities, as well as other spaces, and the nexus of urban planning and structural racism. We will focus on how we got here, as well as any potential solutions that are being implemented to address this challenge. 

Tim Keane, Commissioner, City of Atlanta Department of City Planning (Atlanta, GA)
Scott Markeley, Professor, University of Georgia Department of Geography (Athens, GA)
Moderator: Frank Fernandez, Senior Vice President, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Note: To ensure maximum impact, we recommend participants attend with a colleague and/or board member. Given the design of the workshop, participation in Part I of the series is a prerequisite for attending Part II.

In Part II of this session, participants will take a deeper dive to reflect and map their own organizational cultures. By assessing our current organizational culture, we will practice what it looks like to put culture in action. 

Facilitator: Meghan Duffy, Vice President of Programs, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (Washington, DC)
Lise Landry Alives, Vice President of Operations, Allegany Franciscan Ministries (Palm Harbor, FL)
Molly Talbot-Metz, President/CEO, Mary Black Foundation (Spartanburg, SC)
Upendo Shabazz, Regional Vice President, Allegany Franciscan Ministries (West Palm Beach, FL)

Oftentimes, nonprofits feel the only purpose for engaging a foundation is to secure the funding they need. In reality, foundations can offer other forms of assistance and support that has far greater value than a grant check. Come learn from the Assisi Foundation and its partners how this kind of assistance and support from foundations of all sizes can make a positive, long-term impact. 

Eric Robertson, President, Community LIFT (Memphis, TN)
Mel Shaw, Vice President, Saad & Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services (Memphis, TN)
Pearl Shaw, President, Saad & Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services (Memphis, TN)
Moderator: Dr. Jan Young, Executive Director, The Assisi Foundation of Memphis (Memphis, TN)

To say that failure is an undesirable outcome for most organizations is an understatement. Yet at the same time, there’s a growing body of wisdom that supports the notion that the pathway to success is often paved with failures – they are, in fact, inevitable. Sharing and leveraging lessons learned from mistakes is an important but underutilized resource to improve philanthropic investments and nonprofit performance. This session will offer stories from foundations that have acknowledged their mistakes and are learning how they can use these lessons to adjust, pivot and inform future work. Phil Buchanan, president and CEO of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, will share insights learned from some of the biggest givers and facilitate a conversation with foundation leaders about their experiences in the field and how they’ve turned mistakes into organizational learning opportunities. 

Cory Anderson, Executive Vice President, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)
Phil Buchanan, President & CEO, Center for Effective Philanthropy (Cambridge, MA)
Rhett Mabry, President & CEO, The Duke Endowment (Charlotte, NC)

As foundations continue to deal with new laws and regulations that emanated from the 2017 tax bill, there is still some uncertainly on the best way forward. This session will help identify specifics and other proposed legislation that should be top-of-mind for foundation leaders and staff, and what it means for SECF’s public policy agenda.

We will also review topics that foundations have sought much-needed guidance on from the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service, including updates on the use of donor-advised funds, the Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT), executive compensation and state and local tax regulations. Ruth Madrigal, a former Treasury department official who was responsible for advising the assistant secretary of Tax Policy on all matters involving exempt organizations, will lead that discussion.

Finally, we will discuss other noteworthy developments and topics of interest. All foundation trustees and staff should attend this update to remain well-informed about public policy developments impacting their organizations.

Matthew L. Evans, Director of Public Policy & Special Projects, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Ruth Madrigal, Principal, KPMG Washington National Tax Practice (Washington, DC)
Sandra Swirski, Principal, Urban Swirski & Associates (Washington, DC)

Now is the time to envision and write the next chapter of southern philanthropy. The next chapter requires that trustees are prepared to commit to strategies and solutions that will achieve an equitable South for all. This session will provide a forum for trustees to focus on their roles in identifying and writing the road map for the future.

Speaker: Robin Stacia, Psy.D., Principal/Consultant, Sage Consulting Network, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)

12:15pm-12:30pm | Break

In recognition of Veterans Day earlier in the week, lunch will conclude with a tribute to all veterans and active service members in attendance, including a live vocal performance of “God Bless America” by Timothy Miller, whose stirring rendition captivates crowds regularly at Atlanta Braves games. 

