Please note: All session and event times are in Central Standard Time.

All keynote, plenary and breakout sessions will be streamed live for virtual conference attendees unless otherwise noted.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 7
  • Wednesday, Nov. 8
  • Thursday, Nov. 9
  • Friday, Nov. 10


Accelerating Equity Learning Collaborative


Hull Fellows Kickoff (Day 1)


Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees Prep Session


Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees Meeting


Dinner & Reception for Philanthropy Southeast Board of Trustees and Staff

Preconference Sessions & Activities


Conference on Investing

The Conference on Investing provides a half-day of sessions dedicated to market trends, the latest investment strategies and different approaches foundations can use to maximize not only returns, but also impact. This year's program will include an economic forecasting keynote and three additional sessions covering a range of topics like asset allocation, spending policies, ESG, alternative investments, engaging diverse managers, and more! This preconference is a great fit for trustees, CEOs, CFOs, and other staff who engage with the foundation’s investments and finances. Includes breakfast and lunch.

Cost: $250 for members / $350 for non-members

Session 1: Keynote & Economic Update

Join Bank of America’s Michael Strauss for a look at the current state of the global economy and what is driving markets around the world. Michael will also share potential opportunities for investors and pitfalls to be aware of that will provide actionable ideas for participants to take home.

Speaker: Michael Strauss – Managing Director and Senior Institutional Investment Strategist, Bank of America Private Bank (Westport, CT)


Session 2: 10 Mistakes of Investment Policy Development

Join experts from Global Endowment Management (GEM) for an interactive discussion that will focus on the cumulative 25+ years they have been working with foundations and endowments on their investment policy development. Learn the top 10 mistakes they’ve seen and how to avoid them in your organization – in particular, issues such as unclear goals, roles and responsibilities and how they impact functioning teams and investment policy statement success. You will leave with better tools for determining risk tolerance, goals and how to evaluate success.

Matt Bank, CFA – Partner, Deputy CIO. Global Endowment Management (Charlotte, NC)
Alex Kocher, CFA – Director, Client Strategy, Global Endowment Management (Charlotte, NC)
Hannah Rahill, CFA – Associate Director, Client Strategy, Global Endowment Management (Charlotte, NC)


Session 3: Using Our Power: Direct Shareholder Engagement Strategy

Join us for a thought-provoking conference panel that challenges the conventional philanthropic dialogue on spending policies. Rather than fixating solely on the 5 percent spending debate, let’s redirect our attention to the often overlooked 95 percent of funds within our endowments that empower our grantmaking endeavors and the types of power that we hold within our endowments.

In today’s climate, we are witnessing attempts to undermine the progress made in the investment field in incorporating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into investment decision-making. This panel aims to shed light on a powerful set of tools available in shareholder engagement, enabling foundations and organizations to act as catalysts for transformative change in the corporate sphere.

Our speakers will share compelling examples that demonstrate how we can harness the full weight of our resources to hold public companies accountable to standards of corporate governance and social responsibility. Through our position as stakeholders, foundations have a unique opportunity to amplify the voices of communities adversely affected by corporate activities.

During this session, participants will gain valuable insights into the potential for foundations to wield their influence as shareholders in order to advocate for greater transparency and inclusivity within major corporations.

Yusuf George – Managing Director, Engine No. 1 (New York, NY)
Daniel Gould – VP of Investments & Operations, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Seattle, WA)
Austin Wilson – Head of Active Ownership and Associate ESG/SRI Strategist, Aperio (Sausalito, CA)


Session 4: Portfolio Construction and Asset Allocation for Foundations

The panel will review considerations when building portfolios for nonprofit institutions including return expectations, spending rate, dependence on operating budget, capacity for illiquidity, time-horizon and restricted funds. We will discuss the role of different asset classes, including alternatives and how they fit into an asset allocation strategy for different organizations. Panelists will have an opportunity to talk about areas of opportunity and areas of concern in the current market.

William Burns - Senior Investment Consultant, Institutional Investor Group, Vanguard (Malvern, PA)
William Heard - Founder, CEO and CIO, Heard Capital (Chicago, IL)
Michael Strauss – Managing Director and Senior Institutional Investment Strategist, Bank of America Private Bank (Westport, CT)

Moderator: Thad Glowacki – Partner and Portfolio Manager, Endowments & Foundations, Brown Advisory (Baltimore, MD)


Guided Experience: The Legacy Museum

Experience Montgomery’s Legacy Museum through an immersive process facilitated by the Radical Optimist Collective. Facilitators will engage attendees in a process to provide for a grounded and intentional journey, along with a debrief that will help unpack learning and create a renewed commitment to racial justice and healing. The Collective uses trauma-informed and cultural somatic methods to support both the group and individual experience. Attendees will receive a brief orientation before departing for the Legacy Museum for a 9:00am entry. The group will reconvene with facilitators at 11:00am. 

Departs from the Renaissance lobby. Price includes admission to the museum and same day re-entry is permitted. Please wear comfortable shoes.

Cost: $100 - SOLD OUT! Slots for Friday afternoon are still available!


