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Highlights of This Edition

  • Bipartisan Policy Center and United Philanthropy Forum Create Partnership to Tackle Critical Policy Issues
  • Registration Open for Foundations on the Hill 2024
  • Add Your PSO to the CGC Letter in Support of the Charitable Act

Key News + Announcements

Bipartisan Policy Center and United Philanthropy Forum Create Partnership to Tackle Critical Policy Issues

The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and United Philanthropy Forum announced last Tuesday that they entered into a partnership to build a cross-sector advocacy coalition aimed at finding just, practical, and equitable policy solutions to issues impacting communities across the country.

The two organizations will focus on raising public and policymaker awareness of the urgency to improve maternal health outcomes, safeguard ballot access and security, and strengthen and modernize the Farm Bill for the benefit of all Americans. 

This partnership brings together two organizations with complementary and reinforcing assets. As a united front, the Forum and BPC will build energized coalitions to advance federal action on shared public policy priorities. By approaching this work through a bipartisan lens, the Forum and BPC strive to:

  1. reinforce the idea that advocacy, in addition to grantmaking, is critical to achieving equitable progress on the key challenges facing the nation,
  2. leverage their joint networks to build a strong coalition of stakeholders around these issues, and
  3. achieve progress on these issues through the crafting of policy recommendations, the introduction of relevant legislation in Congress, and other momentum for policy reform.

"Impacting public policy at the state and federal levels via strong advocacy and engagement strategies starts with a bipartisan approach that catalyzes a just and equitable society,” said Matthew L. Evans, Senior Director of Public Policy at United Philanthropy Forum. “Through this partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center, we aim to be a unified voice that addresses systemic inequities that unfairly impact communities across the country.”

Read the full press release to learn more.

Congressional Agriculture Committee Leaders Calling for Farm Bill Extension

Last week, Bloomberg Government reported that the leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are all indicating that a one-year extension for the Farm Bill is the only realistic option for the legislation at this point. The ranking member on the House Agriculture Committee, Rep. David Scott (D-GA) called for an extension two weeks ago.

House Agriculture Committee Chair Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) was steadfast in his commitment to a five-year bill until last week when he conceded that an extension will be necessary. 

The Forum will continue to keep members updated on discussions about an extension and negotiations for the full Farm Bill.

House Takes Steps to Fund Census Bureau in FY24

On November 2nd, the House Appropriations Committee discharged its version of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill, H.R. 5893—a necessary procedural step before the measure can be debated on the House floor. The Committee also released an explanatory report to clarify funding priorities and specific interests in agencies funded by the CJS bill, including the Census Bureau.

In July, the Subcommittee had recommended that the Census Bureau receive $1.354 billion, which is $131 million below the agency’s FY 2023 enacted level and approximately $252 million below the amount requested by the President.

View The Census Project’s blog for more information. 

PSO Resources + Updates

Registration Open for Foundations on the Hill 2024

Registration has officially opened for Foundation on the Hill 2024! Sign up today to save your spot at what promises to be a robust public policy conference experience.

The 21st Annual Foundations on the Hill, hosted and presented by United Philanthropy Forum in partnership with Independent Sector and the Council on Foundations, is the largest annual public policy and advocacy conference dedicated solely to the philanthropic sector.

#FOTH2024: A Dedicated Public Policy Conference

  • Informative, engaging, and interactive programming and presentations about public policy issues impacting philanthropy and the communities we work with and in
  • Several networking opportunities, providing attendees multiple chances to connect and be in community with colleagues and fellow advocates from across the country
  • Opportunities for PSOs, foundation leaders, and sector advocates to develop and strengthen relationships with their Members of Congress, staff, and federal officials

Don’t miss the chance to participate in this sector tradition, which has demonstrated that when PSOs and foundations come together and speak to Congress in a unified voice, we can make a lasting impact by promoting a strong sector and advocating for vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities across the country.

Check out the Foundations on the Hill 2024 website to learn about the conference hotel, explore the agenda, review FOTH resources, and register today! 

