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.


11 States in 11 Months  2018 Annual Meeting  2019 Annual Meeting  2020 Annual Meeting  2021 Annual Meeting  2021-22 Hull Fellows  2022 Annual Meeting  50 Meetings in 50 Days  ACE Act  Aging  Alabama  Annual Meeting  Annual Report  Arkansas  Bar Foundations  Board of Trustees  Census  Charitable Deduction  Charitable Giving  Child Welfare  Communications  Community Foundations  Corporate Foundations  Data & Research  Diversity Equity & Inclusion  Donor-Advised Funds  Education  Endowments  Equity Framework  Family Foundations  Florida  Food & Hunger  Foundation Management  Foundations on the Hill  Georgia  Get on the Map  Giving Circles  Grantmaking Public Charities  Health Care  Health Legacy Foundations  Higher Education  Homelessness  Hull Fellows  Immigration  Impact Investing  Independent Foundations  Inspiration  IRA Rollover  Kentucky  Lending Library  Listservs  Louisiana  Mississippi  Mobile App  National Funders  Natural Disasters  North Carolina  Operating Foundations  Partner Events  Partnerships  Philanthropy Southeast  Philanthropy Southeast Staff  Policy Alerts  Private Foundation Excise Tax  Program Officers  Promise Award  Public Sector  Rural Philanthropy  Salary and benefits survey  SALT  SECF Board of Trustees  SECF Events  SECF Staff  Social Justice  South Carolina  Southern Perspective  Southern Trends Report  Strategic Planning  Strengthening Democracy  Supporting Organizations  Tax Policy  Tax Reform  Tennessee  The Bridge  Trustees  U.S. Virgin Islands  UBIT  Universal Charitable Deduction  Virgin Islands  Virginia  Webinars 

Public Policy Update - September 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Each month, Philanthropy Southeast 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, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at


Universal Charitable Deduction Could Return in Year-End Package

Following their August recess, lawmakers have returned to Washington to take care of must-pass legislation to keep the government running. No other major legislation is expected before the midterm elections, but the post-election lame duck period could see major movement on items important to the charitable sector.

The sector is hoping to see a year-end tax bill include a revival of the universal charitable deduction that expired at the start of this year. Last month, the National Council of Nonprofits led a sign-on letter to Congress and the administration asking lawmakers to renew the universal charitable deduction, boost its cap, and expand the amount donors can deduct from their itemized tax returns, as well as retroactively restore the Employee Retention Tax Credit, extend it through 2022, and modify nonprofit eligibility to include childcare and education subsidies. 

Philanthropy Southeast members will be a valuable voice in any conversation around the universal charitable deduction – keep an eye out for details on how you can take action!   


Read More

Nominations Now Open for the 2022 Truist Promise Award

Category: Annual Meeting, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


This year’s Annual Meeting will feature the presentation of the Truist Promise Award recognizing innovative philanthropy in the region. First presented in 2020, this honor has recognized groundbreaking work that has exemplified courageous leadership while transforming communities and improving lives.

Nominations for this year’s Truist Promise Award are now open. The award recognizes a particular initiative and/or innovative grantmaking strategy or approach, done by an individual organization or through a collective partnership – as such, it may be presented to more than one foundation if the initiative is a product of partnership and collaboration. More than one initiative may be recognized in a single year.

The Truist Promise Award recognizes work that focuses on significant and systemic issues facing the region and the country today. In addition, nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • Work focused on issues of racial equity, racial justice or anti-racism.
  • The innovative use of multiple forms of philanthropic capital, particularly beyond financial capital.
  • Use of data and research in determining strategies and tactics.
  • Cooperation with community partners, particularly in other sectors, or direct engagement with community members.
  • Impact/outcomes that are evidence-based.

You may nominate any Philanthropy Southeast member organization, including your own, for the Promise Award. The recipient will be selected by a group of Philanthropy Southeast staff and Board members and will be recognized at the Chair’s Dinner of the 2022 Annual Meeting.

Nominations are due Friday, September 30. Click below to submit your nominee!





Read More

Borrow Books by Annual Meeting Speakers at Our Lending Library!

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Get ready for Philanthropy Southeast’s 53rd Annual Meeting with these titles by our keynote and plenary speakers, now available through our online Lending Library. Philanthropy Southeast members have exclusive access to our virtual collection offering e-books and audiobooks on best practices in philanthropy, advancing equity, and social sector leadership. Visit our website to get started today!


Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
by Matthew Desmond

In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.



The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story
by Nikole Hannah-Jones

In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States. The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together eighteen essays that explore the legacy of slavery in present-day America with thirty-six poems and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance. The essays show how the inheritance of 1619 reaches into every part of contemporary American society, from politics, music, diet, traffic, and citizenship to capitalism, religion, and our democracy itself.