Shakita Brooks Jones – Strategy & Facilitation Consultant, Radical Optimist Collective (Montgomery, AL)
Staci Walker – Strategy & Facilitation Consultant, Radical Optimist Collective (Montgomery, AL)
Lisa Flick Wilson – Strategy & Facilitation Consultant, Radical Optimist Collective (Montgomery, AL)


Hull Fellows Kickoff (Day 2)

Selma Road Trip: Journeys for the Soul

Join JoAnne Bland for a private and personal journey back to a dark time in our nation's history and learn the inspirational stories of those who would stop at nothing to have their voices heard. JoAnne offers a firsthand personal account of the history of Selma's involvement in the struggle for voting rights. Born and raised in Selma, she became involved in the voting rights movement as an 8-year-old, when she was arrested along with her grandmother as she attempted to register to vote. Alabama was the front line for both sides of a struggle that came to define post-war America. No visit to this historic state would be complete without due regard to the people who risked everything to overcome its institutionalized injustice. 

Departs from the Renaissance lobby. Please wear comfortable shoes. Bus transportation, light snacks, and water will be provided. A minimum of 25 attendees are needed to proceed with this tour.

Cost: $100

Moving Forward Together – The Community Foundations Way!

Designed by and for community foundation leaders, this session provides an opportunity for staff and trustees to connect with one another while learning about the challenges, success stories and opportunities unfolding in the region today. This year, three Alabama community foundation leaders will share their experiences, covering work taking place in urban areas, small towns and the largely-rural Black Belt. We will also hear about three hot topics in the field today: partnership development, grantmaking policies and community foundation responses to climate change, natural disasters and other environmental threats. The session will close with a facilitated discussion about what keeps us up at night - and what gets us out of bed in the morning. Includes lunch.


Lisa Adkins – President/CEO, Blue Grass Community Foundation and Chair, Philanthropy Southeast Community Foundations Committee (Lexington, KY)
Felecia Lucky – Executive Director, Black Belt Community Foundation (Selma, AL)
Jennifer S. Maddox, MBA, CAP – President & CEO, Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama (Anniston, AL)
Christopher Nanni – President & CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham (Birmingham, AL)
Katharine Pearson Criss – Senior Fellow, Center for Rural Strategies, and Philanthropic Advisor for Financial Marketplace, Cetera Advisor Networks (Knoxville, TN)
Phil Purcell, CFRE, MPA/JD – Consultant, Philanthropy, LLC, and Adjunct Faculty, Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Lilly School of Philanthropy (Noblesville, IN)

Cost: $100


CEO Forum

Social change is complex and difficult. Jacob Harold, author of The Toolbox: Strategies for Crafting Social Impact, tells us that “there are no easy solutions. Instead there are tools.” Foundation leaders often default to using the tools they know best, or those which feel most readily available, to pursue their goals, but to be effective, leaders need to tap a range of tools based on the context and moment in which they find themselves. In The Toolbox, Harold lays out nine tools that can help drive change – from storytelling to mathematical modeling to design thinking to community organizing – and how and when to deploy them. In an interactive session that will draw on inspiring stories of foundations in the South pushing for social change, Jacob will help foundation leaders equip themselves and their teams for strategy in our complex moment.Includes lunch.

Speaker: Jacob Harold – Author, The Toolbox: Strategies for Crafting Social Impact , and former President & CEO, GuideStar (Washington DC)

Cost: $75


Trustees-Only Preconference

This special preconference, open only to foundation trustees, will include conversations around effective and impactful foundation governance, with an emphasis on purpose-driven leadership. Includes lunch.

Speaker: Dr. Robin Stacia – Founder & Principal Consultant, Sage Consulting (Atlanta, GA)

Cost: $75


Corporate Grantmakers Luncheon: Harnessing the Power of Philanthropy: Leveraging Partnerships to Solve Workforce Challenges

Presented in partnership with Alabama Power Foundation

Developing a skilled workforce with the necessary job-ready abilities is challenging for many states, including Alabama. Learn how Alabama Power and nearby community colleges respond to the need by offering technical training courses that provide Alabamians with the necessary skills to have rewarding careers upon graduation. The conversation will highlight how philanthropy and partnerships can address workforce challenges.Includes lunch.

Speakers for this session will be announced soon!

Cost: $75


New Member & 1st Time Attendee Orientation

For those new to Philanthropy Southeast or the Annual Meeting, this is your chance to learn more about us, our team, our leadership and how you can get the most out of your Annual Meeting experience – and your Philanthropy Southeast membership!


Jaci Bertrand – Vice President of Member Engagement, Philanthropy Southeast (Atlanta, GA)
Carol Butler – 2023 Annual Meeting Chair and Executive Director, Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation (Montgomery, AL)
Robert Dortch – Philanthropy Southeast Board Chair and Co-Founder, Ujima Legacy Fund (Richmond, VA)
Tiffany Friesen – Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, Philanthropy Southeast (Atlanta, GA)
David Miller – Vice President of Strategic Communications, Philanthropy Southeast (Atlanta, GA)


Keynote Session


Opening Session & Keynote: Dr. Mae Jemison

An audacious and pioneering thought leader, Dr. Mae Jemison is at the forefront of integrating the physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation. Dr. Jemison, a medical doctor, is the first woman of color in space and is an engineer, social scientist, educator, entrepreneur, dancer and humanitarian. Her career includes servings as an Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia, an environmental studies professor, founding two technology companies and the nonprofit Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence, which designs and implements STEM education experiences. A member of multiple Fortune 500 company boards, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, among many honors and awards, Dr. Jemison leads 100 Year Starship, a global initiative to ensure the capabilities for interstellar travel by 2112 while transforming life on Earth.

