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Philanthropy in the South: The Urgent Case and Some Guidance for Foundations and Nonprofits

February 7, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Nonprofit Quarterly and NCRP
Philanthropy in the South: The Urgent Case and Some Guidance for Foundations and Nonprofits
February 7, 2018

Please join us as we explore the critical and urgent topic of philanthropic funding in the American South. This session will be introduced through a special interview with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker.

This session will explore the problems of underfunding in areas critical to our national interest, through the lens of this longstanding example. It should be of great interest to foundation staff, individual philanthropists, community-based organizations in marginalized communities and environmental activists. 

What will be discussed

Through the As the South Grows initiative, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and Grantmakers for Southern Progress have periodically reminded foundations that funding in the South does not match either its need or potential, but if last month’s voter turnout in Alabama did not convince you of the wastefulness of ignoring that message, maybe nothing will.

2017 brought historic hurricanes, aggressive deregulation of our air, water, and civil rights, and fervent denials about the reality of climate change from within the very agencies tasked with protecting our environment. Amidst this urgency, more actors in philanthropy have become interested in environmental justice and climate resilience.

Southerners are leading some of the most promising work to defend our land and our livelihoods, particularly Southerners of color and in low-income communities. After all, the modern environmental justice movement began in the American South. After decades laboring amidst a culture at best apathetic to black and brown communities’ environmental justice concerns, few may be better equipped to build power in today’s national context than Southern grassroots leaders.

What do funders need to understand differently in order to make a more to-scale commitment to this important region and advance progress for us all?


Ryan Schlegel, Senior Research and Policy Associate, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Flozell Daniels, President and CEO, Foundation for Louisiana

Alison Corwin, Program Officer, Sustainable Environments, Surdna Foundation

Esther Calhoun, President, Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice


February 7, 2018
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
Nonprofit Quarterly


Keeping a close eye on philanthropy