Performance: Timothy Miller, Operatic Tenor and Morehouse College Professor (Atlanta, GA)

Since we first began talking to each other, telling stories has been a powerful way to capture attention, engage an audience, and motivate them to act. As we learn more about how our minds work, we’re also discovering that stories are intrinsic to decision-making, shape our view of the world, and guide our actions on a daily basis. In our afternoon plenary, Andy Goodman will explain why storytelling remains the single most powerful communication tool you possess, and he will offer specific ways your organization can use stories to advance your mission. 

Speaker: Andy Goodman, Co-Founder and Director, The Goodman Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Andy Goodman will sign copies of his books outside the Centennial Ballroom immediately following his remarks!

2:15pm-2:30pm | Break

2:30pm-3:45pm | Concurrent Sessions – Block 3

With a challenge as daunting as climate change, it might seem that there is little any of us can do to address it. As the work of Project Drawdown has shown, however, humanity already has the tools necessary to stop global warming. What’s needed is to scale climate solutions as quickly and widely as possible. Surprisingly, some of the most critical solutions involve addressing other challenges that many of our foundations are already solving. 

In this session, Dr. Katharine Wilkinson will explain how empowering women and girls, reducing food waste, consuming healthier diets, and conserving land all positively impact our warming world. Regardless of size or scale, all foundations can help contribute to stabilizing our climate for generations to come. 

Speaker: Katharine Wilkinson, Vice President of Communications and Engagement, Project Drawdown (Atlanta, GA)

Every foundation has a story. Capturing that history is essential to appreciating your heritage, understanding its impact on your philanthropy today, and developing the legacy you want to leave for the future. Exploring your foundation’s history provides valuable insights around culture, values, philanthropic goals and impact. Understanding your family foundation’s story is essential to its continuity. This session will explore creative methods of documenting a family foundation’s history and how families have used their stories as part of fulfilling their current goals and objectives and as guides for the future. Two families will share their experiences in documenting their family histories – the why, when, how, and with what! They will also share the importance of using that history today and what it means for the foundation’s future. This session will include a variety of resources and tools for capturing your foundation’s history, from simple to complex, and examples of ways to begin, what methods to use, and what results you can expect. 

Marie Brumley Foster, Co-President, The Zeist Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Nancy Clair Laird McInaney, Trustee, R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Nancy Brumley Robitaille, Co-President, The Zeist Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

The Foundation Center, now known as Candid since its merger with GuideStar, is digging into its database of grant records and historical information to develop a dynamic, Ted-talk like presentation of key findings from SECF’s 50-year history. From the development of the sector and SECF to giving trends across the region, join us for an engaging look back. The session will also consider where the region might be headed, based on philanthropic trends of the last ten to 15 years. 

Speaker: Larry McGill, Vice President for Knowledge Services, Candid (New York, NY)

As Rashad Robinson put it, “Power is the ability to change the rules.” Foundations are uniquely poised to change the rules through organized people and organized money. Therefore, it is our responsibility to exercise our power with stakeholders and not over them. That raises questions: How do we balance our power with our desire for equity? Are we acknowledging the privilege we have in the ecosystem? Do nonprofits feel like they are truly our partners? Is there really balance between what funders want and what nonprofits can adequately deliver? 

This session, through a moderated “fireside” chat, will explore the concept of power and how foundations can effectively build, wield and share power as community leaders. 

Edie Blakeslee, VP for Grantmaking & Community Leadership, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (Charleston, SC)
Ayana Lisa Gabriel, Senior Program Officer, Fostering Opportunity, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) and the GALEO Latino Community Development Fund (Atlanta, GA)
Jeanné L. Lewis, Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) (Washington, DC)

With election season in full swing, SECF is dedicating a full session to examining the current state of play leading up to the 2020 elections and their possible impact will have on philanthropy in the South.

This session will feature analysis from Dr. Alan Abramowitz, a popular expert on national politics, polling and elections. His expertise includes election forecasting models, party realignment in the United States, congressional elections and the effects of political campaigns on the electorate. His election forecast has correctly and precisely predicted the popular vote winner within two percentage points or less in every U.S. presidential election since 1988.

