Founded in 2012, the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) describes itself as “the premier free-market organization bringing financial officers together with the nation’s top private sector companies and organizations.” Although it is registered as a nonpartisan nonprofit and claims no involvement “in issue advocacy on behalf of elected officials,” its members are exclusively Republican financial officers, most of whom serve in elected positions. SFOF’s priorities include battling “woke capitalism,” promoting domestic fossil fuel production, and amplifying the far-right fight against ESG as a sound investment strategy. As of February 2023, 35 state financial officers from 28 different states are members of the organization.
SFOF has deep ties to the equally right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), sharing leaders and having held its 2021 national meeting “in conjunction” with ALEC’s own national meeting in Salt Lake City. Many ALEC leaders also occupy key positions in SFOF and attended the group’s 2022 annual meeting. ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson is on the group’s board of directors. Its chief economist and Executive Vice President of Policy Jonathan Williams is a senior policy advisor and sits on SFOF’s National Advisory Committee. In 2022, Derek Kreifels, SFOF’s founder and CEO, collaborated with Williams to draft conservative model legislation designed to “protect pensioners from politically driven investment strategies.” SFOF also endorsed the ALEC model bill called the “Eliminate Political Boycotts Act” at its December 2022 meeting, which would authorize state governments to blacklist corporations promoting ESG or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
SFOF is also part of a rightwing coalition promoting the Heritage Foundation’s State Pension Fiduciary Duty Act, model legislation that seeks to ban the consideration of ESG factors in the management of public pensions.
In addition to ALEC, SFOF is deeply entwined with CRC Advisors, founded in 2020 by Leonard Leo and Greg Mueller to “funnel big money and expertise across the conservative movement.” CRC Advisors consults with SFOF and its members and sent the largest number of staffers of any organization to SFOF’s 2022 Fall National Meeting, as the Center for Media and Democracy reported.
SFOF convenes twice a year to bring together its members, funders, and right-wing operatives to develop state-based strategies and communications to carry out its anti-”woke” agenda.
- Chief Executive Officer Derek Kreifels
- Director of Operations Melanie Kreifels
- Executive Vice President for Policy and Government Affairs Noah Wall
- Executive Assistant to the CEO Adam Slayton
- Senior Policy Advisor and National Advisory Committee Member Jonathan Williams
- Communications Manager Ryan Chavers
- SFOF Center for Economic Freedom Fellow Michael Austin
- SFOF Center for Economic Freedom Fellow Carrie Sheffield
- National Advisory Committee Member Adam Andrzejewski
- National Advisory Committee Member John Ashcroft
- National Advisory Committee Member U.S. Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS)
- National Advisory Committee Member Andy Puzder
- President of the Board of Directors Seth Metcalf
- Vice Chair of the Board of Directors Bridgett Wagner
- Treasurer of the Board of Directors Ron Crane
- Secretary of the Board of Directors James Kemp
- At Large Board Member Dee Dee Bass Wilbon
- At Large Board Member Paul Fitzpatrick
- At Large Board Member John Hart
- At Large Board Member Lisa Nelson
- Consumers’ Research: $467,500 (2021-2022)
- DonorsTrust: $105,000 (2022)
- Heritage Foundation: $100,000 (2022)
- Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund: $45,000 (2016–21)
- John William Pope Foundation: $25,000 (2021)
Note: SFOF is not required by law to disclose its donors. The Center for Media and Democracy identified its top funders through an examination of IRS filings. Up until September 2022, SFOF listed its sponsors on its websites without dollar amounts, but it no longer does so.
- Total revenue: $935,197
- Total expenses: $1,034,286
- Net assets: $178,863
Source: 2021 IRS 990 filing
For more information, visit the SFOF page on SourceWatch.