Speaker: Dr. Mae Jemison – Former NASA Astronaut and Principal, 100 Year Starship Project (Houston, TX)

Welcoming Remarks: Carol Butler – 2023 Annual Meeting Chair and Executive Director, Mike & Gillian Goodrich Foundation (Montgomery, AL)


Break & Transition


Breakout Sessions


Democracy, Racial Justice and Public Education: Should Philanthropy Do More?

The banning of school library books, the stigmatization of LGBTQ+ youth, and the events like recent shooting of Ralph Yarl – a Black boy who simply rang the wrong doorbell – are intrinsically connected. There is increasing awareness that racism must be fought intersectionally. But many funders have been slower to invest in the connection between racial justice, public schools, and democracy. 

As grassroots groups are mobilizing public school families and youth because they recognize public education’s significant role in their communities, philanthropy can do more to support these efforts in the fight for a multiracial democracy. 

Should philanthropy seize this opportunity to support movements that organize the people in support of a just, multiracial democracy? If so, how can we do it?  What investments can best support organizing school communities to build power and integrate the fight for public education into the larger racial justice movement?


Flozell Daniels, Jr. – CEO, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)
Albert Sykes – Executive Director, Institute for Democratic Education in America (Jackson, MS)
Dr. Juontel White – Senior Vice President of Programs and Advocacy, Schott Foundation for Public Education (Cambridge, MA)
Dr. Anika Whitfield – Co-Chair, Grassroots Arkansas, and Tri-Chair, Arkansas Poor People’s Campaign (Little Rock, AR)
Nat Chioke Williams, Ph.D. – Executive Director, Hill-Snowdon Foundation (Washington, DC)

Making the Case for CDFIs

Are you interested in moving your foundation into the world of impact investing, but feel intimidated by the alphabet soup of options? If so, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) may be the best way to get started—and convincing your foundation’s leadership of their benefit is easier than you think. CDFIs represent a great way to begin aligning your investing strategy with your broader mission, whether you’re a small-staffed foundation or a larger regional funder. Leaders of two foundations – different in many ways, including their impact investing experience – will not only explore the potential of CDFIs but also demonstrate how to get staff and trustees on board with this powerful tool for sparking investment in your community.


Chris Crothers – Director of Impact Investing, Jessie Ball duPont Fund (Jacksonville, FL)
Andrea Dobson – Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)

An Inside Look at Cybersecurity

Cybercrime and fraud have become headline news and cost consumers, nonprofits and private industries billions of dollars every year. This conversation will focus on cybersecurity, fraud trends and best practices that can be put in place to help you better protect yourself, your family, your foundation and your grantees.


Casey Allen – Chief Information Officer, Concentric (Kirkland, WA)
Joe Parker – Cybersecurity Advisor, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Huntsville, AL)
Ileana van der Linde – Executive Director and Cybersecurity Awareness Program Lead, J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management (New York, NY)

Digital Equity and Inclusion: How Philanthropy, Nonprofits and Government Can Move the Needle

Having access to affordable high-speed internet, devices and knowledge of digital tools are necessary for full participation in the economy. This panel discussion will explore gaps in infrastructure, access and skills, while sharing best practices and experiences to meet those needs.


Norma E. Fernandez – CEO, EveryoneOn (Los Angeles, CA)
Marta Self – Executive Director, Regions Foundation (Birmingham, AL)
Maggie Woods – Digital Equity Manager, North Carolina Office of Digital Equity and Literacy (Raleigh, NC)
Christopher Worman – Co-Founder and Chief Partnership and Strategy Officer, Connect Humanity (Haarlem, The Netherlands)

Top Ten (or More) Current Legal Issues for Community Foundations

This session will explore the latest legal issues for community foundations with time allowed for interactive questions and discussion.  Topics to be covered include donor advised funds, impact investing (program and mission related), lobbying, purpose trusts (Patagonia), grants to individuals (scholarships, etc.), grantmaking duty of care (international, suspect purposes, etc.), charitable planning updates, and more.

Speaker: Phil Purcell, CFRE, MPA/JD – Consultant, Philanthropy, LLC, and Adjunct Faculty, Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Lilly School of Philanthropy (Noblesville, IN)



Evening Events


New Member & 1st Time Attendee Reception

Newcomers to the Annual Meeting are invited to connect with our staff and Board at this informal gathering.


Marianne Gordon Welcome Celebration

Celebrate the start of the Annual Meeting and connect with colleagues from across the region! Our opening event honors Marianne Gordon, Philanthropy Southeast’s longtime director of meeting planning who organized dozens of Annual Meetings before her retirement in 2020.


Chair’s Dinner

The first day of the Annual Meeting wraps up with dinner, conversation and entertainment, along with the presentation of the 2023 Truist Promise Award honoring innovative philanthropy!

