Oldest U.S. Grantmaking Association To Change Name

The Conference of Southwest Foundations, the oldest association of grantmakers in the United States, announced it is rebranding as Philanthropy Southwest.

The rebranding of the Dallas, Texas-based association was announced at a spring meeting for members in Denver during a special reception at the History Colorado museum. According to Philanthropy Southwest Board President John Brown, the name of the 65-year old organization was changed because the organization had long since “moved away from a sole emphasis” on an annual conference.

“As our association has grown and the role of philanthropy has evolved, our leadership agreed the time was right to restate our mission and take on a new name that better reflects the wide range of services we provide and our members’ passion for advancing the public good,” Brown continued.

Lucille DiDomemcio, executive director at Philanthropy Southwest, said that their members are “enthusiastic” about the name change and see it as a way to revitalize their mission. “Our long history means that we know how to provide our members with timely information and connect colleagues across the region to help them thrive and succeed in their work. Without a doubt our members are our greatest asset,” she said.

Philanthropy Southwest also launched a new website — www.philanthropysouthwest.org — to help promote the new brand. The association is also encouraging strong social media participation at educational meetings being held today. The focus of these sessions will be on the role foundations can play as a result of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, and how philanthropy is leveraging crowd funding and social media to create meaningful impact. Members and interested observers in this meeting should follow @southwestfdns on Twitter to participate.

Philanthropy Southwest was first founded in 1949, has approximately 200 member organizations in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. The combined annual giving of foundations in these seven southwestern states in 2013 was more than $5.1 billion.