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Report: South Lags in Philanthropy, Tops in Need


Thursday, April 27, 2017   

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The South is home to some of the fastest growing communities in the country, including Raleigh, which ranks number one nationwide, yet philanthropic dollars have not followed the population shift,
according to the first of a series of reports from Grantmakers for Southern Progress and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP).

LaTosha Brown helped author the report "As the South Grows" and explains what researchers are seeing.

"We're seeing the growth in the South,” she states. “We're seeing the South become more diverse. We're seeing all of the richness, yet we don't see the philanthropic dollars the same way and just based on the demographic growth and the richness of the people and the place, there's a tremendous amount of missed opportunity."

The report specifically looked at Alabama and Mississippi and found that large foundations gave the equivalent of $41 per person, compared with $1,000 a person in New York.

Brown says the situation is similar in North Carolina, where the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, which belongs to Brown’s organization, is located.

The report recommends nonprofit groups build relationships with local and national partners, and that those partners commit to understanding the identity and history of the region.

Brown says with the future of public dollars in question because of the new Trump administration, it's all the more important that nonprofit organizations and the private sector work together to support the needs that come from a growing population in the South.

"While this is a shift in the political environment, this is also an opportunity for philanthropy to be reflective around how are we supporting and building the kind of work we want and we need, and we certainly know that in order to do that in this country you cannot leave the South behind," she states.

Grantmakers for Southern Progress and NCRP hope the report helps funders understand how to find the existing "change makers" in southern communities to utilize their network to distribute financial support.

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