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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Sharing News About Janine Lee

Category: Announcements, 
Author: Kristen Keely-Dinger


We wanted to let you know about some recent events that have deeply affected our Philanthropy Southeast family. Last week, our president and CEO, Janine Lee, was hospitalized and is now on medical leave. Our thoughts and prayers are with Janine and her family as they navigate this challenging time.

Janine's family has asked for privacy as they focus on caring for her needs. However, they wanted us to share that she is in stable condition and resting comfortably. We are in close contact with them -- if they have more information they wish for us to share, we will pass it along.

Janine is many things to each of us -- a leader, a colleague, a mentor, a friend, and so much more. I know that many of you are thinking of her and praying for her. I also know that her family sincerely appreciates your support. As an organization, we are doing all we can to help them during this time.

Since learning of Janine's condition, our staff leadership and Board have been in constant communication with one another -- both to support each other and to ensure that the work of Philanthropy Southeast moves forward. Our Board, already slated to meet this week, agreed today on a plan of action until we have more information on Janine's prognosis.

Dena Chadwick, our chief operating officer, will serve as acting president and CEO during this time. Janine and Dena have worked closely for years, and the Board has full confidence in her ability to lead Philanthropy Southeast. She will also be supported by an incredible team of leaders on our staff.

This is a difficult time for many of us and we want to recognize that in how we conduct ourselves and the expectations we place on our team. While we have currently made no changes to our program calendar, we will assess that as this situation evolves.

We hope to be in touch with you soon with more information. In the meantime, all I ask is that you keep Janine and her family close to your hearts.

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Public Policy Update - January 2024

Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Philanthropy Southeast regularly provides members with 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


Register Today for Foundations on the Hill!

Foundations on the Hill -- your best opportunity to be an advocate for philanthropy and discuss your foundation's priorities with policymakers – is less than a month away, but there’s still time to join the Philanthropy Southeast delegation!

This year, you can choose between two experiences for Foundations on the Hill: One for those eager to learn more about policy, advocacy and the issues philanthropy is concerned about, and another is ideal for FOTH veterans who are ready to dive right into meetings with policymakers.

Learn more about Foundations on the Hill – and sign up to attend – at


National Study on DAFs to be Released During FOTH

Foundations on the Hill attendees will be among the first to hear the results of the DAF Research Collaborative’s (DAFRC) National Study on DAFs.

Informed by data provided by community foundations and other DAF sponsors throughout the United States, including more than two dozen community foundations from the Southeast, this study is the most comprehensive research project on DAFs to date. This new work builds upon the field’s existing knowledge of DAFs and explores new areas of concern to DAF sponsors, donors, and grant recipients.

Philanthropy Southeast partnered with the DAFRC last year to encourage broad participation in the study. In addition to the national report, Philanthropy Southeast has commissioned a separate analysis of DAF providers in the Southeast region. This regional study is expected to be available in late March or early April.


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

Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


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.


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New Data Added to Southern Trends Report

Category: Research & Data, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


The Southern Trends Report, Philanthropy Southeast’s dashboard on Southeast foundations, has recently been updated with 2021 data on foundations and grantmaking. Developed in partnership with Candid, the site provides a year-by-year look at trends in foundation growth and giving in our region The latest figures show a number of key findings:

  • Assets of Southeast foundations rose to more than $190 billion in 2021, more than doubling over a ten-year period
  • Giving by Southeast foundations topped $11 billion in 2020 and 2021
  • Education, human services and health are the top areas of focus for grants awarded by Southeast foundations.
  • A clear majority of grant dollars awarded by Southeast foundations (61 percent) went to recipients within the region.

This year's update also includes revised and expanded data for 2019 and 2020 – reporting for these years had been slowed by the pandemic. The latest updates now present a much fuller picture of philanthropy in the region during that critical time.


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View the Winter 2023 Issue of Inspiration

Tags: Inspiration 
Category: Announcements, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Over the holiday break, the Winter 2023 issue of Philanthropy Southeast’s Inspiration magazine was released in print and online. In case you missed it, visit our website now to check out these articles:

  • A profile of the winners of the 2023 Truist Promise Award – the Women’s Foundation of the South and the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation – and how their approaches to their work illustrate how philanthropy works on multiple levels to support communities and improve lives.
  • A recap of last year’s Annual Meeting, where a compelling lineup and a powerful sense of place combined to provide attendees with an unforgettable experience.
  • A look at a new and inclusive approach to evaluation, being practiced by The Greater Clark Foundation in Kentucky, and what it offers to funders throughout the region.

This issue also includes interviews with the latest members of the Philanthropy Southeast Board, an opening message from Janine Lee and a roundup of the latest hires and appointments from members across the region.