General Sessions


Breakfast Buffet


Philanthropy Southeast Business Meeting

This year’s Business Meeting will include the election of new Trustees to the Philanthropy Southeast Board, a review of the past year from President & CEO Janine Lee, and reflections from our outgoing and incoming Board chairs.


Jennifer Barksdale – Philanthropy Southeast Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Finance and Operations Officer, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)
Robert Dortch – Philanthropy Southeast Board Chair and Co-Founder, Ujima Legacy Fund (Richmond, VA)
Dr. Laura Gerald – Philanthropy Southeast Governance Chair and President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)
Kristen Keely-Dinger – Philanthropy Southeast Board Chair-Elect and President & CEO, The Healing Trust (Nashville, TN)
Janine Lee – President & CEO, Philanthropy Southeast (Atlanta, GA)


Morning Plenary: Courageous Leaders Making Bold Moves in the South

Bold moves to build a brighter future for the Southeast are already taking place throughout our region. A group of leaders unafraid to take big risks will help us kick off the second day of the Annual Meeting for a conversation examining the why and how of channeling courage and commitment into actions that are poised to transform their organizations, empower communities and transform lives.


Flozell Daniels - Chief Executive Officer, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)
Troy Hanna - President & CEO, The Spartanburg County Foundation (Spartanburg, SC)
Matt Leatherman – Board Chair, John Rex Endowment (Raleigh, NC)
Kellan Moore - President & CEO, John Rex Endowment (Raleigh, NC)

Moderator: Darrin Goss, Sr. – President & CEO, Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (North Charleston, SC)


Break & Transition


Breakout Sessions


Rethinking Affordable Housing Strategy – For Funders of Any Size

Affordable housing is at or near crisis levels in almost every community. While many factors contribute to the affordability equation and add up to a huge challenge, there are many opportunities for funders large and small to make a meaningful investment in safe and affordable housing within the neighborhoods they serve. This interactive session will discuss the full continuum of housing needs, from emergency shelter to permanent home ownership, and explain the many key inflection points where potential funders can make meaningful investments. We’ll also look at the full range of tools and strategies funders can deploy to build out their own affordable housing strategies.


Sarah Grymes – VP of Impact, Housing, Dogwood Health Trust (Asheville, NC)
Danny Shoy – Managing Director – Atlanta's Westside and Youth Development, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation (Atlanta, GA)

Moderator: Betsey Russell – Senior Director-Community Engagement, Dogwood Health Trust (Asheville, NC)

How Can White-led Foundations Authentically Engage to Help Build a More Racially Equitable South?

The 2021 Annual Meeting closed with powerful words from author Heather McGhee about how racial inequality hurts us all. For many of us, this was one more reason “why” philanthropy should use its resources to spark transformation that allows all people to reach their full potential, unhindered by hatred, bigotry, exclusion, or discrimination. In this session we’ll address “how” philanthropy, particularly White-led philanthropic organizations, can engage in practices to help build a more racially equitable South.

The moderated panel includes three philanthropic leaders representing different types of organizations, all at different stages in their racial equity journey. We’ll discuss issues such as, but not limited to: What do you do to build your infrastructure for racial equity work? How do you fortify your thinking? How do you ‘move’ trustees, who may also be family members, to engage in racial equity work? What challenges have these three leaders faced? What mistakes have they made? And where have they succeeded in centering racial equity.


Shell Berry – President and CEO, Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area (Augusta, GA)
Shannon Cofrin Gaggero – Director of Grant Services and Trustee, The Homestead Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Dena Kimball – Executive Director, The Kendeda Fund (Atlanta, GA)

Moderator: Tené Traylor – Senior Fellow and Vice President, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute (Atlanta, GA)

Beyond Succession Planning: How to Prepare for a Graceful Exit

Major leadership transitions are now commonplace in philanthropy – among Southern foundations, 23 percent have hired a new CEO in the past two years, and another 5 percent anticipate a new CEO within the following year. Ensuring a peaceful and fruitful transition requires effective succession planning that accounts for the entire organization, including staff and board and operates at all times – not just when a vacancy is imminent. During this session, two leaders who have embraced a graceful transfer of power, paired with ongoing professional development for staff and trustees, will share their insights and how they can be applied to your organization.


Satonya Fair – President & CEO, PEAK Grantmaking (Washington, DC)
Kaki Friskics-Warren – Executive Director, The Dan and Margaret Maddox Fund (Nashville, TN)

Climate Change and Disasters: Philanthropic Impacts and Solutions

In the past few years, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires – all intensified by climate change – have been joined by a pandemic, man-made water system and city service failures, and other catastrophes to create a long list of disasters causing trauma and displacement across the South. This session will explore the cause-and-effect on grantees and places but also examine solutions and steps philanthropy can take to lessen impact and maximize opportunities for rebuilding, redesigning and rethinking an equitable future for impacted places.


