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Generously Speaking

The theme of "Generously Speaking" is generosity. The concept is to share some of CapDev's conversations with philanthropic leaders so that listeners can be a "fly on the wall" and benefit from discussions of great generosity in action in our region. Join members of the CapDev team as we host a wide array of leaders. You will hear directly from leading philanthropists, foundation executives, corporate leaders and others who share their experience, insights, and ideas on the nature of generosity and philanthropic giving.


  • Corporate Leader Speaks to the Pandemic: Juan Austin, Wells Fargo

    Published April 17, 2020

    A conversation with the Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Corporate Philanthropy and Community Relations for our Wells Fargo region in a time of pandemic

    View Full Episode Notes

    Episode Notes:

    • Juan has been with Wachovia + Wells Fargo for 33 years
    • Covering 4 states (NC, SC, VA, MD) and DC
    • Economic ramifications of the virus – financial services industry is working hard to restore the health of the economy. CEO thanks team and customers of Wells Fargo as we all face challenges. "The only way we get through this moment is together, with flexibility, resolve, and collaboration. We'll do our best to adapt to the needs of our communities… expedite grantmaking to ensure that nonprofits receive their grants quickly
    • $175 million committed in response to COVID-19 by Wells Fargo: to address food, shelter, small business and public health needs (ex: $1M to Feeding America) – repurposed all of 2020 budgets = $27M+ to this region by providing "highly flexible funding"
      • Opened grant portal on rolling basis thru end of August – encouraged past nonprofit partners to apply before May 31
      • Especially want to serve diverse and under-served communities
      • Also supporting small businesses with lending, advisory services, financial health and counseling
      • Have some bandwidth to consider nonprofits who are pivoting to address COVID-19 community needs
    • "As a corporate funder, the best thing that we can do is be flexible and nimble to support our nonprofits when they sorely need it."
      • Pausing all site visits
      • Suspending in-person volunteer activities thru end of April; hope to resume
      • Allow organizations to repurpose 2019 grants to use in the way the makes the most sense for them
    • Proactive in reaching out to grantees (partners who've received grants over the past 3 years) – encouraged to get grant proposals in quickly, using a new "short-form" grant application process
    • Past 3 giving priorities are still applicable to current needs – 2 examples:
      • NC Grantmakers Network: call with Gov. Cooper on 4/15 – funders need to continue focusing on their mission
      • WSJ article about PPP: work in past with disaster recovery prepared Wells Fargo to ramp up support in preparation, especially for small and minority-owned businesses, driving resources to those most in need at this time
    • His team meets weekly to talk about impact: "silver lining is that funders have become true collaborators"
    • "We've seen nonprofit organizations really step up to fill gaps."
    • Value of financial education work of past is coming into play now
    • Communication with partners: grant funding cycles around 3 priorities have changed with the 2020 acceleration – "We want to give nonprofit partners a chance to breathe." In Q4 will assess and have conversations with grantees in preparation for 2021
    • Grantees reach WF primarily by email now, which works best and WF can be most responsive
    • Generosity example: proactively reached out to grantees in March by email to notify them that WF stands with them and would be flexible with them throughout this year – one of the responses expressed great thanks and personal appreciation back to the WF team, in thanks for "strategically looking out for the nonprofit community." Short notes of thanks are meaningful.
    • Juan expressed his thanks for "resolve, endurance and ability to have a can-do attitude"
    • Roy T. Bennett quote from "The Light and the Heart" – Attitude is a choice… kindness is a choice… giving is a choice… whatever you choose, it makes you, so choose wisely
    • Wells Fargo loan portal is open
      • Stimulus payments started today – WF pausing any collection of negative balances for 30 days from the date of those stimulus payments
      • Donating fees associated with PPP loans back to communities

    *Following our conversation, Juan shared a brief on how Wells Fargo is responding to COVID-19 in support of their customers, team members and communities, which you can read here.

