December 2019 Public Policy Update

Each month, SECF provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at

Revamped Public Policy Section of Provides More Resources, Tools 

Public policy and advocacy are an important priority for SECF and many of our members. To support our members already working in this area and to encourage those interested in getting started on advocacy efforts, SECF has added several new, user-friendly features to the public policy section of

Members can now use to look up their elected officials, share personal advocacy related stories, participate in advocacy campaigns, view the progress of legislation being tracked by staff and more!

Whether you're on your phone, desktop, or tablet, these public policy resources are now just a click away. You can start exploring these new features now! If you would like a guided tour of the new public policy section and its new features, you can view a recent webinar conducted by SECF staff that provides an in-depth overview

In addition to these new online tools, SECF now has access to FiscalNote, a leading legislative tracking service used by thousands of organizations. SECF will use FiscalNote to discover and monitor state legislative and regulatory developments while also offering members the opportunity to obtain state legislative tracking reports. 

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Private Foundation Excise Tax Update

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, SECF joined over 20 philanthropic serving organizations from across the country in signing a letter to House of Representatives leadership supporting the simplification of the private foundation excise tax by setting a flat rate of 1.39 percent. 

SECF and other sector leaders have worked together over the past several months to communicate with House Ways and Means Committee staff in support of a 1.39 percent revenue-neutral rate. Last month, SECF joined this group in a similar letter to the House, presenting a united front in favor of including the simplified 1.39 percent rate in a year-end legislative package.

Heading into the end of the year, SECF will continue to work in tandem with these organizations to advocate for the simplified rate. We will continue to keep you updated on any new developments.

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Foundations on the Hill 2020: Call for Volunteers! 

Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) is right around the corner -- from March 9 to 11 next year, hundreds of foundation staff and trustees will come to Washington to make the case for policies that support philanthropy and charitable giving. 

SECF consistently fields the largest delegation at FOTH. In 2019, nearly 50 attendees held more than 70 meetings on Capitol Hill. We want 2020 to be no different. Registration for Foundations on the Hill will open soon, but you can get involved now by volunteering to serve as a state delegation captain. 

As a delegation captain, you'll lead a group committed to educating lawmakers and their staff on the public policy issues affecting foundations today. Plus, you'll make connections with peers who understand the importance of public policy to our sector, helping lead a community committed to the defense and promotion of philanthropy.

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Public Policy Webinar Next Week

On Tuesday, December 10, at 11:00am, SECF will host a public policy webinar featuring Sandra Swirski. SECF's public policy consultant and partner at Urban Swirski & Associates based in Washington, D.C. Sandra will offer a recap of what we learned at the public policy sessions at SECF's 50th Annual Meeting and provide a look ahead at the 2020 legislative landscape in Washington and at the state level. Register today to learn about what's ahead in Washington! 

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

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Phone: (404) 524-0911
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Mission: The Southeastern Council of Foundations serves, connects, strengthens and champions philanthropy and philanthropic infrastructure in the South.