Sharpening Our Advocacy Tools for a New Administration

February 7, 2017

Advocacy is an important tool in philanthropy's toolbox. Are you wielding it effectively?

With so many policy changes coming from the new White House, Congress and state agencies, foundations and their grantees need to be engaged more than ever.

Eager to learn more, sharpen their skills and compare notes, leaders from Marguerite Casey Foundation, Lemelson Foundation, Campion Foundation, Potlatch Fund, Whatcom Community Foundation and more attended Philanthropy Northwest workshop last month on how private and public foundations can support grantees’ advocacy efforts and engage in advocacy themselves. Abby Levine, director of Alliance for Justice's Bolder Advocacy initiative, provided an overview of activities that constitute advocacy and public policy work, along with examples of advocacy roles for foundations, definitions of lobbying, and rules for private vs. public foundation grants to nonprofits that engage in lobbying (including general support, specific projects and multi-year grants).

In our conversation after the workshop, I asked her more about the work of AFJ and any big takeaways:

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Remy Trupin is a Philanthropy Northwest Catalyst Fellow, focused on advocacy. He can be reached at rtrupin@philanthropynw.org.