In an era of stringent cutbacks in state and federal assistance, thoughtful engagement in public policy is a critical tool for advancing (and sustaining!) mission-driven initiatives. If you really think about it, advocacy is at the core of philanthropy by:
- investing and initiating innovative strategies to address societal needs;
- facilitating and strengthening community commitment;
- illuminating awareness and evidence about societal issues and encouraging collaborative-based solutions; and most importantly,
- embodying a spirit of courage and unwavering voice for inspiring positive change.
CivicAIM fully embraces advocacy as a strategy to advance philanthropic missions. We have witnessed first-hand the multiplier effect advocacy has on influencing policy debates and ultimately, creating long-lasting, broad-based change. Learn more on how CivicAIM has helped set a precedent on empowering philanthropic leaders to engage and shape public policy.
Is advocacy in your grantmaking playbook?
At minimum, policy needs the input of philanthropy and our partners. Equally, philanthropy has an obligation to raise the awareness of the issues and populations we serve. Philanthropy can be a resource to policymakers – and not the check writing kind — but an objective, thought leader with the ability to facilitate time, talent and expertise. Foundations play a central role in improving communities and similar to policymakers who make difficult budgetary decisions, funders have to make decisions about where to invest limited resources that will have the most impact. This experience is knowledge policymakers want to hear.
“We want to be a resource for legislators and we want them to understand the opportunities and the limits of philanthropy.”
Erica V. Ekwurzel, CivicAIM as quoted in Austin American-Statesman
So whether you have yet to embark on understanding how advocacy can bolster your philanthropic aims or you already leverage advocacy as an avenue to move the needle, we leave you with these insightful resources to help foster consideration for thoughtfully engaging in advocacy work:
Words to Give By: Leading Voices in Advocacy Funding (cosponsored by Council on Foundations and Alliance for Justice)
Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook: Leveraging your Dollars (Alliance for Justice)
Investing in Change: A Funder’s Guide to Supporting Advocacy (Alliance for Justice)
Our hope is you find these resources both inspiring and informative. CivicAIM welcomes engaged civic leaders who value the role philanthropy plays in laying the groundwork for a more interactive democracy. Call us today as we stand ready to help identify and customize an advocacy strategy to advance your work.