Equity Framework

PRIORITIES Equity Framework

Our Equity Framework

The Journey to Our Full Potential

For more than 50 years, Philanthropy Southeast members have powered incredible change in communities throughout the Southeastern region and the U.S. Virgin Islands, improving the lives of countless people.

While this work deserves to be celebrated, we cannot be content with where things stand in our region and in the communities our members serve. Philanthropy Southeast’s own research, and that of many others, has revealed the Southeast still suffers from distressing disparities in health, food security, income, education, lifespan, economic stability and other indicators of well-being. The reason for this is clear: Systemic inequity still exists in our region and presents a significant obstacle to philanthropy making a real, lasting impact.

This reality, along with a clear, stated desire from Philanthropy Southeast members for support in addressing the root causes of our challenges, prompted the creation of this Equity Framework. Going forward, Philanthropy Southeast will integrate this framework into our existing programs, benefits and services. It will serve as the foundation for our work going forward and has been designed so that our members can help guide its implementation and evolution while also deciding how it can best support their own organizations and leadership.

The Journey to Our Full Potential

Learn more about Philanthropy Southeast’s commitment to equity in the Southeast

View our Equity Framework summary






Our Vision & Our Work Toward Equity

Philanthropy Southeast seeks to inspire and strengthen learning, leadership and actions within Southern philanthropy dedicated to the advancement of equity in our field and region. This Equity Framework is a pivotal part of the journey to our full potential.

We define equity as the full inclusion of all people into a society in which everyone can participate and prosper. In an equitable society, everyone, regardless of the circumstances of birth or upbringing, is treated justly and fairly by its institutions and systems. To promote equity in the South and elsewhere, philanthropy must first acknowledge the historical roots of inequity, particularly caused by racism, and the present-day systems that perpetuate it. It must then use its resources to spark transformation that allows all people to reach their full potential, unhindered by hatred, bigotry, exclusion or discrimination.

Our Work Going Forward: Philanthropy Southeast will deliver the Equity Framework to our members in a number of ways – some shaping our existing work, practices and operations, and others through new offerings that help Southern foundations understand and apply their commitment to equity.




Watch the introduction of the Equity Framework at our 50th Annual Meeting, featuring 2018-19 Board Chair Gilbert Miller, 2020-21 Board Chair Regan Gruber Moffitt and President & CEO Janine Lee

Looking Within
Organizational Commitments
Looking Ahead
Equity Programming

Organizational Culture:

We seek diverse perspectives and people who share common values grounded in justness, fairness, civility and respect to create a culture of diversity and inclusion.



We commit to examining and implementing organizational systems, policies and practices that prevent biases from operating and that do not rely solely on our positive intent.


Guiding Principles:

We ask ourselves and our members the following questions: What does Philanthropy Southeast stand for? What are we willing to fight for toward improving lives and transforming communities in the South?


Program Integration:

Our programs will embody the concepts and priorities of diversity, equity and inclusion.


Chair’s Book Club:

Will introduce titles that help people find common ground and build meaningful relationships and dialogue about diversity, equity and inclusion.


Southern Learning Journeys:

Will help us understand how the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and the human rights movement today shape educational and economic opportunities and outcomes for children and families in the South.


Resource Library:

Will cultivate opportunities for members to use research, data and trends to best serve underrepresented, underserved and marginalized communities across the South and provide internal assessment tools.



Through multiple platforms, Philanthropy Southeast will elevate the stories of members’ work so that all can learn and benefit.


Philanthropy Bridging Divides:

A safe space for a small group of foundation CEOs and other senior executive leaders to talk about the role of philanthropy during challenging and polarized times.


Peer Leadership Circles:

Network communities for constituencies and other groups to discuss DEI, economic mobility, the environment and other issues.

We invite Philanthropy Southeast's membership to help us guide the future of the Equity Framework and shape how it can best support their organizations.

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.