Matthew L. Evans Speaking at Independent Sector’s 2023 Upswell Summit

This week, in Dallas, Texas, Forum Senior Director of Public Policy Matthew L. Evans will serve as a featured speaker for Independent Sector’s 2023 Upswell Summit conference session: Win Some, Lose Some: Applying Lessons from Nonprofit Policy Successes and Failures. As a speaker, Matthew is joining a lineup of influential sector leaders to share his expertise about the latest policy issues affecting nonprofits and the broader sector.

Learn more from Independent Sector’s Upswell Summit event page.

Add Your PSO to the CGC Letter in Support of the Charitable Act

In conjunction with Giving Tuesday, the Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC) – of which United Philanthropy Forum is a member – plans to send another sign-on letter in support of the Charitable Act to Senate and House tax leaders. A priority for the Forum and the focus of the recent Philanthropy Day of Action, this bill would reinstate and expand a universal charitable deduction.

Given that the letter's focus is similar to the CGC’s May 17th letter, the CGC plans to include all organizations who previously signed the May letter, giving this newer version an opt-out option for those organizations. New signers are also welcome.


  • If your organization wants to be listed on the new letter and you signed the May 17th letter, you are all set.
  • Otherwise, add your organization or opt out of the CGC’s Giving Tuesday letter by the deadline of Friday, November 17th at 5:00 pm ET.

The Forum appreciates the PSO members who signed the CGC’s May 17th letter and we encourage additional members to add their organization to the Giving Tuesday letter!

Forum and Sector Peers Discuss Charitable Giving at the White House

Last Tuesday, Forum President & CEO Dave Biemesderfer and Senior Director of Public Policy Matthew L. Evans joined a group of nonprofit leaders to discuss charitable giving with the White House. Leaders from the Office of Public Engagement, the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Legislative Affairs, as well as the Treasury Department participated in the meeting.

The group emphasized the importance of charitable giving, its impact in communities across the country, recent data showing declines in donations, and how the Charitable Act would help strengthen giving.

The Forum will continue to keep members updated about our ongoing efforts to support the Charitable Act and build relationships with federal officials.

Forum President & CEO Issues Blog on the Evolution of Organization's Policy & Advocacy Work

Last week, Forum President & CEO Dave Biemesderfer published a blog reflecting on the evolution of the Forum’s public policy and advocacy strategy throughout our history and his tenure. The blog is part of a series he is authoring ahead of his upcoming retirement in 2024.

Biemesderfer details how the Forum’s long history of advocating for a strong sector has expanded to include a focus on supporting policy solutions that seek to foster vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities.

Read the full blog from Dave Biemesderfer.

Resource Spotlight: State Association Leaders Reflect on Nonprofit Advocacy

Independent Sector (IS) published a blog last month featuring state association leaders’ reflections on the recent report showing a decline in nonprofit advocacy efforts. The blog includes quotes from Forum members Kevin Dean, CEO of the Tennessee Nonprofit Network, and Monique Jones, president & CEO of Forefront.

The blog advises nonprofit peers to learn about the rules and regulations regarding public policy work and emphasizes the connections between organizational mission, advocacy, impact, and systems change.

For more, see the blog from IS.

State + Local Public Policy News

Redistricting Lawsuits Playing Out in North Carolina, Georgia, and More States

Ahead of the 2024 election, redistricting fights that could influence control of the House of Representatives are ongoing in several states. For example, Democratic state lawmakers in North Carolina have vowed to challenge recently adopted congressional district maps in the state, claiming that the maps are racially gerrymandered.

Separately, Republican state officials in Georgia have announced that they will appeal a recent court order requiring district maps in the state to be redrawn. The court found that the current maps violate the Voting Rights Act by diluting the power of Black voters. 

View the articles from WCNC and WABE to learn more about redistricting in North Carolina and Georgia, respectively.

Wisconsin Leaders Call for Federal Voting Rights Legislation

On November 5th, Milwaukee and Wisconsin public officials and the group Power to the Polls addressed the importance of voting rights and voter access at a news conference marking one year until the 2024 election. Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, and former Wisconsin lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes encouraged support for federal voting rights bills, including the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Read the WISN article for details.

