Advocacy/Influence/Public Policy

Menu of Democracy-Strengthening Resources

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Democracy Northwest is a resource for philanthropists who might be motivated to devote more attention to strengthening democratic practices and institutions. At a time when our democracy is suffering from multiple afflictions, philanthropy has a unique opportunity to contribute to its revitalization.

As one contribution to that work, we have prepared this working menu of democracy-strengthening resources. We recognize how incomplete this catalogue is, and we welcome suggestions about how to make the document more comprehensive and more useful in your work.

How Can Philanthropy Strengthen Democracy?

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A group of leaders have come together to create Democracy Northwest, a project to explore what philanthropy can do to strengthen democracy. Through an initial convening, two focus groups, sessions at the Philanthropy Northwest annual conference and other conversations, participants are broadening the conversation, sharing strategies to strengthen democracy, and using democratic practices to strengthen philanthropy in turn. This discovery process generated a range of ideas to further explore and develop. In the action phase of the project, participants will identify the most promising ideas and support further inquiry, create programs, tools, and participate in communities of practice to support them. This document summarizes the main ideas that emerged through the Discovery Phase.

Philanthropy and the Renewal of Democracy: Is it Time to Step Up Our Game?

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In the second edition of this monograph, Daniel Kemmis explores the sometimes-fraught relationship between philanthropy and democracy. Beginning with a wide-ranging stroll through the shared history of philanthropy and democracy, Kemmis asks whether philanthropy can and should do more to strengthen the infrastructure and practices of democracy.

Verde Paper: Latino Perspectives on Conservation Leadership

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As America becomes more diverse, so too are our social movements diversifying — and better integrating the diversity they've held within them all along. That's the context for the "Verde Paper," an exploration of Latinos in the environmental movement, which holds important lessons for advocates and philanthropists who want to better support and partner with Latino communities.

Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook: Leveraging Your Dollars

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Is your foundation interested in confidently supporting advocacy? Alliance for Justice’s Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook provides information on 11 benefits and conversation-starters about philanthropic advocacy and lobbying. Specifically, it answers your questions about legal rules and provides concrete examples, templates, resources, and tips.

The Status of Women in Washington

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Women in Washington have made significant advances in the past several decades but face persistent inequities that often prevent them from reaching their full potential. This report, published by Women's Funding Alliance and Institute for Women's Policy Research, provides critical data and analyzes areas of progress for women in Washington, as well as places where progress has slowed or stalled. It examines key indicators of women’s status in several topical areas: employment and earnings, economic security and poverty, and political participation. The data presented on these topics can serve as a resource for advocates, community leaders, policymakers, funders and other stakeholders who are working to create public policies and programs that enable women in Washington to achieve their full potential.

Impact Investing in the Energy Sector: How Federal Action Can Galvanize Private Support for Energy Innovation and Deployment

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Building on the momentum around energy financing and impact investing in D.C., get the latest thinking from Mission Investors Exchange on impact investment in the energy sector, problems associated with making these investments and the resources needed in conjunction with the federal government.