Public Policy and Advocacy

Public Policy and Advocacy

Our collective voice propels change.

Increasingly our communities are looking to philanthropies to step into the public arena and use our resources and voice to influence public policy. At Philanthropy Northwest, we believe advocacy is one of the most powerful levers to achieve systemic change that fosters a more equitable society. 


Philanthropy has significant latitude to shape public policy — from supporting grassroots mobilization and civic engagement efforts, to holding educational forums, to testifying before policymakers or direct lobbying. To support members in this role, we offer trainings and resources, connect funders and policymakers around shared interests and advocate on behalf of the region’s philanthropic sector.


Our Policy Positions

We advocate on issues impacting philanthropy and Northwest communities. Any Philanthropy Northwest member can raise an issue. Our policy staff and public policy committee then vet issues for our board and determine actions, such as promoting formal positions, writing statements, educating policymakers or lobbying.

The Census

Census data determines the allocation of federal funding and political representation for a decade. We support a robust and accurate census count. In 2020, we called upon governments to fully fund the decennial census and encouraged the philanthropic sector to help ensure historically undercounted communities were counted.

Democracy Northwest

As society faces unprecedented challenges, the renewal of democratic practices has become a pressing need, and philanthropy has a pivotal role to play. In response, we launched Democracy Northwest, an initiative aimed at strengthening the health of our democracy.

Interested in learning more about policy and advocacy?

Contact our policy team to learn about our public policy work and become a more engaged advocate. You can also subscribe to our communications to receive public policy updates.