In 1998, the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) established an educational foundation to benefit its members. 

The organization is recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization and has been given the status of a 501(c)(3) organization and monies given to the foundation can be tax deductible the to the extent the law allows.

According to its bylaws “The purpose of the Foundation is to conduct instructional conferences, prepare and publish technical reports and visual aids, offer educational scholarships, conduct research and engage in other educational activities to enhance the professionalism of economic developers for the welfare of the general public and the communities.”

Since its beginning, the Foundation has accepted just over $120,000 in contributions and awarded approximately half of its funds in the form of scholarships and most recently given financial awards to economic development professionals who suffered personal financial losses from Hurricane Katrina. 

The Foundation will continue to support the professional advancement of economic development professionals in the American South.