What is The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy?

Very little has been written about the way in which grant-making foundations shaped and were shaped by the South. The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy: Stories of Grant-Makers in the South seeks to fill at least part of the gap. Indeed, the book begins its story with the thinking of our country’s Founders and the role they envisioned for philanthropy in the new republic, unspools its narrative thread through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and two world wars, and ends with a thorough examination of modern philanthropy in the region.

Particular attention is given to the crippling effect that slavery, Jim Crow, and the Lost Cause has had upon the building of a civil society in the South, and how generous and compassionate philanthropists have worked to alleviate that burden.

The book appropriately concludes by chronicling the emergence of the Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF), the geographically largest regional association of grant- makers in the country. The organization is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.

The authors unapologetically approach all of the material with a distinct point of view: that foundations are at their best when they help to move people from a state of dependency to one of self-sufficiency, and thereby contribute to the building of a democratic, civil society.

The authors speak from authority. Martin Lehfeldt is the former president of the Southeastern Council of Foundations. Jamil Zainaldin has recently retired as president emeritus of the Georgia Humanities Council. For more information, see this website’s authors page.

The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy will be read with interest by laborers in the vineyards of philanthropy, other not-for-profit leaders and volunteers, and any reader intrigued by Southern history.

Order it now directly from the publisher—or anywhere books are sold, November 21.

Media Inquiries:

Adam Volle, The Storyline Group—470-265-0311—adam@thestorylinegroup.com