Community Foundations Week is the perfect time to celebrate the great work community foundations do around the country. This is especially true at a time when foundations are being asked to do more and more because of federal, state, and local budget cuts. In my role at the Council on Foundations, as a member of the government relations team, I thoroughly enjoy helping amplify the voice of community foundations with policymakers.
The government relations team at the Council has a unique view into the relationship between community foundations and policymakers. It is our job to connect the dots for congressional staffers when they’re contemplating policy changes. Before we go to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and their staff, we reach out to Council members in those districts and states, to gather examples of the creative and passionate work foundations are doing in those communities. As a former Hill staffer, I know firsthand that there is no more powerful story than one that deals with a member’s constituents. In a sense, our work is made easy, as we are just amplifying the tremendous work that all of you are doing. Examples such as funds in Massachusetts helping public schools in poor communities buy educational technology or funds in Virginia being dedicated to families who adopt children with special needs are great illustrations of how you are supporting communities across the nation.
Members love to hear about this incredible work. Furthermore, when we can connect foundations with congressional staff to foster and build relationships, it strengthens our advocacy efforts. This helps motivate legislators to support, and hopefully expand, incentives for charitable giving, as well as making it easier for you to efficiently carry out your missions.
Thank you so much for all you do and keep up the great work!