Speaker: Dr. Alan Abramowitz, The Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science, Emory University (Atlanta, GA)
Moderator: Pete Bird, President & CEO, The Frist Foundation (Nashville, TN)

Investors spend a vast amount of time measuring their return patterns – but risk exposures may actually provide more information about opportunities to improve the positioning of assets longer term. On both a relative and absolute basis, an understanding and appreciation of risk exposures can help position asset pools for future success in a volatile environment.

Mike Hill, Managing Director and Senior Investment Advisor, SunTrust Foundations & Endowments Specialty Practice (Nashville, TN)
Elizabeth Cabell Jennings, Director of Institutional Investments, SunTrust Foundations & Endowments Specialty Practice (Atlanta, GA)

3:45pm-4:00pm | Networking Break

4:00pm-5:15pm | Concurrent Sessions – Block 4

It is generally acknowledged that diversity and inclusion are community essentials. However, the concept is often viewed through a very narrow lens. The enormous benefits that are derived from building a diverse board can be underestimated, resulting in missed opportunities for innovation and sustainable community impact. An elite panel of inclusive board leaders and executives with track records of enhanced awareness, intentionality, actionable strategies and success in building diverse boards will share their experiences, their insights and their unique “paths” on the road to effective community engagement and grant making. 

Molly Brennan, Founding Partner & Executive VP, Koya Leadership Partners (Boston, MA)
Nicky Goren, President & CEO, The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation (Washington, DC)
Tori O’Neal-McElrath, Chief of External Affairs, NAACP (Washington, DC)
Moderator: Janice McKenzie-Crayton, Founder and Managing Partner, McKenzie Crayton Alexander & Associates (Atlanta, GA)

This panel session will give funders a look at the support that exists for a public health approach to violence, through examples in Atlanta and New Orleans. The number of victims of violence in our country makes violence a serious health issue. The effects of violence also create trauma at the community level, impeding the outcomes of place-based efforts working to help families and children succeed. There is a national movement recognizing that a public health approach is the most effective method for preventing violence. This approach, which has growing support from philanthropy, identifies and treats those at risk for violent behavior and works to heal community trauma. During this session, funders will join us in identifying gaps and opportunities for greater investment in this life-saving approach. No one system, sector or funder can do it alone and many partners are needed to do this work. 

As a result of this session, funders will: 

  • Understand how place-based philanthropy is supporting a comprehensive network of coordinated service providers and systems to address gun violence in communities of color; 
  • Learn how to advance equity by centering neighborhood residents in the design and implementation of a community safety program that addresses trauma from violence; and 
  • Understand how foundation staff, partners, and residents collaboratively use data to inform a practice and policy agenda tied to addressing trauma and eliminating gun violence.

Aric Johnson, Community Resources Coordinator, Grady Health System (Atlanta, GA)
DeMicha Luster, MPH, CHES, Founder and Executive Director, The Urban Advocate (Atlanta, GA)
Fatimah Loren Muhammad, Executive Director, National Network of Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (Los Angeles, CA)
Calvin Pep, Director of Programming, Cure Violence New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
Moderator: Natalie Keiser, Senior Associate, Annie E. Casey Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Join authors Martin Lehfeldt and Jamil Zainaldin as they discuss their newly-published work covering the history of philanthropy in the South from the founding of the United States to the present. A book signing will follow immediately after the session and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Martin Lehfeldt, Former President & CEO, Southeastern Council of Foundations (Atlanta, GA)
Jamil Zainaldin, President Emeritus, Georgia Humanities (Atlanta, GA)

Southern foundations, particularly those with place-focused missions, face a powerful convergence of challenges and opportunities today. Demographic changes, strongly divergent paths of opportunity and well-being within communities, environmental and economic stresses, and growing pressure to recognize and reconcile the painful truths of our history all invite philanthropic leadership, but how can we best deploy our assets and influence amidst these crosscurrents and in the uncharted territory we face?

Join David Dodson of MDC Inc., William Jarvis of Bank of America and a panel of philanthropic leaders in an exploration of how Southern foundations are using the principles of Passing Gear Philanthropy to engage the hard issues their communities face and what more remains to be done.