Read More

Public Policy Update - August 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Each month, Philanthropy Southeast 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, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at


Inflation Reduction Act Makes Big Investments in Health Care and Climate Change

Today, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a $750 billion package that includes several items of interest to philanthropy, nonprofits and the communities they support.

Health Care: Under the legislation, senior citizens on Medicare will see their out-of-pocket drug costs capped at $2,000 per year by 2025. The bill also opens the door to Medicare negotiating drug prices, a change that is expected to lower costs. The bill also extends for three years existing Affordable Care Act subsidies. Households making up to 600 percent of the federal poverty level – $159,000 per year – are eligible for the subsidies.

Climate Change: The bill contains many provisions designed to speed up adoption of renewable energy and reduce usage of fossil fuels. Also included in the bill is $60 billion dedicated to environmental justice and disadvantaged communities that stand to be disproportionately affected by climate change. Nonprofits will be eligible to apply for a variety of grant programs created by the bill.

These provisions and others are paid for largely via increased taxes on corporations and stronger enforcement of existing tax laws. None of the tax changes in the bill will affect the charitable sector.

The Inflation Reduction Act as passed largely reflects the outcome of prolonged negotiations between Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV). It passed on party-line votes in both the House and Senate earlier this month.

Read More

Summer 2022 Issue of Inspiration Now Available

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


The latest issue of Philanthropy Southeast’s quarterly magazine, Inspiration, is out now in print and via a PDF digital edition on our website! Here’s what you can look forward to in the latest issue:

  • Gilead Sciences may be based in California, but the corporation’s philanthropic work has long invested in the South, including its COMPASS Initiative focused on HIV/AIDS and, more recently, its Racial Equity Community Impact Fund.
  • For more than two years, Philanthropy Southeast’s Chair’s Book Club has provided a welcoming platform for members interested in exploring equity and inclusion via novels, memoirs, and other books. Members are reading the Book Club’s fifth selection, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive, right now.
  • From The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, a look at how the various businesses of the foundation’s founder, Arthur M. Blank, give their employees a significant role to play in directing community outreach and philanthropic support.
  • An interview with Alejandro Avilés, a member of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Board of Directors.

Every issue of Inspiration also includes an opening message from Janine Lee and updates on our newest members and new hires and promotions from across the region.  

A copy of Inspiration is sent to each Philanthropy Southeast member office – members can also read the entire issue now by logging into our website and visiting our Inspiration archive!

Read More

Southeastern Soundings – Extended Edition (Summer 2022)

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Southeastern Soundings, a regular feature of our Inspiration magazine, highlights new hires, promotions and board appointments by our members. For this issue, we had more announcements than would fit in our print edition, so we’re publishing an extended roundup online. Congratulations to all the people mentioned here!

If your organization has welcomed a new staff member or trustee, or promoted an existing staff member, we want to know! Please email the information to David Miller at


Kristy Klein Davis has joined the Healthcare Georgia Foundation as president. She previously worked at the Missouri Foundation for Health as chief strategy officer.

The Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta has hired Nichole Owens as public relations manager. She most recently served as director of communications at The Salvation Army’s Metro Atlanta Area Command. The foundation has also greatly expanded its board, adding seven new members: Jen Bennecke, a community volunteer, Julie Ann Crommett from Google; Dr. Jeffrey Hines of Wellstar Health System; Debra Lam from the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation; Marc Pollack of RangeWater Real Estate; the Atlanta Music Project’s Dantes Rameau, and Southern Company’s Dekia Scott.

Kathryn C. Yarzebinski is the new president and CEO of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation. Previously, she worked at Randolph College as director of development.

Kimberly Heimiller is the new director of marketing at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. 

The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky announced three new team members: Chloe Atwater and Katy Walker have joined as policy associates, and Ally Wells has joined as communications associate.

Read More

July 2022 Research Update: Highlights from Recent Reports in the Field

Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Stephen Sherman


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.


Centering Equity and Justice in Climate Philanthropy
Candid, Ariadne (2022)
This field guide for funders provides an overview of current philanthropic funding for climate justice, identifies common barriers to supporting climate justice strategies, and describes ways to overcome these barriers. The authors share insights and case studies from experienced funders that have shifted their institutions to use a climate justice lens for greater impact within their existing grantmaking priorities. The report finds that intermediary organizations, particularly regranting institutions and pooled funds, are critical partners in the climate justice field. One section profiles several examples of such organizations and offers a detailed listing of national and international intermediaries. The authors close with recommendations for funders interested in supporting climate justice initiatives.