    **Side-note: Allan Burrows and Juan Austin served together on board of the NC Center for Nonprofits.

    Juan Austin:

    In his role with Wells Fargo, Juan provides leadership to: all Corporate Philanthropy and Employee Involvement activities in North Carolina, (Exception: Greater Charlotte Region) South Carolina, District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Austin's primary focus is delivering strategic and brand/reputation building corporate philanthropy. Areas of emphasis include consulting, strategic analysis, training, budgeting, forecasting and proposal review & approvals. Since joining Wachovia in 1986, Austin has gained experience in several areas of the bank including Auto Dealer Finance, Retail, Business Banking, Community Lending & Investment, Commercial Banking and Wealth Management.

    Juan is a native of Greensboro, NC, where he now lives with his wife; they have two adult children. He has been with the company since 1986, and holds a B.S. in Wealth & Trust Management from Campbell University, as well as Corporate Social Responsibility Certification from Boston College.

    He is a current Board Member of the following: NC Community Foundation; Campbell University Business School Advisory Council; Mount Zion Baptist Church, Chair Finance Committee; and a past Board Member of: NC A&T State University Board of Visitors; NC Business Committee for Education; NC Center for Nonprofits; NC Public School Forum; Liberty Street Community Development Corporation; Youth Focus, Inc., Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Greensboro, Reading Connections, Inc.; N.C. Community Development Inc. - Initiative Capital

  • Foundation Leaders Address Effects of Pandemic: Rhett Mabry

    Published April 06, 2020

    A talk with the executive president of The Duke Endowment, in a time of spreading pandemic

    View Full Episode Notes

    Allan and Clare interview Rhett Mabry, President of The Duke Endowment:

    Episode Notes:

    • Advice: be patient, safe, focus on basic needs of recipients
    • Focus on healthcare grantee needs
    • Help is on the way (stimulus, and private support); Duke Endowment's first-ever specially called meeting to provide support in NC and SC in response to the coronavirus crisis
    • Response – Recovery – Rebuilding: have usually focused on 2nd two phases, but this time more focus on needs in the 1st phase – Response (hurricane metaphor); like to use intermediaries to get resources where needed
    • Board engagement: nonprofit leaders need to reach out to their board leaders for their thoughts and perspectives in this time
    • Brene Brown on 60 Minutes: humans need each other, need to stay connected
    • Duke Endowment is hearing from grantees; Spring is busy time for grantmaking recommendations in each of their 4 focus areas – now scheduling zoom calls with grantees to check-in on possible changes in their priorities and flexibility in spending current resources
    • Areas identified by Mr. Duke in 1924 are still relevant today: education, healthcare, churches, children; "challenges and opportunities are still there"
    • Education: all 4 colleges The Duke Endowment supports have gone all online
    • Healthcare: effect on hospitals can be counter-intuitive due to foregoing elective surgeries at this time and its negative on revenue due to shifting their service mix to focus on virus relief, "creating a cash challenge" especially for rural hospitals
    • Churches: also mostly online, and many rural churches are not equipped yet for online giving
    • Children: nurse home visitors are moving to telemedicine for consults; crisis could lead to Medicaid funding improvements in reimbursements
    • An epidemiologist in NY Times wrote about re. past pandemics changing life going forward – there could opportunity for improvements from this; "I'm optimistic that we will learn from this." – such as working on an after-action review with the NC/SC institutes of medicine to analyze and better prepare
    • Generosity: Mary Semans – "She was a saint." Shared example of a pre-med student who Mary inspired to become an actor and sent to London for theater training, and he now has a Tony from his work on Broadway.

    PS: At the end of our podcast we promised to bring you the latest news from The Duke Endowment's first-ever called board meeting this week, so here is the headline and a link to the press release, demonstrating their generosity for Carolinians at this time:

    The Duke Endowment Awards $2.5 Million in COVID-19 Relief for the Carolinas

    Grants Focus on Statewide Response Efforts Aimed at Addressing Critical Needs

    Click here to read the press release.

