Public Policy
Summit

April 11-13, 2018 | Philadelphia, PA

2018 Public Policy Summit Logo

Programming

Wednesday, April 11

Opening Plenary - 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Engage, Educate, and Empower: Philanthropy’s Voice in the Public Policy Arena

We are in a unique moment in our history. The day’s political debates increasingly divide our country. Philanthropy has a role to play in maintaining our nation’s democracy and supporting the many issues that motivate our work. We have a voice. We must raise it loud and clear.

Speakers: Pedro Ramos, President and CEO, Philadelphia Foundation; Angela Rye, Principal and CEO, IMPACT Strategies; Julianne Sobral, Chief Operating Officer, Council on Foundations


Thursday, April 12

Breakfast Plenary - 9:00 am - 10:30 am

How Foundations Can Encourage Voter Engagement and Participation – Strategies and Case Studies

Low voter participation levels, especially in the communities most served by nonprofits, impacts the health of our democracy, the effectiveness of our grantees, and the ability to fulfill our foundations' missions. Join us at this plenary where we’ll launch a new set of toolkits—one for community foundations and one for private foundations—that explore the ways foundations can and have encouraged their grantees to become more fully engaged in the communities they serve through nonpartisan voter and civic engagement.

Speakers:  Brian Miller, CEO, NonProfit Vote; Carla Thompson Payton, Vice President for Program Strategy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Aaron Robertson, Director, Community Programs, Seattle Foundation; Deborah Schachter, Senior Program Officer and Policy Advisor, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

Concurrent Sessions - 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

The 2018 Midterm Elections: A Look into the Crystal Ball

The 2018 midterm elections are quickly approaching, and the political landscape is as volatile as it has ever been. Could the House or Senate flip? Can Senate Democrats defend 28 seats, including 10 in “red states?” Join us for a panel discussion with political experts who will analyze the races set to shape the 2018 election, the 116th Congress, and the legislative agenda in the coming years.  

Speakers: Bridget Bowman, Senior Politics Reporter, CQ Roll Call; Alexi McCammond, Political Reporter, Axios; Steven Shepard, Campaigns Editor, Politico

Moderator: Bob Holste, Senior Director, Government Relations, Pew Charitable Trusts

Beyond Lobbying: Innovative Ways to Engage in State and Local Policymaking

Engaging with lawmakers can sometimes be interpreted as “lobbying”—but the reality is much more expansive than that. Foundation-type and mission can also sometimes be obstacles that prevent or hinder organizations from making the leap to prioritize advocacy as a tool to further their goals. This session will explore two innovative approaches to engaging with state and local policymakers. The first features an initiative by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation—a community foundation in California—to engage and educate the full slate of gubernatorial candidates on early childhood issues. The second features an initiative involving the Meadows Foundation—a private foundation in Texas —employing cross-sector partnerships to bring systemic change to mental health care in Texas.

Speakers:  Dr. Andy Keller, President and CEO, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute; Avo Makdessian, Vice President and Director of the Center for Early Learning, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Moderator: Serena Jezior, Associate Director of Public Policy, Council on Foundations

This session is supported by Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

New Tech Impacts on Charitable Activity: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies

New technologies like Bitcoin and Blockchain will impact the charitable sector as they create a new, decentralized global economy. Blockchain technologies establish secure records of transactions that are transparent and resistant to manipulation, therefore creating new models for accountability, transparency, and trust across sectors. From changing the methods of financial transactions related to cross-border grantmaking and establishing new identification systems of individuals in humanitarian crises, to strengthening trust in institutions and improving accountability in global governance, technological innovations like blockchain will have broad societal implications. How has philanthropy started to embrace blockchain and other technological investments, like cryptocurrency? Hear from speakers in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors who will explain how the latest technological developments used today and their consequences for the future. 

Speakers: Dahna Goldstein, Fellow, Bretton Woods II, New America Foundation; Nicholas Hamlin, Data Scientist, Global Giving; Paul Lamb, Principal, Man on A Mission Consulting 

Moderator: Natalie Ross, Vice President, External Relations, Council on Foundations

Can Bipartisan Policymaking Work in Our Uber-Partisan Environment? 

The polarizing partisan nature of our current political atmosphere is hindering consensus policymaking in Congress. But it hasn’t always been this way!  Join a conversation on the topic with our guest expert from the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, DC, a think tank that actively promotes bi-partisanship. We will discuss ideas for finding common ground that can lead to bipartisan policy solutions and beneficial laws. Our guest will share ways that Congress can restore public confidence and foster collaboration on policy matters and legislation.  Be part of this important conversation and find out what you can do to foster bipartisanship in your own universe of influence. 