Attendees will learn:

  • The nature of the challenges facing many Southern communities
  • How the Passing Gear initiative is providing a structure through which these challenges can be honestly and authentically met
  • What steps community leaders can take to employ this structure to benefit their own cities and towns

David Dodson, President, MDC, Inc. (Durham, NC)
William Jarvis, Managing Director, Bank of America (New York, NY)

Off-Site Sessions & Salon Dinners

New to this year’s Annual Meeting, attendees have the opportunity to continue their learning outside the hotel in an intimate setting! These events, rich in content and rare in experience, will give you the chance to hear from experts and leaders on some of the most critical issues of our time. Receptions and dinners will provide a space to connect and reflect with colleagues on lessons learned and how they can be applied in communities throughout the region. Please see each event’s description for details on start and end times, as well as transportation. Please note that these events have extremely limited capacity and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis – add them to your Annual Meeting registration today!

Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights is an engaging cultural attraction that connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s struggle for Global Human Rights. This living monument to the fight for equality will serve as host for a reception and dinner featuring the thoughts of experts on the Civil Rights movement and the voices of those who joined the fight in its earliest days. As the birthplace and home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta’s role in one of the defining movements of our time cannot be understated. During this event, we will learn more about the men and women who brought us to where we are today and the work we must continue into the future. Guests will also have the opportunity to tour the Center and its exhibits.

Ambassador Andrew J. Young (Atlanta, GA)
Jill Savitt, CEO, NCCHR (Atlanta, GA)

Cost: $75 - (Meet in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency by 4:15pm for transportation via shuttle bus. We will return to the hotel around 8:45pm.)

The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design is a collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology and The Kendeda Fund to create a multifaceted building that inspires change across the Southeast. Built to the world’s most rigorous sustainable design and performance standard for buildings, The Kendeda Building will harvest more energy than it uses on site through renewable sources and collect, treat and reuse more water than it needs on an annual basis.

This salon dinner will provide guests a unique opportunity to receive a tour of this visionary building by team members who were integral to its design, construction, and programming. The tour will be followed by a cocktail reception, featuring members of The Kendeda Building design, construction and operations teams, and a dinner where guests will gain further insights through a moderated discussion. The conversation will touch upon the genesis, mission and vision of The Kendeda Building and its importance in the context of climate change.

Shan Arora, Director – The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
Dr. Kim Cobb, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, ADVANCE Professor of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Director, Global Change Program, Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)

Cost: $75 - (Meet in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency by 4:15pm for transportation via shuttle bus. We will return to the hotel around 8:45pm.)

Strong arts institutions can be the centerpiece of thriving communities. Situated in Atlanta’s center is the Woodruff Arts Center, one of the only arts venues in the United States to offer both visual and performing arts on a single campus. Join several Atlanta arts luminaries for an intimate dinner and conversation about the central role arts can play in community development. Before dinner, take an exclusive backstage tour of the newly renovated Alliance Theatre, the Southeast’s leading producing theater. After dinner, stick around for a performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, winner of 27 Grammy Awards.

Speaker: Doug Shipman, President and CEO, Woodruff Arts Center (Atlanta, GA)

Cost: $75 - (Meet in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency by 4:45pm for transportation via shuttle bus. We will make two return trips to the hotel – one at 7:45pm for those not attending the concert, and a second at 9:00pm.)

Today, 1 in 59 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism. Dr. Ami Klin and the Marcus Autism Center, one of only five NIH-designated Autism Centers of Excellence, are transforming how we understand, diagnose and treat autism. His work shows that timely, evidence-based interventions enable children with autism to progress in typical ways. During an intimate dinner at the top of downtown Atlanta’s 191 Peachtree tower, Dr. Klin will talk about the current state of autism research and treatment and imagine with you a better world for children with autism.

Speaker: Ami Klin, Ph.D., Director, Marcus Autism Center, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, Professor and Division Chief, Emory University School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics (Atlanta, GA)

Cost: $75 - (Meet in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency by 5:45pm for a short walk, about two blocks, to The Commerce Club. The group will return to the hotel around 8:00pm.)

