S.C. Statehouse Report
Sunday, Feb. 11, 2007
VIEW: http://www.statehousereport.com/columns/07.0211.giving.htm

Report: South needs to be smarter about giving
By Andy Brack, Publisher

FEB. 11, 2007 -- Southerners are a generous people who give more to good causes than folks in any other region of the country. But according to a new report, this Southern giving mostly is charity - giving to relieve immediate distress - as opposed to philanthropy, which is financial support of good causes that invest in solutions for bigger problems.

The difference is highlighted in Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, explains Ferrel Guillory of the University of North Carolina. In the story, thugs attacked a man, robbed him and left him to die by a road. Two men, including a priest, saw him, but scurried away. Then came a Samaritan, whose people had a general antipathy for Jews like the hurt man. But the Samaritan stopped and helped. He even took the injured man to an inn to recover and paid the innkeeper for expenses.

"The Good Samaritan is a wonderful guy," said Guillory, one of the authors of the State of the South 2007 report on using philanthropy to help attack persistent Southern challenges. "But who is policing the road? Sooner or later, you've got to get into who is policing the road and that is what philanthropy is about."

The South, which has grown by more than 20 million people since 1980 into an economic powerhouse of 74 million people, is ready to be smarter about how it invests in society, the report says.

"We are full of Samaritans in the South, but now we've got an opportunity because we are a more affluent society," Guillory said. "So we can afford to begin to aggregate our money through foundations and non-profits to do the research and find the projects that will go deeper into helping society."

In the five years starting in 1998, the percentage of Southerners who filed tax returns showing gross incomes of $200,000 or more grew 8.5 percent. In 2003, some 521,000 Southerners filed returns at that level, the report said. But while the South has more wealthy people, there still are a large number of Southerners who live on the edge. Some 40 percent of people in the South earn less than $31,000 a year - - an amount to qualify them as poor or part of the "working poor."

Targeted, smart investment by foundations and nonprofits into projects that look at longer-term solutions can really help the region deal with lingering problems like poverty, lower educational attainment, health issues and more.

FEEDBACK POLICY

We encourage your feedback. If you'd like to respond to something in SC Statehouse Report, please send us an e-mail. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. One submission allowed per month. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Please keep your comment to 250 words or less:

feedback@statehousereport.com

Two South Carolina examples showcase the benefits of this so-called "strategic philanthropy:"

Palmetto Institute. The report mentions South Carolina's Darla Moore, whose donations helped to create the Palmetto Institute which seeks to increase per capita income for South Carolina families. "Palmetto-sponsored research has prodded South Carolina to revise its economic development strategies and make important reforms in technical education," the report said.

Riley Institute. In the Upstate, Furman University's Riley Institute last year received a $600,000 grant from the Hewlett Foundation to study the state's public education system. Recommendations are expected in the coming months that may revolutionize the way the state provides and thinks about education.

This year's State of the South report recognizes the powerful engine of change that philanthropy can provide. It showcases how non-governmental organizations can be flexible and creative to promote change.

The report is a call to action for non-governmental entities to think bigger and with longer-term goals. It suggests that Southern foundations and non-profits concentrate on transformative strategies that improve education, increase the region's competitiveness, attack continuing poverty, reduce inequities and make the region's people healthier.

"There are limits to what government and private markets can do," Guillory noted. "We're stronger as a region. We're not the beat upon, isolated, out-of-synch region we used to be. Now it's time for us to be stepping up."

You can read the full report by MDC Inc. at www.mdcinc.com. You can reach Andy Brack, publisher of S.C. Statehouse Report, at brack@statehousereport.com.

Recent commentary

lighter side
Choices for the senior generation

Another great cartoon from Bill McLemore:

feedback
2/4: A South Carolina no-brainer

To the editor:

Seems like a no-brainer for South Carolina to make the investment [Commentary, 2/4], to do whatever needs to be done, to stand up and keep up or ahead of the technology curve.

