Principles for Advancing the Council's Public Policy Work

These principles, developed with input from the Council’s Public Policy Committee and Board, are intended to translate the Public Policy Guideposts to the Council’s day-to-day policy work. They lay out the specific actions the Council takes on a regular basis to advance policy objectives on behalf of the philanthropic sector.


Preserve Charitable Giving Incentives in the Tax Code

The Council believes that tax policy should encourage charitable giving, and that legislative bodies should support policies that enhance, not diminish, current levels of giving. The Council takes a leadership role in pushing back against policy decisions that would decrease the value of the charitable giving incentives in the tax code, including but not limited to the charitable deduction.

Elevate Policy Issues of Interest to Members

Foundations are subject to tax policy, and the Council commits to take an active role in that area. But philanthropy engages in critical policy issues across a broad and diverse spectrum of interests. The Council can play a meaningful role to elevate and contribute to important discussions and debates in these areas. In areas outside of tax policy, the Council engages on topical issues where philanthropy is playing an important role in order to create opportunities for discourse among our members, policymakers and other stakeholders.

Share Best Practices and Sector Trends

The Council serves as a clearinghouse of philanthropic sector activity and research, shares best practices across the sector among its members, and highlights examples of member programming and positions on policy issues that are trending within the sector.

Initiate Thought Leadership

The Council convenes thought leaders from throughout the philanthropic sector, as well as outsides such as attorneys, academics, activists, scholars, and experts, to develop and build upon both established and emerging policy ideas that would benefit the sector and advance the common good.

Promote Public-Philanthropic Partnerships

The Council serves as a leader in facilitating public-philanthropic partnerships. These partnerships are rooted in an exchange of knowledge and best practices, with strategic pooling of resources as a secondary goal. In this capacity, the Council will share partnership opportunities and continue to develop tools and resources to enable philanthropic organizations and government to partner successfully.

Engage with Policymakers

The Council works with policymakers to actively advance ideas that would enhance the work of the philanthropic sector and allow it to operate more efficiently and effectively. The Council also advocates against any policy changes that are overly burdensome or would weaken the sector, and considers reasonable alternatives that would be more beneficial for philanthropy.

Educate and Convene

The Council educates policymakers, Council members, the philanthropic sector and other engaged stakeholders about activities and developments within the sector, new research, and policy proposals that impact the sector. The Council also brings informed and influential voices to the table in any policy conversation that implicates the philanthropic sector.

Facilitate Sector Partnerships

The Council fosters relationships with regional and national membership organizations, charitable organizations, and other philanthropic groups to collaborate on policy activities, share information, and bring best practices to scale. The Council also facilitates opportunities for meaningful dialogue among members with similar interests.

Lend Expertise

Council staff continues to develop deep policy expertise and knowledge of the philanthropic sector, and serves as an important resource on the sector and the perspectives of the sector on a variety of issues for policymakers and their staff, government agencies, academics, legal or financial practitioners, think-tank analysts, and others.