Paula Sammons – Senior Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, MI)
Christy Wallace Slater – Vice President of Programs, Women's Foundation of the South (New Orleans, LA)
Patty McIlreavy – President & CEO, Center for Disaster Philanthropy (Washington, DC)

Moderator: Rhea Williams-Bishop – Program Director, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Madison, MS)

Legal Update for Private Foundations: Legal Topics that Affect Foundations

This session will focus on recent or ongoing activities from the law that foundations and their personnel should be aware of. For instance, the United States Supreme Court case involving admissions processes at Harvard and the University of North Carolina could affect how foundations approach race in their decision-making and very likely will affect how many of their grantees engage with those they serve directly. Other topics include attacks on donor advised funds generally and their use by private foundations specifically, concerns about and protections of donor privacy, enforcing naming rights, and the use of new structures (especially purpose trusts and limited liability companies) for philanthropic pursuits, among other topics.

Speaker: John Tyler – General Counsel Secretary, and Chief Ethics Officer, Legal, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (Kansas City, MO)

Public Policy & Philanthropy

Join a discussion of issues in Washington and in state legislatures that are shaping the practice of philanthropy and key priorities like education, health care and more. This session will also look ahead to potential developments in 2024, including races for the White House and Congress.

Speakers for this session will be announced soon!


Break & Transition


General Sessions


Networking Lunch


Afternoon Plenary Session: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. The New York Times's 1619 Project commemorates the 400th anniversary of the beginning of slavery in what would become the United States by examining slavery's modern legacy and reframing the way we understand this history and the contributions of black Americans to the nation. Nikole's lead essay, "Our Democracy's founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true," was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize.

Speaker: Nikole Hannah-Jones – Journalist, The New York Times, and Knight Chair in Race and Journalism, Howard University School of Communications (Brooklyn, NY)

Moderator: David Dodson – Senior Fellow, MDC (Durham, NC)


Break & Transition


Breakout Sessions


Southern Cities & Economic Inclusion: Building a Peer Network and Fostering Economic Growth

The National League of Cities (NLC) initiative, which consists of 16 Southern cities in seven states, has engaged Southern leaders and practitioners to implement targeted economic inclusion strategies by leaning into entrepreneurship, small business financing, job creation and training, procurement, and other levers – all with a strong racial equity lens – to improve outcomes and generate economic growth for Black and Brown residents and businesses.

This session will highlight lessons learned from the NLC initiative that apply to building a Southern peer network and supporting economic inclusion work, while offering an opportunity for active peer learning on innovative approaches that attendees can carry back to their local communities.


Denise Belser – Program Director, Economic Opportunity and Financial Empowerment, National League of Cities (Washington, DC)
David Jackson – Assistant Vice President, Community & Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Paula Sammons – Senior Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation (Battle Creek, MI)

Philanthropic Collaboratives: Leveraging Collective Social Capital and Financial Resources for Increased Impact

Funding collaboratives aren’t new to philanthropy, but the scale of investment and number of independent funder collaboratives have accelerated dramatically in recent years. In this facilitated session, we’ll do a deep dive into two funder collaboratives – Drawdown Georgia and Triangle Capacity-Building Network – and address questions like: When does a collaborative make sense? What are some pitfalls to avoid? What are some best practices for a successful collaborative? How to ensure equity when designing a new process for collaborative grantmaking?


Daniela Cerón – Program Associate, Triangle Community Foundation (Durham, NC)
Dennis Creech – Fund Advisor for Sustainability, The Kendeda Fund (Atlanta, GA)
John Lanier – Executive Director, Ray C. Anderson Foundation (Atlanta, GA)
Eriqah Vincent – Environmental and Climate Justice Leader and Activist (Decatur, GA)

High-Impact Changemaking: Community-Centered Philanthropy at the Intersections of Race, Gender and Sexuality

Effective philanthropy “loves humankind” by broadening the scope, depth, and breadth of how we define, understand, and uplift humanity. We're reassessing everything from the roots to the fruits of our work, starting with embracing the simple premise that communities are made up of diverse and dynamic individuals. Just as social identities are aspects of a whole person, education, housing, health, civil rights, and the environment all profoundly influence individual and community lived experiences.

For funders, this means working to simultaneously address multiple issues and identities in culturally competent ways. But how? Community-led philanthropy evolves traditional philanthropic frameworks by using an intersectional equity lens to center people most affected by the issues funders seek to address. In this conversation, funders will find a supportive space to learn how to apply a more intersectional, equity-based lens to better understand their communities' needs and maximize their impact on issues they care about most deeply.


Chantelle Fisher-Borne – Project Director, Out in the South Initiative (Durham, NC)
Dr. Shonda Jones – Executive Director, School of Professional Studies, Wake Forest University (Charlotte, NC)
Libby Kyles – Director of Community-Led Grantmaking, Tzedek Social Justice Fund (Asheville, NC)
Marco Antonio Quiroga – Executive Director, Contigo Fund (Orlando, FL)

Navigating Partnerships with State and Local Government

In this facilitated conversation, leaders representing a statewide foundation, a local place-based foundation, and a neighborhood revitalization nonprofit will discuss their experiences navigating relationships and partnerships with government that addresses asset- and wealth-building issues for communities adversely impacted by systemic inequities. You will hear how advocacy work can lead to statewide policy change, how foundations are establishing and fueling local nonprofits to bring about long-term change and remedy the harm caused by racial segregation, and how philanthropy can work in partnership with cities and other government agencies to seed efforts that promote economic access and mobility.


