Column: Sixteen Georgia nonprofits make Philanthropy 400 list

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on November 13, 2015.

Georgia’s nonprofit rankings on the annual Philanthropy 400 slipped a notch or two in the 2015 list put out by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

For the past several years, Georgia has had five nonprofits among the nation’s top 20 charitable organizations, including the Task Force for Global Health — which has been in top six for the past several years.

But this year, Georgia only had four nonprofits in the top 20 — the Task Force for Global Health (which dropped down a notch to No. 7); the National Christian Foundation (No. 9); the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (No. 18); and the American Cancer Society (No. 19).

Habitat for Humanity International, which has been in the top 20 since 2007, came in at No. 26 this year.

Although Habitat’s total income increased from $1.5 billion in the 2014 list to $1.715 billion in 2015, its private support went from $850 million to $665 million in 2015.

But the number of Georgia’s nonprofits in the Philanthropy 400 actually increased from 15 to 16 between 2014 and 2015.

The other 11 Georgia nonprofits on this year’s list are:

*   CARE (rank: 60) had private support of $382.8 million;

*   MAP International (rank: 73) with private support of $317.5 million;

*   Emory University (rank: 90) with private support of $268.9 million;

*   Carter Center (rank: 180) with private support of $145.2 million;

*   Georgia Tech (rank: 184) with private support of $141.9 million;

*   University of Georgia (rank: 274) with private support of $96.1 million;

*   In Touch Ministries (rank: 295) with private support of $89.1 million;

*   Arthritis Foundation (rank: 317) with private support of $80.7 million;

*   Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (rank: 320) with private support of $79.9 million;

*   Atlanta Community Food Bank (rank: 357) with private support of $72.4 million; and

*   Grady Memorial Hospital (rank: 398) with private support of $64.6 million.

Every year, there is fluctuation in the numbers because of different waves in philanthropy. For example, the Task Force contributions are primarily medicines that are in-kind donations.

As a result, three nonprofits that were in last year’s list dropped off in the 2015 list: Mission to the World; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation; and Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism.

But four nonprofits that were not on the 2014 list made the 2015 list: In Touch Ministries; the Arthritis Foundation; the Atlanta Community Food Bank; and Grady Memorial Hospital.

GSU honors business alums

Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business honored four alumni and one honorary alumnus at its 13th annual Alumni Awards on Nov. 5.

The recipients at this year’s event were:

*   William H. Rogers Jr. (MBA ’86), chairman and CEO, SunTrust Banks Inc. (Robinson Hall of Fame Award);

*   J. Grover Thomas Jr. (MBA ’85), retired chairman, president and CEO, The Trustmark Companies (Robinson Distinguished Alumni Award);

*   Aziz Hashim, managing partner, NRD Capital Management LLC (Robinson Honorary Alumnus Award);

*   Delia S. Cochran (MBA ’77), global director of capability, The Coca-Cola Co. (Robinson Distinguished Service Alumni Award); and

*   Sharon E. Schacter (M.S. ’91), retired director of global leadership, The Coca-Cola Co. (Robinson Distinguished Service Alumni Award.)

“It’s thrilling to recognize Robinson and Georgia State alumni — and honorary alumni — whose careers and service are inspiring not only to me, but also to our students,” said Richard D. Phillips, dean of the Robinson College of Business.

Oglethorpe University Campaign

Oglethorpe University recently announced it has surpassed its $50 million “Our Time” campaign goal, the largest in its history.

The campaign was announced publicly in 2013, and it was envisioned that it would be completed in June 2017.

Instead, Oglethorpe was able to claim victory by raising $50.2 million nearly two years early. The campaign will benefit capital and program objectives including student scholarships, faculty teaching and growth in planned giving.

“The early culmination of the Our Time campaign demonstrates a broad-based commitment and effort, most notably from our alumni, Board of Trustees and friends in the foundation community,” said Oglethorpe University President Larry Schall.

Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award

Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, received the prestigious Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Award at OnBoard’s annual meeting Nov. 10.

Virginia Hepner receives Lettie Pate Evans award at OnBoard annual dinner. Hala Moddelmog was keynote speaker (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Virginia Hepner receives Lettie Pate Evans award at OnBoard annual dinner. Hala Moddelmog was keynote speaker (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Hepner, who spent most of her career in banking, was honored in part for her role as a director on State Bank Financial Corp.’s board.

Hepner was the first woman to serve on the bank’s board, and she has since been joined by two other women directors: Ann Curry of Coxe, Curry & Associates; and Kelly Barrett of The Home Depot Inc.

“It was a fortunate day in my life when I met Virginia Hepner,” said Joe Evans, CEO of State Bank. Evans said that in 2009, “she joined eight men and was the lone woman” on the board.

At one point during her solo woman days on the bank’s board, Evans said she was the only director to oppose a particular policy. After some thought, all the other directors ended up agreeing with Hepner.

“It’s the most interesting board in town,” Hepner said.

National Philanthropy Day

Every year, the Association for Fundraising Professionals shines the spotlight on the most philanthropic people in our city.

On Nov. 3, the spotlight belonged to two deserving couples – John and Mary Brock; and Tom and Ann Cousins.

Ann and Tom Cousins Mary and John Brock

Ann and Tom Cousins stand next to Mary and John Brock when they were all honored at National Philanthropy Day (Photo by Maria Saporta)

Alicia Philipp, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, also paid tribute to another couple – Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker – for their transformational $10 million gift that had a domino impact on Atlanta.

The Whitaker gift was the catalyst behind the Atlanta History Center’s ability to plan for the move and restoration of the Cyclorama painting.

That led to Zoo Atlanta being able to expand its holdings and renovate the Cyclorama building in Grant Park into a new special events space and a home of the Zoo administration.

The gift also required the Atlanta History Center to get rid of its green house to make way for the Cyclorama painting. But it just so happened that Oakland Cemetery needed a greenhouse to take care of its landscape, so the greenhouse was moved to the historic cemetery – ironically a stone’s throw from the site of where there was the Battle of Atlanta, which is depicted in the Cyclorama painting.

The Whitakers humbly stood at their table and waved to the luncheon audience at the Georgia Aquarium.

The event, however, clearly belonged to the Brocks and the Cousins.

“This is the kind of town that can grab you and hold you,” Mary Brock said.

John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, and his wife were singled out as “Volunteers of the Year” for their giving and fundraising abilities for Georgia Tech, was reflected on his life.

“I got a scholarship to Georgia Tech – that changed my life,” Brock said. “When (Georgia Tech President) Bud Peterson asked Mary and me to support Georgia Tech, it was easy.”

The National Philanthropy Day planners had asked the Cousins for years if they would accept the “Philanthropist of the Year.” In a moment of weakness, they agreed.

Ann Cousins said that on their way to the lunch, her husband asked why they had ever agreed. Tom Cousins is not someone who likes being honored.

But after Cousins Properties CEO Larry Gellerstedt III delivered his introduction, the Cousins were visibly moved to receive the award.

“I’m about to cry,” Ann Cousins said.

When he got up, Tom Cousins said: “I don’t get emotional at these things, Ann does. When Ann starts speaking, she starts crying.”

Then he delivered the quote of the luncheon: “Now I know what a lost dog in a meat house would feel like with all the philanthropists here.”

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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