We use our collective voice to take a stand on issues that matter to our communities.
Advocacy is using our voice to influence public policies that support thriving communities through robust resources and democratic institutions that are more reflective of the communities they represent.
Why do we engage in public advocacy?
First, philanthropic resources are tiny in comparison to public monies. While not all advocacy is focused on how public resources are spent or collected, philanthropy is more effective when we have democratic institutions that are responsive, transparent and authentically represent the breadth of our local communities. Strengthening our democracy requires robust engagement by all.
Philanthropy Northwest advocates for a strong charitable sector in service of our region's communities, and we support our members to become effective advocates themselves.
Our Public Policy Priorities
Philanthropy Northwest’s advocacy is focused on our two public policy goals:
- Promoting a more prosperous, vibrant, healthy, diverse, inclusive and equitable region.
- Supporting efforts that grow and sustain more equitable philanthropy and charitable giving across our region.
Currently, Philanthropy Northwest has established public policy positions on the following issues that are vitally important to our members:
The Census2020 Washington Census Equity Fund Evaluation Report. Learn more about how funders can prepare for the 2030 Census by following the Funder Census Initiative’s A Blueprint for Philanthropic Census Engagement.
We support a universal charitable incentive that enhances giving more equitably and efficiently across a wider, diverse base of donors across the income spectrum, to provide more charitable resources to communities. Read our one-pager on a universal charitable giving incentive.
We favor regulation to increase transparency and payout of donor-advised funds (DAFs), and we support increased education and research to help deepen understanding of the complexities and considerations to inform our stance on specific proposals. Read our one-pager on donor-advised funds and our DAF FAQ that addresses common questions about DAF regulation and trends.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous People
We support policies that address the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, especially women, girls and Two-Spirit individuals, and call upon philanthropy and all levels of government to prioritize this issue. Read the report on this issue from Urban Indian Health Institute.
Philanthropy Northwest has adopted other policy positions as well, including opposing family separation at the border and supporting the prohibition against partisan activity by 501(c)(3) organizations.
Our Process for Taking a Position or Action
Philanthropy Northwest has a public policy committee composed of board members and other network members that meets quarterly to discuss policy issues and recommend policy stances and advocacy actions for the full board’s consideration. Any Philanthropy Northwest member can raise a policy issue to the committee or to our policy staff. Philanthropy Northwest may pursue one or several actions including monitoring legislation, submitting public comments, leading programs, lobbying and other communications. See our process for taking a position or other actions.
Public Policy Committee Members
|Mike Halligan, Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation (Committee Chair)
|Liz Moore, Montana Nonprofit Association
|Christine Calpin, Casey Family Programs
|Brian Tanner, Potlatch Fund
|Shona Carter, Black Future Co-Op Fund
|Aleesha Towns-Bain, Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation
|Kris Hermanns, Seattle Foundation
|Steve Williams, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority
|Mauri Ingram, Whatcom Community Foundation
|Laurie Wolf, The Foraker Group