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.
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
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.
Read about your colleagues' insight and lessons-learned in their advocacy experiences.
The purpose of this chapter of Mastering Foundation Law: The Council on Foundations Compendium of Legal Resources is to help you understand the federal tax laws and regulations that govern how, when, and to what extent different types of foundations can engage with policymakers, their staff, or candidates running for public office.
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.
You may be aware of the federal laws and regulations that impact advocacy work, but did you know that states often have their own rules to be aware of? Foundations that engage in advocacy activity at the state and local level should understand the rules at play within their states. Our colleagues at Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy initiative offer state law resources on campaign finance and ballot measures, lobbying disclosure and voter registration. These state laws can change frequently, particularly as courts continue to look at permissible limits of political activity, so please check back regularly.
Make the most of your meeting with a member of Congress or congressional staffer by following this checklist and effectively conveying your message to them.
The initial outreach for engaging with your policymakers is important because it sets the stage for future interactions. Learn about how to make the most of this initial contact!
Tips on how grantmakers can legally participate in the political process.
An overview of the laws that govern what community foundations can and can't do regarding involvement in the advocacy space.