I am thrilled to be stepping in to help with the Northwest philanthropic sector's public policy efforts over the next few months, as Philanthropy Northwest's senior policy advisor. My primary roles include leading our six-state network's delegation to Foundations on the Hill in Washington, D.C. this March and supporting the work of our board's public policy committee.
I have a long history with philanthropy in the Northwest and nationally, through my 21 years developing public policy and advocacy efforts at Casey Family Programs, one of Philanthropy Northwest's lead sustaining partners. I have always appreciated the relevant information I got as a Philanthropy Northwest member and benefited tremendously from the many personal and professional connections I made here as well.
A little more about me: I am most passionate about building strategic partnerships with national organizations, investing in public policy change from a philanthropic perspective, creating coalitions and advancing systems change across three branches of government. In addition to my work at Philanthropy Northwest, I am also supporting projects that address child welfare with Casey Family Programs, Annie E. Casey Foundation, National American Indian Court Judges Association and other national nonprofit organizations. I am also a strong believer in national service and volunteerism, and currently chair Serve Washington, the state’s commission on national and community service.
Foundations on the Hill 2017
I believe all of us in philanthropy have a critical role to define how our investments and partnerships can inform policy decisions and ensure that policymakers fully understand the role that philanthropy plays in our states and local communities. There is an urgency for philanthropy to move sooner rather than later to engage, educate and learn — at the federal and state level — to ensure that philanthropy is an effective resource as well as voice for the needs of our communities. I invite all of you who have attended Foundations on the Hill in the past to join our delegation again this year — and to those who have not, please sign up.
More than ever, we need to deepen our relationships with policy makers regionally and nationally in 2017. I look forward to working with you.
Susan Weiss is Philanthropy Northwest's senior policy advisor. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.