This issue and previous issues can also be viewed on

If you have a story you’d like to see highlighted in Inspiration, contact David Miller, vice president of strategic communications, at

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Meet the New Members of the Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


At this year’s Annual Meeting, Philanthropy Southeast members elected four leaders to a first term on our Board of Trustees. They shared their thoughts with us on joining the Board and what they’d like to focus on in the year ahead.


Kristin Walker Collins
Incoming CEO, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky

What made you say “yes” when asked to serve on the Philanthropy Southeast Board?

I have been a part of Philanthropy Southeast since 2016, and I have admired its increased focus and dedication to strengthening Southern philanthropy and building a more equitable and prosperous South. I believe philanthropy has the power to make a real difference in the lives of people in the South, and I am passionate about supporting organizations that are working to create a more just and inclusive society. I continue to be impressed by the organization’s commitment to providing quality programming and peer-to-peer learning to its members, which is essential for the growth and development of philanthropy in the South. Finally, I was excited to have the opportunity to work with Philanthropy Southeast’s talented and dedicated staff and Board members. I believe that together, we can make a real difference in the South.

Do you have any goals for your first year of Board service?

My primary goals for the first year of Board service include familiarizing myself with Philanthropy Southeast’s mission, vision, and values; actively participate in meetings, discussions, and events to gain a comprehensive understanding of our work and priorities; establish strong relationships with Board members and staff; contribute to strategic plan implementation and decision-making; and expand and engage with Philanthropy Southeast’s membership.

Your foundation has been deeply involved in disaster recovery work in Eastern Kentucky and is heavily focused on rural communities. How does this inform the perspective you’ll bring to the Board?

I currently serve as COO and am the incoming CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, a nationally accredited community foundation that doesn’t necessarily act like a traditional community foundation. We live and work in Appalachian Kentucky, one of the most persistently poor regions in the United States but have proved that by working in and with community, and truly investing in people and place, that we can make a real difference.

Over the last three years, we have found ourselves doing more and more disaster recovery and resiliency work in our region and from this experience I bring a unique perspective of philanthropy in the South. Our work is rooted in community and the belief that when you work with and listen to community that change happens. We understand that money is power, so we give the money and decision-making power to our communities. They choose where to make investments in areas they care about and we provide them with the tools and resources to make those decisions. I also understand the issues plaguing rural communities because I live in a rural community – less than 5,000 people – and a lot of the work we do is making sure that rural is represented in rooms where decisions are being made. Understanding that lack of food, transportation, broadband, phone service, and basic infrastructure are issues that people deal with every day and how philanthropy can use its power to alleviate those issues.


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Submit Your Ideas for the 2024 Annual Meeting!

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Planning is now underway for next year’s Annual Meeting, taking place November 13-15 in Nashville, Tennessee. As we begin to build out our agenda, we want to hear from Philanthropy Southeast members about which topics we should explore in our breakout sessions.

Our full agenda will include sessions focused on these four areas:

  • Best & Next Practice – These topics are designed to make organizations more effective and impactful in their giving (e.g., evaluation, collaboration, diligence, reporting).
  • Giving Strategies & Priorities – These topics typically focus on community issues, initiatives or programming that reflect giving priorities (e.g., education, health care).
  • Governance & Leadership – These topics focus on internal operations and strategies for effective leadership and management (e.g., compliance, investments, governance, communications, staff and trustee development, recruitment and retention).
  • Communities & Ecosystems – These topics focus on broad issues facing Southern communities, philanthropy, the charitable sector or society generally (e.g., demographics, public policy, next generation issues, diversity/equity, nonprofit capacity). 

In addition to topics, this survey will also allow you to submit ideas for keynote and plenary speakers for this year’s meeting – we’re excited to hear your ideas!

If a topic you submit is selected, we may ask you to serve on our Annual Meeting Session Design Team to develop your idea further, recruit speakers and work with the Philanthropy Southeast staff on session logistics.

The survey will allow you to submit up to three topics. If you have more than three topics, please send your submission to Dena Chadwick at




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54th Annual Meeting Recap: Moving Forward in Montgomery

Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Hundreds of philanthropic leaders from the Southeast and beyond met last week in Montgomery, Alabama, for three days dedicated to supporting the region's communities and supporting one another -- moving forward together as part of a connected, collaborative movement to build an equitable and prosperous South.