    Rhett Mabry:

    A native of Greensboro, N.C., Mabry joined the Endowment in 1992 as Associate Director of Health Care. He became Director of Child Care in 1998, was named Vice President of the Endowment in 2009, and became President in 2016. Mabry holds a Master of Health Administration from Duke University and a bachelor's degree from UNC Chapel Hill. Before joining the Endowment, he was a manager at Ernst & Young and HCA West Paces Ferry Hospital. He has served on the North Carolina Governor's Early Childhood Advisory Council and the board of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research. He is a past board chair of the Southeastern Council of Foundations, and serves as an Observer to the Duke University Board of Trustees.

  • Foundation Leaders Address Effects of Pandemic: Damon Circosta

    Published April 02, 2020

    A talk with the executive director of the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, in a time of spreading pandemic

    View Full Episode Notes

    Allan and Clare interview Damon Circosta, Executive Director and Vice President, A.J. Fletcher Foundation.

    Episode Notes:

    • Damon/A.J. Fletcher Foundation's advice: exposure of the value of nonprofits doing their work is heartwarming; the next phase of rebuilding is where philanthropy can play a key role; encouraged by the nonprofit sector
    • Communicating with grantees with a light touch: "there are decades where nothing happens, and then there are weeks where decades happen."
    • All grantees have pivoted: SE Raleigh Promise, Oak City Cares, Healing Transitions, for example
    • Initially hit "pause button" on current conversations with new potential grantees; then shifted to conversations with current grantees to be present for them as needed
    • Damon expects most foundations will be doing their "real work" over next 6-24 months; foundation's role is ensuring nonprofits survive these economic changes
    • "Throwing out the rule book" thinking about philanthropy
    • Jim Goodmon's first questions are always: 1. What are the facts? 2. How can we help? – We will figure this out.
    • Feeling good mentally and physically: flexibility, balance, and dietary changes – learning to go easier on ourselves
    • "It's OK to be OK not being as OK."
    • Asking, "What is essential" takes on new meaning for nonprofits. Remember the need we all have for one another – we are all essential for each other.
    • Shaping public policy and media ventures – advocacy and good information is critical in the sector
    • This has "truly never happened before… and lays bare exactly how capable we are as a society. …I think we will see wholesale changes to the way the world works after this event."
    • "Difficult times reveal our noblest selves" (quoted by Allan) – How do we not lose this connection point?
    • Looking for the silver linings: wealth inequality has occurred more recently; yet after tragedies such as this, "we've got an opportunity, when we get to the other side of this, to think about polarization and wealth inequality…."
    • Example of generosity: visits to the local bakery, "generosity sometimes requires showing up and doing the job"
    • Board of Elections: Damon chairs the board and reminds us that we will "find a way to get it done," and is very proud of the staff of the NC Board of Elections to "get the vote to work."

    Damon Circosta:

    Damon has been the Executive Director of AJF since 2012 where he has spearheaded several initiatives that help non-profits thrive. Damon comes to work every day heartened by all of the good things happening in the non-profit sector and AJF's unique role as funders, partners, counselors and helpers in these endeavors.

    His favorite quote, originally attributed to an 18th Century French Philosopher, but made known to Damon in a book about surfing sums up how he feels about his job:

    "A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both."

    A native of Arizona, Damon has lived in California, Hawaii and (for a few weeks each year) on the shores of Walloon Lake, Michigan. Previously, Damon led the North Carolina Center for Voter Education, an organization dedicated to improving the electoral process. He currently serves as the chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections as well as a professor of the practice at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona School of Law. If you ask him, he will tell you way too much about his paleo diet and "fringe" sports pursuits like surfing, ultimate frisbee, climbing and pickleball. He vehemently opposes Daylight Savings Time.