Maddie San Juan – Director of Strategic Programs & Initiatives, Women's Foundation of Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)
Elaine Summerfield – Vice President of Community Investment, The Winston-Salem Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)
Mashonda Taylor – CEO, Woodlawn United (Birmingham, AL)

Facilitator: Joy Vermillion Heinsohn – Executive Director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (Winston-Salem, NC)


Trustees-Only Session: The Four Principles of Purpose-Driven Board Leadership – Are We Keeping the Promises We Made in 2020?

In the face of pressing and persistent systemic inequities and years of unprecedented change and disruption, foundation boards are working to prioritize purpose and show respect for the communities and ecosystems where they operate. This requires a commitment to equity and recognizing that power flows from the people who are ultimately served by those who benefit from philanthropy’s support. Thinking around the “purpose-driven board” was first outlined in an SSIR article by BoardSource and it challenges boards to reimagine their most essential governance roles, focusing on equitable social outcomes, broad-based impacts, community representation, and inclusive inclusion listening to accomplish its mission and vision. In this trustees-only session, we will explore these key principles:

  • Purpose Before Organization
  • Respect for Ecosystem
  • Equity Mindset
  • Authorized Voice and Power

Working through these key aspects, we can think deeply about how a board sees itself, help assess where your foundation stands on the path to purpose-driven board leadership and provide the knowledge you need to plot your foundation’s roadmap for moving further along this continuum.

Speaker: Andy Davis – Associate Vice President of Member Education & Outreach, BoardSource (Washington, DC)


Evening Events


President’s Reception (Invitation Only)

Philanthropy Southeast’s strength and stability, not to mention the Annual Meeting and other events and programs, would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and Sustaining Members – their contributions provide the resources necessary to fulfill our mission. The Philanthropy Southeast Board staff will honor and celebrate our supporters at this exclusive event.


Celebrating Sundown: 30 Years of The Kendeda Fund (RSVP required)

On December 31, 2023, the Kendeda Fund will conclude its philanthropic operations, wrapping up 30 years and $1.2 billion in grantmaking, including a heavy focus on the needs of a fast-changing Southeast region. With its sunset now just months away, Kendeda would like to thank the partners and allies who have played key roles in supporting and deepening its impact over the past three decades.

Please join members of the Kendeda Fund team for a hosted reception to mark the Fund's spend out. The gathering will provide a chance to hear from Kendeda’s executive director, Dena Kimball, and other foundation colleagues as we share stories, reminisce, and discuss what Kendeda has learned as a spend out foundation and what its exit could mean for the philanthropic ecosystem in the Southeast.

Speaker: Dena Kimball – Executive Director, The Kendeda Fund (Atlanta, GA)


Hull Fellows and Hull Alumni Reception

Current and alumni members of Philanthropy Southeast’s premier leadership development program are invited to connect during this special reception.


Tour and Salon Dinner: The Mothers of Gynecology

The “Mothers of Gynecology” monument – erected in 2021 amid today’s national reckoning around race in America – honors the sacrifice of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, three enslaved women who were experimental subjects of Dr. J. Marion Sims. The monument stands not far from where Sims’ experiments, including procedures without anesthesia, were conducted. 

On a self-guided tour, attendees will learn of Sims’ career and witness never-before-seen archival documents that reveal the lives and fates of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey. After the tour, a catered dinner will feature a speaker who will share the history of the monument’s development, discuss its importance and explore the sacrifices made by the women it honors. 

Departs from the Renaissance lobby. Transportation will be provided. Space is limited!

Cost: $90


Conversational Dinner Experience at the Alabama Archives

This casual salon dinner comes with only one rule: There shall be a single conversation involving the entire table.

Before the dinner, an email will be sent around giving information about the people who will be attending and the topic of the evening. The topic will be thoughtfully designed to allow guests to share stories and experiences in hopes of creating connection and understanding. To help guests through the conversation, a moderator will provide guidance and create a safe space for everyone to participate. 

Departs from the Renaissance lobby. Transportation will be provided. Space is limited – register now!

Cost: $100

General Session


Breakfast Buffet


Morning Plenary: Dr. Matthew Desmond

The follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller Evicted, Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond’s Poverty, by America draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Desmond builds a startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty. He calls on us all to become poverty abolitionists, engaged in a politics of collective belonging to usher in a new age of shared prosperity and, at last, true freedom.

Speaker: Dr. Matthew Desmond – Professor of Sociology, Princeton University, and Author, Poverty, by America (Princeton, NJ)



Break & Transition


Breakout Sessions


Reckoning with Slavery and Tobacco to Activate Change

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust used its 75th anniversary as a reckoning. The Trust told the story of its roots in racism and turned truth-telling into action for achieving racial equity and systems change. In events across North Carolina, Trust President Dr. Laura Gerald acknowledged the role of slavery and tobacco in generating the Trust’s wealth and of its founder’s apparent comfort with racist, inequitable systems that harmed the very people she sought to help. To repair this history and fulfill the founders’ commitment on today’s terms, Gerald announced that the Trust has divested from tobacco and committed to a socially responsible investment strategy. The session will explore how the Trust looked back to work forward – to examine its history, re-allocate investments, evolve programmatic strategy, engage the community, and use communications to influence the direction of Southern philanthropy.