From the start of the Annual Meeting, attendees were inspired to think big. Dr. Mae Jemison, a former NASA astronaut and the first woman of color in space, explored the limitless thinking and ambition that will be necessary to acheive our highest aspirations. Later, a panel of Philanthropy Southeast members shared stories of both the bold moves they've made, but also the challenges and obstacles they've encountered along the way. Nikole Hannah-Jones captivated the audience while discussing her work on The 1619 Project and how philanthropy can truly work to unravel centuries of racial inequity. Dr. Matthew Desmond used powerful data to tell an even more powerful story of how multiple forces conspire in America to keep people from leaving poverty. On the meeting's closing day, Anthony Ray Hinton shared the story of his survival for decades on Alabama's death row and how, despite great difficulty, he eventually won his freedom.

In between these moments on the main stage, attendees had dozens of opportunities to learn more about specific topics making an impact on philanthropy work today -- the wide-ranging agenda included sessions on succession planning, trustee leadership, affordable housing, public policy, storytelling and many more. Members also had an unprecedented opportunity to draw learning and inspiration from nearby sites in Montgomery like The Legacy Museum, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and the Rosa Parks Museum.

These experiences combined to leave the Annual Meeting audience with new information, new connections and new motivation to take risks, make leaps and transform lives.


Session Videos & Materials

Materials from this year's Annual Meeting are available on our Program Archive (login required). Videos will be available soon! (Please note, not all sessions were recorded.)


Photo Gallery



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Public Policy Update - November 2023

Tags: R 
Category: Public Policy, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


Philanthropy Southeast regularly provides members with 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


IRS, Treasury Department Release Proposed Regulations on DAF Distributions

This week, the IRS and Treasury Department released proposed regulations tied to taxable distributions from donor-advised funds. The release kicks off a 60-day period where members of the public can comment on the proposal.

The proposed regulations are years in the making: They were largely written based on comments received in 2006 and 2007 around definitions of DAFs, distributions, investments and disqualified persons. They also referenced some comments from a 2017 Notice, though the issues outlined in the 2017 notice, including pledges and bifurcation, the public support test, and private foundation use of DAFs, are not addressed in this rule.

While we are still analyzing the full notice, here are a few things worth noting:

  • Disqualified persons: There are certain taxable distributions from DAFs that would be subject to excise taxes like compensation to a “disqualified person”. Some sponsoring organizations have raised concerns that the current proposed rule would consider compensation to an investment advisor as a taxable distribution if the advisor provides both DAF and personal investment advice. 
  • Distribution definition: The proposed rule outlines what transactions are considered distributions versus investments. There are questions around why the definition of the two is seemingly different from the definitions that apply to private foundations. A former Treasury official who helped draft the proposal indicated it could be different because DAFs aren’t subject to the same payout requirements as private foundations. However, a potential concern arises if DAFs are faced with a payout requirement in the future. 
  • Broadening “What is a DAF?”: The proposed rules would include giving arrangements, such as field of interest funds and giving circles, as DAFs depending on the donor-advisor relationship to the sponsoring organization. Though it doesn’t appear this would cause immediate issues for those using these giving arrangements, should future restrictions or requirements be put in place on DAFs, these arrangements would be subject to those requirements. 

We understand these definitions need to be in place prior to addressing related regulations, and regulators are expected to focus on getting these definitions right before turning to other proposed rules impacting DAFs, like those from the 2017 notice on pledges, bifurcation, public support, and private foundation use of DAFs.

You can submit comments on this proposal now at the Federal Register’s website. Comments will be accepted through January 16, 2024.


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Fall 2023 Issue of Inspiration Now Available!

Category: Inspiration, 
Author: Philanthropy Southeast


The latest issue of Inspiration, Philanthropy Southeast’s quarterly magazine, is now available in print and online. Stories covered in the Fall 2023 issue include:

  • A preview of next month’s Annual Meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, highlighting our keynote and plenary speakers and opportunities to connect with our host city’s rich Civil Rights history.
  • The return of the Family Foundations Forum, which brought together dozens of family members, trustees and staff from across the region this summer in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
  • A profile of the Jack and Anne Glenn Foundation focused on its approach to multi-generational family philanthropy – an approach that has helped strengthen bonds among family members.

This issue also includes an opening message from Janine Lee and a roundup of the latest hires and appointments from members across the region.

This year, we’ve expanded our Inspiration mailing list to better share stories of philanthropy’s work in the region. Each member organization receives at least one print copy of Inspiration, with additional copies sent to other senior leaders, program staff and Hull Fellows alumni.

This issue and previous issues can also be viewed on

If you have a story you’d like to see highlighted in Inspiration, contact David Miller, vice president of strategic communications, at

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Connecting with Philanthropy Southeast:
The Philanthropy Southeast staff works remotely – the best way to reach us is by email or by calling (404) 524-0911.

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

On Fridays, staff work on a flexible schedule. Members can reach our team via email or by calling (404) 524-0911 between 9:00am and 6:00pm (ET). We will respond to all urgent and time-sensitive matters promptly.

Mailing address:
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

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.