Speakers: G. William Hoagland, Sr. Vice President, Bi-Partisan Policy Center

ModeratorStephanie Powers, Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, Council on Foundations

Thanks to the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange for opening up this session to any Summit attendee interested in bipartisan policymaking. 

Concurrent Sessions - 2:45 pm - 4:00 pm

Achieving Equity Through Policy-Advocacy 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.” This session seeks to combine creative energy, social justice directives, newfound data, public policy acumen, and seasoned civic engagement strategies to inform a discussion about possible pathways to a more equitable health and education system for today’s increasingly diverse youth. This session aims to set broad outlines on how racial and ethnic equity efforts can be advanced through philanthropic investment in policy-advocacy, and participants will learn about best practices in policy-advocacy that can help philanthropic institutions better achieve their systems change objectives in health and education.

Impacts of the 2018 Federal Budget and the President’s 2019 Budget Proposal

Many of the executive and fiscal actions of the Trump Administration have triggered complicated and layered public policy and legal issues, putting a variety of "hot issues" in the forefront of the public discourse and Congressional deliberations. Nevertheless, the Administration’s vision for running the federal government includes drastic reductions to human, educational, and environmental services that have traditionally provided cornerstone supports in society. Join federal and tax policy analysts who will provide an update on the decisions and actions related to the 2018 federal appropriations bills and their expected impacts on States, municipalities, and nonprofit services. They will also review the President’s proposed FY 2019 budget proposal. 

Speakers: Shena Ashley, Vice President, Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, Urban Institute; Arshi Siddiqui, Partner, Akin Gump; David Thompson, Vice President of Public Policy, National Council of Nonprofits

A Portrait of the U.S. Political Landscape

Pew Research Center President Michael Dimock will present an analysis of the U.S. political landscape, focusing on the state of democracy, widening partisan and ideological divisions on fundamental political values, and how demographic change is likely to influence political attitudes in the decades to come. In addition, Dimock will present data on the public’s policy priorities from Pew Research Center’s annual policy survey and assess the public’s mood heading into the 2018 midterm elections.

Speakers: Michael Dimock, President, Pew Research Center

This session is supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts.


Friday, April 13

Breakfast Roundtables - 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Protecting the Federal Cultural Agencies: Philanthropy’s Role

For the past two years, the President’s Budget has called for the termination of all federal cultural agencies which includes the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Americans for the Arts has been leading the advocacy charge, alongside other national groups and with the support of grassroot advocates, to restore funding and ensure these agencies continue to support access to the arts for all Americans. The advocacy efforts worked…for this year. No termination-all the money restored. Hear what worked over the last year, strategies going forward and how foundation leaders weighed in with guidance, support and visibility for these efforts. And learn how you can effectively and legally join in lending your voice and support to arts advocacy.

Speakers: Bob Lynch. CEO, Americans for the Arts

This discussion is supported by Americans for the Arts.

One Foundation’s Approach to Framing and Managing Policy Engagement Risks

Engaging in public policy carries inherent risks. The Wallace Foundation will share its approach to public policy engagement, including: a set of guiding principles; types of risks; assessment of risk level; and risk mitigating strategies. Wallace will also share a case study of how the risk management principles were applied. There will be an opportunity for all participants to share their foundation’s approach for balancing risk and opportunity in policy engagement.

Speakers: Kenneth W. Austin, , General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, The Wallace Foundation

Generating New Local Revenue for Children and Youth

In these uncertain times, we want to ensure local policymakers, local funders and backbone organizations are knowledgeable of- and taking ownership of- the funding landscape and program and policy investments that they need for their communities to thrive. This session will feature the Children’s Funding Project’s ‘Steps 2 Success’ for generating new public dedicated revenue and early work that the Skillman Foundation is leading in Detroit will be used as a case study for this session. Participants will hear examples, use tools and receive strategic support pertaining to generating local revenue to support your community’s work for collective impact.

Speakers: Daivd McGhee, Program Director, The Skillman Foundation; Elizabeth Gaines, Senior Fellow, The Forum for Youth Investment

Effective Strategies for Developing and Supporting Public Policy Advocacy

Is there a difference between promoting good policy and advocating for good policy? Come and join the conversation with the TCC Group to explore this question and to become acquainted with a funder- friendly logic model for advocacy initiatives and how to evaluate success. Discuss the efficacy of strategies like coalition building, campaigns, media engagement, lobbying and direct policy maker influence, among others. Veterans Philanthropy Exchange members will share the results from their group’s public policy strategy session held the previous day.

Speakers: Jared Raynor, Director of Evaluation, TCC Group; Katherine Locke, Associate Director of Evaluation, TCC Group 

Slay the Gerrymander?