  • Nonprofits Tackle Pandemic: Madeleine McGee

    Published April 01, 2020

    Advice and thoughts from TogetherSC, Allies for Good, South Carolina's statewide network of nonprofit leaders, in a time of spreading pandemic

    View Full Episode Notes

    Allan and Clare interview Madeleine McGee, President of TogetherSC:

    Episode Notes:

    • TogetherSC, Allies for Good, is the statewide network of nonprofit leaders, has been around for 23 years, and is about 800-members strong
    • Philanthropic partners: United Way Association and the SC Grantmakers Group have come together for first time in the past year to work on the Census, and now re. coronavirus with weekly calls à 2 weekly calls convening now (nearly 150 people on those calls this week)
    • General advice: you have to believe that change can happen… for the good; "if you like problem solving, this is a great time to be doing our work;" reimagine in the face of change; stay positive; consider how we do it differently
    • For members: communications plan – Good Connections every other Monday, sharing a section on reimagining to share positive things people are doing, inspiration, resources (esp. from Business Partners); also sending weekly email; strengthening advocacy allies network (such as a letter to the Governor re. nonprofits' needs and regulatory changes needed)
    • Surveying nonprofits' needs to formulate responses
    • Literacy Association taking training online, as an example of a benefit for good happening at this time
    • "If we do this right, it really could help alleviate some of the underlying inequities… to wipe away the cover of what should have been in plain sight, which was immense inequities in rural communities" (citing Hurricane Hugo as an example)
    • Now exposing lack of internet in our rural households: 193,000 (10% of households in SC) have none or have insufficient internet
    • Role of the board: most EDs are in their roles because of their passion, not because they love management (80% have budgets under $750k) à opportunity for business people on boards to lend their expertise to help in scenario planning and thinking through options and making decisions; need to lean in and provide counseling, technical advice and crisis strategic thinking; crisis management could be rewarding for board
    • Recommend: weekly calls with board leaders
    • Boards: 1. Ask the Chair to "lean in" and customize the ask to each board member for how they can help; 2. Confirm their ability to engage; 3. Fully engage leadership pipeline now
    • Very important to have a good Treasurer now
    • Not the time for board to "play devil's advocate" right now; responsible for "nurturing" EDs as part of their board role – ask insightful questions, bring cheer, partner with senior leadership
    • Advice re. foundation relationships: power dynamic between funders and nonprofits needs to be evaluated and put aside at this time – need to be able to make shifts in use of funds as needed in crisis, staying in close communication with funders; "speak honestly and get ahead of the curve"
    • Example of generosity: recent willingness of Business Partners to "lift the pay-wall," helping pro-bono and helping nonprofits access resources and services, even if they can't pay right now
    • Just concluded 3 days of Summit, talking about racial equity in early March – now is the time to make change to allow racial equity à in pandemic: "must find a way to continue to do this work through a racial equity lens, using resources to lift up and create opportunity"
    • Summit: Heather Hackman, "Facing Whiteness" – important speaker program to be shared soon; esp. good for the white majority to learn SC's full history and our advantages in our systems

    Madeliene McGee:

    Madeleine has served South Carolina's nonprofit community for more than 30 years. She's led start-ups like the downtown revitalization program in Georgetown, SC, as well as established nonprofits like Coastal Community Foundation of SC that she ran for 10 years.

    A fierce believer in the power of collaborative partnerships and a committed community advocate, Madeleine has also provided consulting services and worked for both local and state governments.

    Since her appointment as president of Together SC in 2011, Madeleine has helped build South Carolina's network of "Allies for Good" to effectively serve more than 800 member organizations and the state's entire nonprofit sector.

    Fueled by her lifelong passion for the work of South Carolina's nonprofit community, she works closely with Together SC's board of directors to provide services that strengthen the sector and the communities they serve.

