Advocacy & Lobbying

Foundations can be a powerful voice. Find resources and information about how Foundations can participate in shaping public policy as well as guidance regarding the legal rules and limitations that apply to public and private foundations engaged in lobbying and other advocacy activities.

In-Depth knowledge on Advocacy & Lobbying

The Advocacy Toolkit is designed to be a central resource for Council members and others engaged in the philanthropic space to learn about why it is important—now more than ever—for philanthropy to have a voice in policy, how to effectively use advocacy and lobbying to advance your mission, what the most critical or priority "asks" are for the sector at any given time, and to better understand the key policy issues that are top-of-mind for our sector.

If policies are implemented that threaten or weaken philanthropy, it hinders our sector's ability to perform the work that has been so carefully woven into the fabric of our culture over many years. Particularly with tax reform as a distinct policy priority of Congressional leadership and the skepticism among policymakers for endowed philanthropy, the threat of policies that could hinder our work is imminent.

This element of the advocacy toolkit is meant to provide specific resources on "how-to" when it comes to engaging with your policymakers—particularly with your Members of Congress and their staff.

One of the toughest challenges with getting involved in advocacy is getting beyond that initial hurdle of making the case for why it is a strategic and important tool for pursuing your mission. Here are some questions you might anticipate to receive from your board members about advocacy, and suggested points to incorporate in your answers.

Policymakers have become increasingly skeptical of endowed philanthropy in recent times. It is up to us to create an environment in which philanthropy can grow and thrive, and to promote policies that allow the philanthropic sector to remain vibrant, inclusive, innovative, and effective.

Though the law varies somewhat between what community and public foundations are allowed to do, versus what private foundations are allowed to do in terms of lobbying, all foundation-types can engage in advocacy!

Are you concerned about the state of higher education in the U.S.? This webinar features policy and foundation guest speakers who provide an overview of the status of Congressional reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. This legislation would authorize billions of dollars for Pell Grants, student loans, and other additional resources for students, teachers, and institutions of higher education. Issues that are likely to be debated include the affordability of college; access to, persistence during and completion of a college degree; better information for consumers; student loan programs; accreditation and oversight; innovation; and the burden of federal reporting and regulations. View this webinar to hear why the philanthropic sector should be interested in the outcome of the legislation.