Key Findings

  • 50 Years of Philanthropy in the South

    The 2019 Southern Trends Report provides key data on the growth of Southeastern philanthropy over the last 50 years. It highlights the growth in the region since SECF's formation in 1969 and provides a snapshot of recent trends from the 21st century.

  • Assets of Southeastern foundations have more than doubled since 2004.

    Assets of private, community and operating foundations in the 11-state SECF footprint totaled just over $51 billion in 2004 and first topped $100 billion in 2014.

  • The majority of giving by Southeastern foundations stays within the region.

    An average of 63 percent, or close to two-thirds of grant dollars awarded between 2014-2016 by the region’s foundations, went to recipient organizations located within the Southeast.

  • Education continues to be the leading target of foundation funding in the Southeast.

    In terms of subject focus, education has been the leading recipient of grant dollars awarded by Southeastern foundations since 2014 for each of the 11 Southeast states as well as for the region overall.

  • The overwhelming majority of Southeastern foundations are smaller in size.

    Among all active foundations in the region, more than 85% hold assets of $5 million or less. While the Southeast is home to many large and prominent funders, a majority of foundations in the region are smaller in size and more locally focused.

  • Community, corporate and health legacy foundations account for a disproportionate share of giving in the region.

    Although these three foundation types make up less than 5 percent of the total number of foundations and hold about a fifth of all foundation assets in the region, they are the source of about one out of every three grant dollars awarded.

  • Previously printed Southern Trends Report

    The 2016 Southern Trends Report provides key data on the growth of Southeastern philanthropy, including trends in the number of foundations, assets and giving over a ten-year period. The report also offers an overview of responses to questions regarding foundations’ grantmaking practices from a 2016 market analysis of the Southeastern Council of Foundations’ membership.