The Impact of COVID-19 on Aging and Older Adults Grantmaking
Grantmakers in Health, Grantmakers in Aging (2022)
To better understand how philanthropy has responded to these challenges over the course of the pandemic, Grantmakers In Health and Grantmakers In Aging launched a joint survey in November 2021 to learn how health and aging funders are addressing COVID-19 related needs among older adult populations and potential long-term impacts on future grantmaking. Findings from this survey showed an increased focus on food security and programs to address social isolation during the pandemic. The infographic also examines changes in grantmaking strategies brought about by the pandemic, which included shifts in the types of programs and interventions funded and an increase in general operating support. Most funders surveyed expected changes in grantmaking to endure beyond the short-term.


Read More

Five Georgia Foundations Launch Drawdown Georgia Climate Solutions and Equity Grant

Author: Drawdown Georgia


In October 2020, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation launched Drawdown Georgia after funding an 18-month collaboration between researchers at Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, and the University of Georgia. That work identified 20 high-impact climate solutions that would put Georgia on a path to drawdown – that point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. In doing so, Georgia became the first state to localize the methodology of Project Drawdown, which pioneered a global blueprint for reversing global warming by scaling market-ready climate solutions.

Since that time, Drawdown Georgia has been bringing together businesses, universities, NGOs, policymakers, and other stakeholders to collaborate on climate in Georgia, with a goal of reducing the state's carbon impact by 30 percent by 2030. At the same time, our state's climate solutions can advance other priorities beyond carbon, including equity, health, economic opportunity, and the health of the natural environment.

The most recent collaboration comes from the philanthropic sector. Last month, five Georgia-based family foundations announced a joint request for proposals that will deploy Drawdown Georgia climate solutions while also advancing equity in Georgia's low-income, BIPOC communities. The opportunity is called the Drawdown Georgia Climate Solutions and Equity Grant, and the five foundations are the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation, the Kendeda Fund, the Wilbur & Hilda Glenn Family Foundation, the Sapelo Foundation, and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. The application process will open on August 1, 2022 and letters of introduction will be due by August 31, 2022. An informational webinar will be held at 1:00pm ET on Thursday, July 28.

"It's easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of climate change, to wonder how one could possibly make a difference in the face of such a large problem," said David Weitnauer, president of the R. Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation. "Thanks to Drawdown Georgia, we have a statewide road map of very practical climate solutions – solutions that work on a local level – ready for implementation.

Read More

Staff Highlight: Maura Toole

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


For most Philanthropy Southeast interns, the experience marks their first brush with the world of philanthropy – but for Maura Toole, it’s an opportunity to deepen her experience in a sector she’s engaged with since her preteen days.

Maura, a student at Emory University studying philosophy and human health, presented her first grant proposal as a 12-year-old to the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro’s Teen Grantmaking Council – a body she would eventually serve on.

“I interacted with foundation leaders, asked big questions about how funds move between individuals and nonprofits, and explored my community’s greatest needs,” she said.

Maura followed up that experience by joining with classmates in 2018 to establish a nonprofit, the Greensboro, North Carolina, chapter of March for Our Lives, the network that formed in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

“I learned how to build strong and broad coalitions and how to identify and encourage strengths in teammates,” Maura said of the experience. “And I explored what it means to be a collaborative, effective, resilient servant leader.”

Before arriving at Emory, Maura also worked with the Educational Theatre Association to help develop grants to send underrepresented student leaders to the International Thespian Festival and another for public school arts programs struggling with the impact of the pandemic.

Given her experience, it’s no surprise that Maura came into her internship with some knowledge of Philanthropy Southeast’s work. Since joining the team in May, Maura says she’s been able to gain an even better understanding of philanthropy in the region.

Read More

Public Policy Update - July 2022

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Each month, Philanthropy Southeast 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, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at


Democrats Hope to Move Ahead with Scaled-Back Version of ‘Build Back Better’

Last year, congressional Democrats and the Biden administration spent several months hoping to pass an ambitious package of proposals, known as Build Back Better, that would have represented a significant expansion of social safety net programs.

Those plans fell apart when two Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, objected to the plan due to its scope and proposed tax increases. In the evenly divided Senate, Democrats needed the support of every member of their caucus to pass the bill via the reconciliation process, which forbids the use of the filibuster.

Months later, hopes of passing a slimmed-down package are on the rise. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Manchin have been negotiating on a package that may include proposals on prescription drug pricing, climate change and tax revisions. So far, none of the tax proposals reportedly under consideration would directly affect foundations or donor-advised funds.

If Democrats can agree on a legislative package, party leaders hope to hold a Senate vote on it before the August recess, though that deadline could slip into September.

We will monitor whatever legislation emerges from the ongoing negotiations, particularly any provisions that affect the communities and people philanthropy serves.


Read More

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.