Philanthropy Southeast's Blog

Engage, Philanthropy Southeast's blog, is a space for 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 Philanthropy Southeast events and programs.

Do you have a story or insight you’d like to share with our members on Engage? Contact David Miller, vice president of strategic communications, at or at (404) 524-0911 to discuss your idea.


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Community Foundation Survey on Endowment Building Cohort

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Unrestricted Endowment building continues to be a topic of interest for community foundations. Ralph Serpe, President and CEO, Adams County Community Foundation was the featured speaker for June's meeting of Philanthropy Southeast's Community Foundations Committee. Ralph shared "The Secrets to Building Unrestricted Endowments" and members came away with a wealth of information and an eagerness to learn more.

We are pleased to announce that Ralph Serpe has agreed to facilitate a 10-month Community Foundation Endowment Building Cohort for Philanthropy Southeast members. The Cohort will be an interactive peer group for a maximum of 14 and minimum of seven participants per group.

Please complete the survey linked below to learn more about the cohort offering and to share your interest.




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2022 Annual Report & Member Survey Highlights: Living Our Values, Advancing Our Mission

Category: Announcements, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Today, Philanthropy Southeast released its 2022 Annual Report. Read the introduction from President & CEO Janine Lee, then view the full report, including highlights of our latest Member Survey!

I’ve had the fortune to serve as Philanthropy Southeast’s president and CEO for more than a decade – while we have experienced many high points during that time, 2022 stands out as a testament to the strength of our member community and our commitment to our vision and mission.

Of course, the cancellation of the Annual Meeting following an evacuation order is one of the first things we all remember from last year. The disappointment our staff and Board felt in that

moment, however, quickly gave way to humility and gratitude as we heard expressions of sympathy and support from scores of members and partners. Their response turned what could have been a crisis into a demonstration of strength and resilience.

The inspiring conclusion to 2022 also serves as validation of our work to strengthen Southern philanthropy, to call our members into courageous leadership, and to stay true to our core values of integrity, excellence, equity, respect and courage.

That said, even before the Annual Meeting we had plenty of evidence we were on the right track. The dozens of new members that joined us in 2022, the astounding success of our Sustainability Campaign, and the incredible levels of engagement we saw throughout the year – with over 90 percent of our members participating in programs or committee service – are only a few of the many ways our members showed support for our work.

While there is undoubtedly much work ahead – and many challenges to address – I am more confident than ever that Philanthropy Southeast and its members are positioned to not only advance philanthropy in our region, but also to strengthen our region’s communities and improve countless lives.


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Your First Look at the 2023 Annual Meeting!

Author: Philanthropy Southeast



Set a reminder now:
Registration for Philanthropy Southeast's 54th
Annual Meeting opens on Wednesday, June 7!

Taking place November 8-10 in Montgomery, Alabama, this year's Annual Meeting is focused on our shared commitment to the communities of our region and to improving people's lives.

While Southern philanthropy has become increasingly adept at recognizing the systemic issues that prevent people from fully participating and prospering, many challenges persist. But philanthropy simply cannot afford to be discouraged -- too much is at stake to slow down or take a step back. We must keep moving forward, and we must do it together.

By moving forward together, Southern philanthropy can act as a unifying force for good and a source of leadership in our communities and our region. We are diverse, but we are not divided -- and this year's Annual Meeting will be a demonstration of our unity and resolve during this pivotal time.

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Coming Soon: A New Mobile App Experience

Tags: Mobile App 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


This week, we discontinued the Philanthropy Southeast mobile app – we made this decision following a thorough discussion and review of our members’ needs and feedback.

The mobile app was launched in October 2020. At that time, in-person events had already been canceled for several months and it was unclear when it would be safe to come together again. The app’s features were designed to help members remain connected to one another, and to Philanthropy Southeast, during a time of social distancing.

As in-person programming resumed in 2021, we saw that app usage declined significantly, only rising during events like the Annual Meeting. While the mobile app doubled as our Annual Meeting app for two years, this was not its primary purpose, and it did not contain many useful features that are widely available on apps dedicated to live events.

While this version of the mobile app is going away, we are currently working on a new mobile app that will debut later this year and be used for this year’s Annual Meeting! We are also looking at ways to bring the mobile experience to other Philanthropy Southeast programming.

