Column: Five Georgia nonprofits rank among nation’s top 25

By Maria Saporta
Published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 14, 2014

Georgia’s status as a nexus for nonprofits has slipped slightly since last year, but it still is an undisputed hub for charitable organizations in the country, according to the latest Philanthropy 400 ranking.

Instead of having five nonprofits in the top 20 nationally, Georgia now has five in the top 25 nonprofits.

The state’s largest nonprofit, the Decatur-based Task Force for Global Health, slipped two notches, from being the fourth largest nonprofit in the nation to the sixth largest nonprofit, in terms of private donations. A large share of the Task Force’s contributions come from pharmaceutical companies in the form of medicines and vaccines.

The four other Georgia nonprofits in the top 25 are the National Christian Foundation (15); the American Cancer Society (16); Habitat for Humanity International (18); and Boys & Girls Clubs of America (21).

The fastest growing nonprofit in the state on the Philanthropy 400 list is MAP International, which grew by 43.7 percent in the past year, and saw its ranking go from 80 to 54, virtually tied with CARE, which was ranked at 57.

Their presence continues to solidify Georgia as a center for global health and development along with the Carter Center (145); Emory University (113) and Mission to the World (360).

Georgia also had one less nonprofit on the list in 2014 than it did in 2013 when 16 charitable organizations were listed. Two nonprofits fell off the list this year – the Arthritis Foundation and the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center.

But a new nonprofit was added to the ranks – Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism at No. 393 – giving the state a total of 15 nonprofits in the Philanthropy 400 list.

The list, which is published annually by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, is the nonprofit parallel to the Fortune 500 list, which ranks the country’s 500 largest public companies.

Georgia likes to brag about the number of Fortune 500 companies that are based in the state, but none of them are in the top 25. The highest ranked Fortune 500 company based in Georgia is the Home Depot, which is ranked at No. 33.

Georgia Gives

Speaking of nonprofits, Nov. 13 was a big day for them because it was the third annual Georgia Gives Day – a one-day extravaganza when people are encouraged to donate to their favorite charities through easy online channels found at www.gagivesday.org. Actually people can give through the end of the year and not just on Georgia Gives Day.

In 2013, the initiative raised more than $1.5 million for local nonprofits across the state – an 85 percent increase from 2012. More than 12,000 individual donations were received.

In its first two years, Georgia Gives Day has raised $2.4 million, with 100 percent of the funds going directly to the participating nonprofits, according to Karen Beavor, the CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

More than 2,000 nonprofits have registered to be part of Georgia Gives Day. A goal of the day is to help local nonprofits survive in a competitive society by promoting the work of the individual organizations. Also, the hope is that effort will draw in new donors. A survey of last year’s donors found that 10 percent were giving to a nonprofit for the first time; and 17 percent were giving to a new nonprofit.

The goal of Georgia Gives Day this year is to get a total of 15,000 donors.

Glenda Hatchett forming law firm

Judge Glenda Hatchett has decided to return to the practice of law.

Gaining national notoriety from the syndicated television show “Judge Hatchett,” the Atlanta leader is forming the Hatchett Firm, a national law firm based in Atlanta.

Hatchett intends for her firm to serve as a “closer” – assisting attorneys and corporations in settling complex legal cases and when necessary utilizing her skills to mesmerize juries.

“After so many requests from people all over the country and after serious prayer, I am very proud to open this law firm as a way to help people get the justice they deserve,” Hatchett said in statement.

The firm also will provide direct representation for clients facing the challenges of catastrophic injuries, wrongful death of a loved one, products and premises liability, medical malpractice, class actions and other complex civil litigation.

“All I know is that when the legal stakes are high, I want Glenda Hatchett on my side of the table fighting for my clients,” said Willie Gary, a nationally known attorney based in Florida.

With more than 30 years of experience as a litigator, judge, corporate lawyer, media specialist and crisis management executive, Hatchett has been a powerful and passionate legal advocate and a convincing communicator, according to Ashleigh Banfield of CNN .

“Judge Glenda has been such a valuable addition to our team of legal analysts on CNN,” Banfield said. “Always witty and smart, it’s a treat when she joins the ranks.”

Numbers Too Big To Ignore

Once again, the annual “Numbers Too Big to Ignore” luncheon, organized by the Atlanta Women’s Foundation, lived up to its name. Early estimates show that the lunch event raised about $550,000, according Kelly Dolan, its executive director. A major text fundraising drive was in play during the lunch, and that alone raised more than $35,000.

The program featured Pattie Sellers, senior editor at large at Fortune magazine, who said she learned much about business from covering The Coca-Cola Co. and Roberto Goizueta as well as The Home Depot during the Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank era. She also has written two cover stories on Ted Turner.

“Atlanta holds a special place in my heart,” Sellers said. It has been Sellers who has been responsible for Fortune’s listings of the Most Powerful Women, and she bemoaned the fact that only 26 of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

“The numbers are too small to ignore,” she said. But she added that in 1998, there was only one woman CEO on the Fortune 500 list.

The major problem she said is that there are not enough women in the pipeline, and she said that part of the reason is that women think about power differently than men.

She quoted her former boss John Huey, who defined power as getting people to do things they don’t want to do. “Women tend to be very uncomfortable with power,” she said, adding that she liked Oprah Winfrey’s definition: “Power is the ability to have impact with purpose.”

Little Pink Book panel

A panel of powerful women got together Nov. 10 to talk about the challenges they face in the workplace and the advice they can share with others.

Carol Tomé, chief financial officer of The Home Depot, said it was important for women not to lean in too far. “If you are leaning in, you are leaning away from something,” she said. “I speak from personal experience. You can lean in until you are perpendicular.”

Jan Singer, the new CEO of Spanx, chimed in and said if you lean too far “you can fall over.”

What about the best advice they have received? Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes, said: “Live your life for an audience of one.” Kate Gutmann, a United Parcel Service senior vice president, said: “Never let one person drive you away from a company.”

Home Depot’s Carol Tomé said she has found inspiration from a Maya Angelou quote. “Don’t make money your goal. Do what you love and do it so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

Delta Community Credit Union

Delta Community Credit Union is continuing its philanthropic ways. It recently pledged to donate a total of $75,000 to 30 organizations in metro Atlanta in 2015. Recipients include Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs; Alive Ministries, Inc.; Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta; CHRIS Kids; Clarkston Community Center; Cobb Library Foundation; Communities in Schools of Henry County; Covenant House of Georgia; Everybody Wins! Atlanta; Foster Care Support Foundation; Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta; Georgia Law Center for the Homeless; Habitat for Humanity in North Georgia; Housing Initiative of North Fulton; Junior Achievement of Georgia; Literacy Action: New Hope Enterprises; Our House; Posse Atlanta; Rainbow House; Saint Joseph’s Mercy Cares; Sandy Springs Education Force; The Center for Working Families Inc.; The Community School; The Drake House; The Salvation Army; The Study Hall; United Methodist Children’s Home of Northern Georgia; Vox Teen Communications; and WellSpring Living.

Individual Philanthropic Fund grants ranging from $500 to $7,500 will be distributed to these 30 recipients throughout 2015.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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