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               Guiding Principles


As a funder network, Grantmakers For Southern Progress’s primary strategy is to promote progress within philanthropy by helping to transform philanthropic giving and practice. Specifically, Grantmakers For Southern Progress seeks to greatly expand the number of Southern-based and National funders committed to equity-focused structural change in the South, and to substantively increase their investment in long-term, strategic, and coordinated grant making. This includes transforming philanthropic practice to foster:

  • An understanding that equity is not a strategy of the work, it is the work;

  • A deep analysis of race, gender and class dynamics and how they impact lived experiences and philanthropy in the region;

  • An understanding that the South is a critical area of investment for equitable change in the country;

  • The adoption of an asset-based perspective on the South from more National funders and a recognition of the need for equity focused structural change work from more Southern funders;

  • Equitable and sustained giving for equity focused structural change work, particularly in rural areas;

  • A respect for the wisdom and unique capacities of Southern communities, particularly those are who most affected, to define and lead the process for change in the region;

  • Trust based, authentic partnerships between National and Southern foundations, as well as between practitioners and funders;

  • Replacing the philanthropic posture of hierarchy and charity with the practice of solidarity and support.