    Madeleine received her bachelor's degree and MBA from the University of Virginia. She's helped build Habitat houses and is a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program. Madeleine is a native Charlestonian, a SC Liberty Fellow and served on the Town Council for Sullivan's Island, where she resides with her husband, Bunky Wichmann, three amazing children, and two Boykin Spaniels.

  • Nonprofits Tackle Pandemic: Jeanne Tedrow

    Published March 31, 2020

    Advice and thoughts from the NC Center for Nonprofits in a time of spreading pandemic.

    View Full Episode Notes

    Allan and Clare interview Jeanne Tedrow, President & CEO of the NC Center for Nonprofits:

    Episode Notes:

    • Importance of public policy at this time: Policy Brief email alerts from David Heinen – now available beyond only Center members
    • Advice to be: timely, relevant, mindful – sharing curated information on www.ncnonprofits.org COVID-19 Resource page: https://www.ncnonprofits.org/resources/pandemicres...
    • Consider what is necessary today (in this response phase), then recovery, and then rebuilding to follow
    • What staff leaders need from board leaders at this time: transparency, support, call on leaders for help when needed
      • Board as champions, ambassadors – have resources and can activate and ask for resources
      • Board members are working from home too and want to be accessible and useful
      • Help with problem-solving, especially re. finances
      • Increased transparency = increased engagement
    • Funders and foundations are offering greater flexibility and understanding at this time
    • Volunteerism has changed from hands-on to virtual, especially professional-level volunteers
    • Generosity example: the way people in the sector provide caring for others, especially human service providers who immediately connected by email in this crisis to put together a feeding program, "the soul of the nonprofit sector"
    • Concern for nonprofits: as small businesses nonprofits could be severely financially damaged – need support of philanthropic community in public and private support, recognizing importance of the role of the nonprofit sector
    • Opportunities for collaboration and back-office support – more to be seen as crisis evolves
    • Concern for inequities in access to capital and resources – need to further address
    • Process: Respond - Recover - Rebuild
    • Communications for the nonprofit sector: "think tank" forming to strengthen role of the nonprofit sector around access to communications

    Jeanne Tedrow:

    Jeanne Canina Tedrow became president & CEO of the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits on August 1, 2018. Prior to joining the NC Center, she co-founded the Passage Home Community Development Corporation in 1991. Through her 25 years of continuous leadership there, Passage Home grew from an organization helping a couple of families a year to one that serves over a thousand individuals leveraging $3.8 million of housing and support services annually in Wake County. She has served on boards and committees past and present the NC Martin Luther King Resource Center and Celebration Committee, Southeast Raleigh Assembly, NC Community Development Initiative, Solidarity Capital Group, NC Housing Finance Agency Housing Partnership, Justice Theater Project, Affordable Housing Task Force, and Garner Road Redevelopment Committee, more recently the Raleigh Area Land Trust (RALT) and National Council of Nonprofits.

    She's been recognized with the Neighborhood Hero Award, "Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifices" bestowed and blessed by the Pope in the 2000 Jubilee Year, Triangle Business Leader Woman Extraordinaire Award, NC Black Women's Empowerment Award for Community Partnerships, Triangle Business Journal 2017 Women in Business Award, and was named a 2015 Goodmon Fellow.

    She has completed the National Development Council and UNC School of Government's community development programs, NCSU Executive Coaching certification program, Grinnell Leadership Program, and Harvard Business School Executive Education. She earned a BA in urban and community development from the University of Massachusetts, and MA in public policy from Duke University as a Z. Smith Reynolds Fellow.

    Raised in Boston, Jeanne has participated in a mission trip to Guatemala and has traveled to the Caribbean and Europe including Italy, England, Scotland, Copenhagen and Sweden. As part of a ZSR sabbatical, she traveled with her family throughout Italy and to the small village in Calabria from which her grandparents migrated. She has been married for 41 years and has two adult children and been godmother and mentor to a few. She enjoys walks on the beach, with her dog, playing golf, reading and writing and sometimes yard and garden work.