Calvin Allen – Vice President for Partnerships and Programs, MDC (Durham, NC)
Nora Ferrell – Director of Communications, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)
Dr. Laura Gerald – President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)
Adam Linker – Vice President of Programs, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (Winston-Salem, NC)

Abundance Amplified: Enterprise Capital as a Catalyst for Expanded Impact

Enterprise capital is an emerging best practice that provides multi-year, flexible funding, paired with technical assistance, that supports grantees as they identify the financial model that can build financial sustainability to advance their mission. It can be framed as “the marriage of finance and philanthropy” as it is grounded in an understanding of fundamental rules of finance that can drive financial strength and resilience in the nonprofit sector as powerfully as they do for private investors. While enterprise capital builds upon the practice of general operating grants, it takes several steps forward by investing in net assets to fund the entire enterprise – rather than a specific program or expense – and committing funding for multiple years. Enterprise capital and other creative investment capital practices represent a forward-looking and innovative approach to supporting communities and nonprofits engaged in social change. This session will investigate the implications of catalytic investing and grantmaking and explore how foundations can add this practice to their strategy.


Rev. Cory Anderson – Chief Innovation Officer, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (Little Rock, AR)
Andrea Levere – Executive Fellow, International Center for Finance at Yale School of Management (Silver Spring, MD)
Geoff Marietta – Entrepreneur In Residence, University of the Cumberlands (Williamsburg, KY)

The Grantee Experience: Connecting Process, Grantee Relationships, and Effectiveness

As more funders exhibit their commitment to establishing and maintaining effective relationships with their grantees and partnership dynamics continue to evolve, it is becoming more relevant and imperative to engage in self-reflective practices that create spaces for soliciting feedback from grantee partners, implementing strategic and operational improvements, and understanding the pain points that certain grantmaking practices create in the grantee experience.  In this facilitated session, we’ll do a deep dive into different perspectives in the philanthropic sector and address questions like:

  • Which organizations are learning from grantee feedback?
  • What are some best practices for an exceptional grantee experience?
  • What are the challenges when implementing feedback loops or making improvements as a result of the feedback?

Participants will leave with concrete lessons and tactics to start improving the grantee experience and creating more equitable grantee-centric practices.


Joseph Lee – Manager, Assessment & Advisory Services, The Center for Effective Philanthropy (Cambridge, MA)
Brenda Noiseux – Senior Product Manager, Blackbaud (Manchester, NH)
Kelly Romanoff – Senior Vice President for Strategy and Evaluation, Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation (Sarasota, FL)

Moderator: Sarah Smith – Director of Learning and Evaluation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (Durham, NC)

Addressing Health Equity, Health Worker Shortages and Critical Community Health Issues through Philanthropy

Health outcomes are largely determined by things that fall beyond the traditional bounds of health care – things like food access, transportation and economic opportunity that health care now refers to as the Social Determinants of Health. These same topics clearly interconnect with conversations about equity and health equity, leading many in health philanthropy to think about how to best leverage direct health care, philanthropy and other resources to improve outcomes for people at some of the most critical points in their lives. Join us for a conversation around how three statewide grantmakers are looking at these issues in their communities, how they’ve developed collaborative partnership and designed programs and tactics to make progress against critical problems and what they are learning along the way.


Sharon Hackney – Senior Community Investments Manager, Florida Blue Foundation (Jacksonville, FL)
Tim King – Manager of Community Relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama (The Caring Foundation) (Birmingham, AL)
Chloe Wiley – Foundation Initiatives Manager, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation (Baton Rouge, LA)

Moderator: Michael Tipton – President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation (Baton Rouge, LA)

Sustaining Positive Impact: Second Order Benefits of Including Diverse Managers in Your Portfolio

At the previous Annual Meeting, we brought together philanthropic leaders and minority led asset managers to discuss the potential benefits of cognitive diversity for portfolio returns. This year, we’ll take the conversation beyond performance and explore the second order effects of improving manager diversity. Examples include better aligning investment programs with your mission as well as advancing career pathways for young people of diverse or non-traditional backgrounds in the investment profession. How can we optimize returns while also creating positive impact in the communities we care about?


Stephen Cammock – Managing Director, Private Equity Investments, GCM Grosvenor (New York, NY)
Kenneth M. Jones – Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (Chicago, IL)
Malik T. Murray – Senior Vice President, Head of Business Development, Institutional Marketing, Ariel Investments (Chicago, IL)

Moderator: Armond Reese, CFA, AIF, CAIA – Institutional Investment Advisor, Truist Foundations & Endowments Specialty Practice (Atlanta, GA)

Sponsored by Truist Foundations & Endowments Specialty Practice

Navigating the Glass Cliff: Lessons from the Field
Since the advent of the term “Glass Cliff” 20 years ago to describe the challenges faced by women promoted to higher positions within an organization, the term has broadened to describe the challenging position many BIPOC leaders find themselves in when they follow white leaders. Data from the 2022 Building Movement Project "Race to Lead" report indicates “a ten percentage-point gap between executive leaders of color (62%) and white EDs/CEOs (72%) who indicated they received support from peers and affinity groups over their careers.” In our efforts to uncover how we can best support CEOs and boards, we want to engage leaders directly to explore the creation of resources and programming.

