Public Policy: An Essential Part of SECF’s Mission

The mission of the Southeastern Council of Foundations is to serve, connect, strengthen and champion philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South. Now more than ever, this mission and the well-being of the philanthropic sector as a whole are inextricably linked to our nation’s legislative and regulatory environments. 

As public policy becomes more "part and parcel" to the work of grantmakers, SECF strives to be intentional and strategic in its approach to government relations and public policy – an approach that provides members with first-hand, practical experience in the policy arena, furnishes access to easily-digestible tools on how to legally and actively engage, and positions SECF and its members as resources and "field experts” for federal, state, and local policymakers.

SECF’s Public Policy Committee

On behalf of our members, these efforts are led by our Public Policy Committee. The committee is comprised of representatives from member foundations in SECF’s 11-state footprint, with a special emphasis on representatives with legal or public policy expertise or interest. The committee’s key strategies are to:

  • Represent the work and interests of foundations in the Southeast before state & federal representatives
  • Enhance policymakers’ understanding about organized philanthropy and the work of foundations
  • Provide resources to our members to advocate for effective legislative policies
  • Educate our members about the impact that legislative or regulatory changes will have on their work
  • Encourage our members to influence public policy as a tool to advance their foundation’s mission

The Public Policy Committee was established to identify and monitor the activities of government that impact the interests of SECF members and the philanthropic sector. As such, the committee seeks to educate members as to the importance of public policy engagement, to remind them of the rules governing lobbying and advocacy and to identify ways that members can magnify their impact through strategic interaction with government. 

Because SECF members are spread throughout 11 states, the committee focuses its energy on both federal and state-specific issues. In some cases, where developments at the city and county level have broad implications, the committee explores local issues as well. Consistent with a membership organization’s fundamental purpose, the committee looks for opportunities to strengthen the sector in which we work and to protect it when threats arise to philanthropy or charitable organizations.

If you're interested in joining the Public Policy Committee, please contact Matthew L. Evans.