January 2024 Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports in the Field

Philanthropy Southeast’s online Research Library is regularly updated with the latest reports relevant to Southern philanthropy. Members can browse over 500 research reports, websites, case studies, and other resources we have 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, Philanthropy Southeast’s Director of Research and Data, at or (404) 524-0911.


Philanthropic Support for the Nursing Profession: Priorities and Potential for Transforming Nursing and Achieving Health Care Quality and Equity
American Nurses Foundation (2023)
This report documents, for the first time, overall philanthropic investments in the U.S. nursing profession as well as the specific funding priorities of a subset of leading private, public, and community foundations. It also shares the perspectives of a set of nursing funders and other experts on the state of philanthropic support for the nursing profession and concludes with recommendations for funders seeking to unlock the transformative power of nurses. Overall philanthropic support for nursing totaled an estimated $573.9 million in 2022 and a combined $3.2 billion from 2015 through 2022. While these figures represent substantial support for all aspects of nursing, they amount to merely one cent of every dollar in private contributions given for health care during this period.


Limitless Possibilities: A Guide to Power Shifting Approaches in Philanthropy
Michigan Public Health Institute (2023)
Increasingly, funders are seeking to address the power imbalance in philanthropy and embed power shifting techniques into their activities to elevate the voice of community partners and grantees. This guide supports learning about power shifting approaches and efforts to ensure that learning feeds into strategy and grantmaking practices and other processes. The report aims to better understand the range of power shifting approaches, including key features, core practices, benefits, practice examples, and considerations for effective implementation; the changes in mindset, policies, processes, skills, and resources needed to use different power shifting approaches; and the capacities needed to focus on equity, particularly racial equity, in the implementation of power shifting.


The Importance of HBCUs for Florida: How Black Students from Florida and the State Benefit from Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Helios Education Foundation, University of Florida Institute of Higher Education (2023)
This report seeks to understand how enrollment in an HBCU impacts outcomes for Black students, as well as how the state of Florida benefits from the opportunities created by HBCU enrollment. The study finds that enrollment at an HBCU is associated with increased likelihood that Black students will complete college and earn a degree. In terms of financial outcomes, results show that HBCU enrollment increases the estimated household income for Black students in Florida by 6.8 percent. Taken as a whole, the research shows that investments in enhancing college enrollment – including at HBCUs – among Black high school students, particularly in-state college enrollment, have the potential to benefit Florida immensely and should be a priority for policymakers.


Making It Stick: A Guide for Establishing Effective DEI Infrastructure
W.K. Kellogg Foundation (2023)
This how-to guide, created through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Expanding Equity program, offers guidance for choosing and refining a DEI governance structure for an organization and offers supporting tools and processes (e.g., metrics, rewards and recognition) that can help make it stick. The guide follows a sample company called EE Corp – created based on the experiences of Expanding Equity network members – as it establishes its DEI infrastructure. Sections of the guide cover choosing a governance structure, establishing roles and responsibilities, getting stakeholders engaged in launching a governance structure, assessing governance challenges, and refining governance structure.


The State of American Philanthropy: Giving for Rural Communities
Inside Philanthropy, United Philanthropy Forum, PhilanthropywoRx, MDC (2023)
This collaborative publication serves as a first in-depth overview of the people and institutions that have put their mark on rural philanthropy through the present. The guide provides an extensive review of the history of philanthropy's work in rural areas in the United States, summaries of major issues facing rural communities and the philanthropic response to these challenges, examples of current initiatives in the field, and profiles of key funders. The guide includes a look at each of the various types of philanthropic institutions at work in rural areas. The publication concludes with a slate of recommendations to support the continued evolution of rural philanthropy.


Connecting with Philanthropy Southeast:
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Mission: Philanthropy Southeast strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.