North Fulton Business Radio, Episode 677)
On this episode of North Fulton Business Radio, DePriest Waddy and Maria Walden-Sullivan of the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia were returning guests with host John Ray to discuss the work of the Foundation. They discussed what a Community Foundation does and how it serves donors, nonprofits, and the community at large. They also announced the debut of a new podcast, the Good2Give Podcast, which will celebrate “the magic of giving,” donors and non-profit leaders, and the vital causes they care about.
At the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, everything they do centers around one purpose – improving our world through the power of philanthropy.
On a fundamental level, they do that through managing funds held in trust, donated by individuals, organizations, and businesses. Most funds are donor-advised funds, similar to savings accounts. These funds are pooled for investment purposes and their income is used to make grants for a wide variety of charitable purposes.
But the Foundation’s goals expand far beyond managing funds. They desire to strengthen the communities they serve in Gwinnett, Northeast Georgia, and beyond by providing leadership, addressing community needs, and assisting individuals and organizations with their charitable giving.
DePriest has a long history of leadership in the nonprofit sector. He has served almost 30 years in leadership roles at various nonprofits and Fortune 500 companies, including the American Hospital Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, and, most recently, Families First.
Before joining the Community Foundation in June 2022, DePriest was CEO of Families First, a 131-year-old nonprofit serving at-risk children and families throughout Georgia, the United States, and abroad.
DePriest received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from The University of Alabama and his MBA from Kennesaw State University. He is a Leadership Gwinnett Class of 2015 alumnus, as well as a Leadership Birmingham Class of 2019 alumnus and Leadership Atlanta Class of 2022. He has been named to the Atlanta 500 in 2021 and 2022, Atlanta Magazine’s annual list of the area’s most powerful leaders. He was also awarded the Georgia Titan 100 in 2022. He and his wife, Carol, have one married daughter and two granddaughters.
DePriest’s dream for the Community Foundation: “Continuing to help meet the increasing needs resulting from complex family problems.”
Caring for her community is at the heart of everything Maria does. She was born in the oldest city in America (St. Augustine) and has been a proud Atlantan for the past 25 years. Maria is passionate about making a difference in her own backyard and inspiring others to do the same.
As our Director of Development, Maria is leading the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia into a whole new territory. Through her role, we are now able to expand into and impact North Fulton and Forsyth. She has a passion for nonprofits and is highly skilled in donor relations, major gifts, volunteer management, grant writing, and capital campaign management.
Maria is a trainer and facilitator for leadership development, strategic planning, and capacity building. With almost a decade of experience at the world’s most trusted leadership company, Franklin Covey, Maria has been certified in over a dozen leadership courses. She has also served as an ad-hoc faculty member for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits since 2019.
Questions and Topics in this Interview:
- The work of the Community Foundation of Northeast Georgia
- Charitable Giving
- DePriest’s journey to CFNEG
- Understanding the needs of donors
- The debut of the Good2Give Podcast
North Fulton Business Radio is hosted by John Ray and broadcast and produced from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® inside Renasant Bank in Alpharetta. You can find the full archive of shows by following this link. The show is available on all the major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.
Renasant Bank has humble roots, starting in 1904 as a $100,000 bank in a Lee County, Mississippi, bakery. Since then, Renasant has become one of the Southeast’s strongest financial institutions with over $13 billion in assets and more than 190 banking, lending, wealth management, and financial services offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. All of Renasant’s success stems from each of their banker’s commitment to investing in their communities as a way of better understanding the people they serve. At Renasant Bank, they understand you because they work and live alongside you every day.
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