New Partnerships

Grantmakers for Southern Progress, in partnership with the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, is launching a four-part investigative research and resource report series around place based strategies for supporting structural change in the south. The first installment of the project, As the South Grows: On Fertile Soil, was released in early April 2017.

As a result of several funder learning tours held in Alabama’s blackbelt region, we are excited to announce that a core group of funder partners are currently working together to explore the possibility and create a plan for creating an Alabama Blackbelt’s Funders Network. Grantmakers for Southern Progress is excited to be a part of the founding strategic planning group. The MG Goodrich Foundation hosted the first open strategy and planning meeting in Birmingham, AL.

Past Programming

GSP Spring Convening | Charleston, SC | April 5-7, 2017

Grantmakers for Southern Progress hosted our first membership convening and spring gathering held in Charleston, South Carolina. The gathering brought funder partners and practitioners that support and/or work in the South to share strategies, learn together, and deepen our relationships as we work to advance progress in the region.

Moving the South Forward in the New Reality: A Post-Election Funder Briefing | Webinar | December 16, 2016

NFG's Grantmakers for Southern Progress working group, along with the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation and Funders for LGBTQ Issues' Out in the South Initiative, co-hosted a conference call for funders to explore the impact of the 2016 election results in Southern communities.

Click here to view the recap, recording, and slides from the webinar.

Understanding and Addressing Violence Against Marginalized Communities In The South | Amelia Island, FL | November 11, 2016

Grantmakers for Southern Progress, Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Change Philanthropy, and ABFE co-hosted a post-conference session at the Southeastern Council of Foundation 2016 Annual Meeting. The purpose of the session was to serve as a call to re-evaluate, rethink and reframe relationships among funders and vulnerable Southern communities.

GSP Leadership Retreat | Atlanta, GA | October 6-7, 2016

GSP held its 2016 annual leadership retreat in Atlanta at the National Center for Human and Civil Rights. Over the course of two days, the members of the GSP steering committee will convene with core members and funder partners, including Annie E. Casey, Open Society Foundations, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Blackbelt Community Foundation, Four Freedoms Fund, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Educational Foundation of America, Hill-Snowdon Foundation, MF Goodrich Foundation, National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy, Baptist Health Trust, Ms Foundation, Southern Education Foundation, Kandeda Fund, Greater New Orleans Funders Network, and Southern Partners Fund.

#FundSouth Session at the Joint Affinity Group Unity Summit | Washington, DC | June 6-8, 2014

The South has proven its ability to organize quickly and powerfully in response to attacks on low-income families and marginalized communities – including the recent coordinated grassroots response to the Zimmerman verdict; the striking down of all progressive policies in North Carolina; national delays for comprehensive immigration reform; and the erosion of voting rights for underrepresented communities, among other challenges. These well-executed responses are the result of something bigger—an emerging and encouraged movement for Southern transformation in the 21st century. Since the Gulf Coast crisis in 2005, this new generation of leadership in the South has committed to build the kind of infrastructure and movement strategies that are able to confront and withstand attack.

This session explored these grassroots movements, philanthropy’s response to these attacks on social justice in the South, and some of the ways we are looking to respond effectively to movement building opportunities across the region. 

Stronger Partnerships for Structural Change: A Strategy Session on Working Well With National Funders | New Orleans, LA | November 12-14, 2014

Partnering with national funders to support work in Southern states is easier said than done. Sometimes, even with generally shared goals, we face barriers based on differences in the language we use, how we talk about change, and how we approach potential partnerships. This workshop, a mini-plenary at the Southeastern Council on Foundations 2014 Annual Meeting, showcased specific ways in which foundations or funder networks have sought to use the recommendations from GSP’s report As the South Goes towards stronger partnerships. Presenters included:

  • Ben Francisco-Maulbeck – Executive Director, Funders  for LGBTQ Issues
  • Meg Coward – President, Laughing Gull Foundation
  • Frank Fernandez – VP for Community Development, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
  • LaTosha Brown – GSP Project Director

GSP Leadership Retreat | Atlanta, GA | March 6-7, 2014

GSP leaders met to focus on vision, values, mission, and core strategic work.  GSP’s plan for the next several years was developed based on all of the good thinking at this retreat.

After Alabama: Immigration Legislation and Community Response in the Changing South | Webinar | March 2012

In March 2012, GSP sponsored a webinar on immigration policy and organizing in the South, in partnership with the NFG Working Group on Labor and Community Partnerships, PIP, GCIR, FCCP, and Interfaith Funders. Chris Kromm with the Institute for Southern Studies provided the demographic and political context. Cathy Montoya, then Senior Field Program Manager with the Leadership Conference on Civic and Human Rights provided an overview of the status of immigration policy and related advocacy in the South, and Kathy Sykes, Lead Organizer with the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance grounded us in what a successful campaign in a Southern state can and should look like (i.e., long term, multi-racial, connected to the faith community, connected to labor).  

Click here for the audio recording of this webinar.

GSP followed this in April 2012 with a teleconference, Funder Strategy on Immigration Policy in the South, to focus on strategy sharing among funders interested in doing more in the region on this issue.

Pre-Conference Session at the Neighborhood Funders Group 2011 Annual Conference | Albuquerque, NM | October 25, 2011

Grantmakers for Southern Progress (formerly the Southern Organizing Working Group) hosted an orientation and update session for current and prospective Working Group members, and kicked-off their Southern Social Justice Dialogue Series in a pre-session convening at the 2011 NFG Annual Conference.

This first Southern Social Justice Dialogue offered an analysis of the major bellwether Southern trends and policies related to labor and worker rights, immigration, and civic engagement, and provided examples of effective strategies used to push back against these policies in the South. The purpose of this session was to engage funders in a dialogue about what we can learn from the struggle for social justice in the South, and how that can be applied to efforts in other parts of the country.

The panel, moderated by Flozell Daniels, Jr., President and CEO, Foundation for Louisiana, featured Chris Kromm, Derrick Johnson, and Maria del Rosario Rodriguez. Featured here is Chris Kromm, Executive Director of Facing South and the publisher of Facing South (the Institute for Southern Studies' online publication), and Southern Exposure magazine.

Click here for a recording of the panel.

Member Highlight

See video highlights of Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation during the Hill-Snowdon sponsored learning tour in Atlanta, GA.