Come hear how gerrymandering works, why it's gotten worse, how it complicates the goals of your foundation, and what can be done to fix this bug in the operating system of democracy. Learn about Draw the Lines PA, a new initiative led by the Committee of Seventy, Pennsylvania's oldest good government group, that has put together a coalition of reform-minded citizens groups in 14 States. Draw the Lines aims to put into the hands of students and voters the same digital tools and data that political operatives use to draw incongruous maps. Using the free DistrictBuilder platform, and inspired by Draw the Lines' contest format, citizen mappers will learn that, within hours, they can produce election maps that express common sense and democratic values far more than the maps drawn by self-interested politicians do. The project's goal is to create large cohorts of citizens across the country who are ready, willing and able to do this core work of democracy, and are insistent that this is now their work to do. Learn how foundations can promote this citizen engagement!

Speakers: Jessica Richards, Program Officer, William Penn Foundation; Chris Satullo, Project Director, Draw the Lines; David Thornburgh, President and CEO, Committee of Seventy

Concurrent Sessions - 9:45 am - 11:15 am

Can Democratic Engagement Be Powerful AND Non-Partisan? Yes. Really.

Confidence in government, at all levels, is at an all-time low. Many in philanthropy underscore a crucial need to bridge the divide/disconnect between citizens and the government, while in tandem, are wary of being subsumed into conventional partisan politics and lobbying. This session will describe, and provide a hands-on demonstration, of the type of civic engagement that can effectively addresses this challenge. Amy Lee and Maia Comeau of the Kettering Foundation, as well as Dr. Michael Neblo of the Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA) at the Ohio State University, have conducted non-partisan, deliberative forums in communities across the country and communicated insights about the public’s judgement on issues to policymakers, using the Kettering Foundation’s online platform Common Ground for Action. The resulting engagement has had profound effects on the relationship between citizens and government. This interactive session will commence with a discussion of what deliberative forums are and how they can strengthen the relationship between citizens and government. The session will then allow participants to participate in a deliberative forum, using the Kettering/IDEA Opioid Crisis issue guide. This will allow participants to experience the process and understand if it would be useful in their work.

Speakers: Amy Lee, Program Officer, Kettering Foundation; Maia Comeau, Founder, Disruptive Strategies; Melinda Gilmore, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Kettering Foundation; Dr. Michael Neblo, Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability (IDEA), Ohio State University

Great Expectations: Can Foundations Support the Partnerships Sought by State and Local Government?

The Trump Administration is signaling a change in the business model of the federal government to one that shifts innovation and decisions related to federal benefits to States and local communities. As the concept of public-private partnerships takes firmer hold in federal agencies, State and local officials are looking to the private sector for best practices, partnership financing, and innovation. This highly interactive session will use a focus group approach to explore the efficacy of promoting widespread adoption of the concept of State and local “philanthropy liaisons.” These liaisons typically support State and/or local governments and help them leverage philanthropy’s resources with public investments or for special initiatives of State and/or government. Current liaisons at the federal, State, and local levels and colleagues from national associations representing governors, county officials, and mayors will share their experiences and expectations for how the concept could be scaled. 

Disscusants: Karen Aldridge-Eason, Office of Foundation Liaison, Office of the Governor, Council of Michigan Foundations; Cheryl Burnett, Director, County Solutions and Innovation, National Association of Counties (NACo); Maari Porter, Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives, Managing Director's Office, City of Philadelphia; Justin Scheid, Principal, Alphabet City Strategies and formerly of HUD and the City of New York’s Office of Strategic Partnerships; Crystal Swann, Assistant Executive Director for Children, Health, and Human Services, US Conference of Mayors;

Moderator: Stephanie Powers, Vice President, Policy and Partnerships, Council on Foundations

How Innovation and Collaboration Incentivized Massive Public Investment and Success

Learn from experienced leaders—former governor of Delaware and National Governors Association Chair Jack Markell and activist/philanthropist Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi—about how philanthropy and government can work together to dramatically improve the standard of living, nationwide. This session will examine a case study on the education and employment of people with disabilities to demonstrate how an issue that saw little progress for decades has been reinvigorated and helped create a four-fold improvement in new jobs (343,000 jobs) for previously marginalized people gain independence for the first time.

Speakers: Gov. Jack Markell, Former Governor of Delaware (2009-2017); Jennifer Mizrahi, President and Co-founder, Respectability

Closing Plenary - 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Politics and Power: Building and Utilizing Political Power in Pursuit of Policy Goals

Following the passage of tax reform, our sector is examining our successes and our challenges within the political sphere. Our speakers will discuss tools, tactics, and strategies for building and wielding political power in support of specific policy goals.

Speakers: Matt Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties; Ellen Davis, Senior Vice President, National Retail Federation, and President of the National Retail Federation Foundation; Captain Mark Kelly, Co-founder, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence; Robert Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

Moderator: Mason Rummel, President and CEO, James Graham Brown Foundation