In this session, BoardSource leaders will share what they have learned so far in their listening work, including the areas where challenges seem prevalent, and focus on BoardSource’s recent work around executive transitions, previewing what’s ahead for their work through an open dialogue about how the search field and BoardSource can work more closely to shape the future leadership of the nonprofit sector.


Andy Davis – Associate Vice President of Education and Outreach, BoardSource (Washington, DC)
Angelyn C. Frazer-Giles – Director of Governance Networks and Innovation, BoardSource (Milford, DE) 
Monika Varma – CEO, BoardSource (Washington, DC)


Break & Transition


Keynote Session


Closing Keynote: Anthony Ray Hinton

Wrongfully convicted of murder, Anthony Ray Hinton was on Alabama’s death row for 28 years before his exoneration and release from prison. Today, the author of the powerful memoir The Sun Does Shine is an Equal Justice Initiative Community Educator and a tireless and powerful advocate for abolition of the death penalty.

Speaker: Anthony Ray Hinton – Community Educator, Equal Justice Initiative, and Author, The Sun Does Shine (Montgomery, AL)

Moderator: Robert Dortch – Philanthropy Southeast Board Chair and Co-Founder, Ujima Legacy Fund (Richmond, VA)


Post-Conference Activities


State of the South: Developing Philanthropic Coalitions that Disrupt Systems of Poverty & Inequity

Developing equitable communities and disrupting poverty will require collaborative partnerships that advocate better policies and leverage foundation and government funding to increase impact. Foundations “moving forward together” represent an enormous potential to create transformative coalitions to produce better outcomes for communities. In this dialogue, we will ask:

  • How can philanthropic partnerships disrupt systems of poverty and create greater impact in Southern communities who have not benefitted from ongoing investment?
  • How can local funders leverage investments from national foundations and federal programs to increase impact?
  • How can philanthropy ensure equitable investment across urban, suburban, and rural communities in the South?
  • How best can community foundations engage in legislative advocacy to develop better policies for disinvested communities?

Participants will gain an understanding for strategies to develop successful coalitions and engage city, county, and state policymakers toward policy design and investments to eliminate poverty.

MDC equips Southern leaders, institutions, and communities with the necessary tools and strategies to advance equity-particularly racial and gender equity-and economic mobility. At the heart of its work is an abiding commitment to the South, deep knowledge and over 50 years of experience designing, testing, and scaling strategies that work to bring equity and opportunity to the people in our region.

The State of the South series aims to bring policymakers, academics, foundation and nonprofit leaders, artists, and community organizers into dialogue on the strategies needed to create equity and reckon with contemporary economic, social, and environmental challenges.


Amber Brown – Program Director, Grantmakers for Southern Progress (East Point, GA)
Bernie Mazyck – President & CEO, SCACED (Charleston, SC)
Gerry Roll – CEO, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky (Hazard, KY))

Moderator: John Simpkins – President, MDC (Durham, NC)

Cost: $75

Site Visit


Guided Experience: The Legacy Museum

Experience Montgomery’s Legacy Museum through an immersive process facilitated by the Radical Optimist Collective. Facilitators will engage attendees in a process to provide for a grounded and intentional journey, along with a debrief that will help unpack learning and create a renewed commitment to racial justice and healing. The Collective uses trauma-informed and cultural somatic methods to support both the group and individual experience. Attendees will receive a brief orientation before departing for the Legacy Museum for a 1:30pm entry.

Departs from the Renaissance lobby. Price includes admission to the museum and same day re-entry is permitted. Please wear comfortable shoes.

Cost: $100


Shakita Brooks Jones – Strategy & Facilitation Consultant, Radical Optimist Collective (Montgomery, AL)
Staci Walker – Strategy & Facilitation Consultant, Radical Optimist Collective (Montgomery, AL)
Lisa Flick Wilson – Strategy & Facilitation Consultant, Radical Optimist Collective (Montgomery, AL)


Post-Conference Session

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

Legacy Sponsor



Inspiration Sponsor



Premier Sponsor



Champion Sponsor



Trailblazer Sponsor



Visionary Sponsors



Sustainer Sponsors



Leader Sponsors



Supporter Sponsors




Philanthropy Southeast's Code of Conduct 

Philanthropy Southeast is composed of a broad and diverse membership of grantmakers. At our core, we are a community of grantmakers connecting with each other to improve the practice of grantmaking in the Southeast.

At our meetings and events, we also welcome visitors from non-member organizations who attend as presenters or participants. Philanthropy Southeast strives to create a comfortable place for all Members, visitors, and others engaged in philanthropy to exchange experiences and ideas and engage in conversations that are welcoming and of benefit to all participants. As such, Philanthropy Southeast is not a venue for grant seekers, fundraisers, or other types of charitable solicitations during any of its meetings, events or through its publications nor is it an appropriate venue to conduct political activities. We ask that our Members and visitors not solicit at Philanthropy Southeast-sponsored events or programs and that Members and visitors not use information obtained through their Philanthropy Southeast membership or participation in Philanthropy Southeast events for charitable, business or other solicitations outside of those events.

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.