Southern communities are rich with natural leaders and existing organizations — whether incorporated as a 510(c)3 or not — but often funders don’t recognize them... Southern leaders who come from and are deeply connected to those affected by poverty, racism, sexism and other injustices are those most well-equipped to lead positive change in their communities."
— As the South Grows: On Fertile Soil
Despite growing challenges to civil rights, inclusion and economic justice across the country, and especially in the South, the philanthropic sector has not recognized the potential in local organizations and the legacy civil rights infrastructure of the Alabama Black Belt, the Mississippi Delta and places like them across the South.
Across the Deep South — where building democratic accountability and collective power for disenfranchised communities was once a globally recognized specialty — there are exciting opportunities for philanthropic investment. If Southern and national funders as well as individual donors come together and identify specific places and causes that align with their values, Southern leaders in the Deep South can and will change their communities for the better.
As the South Grows: On Fertile Soil is the first installment of the As the South Grows series by our friends at Grantmakers for Southern Progress (GSP) and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). The series elevates the stories and perspectives of nonprofit leaders in Alabama and the Deep South, and offers their recommendations for funders.