FPONLINE FOCUS SPECIAL EDITION: Public Policy Meets Private Philanthropy (September 2012)


As the 2012 U.S. Presidential election race heats up, philanthropic networks around the country are adding fuel to the fire by promoting and hosting a variety of conversations discussing the relationship between public policy and private philanthropy. Many of the National Center’s Family Philanthropy Online Partner Subscribers are at the forefront of this push; we offer a few examples of regional associations hosting and driving funder discussions around public policy:

  • As part of its Public Policy Platform series, Southern California Grantmakers, in partnership with Northern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers, developed a two-part webinar series on investment opportunities with the Department of Education and the philanthropic arm of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In the second webinar of this series, to be held on October 3rd, HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation (IPI) Ana Marie Argilagos will share innovative ways IPI has partnered with philanthropy and discuss current and future possibilities to leverage federal funds, as well as the potential impacts of upcoming elections on their work. Learn more.
  • Philanthropy New York has launched a robust public policy strategy, with everything from Issue Guides that track legislation and policy developments affecting the nonprofit sector, to the creation of a Public Policy Committee which advises the organization on public policy matters and develops recommendations on specific legislation or proposed regulatory activity, and a variety of Issue-based Working Groups on education, health care, women and girls, veterans, volunteerism, aging, juvenile justice, workforce development and other issues.
  • Through its ongoing public policy initiative, the Ohio Grantmakers Forum has positioned itself as “the leading voice to policy makers on behalf of Ohio’s foundation and corporate giving community, working with members to bring the ideas and insights of the philanthropic sector to the table.” Specific components of it’s public policy work include initiatives on education, and health, and key information for grantmakers on government relations and important federal and state legislation related to philanthropy, as well as Legislative Roster of Ohio’s Congressional Delegation.
  • Philanthropy Northwest, in partnership with the Council on Foundations, will be holding its first ever Policy Institute. Designed with the leaders of the Philanthropy Northwest public policy committee, the Institute will provide participants with the chance to:
    • Reflect on why public policy might be an effective strategy to advance your mission;
    • Discuss and strategize about real-life examples of foundations engaging in policy work;
    • Consider how to evaluate public policy and advocacy efforts; and
    • Learn about tools and resources available to you to help you do this work.

Interested in learning more about the role that family foundations can play in public policy and elections? Check out this month’s Ask the Center or listen to a replay of our August Family Philanthropy Webinar, Advocacy and Family Giving: Leveraging Limited Dollars for Impact (for Friends and FP Online subscribers only).

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