MAG focuses its efforts in five priority areas of work:
Networking and Relationship Building
MAG’s quarterly membership meetings bring together grantmakers from across the state to share experiences, learn from each other, and find ways to collaborate on common interests. In our meetings, special-interest sessions and informal gatherings, we offer members a protected, “non-solicitation” environment in which to discuss ideas with other philanthropic leaders, as well as those in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. In addition to providing members with information useful to their work, this networking also serves to build informal and formal relationships of trust and cooperation that lead to collaborative work across Mississippi. Collaboration among members has led to the formation of a Community Foundation Network, a United Way Network, and an Education Affinity Group, all of which now meet quarterly.
Building Skills, Knowledge, and Capacity
MAG’s meetings, webinars, forums, conferences and other events create opportunities for members to develop skills and acquire knowledge that better enable them to address issues in education, healthcare, economic development, arts and culture, and other fields of interest. They provide members with the opportunity to learn from and share knowledge with each other, as well as from seasoned philanthropists and state, regional and national experts across a variety of fields of interest defined as priorities by MAG’s members. Learning opportunities are designed to increase the effectiveness of philanthropy in the state and provide basic skills needed to meet legal requirements and improve management skills.
Expanding Co-Investment Opportunities
MAG expands investment horizons for its members by identifying, promoting and supporting opportunities for co-investments among funders and support organizations at local, regional and national levels. We provide linkages and exposure to ideas and resources, and create and support partnerships, at all levels that increase philanthropic capacity and influence in Mississippi. These relationships open doors to numerous learning opportunities such as conferences, webinars, forums, and seminars, and bring national leaders to Mississippi to interact with MAG members.
Providing Access to Data, Research, and Evaluation
MAG’s sponsors research, data collection and analysis, research reports, white papers and issue briefs, and the development of evaluation methodologies that contribute to the knowledge base of its members and the general public about issues important to philanthropy. MAG partnered with the Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at Mississippi State University to create a comprehensive report on Philanthropic Giving in Mississippi in 2015. MAG also worked with the SSRC, the Center for Population Studies at the University of Mississippi, and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to develop a Transfer of Wealth Opportunity Profile for Mississippi in 2016. This work provides relevant information that enables MAG’s members to effectively target resources for maximum impact in improving lives among Mississippi’s children, families, and communities.
Building Public Will and Influence
MAG develops productive working relationships between the philanthropic community and public sector leaders, as well as among community stakeholders at all levels. This work allows MAG members to more effectively promote public policies and practices that produce effective programs and services for Mississippi’s children, families, and communities. Our members work collectively to build public understanding of the scope, scale, and impact of philanthropy in Mississippi, along with the potential for leveraging relationships between the public and private sectors to align resources and policy efforts for maximum impact.