We look forward to sharing more information with you soon regarding our next mobile app – in the meantime, if you have questions or feedback, please contact David Miller, vice president of strategic communications, at

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Meet the Newest Members of the Philanthropy Southeast Board

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


In December, Philanthropy Southeast members voted to elect three new leaders to our Board of Trustees. We asked each of them a few questions about joining the Board and what they’d like to accomplish.


Jennifer Barksdale
Chief Finance and Operations Officer
Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

What made you say “yes” when asked to serve on the Philanthropy Southeast board?
I benefit from the Philanthropy Southeast programs and networking and am honored to be asked to be on the Board. After my first Board meeting, I realized what an incredible opportunity this is. Spending time with the Philanthropy Southeast staff and fellow Board members and hearing the breadth of work Philanthropy Southeast has planned was energizing and humbling. What a privilege it is to support Philanthropy Southeast’s work while building relationships with foundation leaders across the Southeast. 

You’re not only a new trustee – you’re also Secretary/Treasurer. What in your work has prepared you for this role?
I am a nerdy CPA at heart who finds comfort in a good spreadsheet. For most of my 35-year career, I have applied my love of numbers to support the important program work of nonprofit organizations. How lucky I am to be able to use financial skills to support organizations working to change our world for the better. At Philanthropy Southeast, Dena and her colleagues do the hard work and make the role of secretary/treasurer easy.

Do you have any goals for your first year of Board service?
During my first year, I want to learn as much as I can about Philanthropy Southeast and how I can be a supportive board member. Philanthropy Southeast and the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation are on similar racial equity paths, seeking to apply a racial equity lens to all our work. My goal is to dig in and deepen my understanding of racial equity and how it informs everything we do.

What else should our members know about you?
My favorite things are spending time with my family in the North Carolina mountains and listening to live music at small venues in my hometown of Winston-Salem. I have two dogs, one of which is an ornery rescue chihuahua, who you will certainly get to know if we ever have a Zoom meeting together.


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2023 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is now open!

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


The 2023 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is open to participants now through May. 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 rely on this annual report to inform budgeting, talent recruitment, retention strategies, and personnel policies and practices.

Your participation in the GSB survey is needed—the greater the participation, the greater the insights for the sector and for your fellow Philanthropy Southeast members. Through a partnership with the Council on Foundations (COF), Philanthropy Southeast provides custom salary tables for grantmakers from our region each fall (typically early October).

What are the benefits for participating organizations?

All survey participants (both COF members and non-members) will receive:

  • Free access to the GSB Report
  • Early access to the report’s data tables
  • Access to create custom benchmark reports

Reports and data are expected to be released in fall 2023.

How can your foundation participate?

Visit the COF website to learn more and for detailed instructions on how to complete the survey.

First time completing the GSB survey?

See this page for answers to frequently asked questions as well as a list of documents you’ll need to complete the survey. The Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey lives in Benchmark Central. If you have never participated in a GSB Survey, email your first and last name, title, and email  address to in order to obtain a Benchmark Central account. 

The deadline to complete this year’s GSB survey will be May 16, 2023. Thank you in advance for your participation!

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Staff Highlight: Chris Yueh

Category: Announcements, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Before he officially started last month as Philanthropy Southeast’s director of meetings and events, Chris Yueh had the opportunity to engage in some early learning by attending last year’s Annual Meeting.

It was certainly a learning experience – though not the one Chris was expecting.

While the cancellation of the conference deprived Chris of the chance to see the Annual Meeting in action, he says the experience provided invaluable insights about the organization he was about to join.

“As disappointed as I was to see the cancellation of the Annual Meeting, it was evident that the Philanthropy Southeast staff, Board of Trustees, and member volunteers are among the hardest working and passionate people that I have witnessed,” he said. “It was impressive how everyone came together in support of each other to overcome an unthinkable situation.”

Now, as he turns his attention to planning the 2023 Annual Meeting and a full calendar of other programs and events, Chris says he’s focused on the members who make those convenings come alive.

“Throughout my career, I’ve always strived to look at events and meetings through the lens of the attendee,” he said. “I slowly learned that people meet to network and/or exchange ideas. What drew me to the opportunity at Philanthropy Southeast was the chance to improve the attendee experience at the Annual Meeting – to make it more engaging and experiential.”