Evening Receptions

The year-long celebration of SECF’s 50th anniversary, not to mention the Annual Meeting and other events and programs, would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and Sustaining Members – their contributions provide the resources necessary to fulfill our mission. President & CEO Janine Lee, the SECF Board of Trustees and the SECF staff will honor and celebrate our 50th Anniversary supporters at this exclusive event. 

Entertainment: Ken Ford, Electric Violinist (Atlanta, GA)

SECF Leadership Development Alumni Reception Alumni of the Hull Fellows Program and the Advanced Leadership Institute are invited to attend a special reception featuring remarks from Phil Buchanan of The Center for Effective Philanthropy. 

Speaker: Phil Buchanan, President, The Center for Effective Philanthropy (Cambridge, MA)

Is your organization interested in hosting an event at the Annual Meeting? Attendees and sponsors are both welcome to reserve space at the Hyatt for private events Thursday evening. If you are interested in reserving a space, please contact Marianne Gordon at marianne@secf.org.

If you are not attending one of the Thursday evening salon dinners, feel free to explore all Atlanta has to offer! Our host city’s restaurant scene has plenty of great options – the food halls at Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, as well as neighborhoods like West Midtown, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward and Virginia Highland, are all a short drive away! Consult our mobile app (coming October 2019) for more information! 

Discounted tickets will be available for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s presentation of Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” at Atlanta Symphony Hall! Tickets will be available beginning September 1, 2019, by visiting aso.org/woodruff or contacting the group sales office at (404) 733-4848 or at ASOGroups@AtlantaSymphony.org.

Exploring ocean conservation and the solutions for building a thriving water planet, Philippe will explore lessons learned growing up as part of the legendary Cousteau family and the critical pathways we need to focus on in order to return our oceans to abundance. Using photos and videos he will explore the evolution of ocean conservation and storytelling and provide a sneak-peek into what's on the horizon. 

Speaker: Philippe Cousteau Jr., Filmmaker, Explorer and Advocate (Los Angeles, CA)

9:00am-9:15am | Networking Break

9:15am-10:30am | Concurrent Sessions

For more than half a century, alarms have sounded about the failure of American schools. Bad schools have been blamed for widening the gaps between rich and poor. The reality is that the gaps we see in educational achievement are created long before a child ever sets foot in school. Our growing understanding of early childhood development should have profound implications for the way we look at education, yet we remain wedded to an educational system developed largely in the mid-to-late 19th century. Recent studies show that on average, U.S. schools do exactly what they were designed to do: advance students’ academic growth one year per grade. This is a new understanding of our schools, which are so often blamed for failing our children. However, they are not able to — and are not designed to — advance children multiple years at a time, which is what many children need after falling so far behind in their earliest years. This conundrum raises an obvious question: If we were designing an educational system today, would we start at age 5? The answer is clear, yet we struggle on with a system that has changed little since it was designed 170 years ago. 

Speaker: Geoffrey Nagle, President/CEO, Erikson Institute (Chicago, IL)

Trustees, executives and other staff often have different understandings and expectations of succession planning. This session will discuss the types of succession plans you need within your organization, the role of trustees, executives and other staff within this process, and how succession planning can be a valuable (even enjoyable!) process rather than an event to be survived. 

Speaker: Sam Pettway, Founding Director, BoardWalk Consulting (Atlanta, GA)

Recycling capital for social good can also be called impact investing or values-aligned investing. What exactly is impact investing and where do you start? We will explore the different labels and types of impact investments – from environmental, social & governance investments (ESG screens) to mission-related investments (MRI) – and even when it might be practical to fund a program-related investment (PRI).

Jennifer Barksdale, Senior Finance Officer, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Inc. (Winston-Salem, NC)
Mark Croswell, Managing Director, Social Impact Strategy & the GoATL Fund, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Moderator: Brittany Priester, Investment Advisor, The Gambrell Foundation (Charlotte, NC)

Foundations face a myriad of compliance obligations and legal requirements, including governance, documentation of charitable contributions, grantmaking due diligence, tax reporting, succession planning and deciding between the perpetual operation or wind-down of the foundation. This session will provide practical guidance on best practices for some of the most common issues facing trustees and foundation staff, and the latest legal developments impacting foundations. 