-- Al Rich, Columbia, S.C.

Recent feedback

The best way to get South Carolina news is to augment your morning paper and TV show with SC Clips, a daily executive news summary compiled from more than 30 state newspaper and TV sources. It's delivered every business day and is packed with news of statewide impact, politics, business and more. Subscriptions are affordable at $30 per month -- and less for business subscribers. More: SC Clips.


How you can subscribe to the full edition of the report

The above version of S.C. Statehouse Report is the free edition. Our paid version, which costs about $100 per month, offer a weekly legislative forecast packed with information that can keep you and your business on the cutting edge. There's a new limited paid version for individuals that costs about $30 per month. More on subscribing.

Notes veteran lawmaker Sen. Glenn McConnell: "Statehouse Report gives an inside practical report of weekly problems with and progress of legislation. It reviews the whole landscape."

In each issue of Statehouse Report, you'll get:

  • Hot news -- an early peek on something really big that will happen at the Statehouse. We continually beat other news organizations in finding major trends in issues, from teacher and budget cuts to wetlands proposals.
  • Agenda -- a weekly forecast of the coming week's floor agenda
  • Radar Screen -- a behind-the-scenes look at what's really going on in the General Assembly
  • Palmetto Politics -- Tidbits from the world of South Carolina politics.
  • McLemore's World -- an early view of our respected cartoonist Bill McLemore.
  • Tally Sheet -- a weekly review of all of the new bills introduced in the legislature in everyday language
  • Blogroll -- a weekly summary of the best of South Carolina political blogs.
  • Scorecard -- A Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down of major political/policy events for the week.
  • Calendar -- a weekly list of major meetings for the House, Senate and state agencies.
  • Megaphone -- a quote of the week that you'll find illuminating.

To learn more about subscriptions, contact Andy Brack at: brack@statehousereport.com

credits

South Carolina Statehouse Report

Publisher: Andy Brack
Editor: Bill Davis | Assistant Editor: Betsy Brack

Phone: 843.670.3996 Fax: 843.722.9887

Subscription or sponsorship Inquiries: info@statehousereport.com

Have an event for the SC Statehouse Report calendar? E-mail details to: news@statehousereport.com or fax to above number.

For additional information, including subscription prices, go to http://www.statehousereport.com/.



Just a quick note to let you know how you missed out this week. If you were a subscriber to the paid edition of Statehouse Report, you would have received the information below on Friday AND you would have gotten other special features:

  • NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $20 million
  • NEWS: Insurance squabbles move to top of pile
  • LEGISLATIVE AGENDA: House has busy week
  • RADAR SCREEN: A storm for any port?
  • PHOTO: Peanut-eating wren
  • KEEPING TRACK: Ahead on DNA proposal
  • TALLY SHEET: Insurance proposals introduced
  • SCORECARD: Ups and downs of the past week
  • MEGAPHONE: Don't blame this on global warming

For more information, contact us today about our affordable paid subscriptions for businesses and organizations that need the inside scoop at the Statehouse.


New fight in town
From the paid-subscriber issue of Statehouse Report

FEB. 9, 2007 -- Insurance, or how smiling faces and beautiful places are protected across the state, may replace state government restructuring as the dominant issue debated in this year's session of the General Assembly.

  • If you subscribed to the full edition of Statehouse Report, you'd get more information on this and much more. Contact us today to learn more.

AVAILABLE NOW: Furman University's Don Gordon has great things to say about Andy Brack's new book of commentaries, "Bugging the Palmettos." Click here to learn more and buy the book -- only $15.00!

Visit Statehouse Report

ThinkSouth

A blog on ideas and news that is for Southern policy leaders, analysts and more.

 

  Copyright 2007, Statehouse Report LLC, which is affiliated with The Brack Group, Charleston, S.C.
Reproduction is prohibited without express permission of the publisher. For additional information, including subscription prices, go to
http://www.statehousereport.com/.