Founded in 1998 as the Southeast Florida Episcopal Foundation by Bishop Leo Frade, its primary role was to function as the planned giving arm of the Diocese. In 2000, a $3 million bequest was left to the foundation by Blair and Agnes Smith, long-time members of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church in Pompano Beach. The bequest was to be used to support feeding, clothing, shelter and healthcare needs of youth and elderly persons.
As a result of its expanded philanthropic role, in 2006 the Foundation's name was changed to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida. In 2007, the Diocesan Human Needs Fund was moved to Episcopal Charities to be administered with the Smith Fund by an appointed group of parishioners and clergy who form the Matthew 25 Committee. The combined Smith Charity Fund and Diocesan Human Needs Fund is now known as the Basic Human Needs Fund. To date, over $3 million has been granted to parish-sponsored outreach programs through these funding sources.
With its expanded role, Episcopal Charities contributes to disaster relief efforts through its Disaster Relief Fund and supports the Bishop's mission outreach throughout the United States and world.