Pennsylvania Gov. Shapiro Signs Law Requiring Reporting Maternal Mortality and Morbidity

In October, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro and state lawmakers celebrated the ceremonial signing of Act 5, a bill that makes maternal mortality and morbidity a reportable event in the Commonwealth. Members of the recently formed PA Black Maternal Health Caucus and other attendees noted the importance of having accurate data on maternal health and morbidity to inform policy solutions to address the crisis.

Find out more from the Pennsylvania Capitol Star article.

The Philanthropy + Policy Update regularly features state updates from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities’ State Priorities Partnership (SPP).

Ten Million People Have Lost Medicaid and State Partners Sound Alarm

At least 10 million people across the United States have lost health care coverage since Medicaid unwinding began, and more than 70 percent have been disenrolled for procedural reasons. In Texas, for example, reports from Every Texan paint a dismal picture of the state’s haphazard approach to eligibility proceedings.

Kansas Action for Children shared reports of a “glitch” that caused thousands of children to lose their coverage in error. Many other states have also reported that children represent a large proportion of those who have been disenrolled. The Florida Policy Institute reported in a second letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis that a quarter of a million kids have lost health care coverage.

Most SPP groups are calling for immediate Medicaid reinstatement and pauses in the redetermination process until proper confirmation of eligibility can take place.

North Carolina Budget and Tax Center Calls for a More Democratic Budget Process

The NC Budget and Tax Center joined 20 other organizations last month in sending a letter to the state’s General Assembly calling for a more democratic budget process. They demanded that legislative leaders stop rigging the rules to benefit their donors and special interests and instead prioritize the people of North Carolina.

See the open letter on the NC Budget and Tax Center’s website.

Advocacy Across the Forum Network

Philanthropy New York VP Marlon Williams Pens Blog Calling for Support for Affirmative Action

Marlon Williams, Philanthropy New York Vice President of Policy and Collaboration, published a blog last month calling on the sector to remain committed to supporting affirmative action and racial equity efforts. In the blog, he reflects on his experiences as a Black man and immigrant and urges sector colleagues to be steadfast in their commitment to racial equity:

“The current climate of uncertainty surrounding affirmative action and the legal challenges faced by those striving for racial equity in the private sector should not deter us from our mission. We must continue to name and confront racism explicitly if we are to create meaningful change. Affirmative action, both as a policy and a philosophy, remains an essential tool in our pursuit of a fair and equitable society. It is the embodiment of our commitment to the social contract - the courageous recognition that we must rectify past injustices to build a better future for all.”

Read the full blog from Marlon Williams.

Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Hosting Webinar on Building Support for Food Policy Councils

Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders (SAFSF) is hosting a webinar, Catalyzing Funder Support for Food Policy Councils: Effective Spaces for Policy Change. On December 7th, panelists will provide funders with practical insight into what food policy councils can achieve and how to be effective partners in supporting their work.

Find out more at SAFSF’s event page.

Grantmakers In Health Launches Monthly Policy Update

Grantmakers In Health (GIH) launched the Health Policy Update, a new monthly newsletter produced in collaboration with Trust for America's Health (TFAH). The Update provides GIH Funding Partners with congressional and administrative updates, sign-on and endorsement opportunities, and other federal health policy news.

Check out the first edition of the Health Policy Update from GIH and TFAH.

Forefront Urges Illinois Nonprofits to Support the Streamlining Federal Grants Act

This month, Forefront joined the National Council of Nonprofits and Social Current in coordinating a sign-on letter in support of the Streamlining Federal Grants Act (S. 2286, H.R. 5934). The bill would improve federal grantmaking and make funding more accessible.

See Forefront’s call for Illinois nonprofits to sign on and support the legislation.

Legislative Calendars

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is in session.
View the House of Representatives calendar.

United States Senate

The United States Senate is in session.
View the United States Senate calendar.

2023 State Legislative Session

For State Legislative Calendars:
View the National Conference of State Legislatures' 2023 State Legislative Session Calendar.

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