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: