“George Penick, president of the Foundation for the Mid South in Jackson, Mississippi, convened a gathering of foundation leaders in Memphis to begin coordinating a response to the cataclysm. Byron Harrell, president of Baptist Community Ministries in New Orleans, and Ted Alexander, president of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation in Picayune, Mississippi, were among the first philanthropic leaders to begin sharing detailed accounts of the devastation and calling for financial and other support from the foundation field. Both regional and national grant-makers responded generously to these and other solicitations. Penick and Lehfeldt co-hosted a national conference call to share information, and during the following months Lehfeldt paid several visits to the hurricane-damaged region to meet with SECF members and donor associations.35 Reflecting on the events of that period, he took note of the importance of the region having a philanthropic infrastructure to facilitate communication and collaboration.”

Excerpted from The Liberating Promise of Philanthropy.

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