Mission, Vision & Values

Our Mission, Vision & Values

The Southeastern Council of Foundations is a membership association of more than 360 grantmakers working together to strengthen, promote and increase philanthropy in 11 Southeastern states (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia). SECF itself does not make grants.

Our Mission

SECF serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.

Our Vision

Our vision is to be a vibrant network, inspired, nurtured and led by SECF, serving as a valued resource to philanthropy in the South.



Values & Guiding Principles

As Adopted by the SECF Board of Trustees on February 26, 2020

The Southeastern Council of Foundations is a membership association of philanthropic organizations committed to the people and communities of 11 Southeastern states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Our members comprise a diverse network of thinkers, problem-solvers and leaders who share their perspectives, ideas and insights in pursuit of a common goal: leveraging the power of effective, meaningful philanthropy to build a region where all people can participate and prosper.

As philanthropic organizations, SECF members seek to embody the highest and truest meaning of philanthropy: acts driven by a love of humankind. SECF and its members encourage philanthropy that seeks to not only improve lives and communities, but also to do so with an attitude and ethos guided by strong values and principles.


SECF and its members believe philanthropy is vital to the fabric of American society, but that this position should not be taken for granted. Foundations hold a public trust and, in turn, must be trusted by the public in order to be effective. Earning this trust requires more than complying with charters, laws and regulations – it extends to the relationships we forge, the ways we demonstrate leadership and the goals we seek to accomplish.


As bearers of the public trust that have considerable resources and leverage at their disposal, philanthropic organizations also carry a responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards and principles. SECF and its members seek to serve humanity both by what we do and how we do it, in a way consistent with the following values:

Integrity

We will undertake our work with integrity. Personally, professionally and organizationally, we are committed to being honest and forthcoming in our undertakings and interactions. We are dedicated to living out our values with consistency, whether we are behind closed doors or in the public eye.

Excellence

We commit ourselves to striving for excellence in our work and recognize that doing so requires ongoing learning, education and open communication with our partners and the communities and individuals we serve. Our commitment to excellence embraces high-quality, effective work and truly creative thinking that seeks out deep, thoughtful, and innovative approaches to philanthropic work, responds to community, societal, and organizational needs, and promotes philanthropic ideals.

Equity

In our work we will seek inclusion of all people into a society in which everyone can participate and prosper and where everyone, regardless of the circumstances of birth or upbringing, is treated justly and fairly. We acknowledge the historical roots of inequity, particularly caused by racism, in the South and elsewhere, as well as the systems that continue to perpetuate that inequity. In our work we will strive to leverage our collective resources to spark transformative changes that allow all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location or professional level, to reach their full potential, unhindered by hatred, bigotry, exclusion, and discrimination.

Respect

We will treat all of those with whom we interact with the highest degree of respect and decency, including employees, co-workers, grantees, grantseekers, and the wider public. Our financial, social, moral, intellectual and reputational capital, and the power that comes with it, is a privilege we must not use to exert undue influence over people, organizations or communities. To minimize that possibility, we will seek the expertise of grantseekers and others with whom we work. We will listen to them, acknowledge their strengths and needs, and honor the integrity of their missions, as well as the integrity of the groups and communities they strive to serve.

Courage

In our work we will lead with courage, looking honestly and fearlessly not only at the issues we seek to address, but also ourselves. Our decisions will be based on evidence, data and the needs of the communities we serve, not tradition for its own sake, outside pressures or biases. We welcome informed criticism as we constantly strive to improve our work. We are committed to expanding into new areas or engaging with new organizations, communities, movements or individuals as we work to fulfill our many and varied missions.

Southeastern Council of Foundations
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

Visiting SECF:
All staff are working remotely at this time but can still be reached via email and by calling (404) 524-0911.

Hours:
Monday-Thursday from 9:00am–6:00pm (ET)
Friday from 9:00am–12:00pm (ET)


Phone: (404) 524-0911
Fax: (404) 523-5116

Mission: The Southeastern Council of Foundations serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.