Speaker: Jim Hasson, Partner, Hasson Law Group (Atlanta, GA)

Foundations and philanthropy serving organizations (PSOs) are leading an unprecedented effort to prepare the nation for the 2020 Census. While a significant amount of work remains to ensure a fair and accurate count, right now is also an opportunity to consider how we sustain the momentum of our policy and advocacy efforts after the conclusion of the 2020 Census. Philanthropy’s support of the Census exemplifies the sector’s commitment to democratic practices and civic engagement, and our work affirms our understanding that philanthropy cannot stand on the sidelines of these important processes.

This session will explore what is next for foundations’ policy and advocacy efforts after the Census and how philanthropy specifically might play important roles in supporting democracy, civic engagement and other issues going forward.

Speaker: Maggie Gunther Osborn, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, United Philanthropy Forum (Washington, DC)

The SECF Board of Trustees adopted its current set of Guiding Principles in 2005. Since then, much has changed in the South, in philanthropy and within SECF itself. These developments have prompted the Board to re-examine these principles and update them to reflect the current landscape. This cannot be done, however, without input from SECF members like you. Join us during this interactive session to learn about the work performed so far and the process that led to it, and to provide input and commentary that will be reflected in the final product. The session also will provide members the opportunity to ask questions about the revision and to understand how the revised statement will fit into SECF’s emerging strategic priorities. Finally, it will engage members in a conversation around how a new Statement of Principles will be reflected in SECF’s funding and operations.

Speaker: Edward L. Queen, Ph.D., J.D., Director, Ethics and Servant Leadership Program, Director of Pedagogy, Emory Integrity Project, Emory University (Atlanta, GA)

10:30-10:45am | Networking Break

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. His work, detailed in his best-selling and critically-acclaimed memoir, Just Mercy, drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machinations, and legal brinksmanship – and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever. This path eventually inspired him to spearhead the creation of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which commemorates the victims of lynching in the United States, and The Legacy Museum, which details the history of systemic racism in America by drawing a clear line from colonial-era slavery to present-day mass-incarceration. Bryan will talk about his journey, the realities of justice – and injustice – in America today, and our collective responsibility to help right the wrongs of the past. 

Opening Entertainment: Moving in the Spirit (Atlanta, GA)
Speaker: Bryan Stevenson, Founder & Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative (Montgomery, AL)


Evolving methods to creating organizational change are influencing traditional ways of thinking. As new changes emerge and staff roles evolve, foundations must also adapt their internal practices to a) expand the number and nature of relationships that foundation staff members have to structure and manage, and b) increase the volume and variety of day-to-day activities across grantmaking, knowledge sharing and in-house implementation. In this session, FSG will share 12 practices that support the ability of foundations to foster greater connectivity and vibrancy throughout their organizations and create more opportunities for staff to deeply engage with grantees, community members and partners.

Lauren Smith, Co-CEO, FSG (San Francisco, CA)
Abigail Stevenson Ridgway, Director, Consulting Team, FSG (San Francisco, CA)

Cost: $75

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SECF’s Code of Conduct 

The Southeastern Council of Foundations is composed of a broad and diverse membership of grantmakers. At our core, we are a community of grantmakers connecting with each other to improve the practice of grantmaking in the Southeast.

At our meetings and events, we also welcome visitors from other organizations – which are not members – that participate as presenters or participants. SECF strives to create a comfortable place for all Members, visitors, and others engaged in philanthropy to exchange experiences and ideas and engage in conversations that are welcoming and of benefit to all participants. As such, SECF is not a venue for grant seekers, fundraisers, or other types of charitable solicitations during any of its meetings, events or through its publications nor is it an appropriate venue to conduct political activities. We ask that our Members and visitors not solicit at SECF-sponsored events or programs and that Members and visitors not use information obtained through their SECF membership or participation in SECF events for charitable, business or other solicitations outside of those events.

Southeastern Council of Foundations
100 Peachtree Street NW
Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Visiting SECF: Parking, Directions & Nearby Hotels

Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)
Friday from 9:00am–3:00pm (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.