Our Priorities

PRIORITIES Public Policy Our Priorities

Our Priorities

Philanthropy Southeast's public policy work is driven by our Public Policy Committee, which operates under a strong set of guiding principles. Our strategic approach works toward three overall goals:

 · Sustain the diversity and independence of the philanthropic sector.
 · Encourage the growth of philanthropy and charitable giving.
 · Maintain transparency and accountability throughout the philanthropic sector.



Our Policy Agenda

For 2023, Philanthropy Southeast's public policy agenda is focused on the following areas:


Encouraging Charitable Giving

Public policy should encourage and recognize charitable giving by all Americans at all levels. We support efforts to maximize incentives for charitable giving and make them available for all Americans in order to allow greater support of critical community needs.

Community-driven Philanthropy

Community foundations and other place-based funders share a common mission – building long-term, lasting philanthropic legacies for their communities. Donor-advised funds and other tools are among the many ways these foundations help diverse sets of donors support the communities in which they live. We oppose placing limitations on individuals and families that want to work with a place-based or community foundation, including undue or burdensome regulations that would reduce the significant philanthropic investment these individuals and families make.

Endowed Philanthropy

We support laws and regulations that allow public and private philanthropy to operate in perpetuity, thereby permitting charitable organizations the ability to use endowments to generate long-term responses and support to communities.

Regulatory Activity

Government agencies, including the Department of Treasury, often issue guidance and regulations that affect the day-to-day operations of foundations. We are fully engaged with relevant executive agencies, informing their decisions that impact the sector and advocating for positive regulatory mechanisms.

Political Activity and Philanthropy

We oppose any effort to weaken provisions of current federal tax law, including the so-called Johnson Amendment, that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing or contributing to political candidates.


Advocacy Agenda

Approved in 2021, Philanthropy Southeast's Advocacy Agenda guides our response to key policy issues tied to equity and the strength of our democracy.

The Advocay Agenda complements our annual Policy Agenda. While the Policy Agenda is updated every year to reflect current legislative priorities, the Advocacy Agenda is meant to guide our work on long-standing, persistent issues. If legislation, regulations or executive actions are proposed relating to one of these issues, the Advocacy Agenda will help guide rapid response and other advocacy efforts.

Significant research indicates that systemic inequity in the Southeast is a key driver of distressing, long-running disparities that are detrimental to the well-being of individuals and communities. In short, systemic inequity presents a significant obstacle to philanthropy making a real, lasting impact. Government policy, at all levels, can be a powerful tool to reverse the impact of inequity on our region and nation.

With this in mind, Philanthropy Southeast's Advocacy Agenda reflects our commitment to these issues:

  • Advancing Equity
  • Strengthening Democracy
  • Economic Mobility & Access
  • Education Equity
  • Health Equity
  • Political Activity & Philanthropy

You can download the full Advocacy Agenda here.




Policy Positions

Philanthropy Southeast's Board of Trustees, acting on the recommendation of the Public Policy Committee, has adopted official positions on the following subjects:
· Charitable Deductions (Adopted November 2012)
· Endowed Philanthropy (Adopted February 2017)
· Universal Charitable Deduction (Adopted October 2017)
· Independence of Donor-Advised Funds (Adopted October 2017)
· IRA Rollover to Donor-Advised Funds (Adopted October 2017)
· Political Activity and Philanthropy (Adopted November 2017)



If you have questions about Philanthropy Southeast'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, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at (404) 524-0911 or via email at jaci@philanthropysoutheast.org.







Jaci Bertrand

Vice President of Member Engagement


Connecting with Philanthropy Southeast:
The Philanthropy Southeast staff works remotely – the best way to reach us is by email or by calling (404) 524-0911.

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

On Fridays, staff work on a flexible schedule. Members can reach our team via email or by calling (404) 524-0911 between 9:00am and 6:00pm (ET). We will respond to all urgent and time-sensitive matters promptly.

Mailing address:
100 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 2080
Atlanta, GA 30303

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