Programs & Member Benefits

PRIORITIES Public Policy Programs & Member Benefits

Programs & Member Benefits

The goal of SECF’s public policy offerings is to effectively inform SECF members about the public policy process and inform policymakers about Southern Philanthropy, its impact across the region, and the need for policies that promote charitable giving and the independence of our sector.

Year-Round Offerings

The political news cycle never stops – that’s why SECF regularly provides members with information on current issues and developments in Washington and in state capitols throughout the region. These resources include: 

Public Policy Update: This monthly newsletter sent to all SECF members recaps recent developments, looks at what’s on the horizon and identifies opportunities to engage with policymakers and ensure philanthropy’s voice is heard. 

Webinars: Regular legal and legislative updates are part of an ongoing series of virtual programs that provide the opportunity to hear from experts, get answers to burning questions and hear from fellow SECF members.  

Policy alerts: When news breaks SECF sends out policy alerts that keep members informed of the latest developments and whether any action – including calls or emails to lawmakers – is needed.

In-Person Opportunities

While any form of outreach can be effective, meeting with policymakers face-to-face remains the most effective way to advance philanthropy’s public policy interests. SECF helps facilitate these critical interactions in two main ways:

Foundations on the Hill: SECF prides itself on regularly bringing the largest delegation of philanthropic professionals in the country to this annual event, when foundation leaders meet with lawmakers and key staff members to discuss philanthropy’s work in their communities and how policy decisions can affect our sector’s ability to improve lives and communities.

In-District Meetings: Even when Congress is out of session, SECF members make sure our voice is heard by meeting with representatives and senators on their home turf. SECF assists members in setting up these events and providing resources that allow them to effectively deliver their message.

Interactive Tools provides members-only access to tools that allow them to connect directly to leaders in Washington and in state capitols around the region. 

Our Member Action Portal includes innovative features that allow members to send targeted messages to lawmakers on specific issues, as well as legislative tracking and policy issue papers. 

Our Southern Trends Report, created in partnership with Candid, provides the latest available data on grantmaking in each state in the region – information that helps foundations make the case to officials for policies that support charitable giving.

Southern Trends Report

Looking for even more information to deliver to lawmakers? Our Southern Trends Report is updated each year with the most recent grantmaking data for each state in the SECF footprint. Your can download a PDF version of the report here, or...

View the online report

News Stream

If you have questions about SECF’s public policy work, would like support in setting up a meeting with policymakers, or want to know more about what kinds of advocacy foundations can, or cannot, engage in, contact Jaci Bertrand, SECF's vice president of member engagement, at (404) 524-0911 or via email at

Jaci Bertrand

Vice President of Member Engagement


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.

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

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

Mission: SECF strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.