Southern philanthropy, national impact

Written by: Ben Barge, Ryan Schlegel

Date: June 13, 2018

Between 2011 and 2015, foundations invested 56 cents in the South – per person – for every $1 they invested per person nationally. 

In the two plus years NCRP and GSP have embarked on As the South Grows, we’ve met countless people across the South who have dedicated their lives to deep, lasting change. These courageous leaders confront hard truths, build power strategically, and make sure no one gets left behind.

Despite proven leadership, Southern communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, women and girls, justice-involved people, and low-income folks cannot count on the philanthropic sector’s support.

This doesn’t have to be the case. There’s a different path foundations can take: one that will require honesty, and open-ness, and a willingness to question assumptions. It’s one that will be incredibly rewarding, not only for Southern communities, but for the nation.

So Grows the Nation, the fifth and final capstone report in the As the South Grows series, offers that path, with concrete tips for foundation practice, funding comparisons for every Southern state, and tools for foundations to examine the untapped power they have to create change.

Whether you’re a national funder looking to deepen your investment, or a Southern foundation ready to tackle injustice at its roots, this report is for you. We believe, as we note in the report, that “the soil for growing exciting solutions to national problems is deep and fertile in the South; the seeds are present, and foundation staff haven’t turned on the water. It’s time to open the spigot.”

For As the South Grows, So Grows the Nation.  

Ben Barge is senior associate for learning and engagement and Ryan Schlegel is director of research at NCRP. Follow @NCRP on Twitter.

Photo by praline3001Used under Creative Commons license.

3