Chris’ career includes nearly a decade of events and meeting planning. Most recently, he served as director of programs for the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

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Winter 2022 Issue of Inspiration Now Available Online

Tags: Inspiration 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Over the holidays, the latest issue of Philanthropy Southeast's Inspiration magazine was mailed to each of our member organizations, as well as Hull Fellows alumni. If you haven't had the chance to read the print copy, you can access a PDF copy now at our Inspiration archive page.

Highlights of our Winter 2022 issue include:

  • The story of the cancellation of the 2022 Annual Meeting and how it provided an example of Philanthropy Southeast living its values while offering important lessons, perspective and inspiration for the future.
  • An in-depth look at the Healthcare Georgia Foundation's Two Georgias Initiative, winner of the 2022 Truist Promise Award. The initiative made a sustained commitment to rural health equity while working with partners throughout the state.
  • Highlights of Leading With Courage: Reshaping Southern Philanthropy for a New Era, a new report from Philanthropy Southeast that explores the people and ideas transforming the giving landscape and communities throughout the region.
  • A spotlight on the exhibitors for the 2022 Annual Meeting. Thank you to all our exhibitors for their support!

As usual, Inspiration also includes a letter from President & CEO Janine Lee, a review of the latest hirings and promotions in the region, and a list of the newest Philanthropy Southeast members.

You can access this issue, and previous issues, now on our Inspiration archive.

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Philanthropy Southeast to Hold 2022 Business Meeting on December 13

Category: Announcements, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast




Due to the cancellation of this year's Annual Meeting, we were unable to convene our Business Meeting, where we review the highlights of the past year, receive updates on finances and governance, and vote to elect new members to the Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees.

Instead, we will conduct this year's Business Meeting online, allowing all Philanthropy Southeast members to attend! Please join us at 1:00pm ET on Tuesday, December 13, as we meet to review the past year and prepare for a successful 2023!

Our agenda will include:

I. Year in Review
Janine Lee, President & CEO, Philanthropy Southeast

II. Financial Update
Jen Algire, Philanthropy Southeast Secretary-Treasurer and President & CEO, The Greater Clark Foundation

III. Governance Update & Election of Trustees
Philanthropy Southeast Governance Chair and President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

IV. Chair's Closing Reflections
Philanthropy Southeast Board Chair and Co-Founder, Ujima Legacy Fund

Even if you cannot attend the Business Meeting, we encourage you to vote on this year's slate of nominees to the Philanthropy Southeast Board. Cast your vote online now!


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Last Week's Events and What's Next

Author: Janine Lee and Robert Dortch


Last week, we found ourselves in a previously unthinkable position: needing to cancel the Annual Meeting due to a mandatory evacuation order at our host hotel in Amelia Island.

While weather is always a concern at this time of year in the Southeast, not once in our 53-year history had we faced this situation before. The closest we had ever come was 2005, when our meeting in Marco Island came two weeks after a hurricane that made our overflow hotel unavailable.

This time was different: Hurricane Nicole was set to make landfall while the meeting was taking place. Flights in and out of Jacksonville were being delayed and cancelled. Weather forecasts called for severe coastal flooding – a major concern at a hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The double red flags snapping in the strong winds, signaling the closure of the beach, provided a clear warning that these conditions could not be ignored.

We are so sad that we were unable to come together – and we know that many of you feel the same way. We have literally been moved to tears reading the many messages we have received from members following the Annual Meeting's cancellation.

Planning for the 53rd Annual Meeting began a year ago and required the work of our entire staff plus dozens of member volunteers. We want to thank each of them for what they brought to this process – your work is deeply appreciated, and you should be proud of what you built!

We are beyond grateful that our entire team and all our attendees were moved out of harm's way before the worst effects of Hurricane Nicole hit northeast Florida. We appreciate the staff at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island who stayed in constant communication with our staff and helped facilitate a quick, yet calm, evacuation and relocation.

We also want to thank everyone who chose to not make the trip to Amelia Island as it became clear weather could be an issue. Your decision made taking care of those already on-site a much easier task.


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Philanthropy Southeast
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Visiting Philanthropy Southeast:
All staff are working remotely at this time but can still be reached via email and by calling (404) 524-0911.

Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)
Friday from 9:00am–12:00pm (ET)

Phone: (404) 524-0911
Fax: (404) 523-5116

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.