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Public Policy

The Forum advances effective policy to grow philanthropy and strengthen philanthropy’s impact.

Public Policy

Advancing Public Policy to Strengthen Philanthropy's Impact

United Philanthropy Forum influences public policy to create a more supportive environment for philanthropy to flourish and to advocate for the policy issues and causes that are important to the Forum’s members. By supporting and advancing the work of our members to engage in advocacy, government relations and public policy efforts at the national, state and local levels, the Forum helps regional and national philanthropy serving organizations (PSOs) promote effective policy. The Forum's policy work also strengthens relationships and partnerships between philanthropy and government. By leveraging the power of our broad network, the Forum advances key policy issues and provides a strong, collective voice for the network on critical policy topics.  

Current policy issues for the Forum include: 

View all Forum Policy Issues

"The policy network that the Forum convenes has enabled us to tap into expertise far beyond our own, and thus, empowered us to inspire our members to action. " -Jeff Poulos, CEO, Philanthropy Massachusetts

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The Forum hosts a variety of policy events and programming. Through the Forum’s Public Policy Peer Community, our members participate in webinars throughout the year to facilitate peer engagement and learning from guest policy experts and their network peers. Policy-focused sessions also take place each year at the Forum's annual conference. Additionally, the Forum shares information about Forum members' policy events via the Philanthropy Field Calendar

The Forum hosts an annual PolicyWorks Institute, which builds the capacity of PSOs and their members to engage in public policy in order to enhance foundations’ impact on the issues that they fund. The Forum also annually hosts Foundations on the Hill, a two-day event that brings together hundreds of foundation leaders from across the country to meet with Congress to discuss issues of critical importance to philanthropy.

 

Past Forum Events
Past Forum Events
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Policy Upates
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Public Policy Peer Community

The Public Policy Peer Community is for our members who work in government relations, advocacy, and public policy efforts for their PSOs.

The Forum’s Public Policy Peer Community offers the following opportunities for peer learning:

  • Three webinars a year with guest policy experts, policy discussions, and round-robin updates from peer community members;
  • In-person meeting at the Forum’s annual conference on July 15 – 17, 2019 in Cleveland, OH;
  • Other as-needed webinars or calls to address timely policy issues or inform members about fast-moving policy changes;
  • Access to the policy listserv (publicpolicy@lists.unitedphilforum.org) for easily sharing information and updates with the community; and
  • Bi-weekly Policy Update and timely Policy Alert emails delivered to all peer community members.

Forum Staff Lead: Matt Hennessy, (202-759-6920), matt@unitedphilforum.org

Join this Peer Community

Co-Chairs

Meredith Higash

Meredith Higashi, Philanthropy Northwest

Guided by a passion for advancing opportunity, equity and inclusion for all communities, Meredith connects with and collaborates across Philanthropy Northwest’s broad network to strengthen the sector’s leadership and advocacy work on public policy issues.

A fourth-generation Seattleite, Meredith brings a decade of experience in public policy, legal advocacy, cross-sector coalition-building, and engagement with diverse communities to her role as Senior Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy at Philanthropy Northwest. Meredith began her career in Washington, DC, as an attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a national civil rights organization. She also helped lead policy initiatives for the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. After returning to the Northwest, Meredith most recently was a partner with the VENG Group, a Washington, DC-based public affairs firm, working with non-profits and civic leaders around communications and advocacy strategies. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and law degree from the University of Washington.

She is admitted to practice in Washington and the U.S. Supreme Court. Meredith enjoys spending free time traversing old haunts and discovering new places, especially coffee shops, in the many Seattle-area neighborhoods she considers home. She is also an avid Seahawks fan and loves the connection that brings with so many different people across the region. Go Hawks!

Seyron Foo

Seyron Foo, Southern California Grantmakers

Seyron Foo develops, organizes, and implements efforts to create a well-connected network of grantmakers and public officials in order to strengthen communities and advance the public policy goals of SCG’s member organizations and Philanthropy California. In this capacity, he provides public policy analysis to issues affecting the sector and key policy areas relevant to grantmakers. Additionally, he is responsible for educating and informing government officials about philanthropic efforts, and identifies opportunities to convene grantmakers and government to tackle the state’s most pressing social issues.

Seyron has experience in various government sectors, beginning his career as a legislative aide to the California State Senate Majority Leader, where he managed a diverse policy portfolio that included civil rights, transportation, and housing. His work led the successful passage of legislation in health, tenants’ rights, and banking reforms. Prior to SCG, he served in the City of Long Beach as the Senior Policy Analyst to the Director of Public Works, where he oversaw and managed citywide projects and led the Department’s press and community relations efforts. His work on public policy affecting cities and communities led to his selection in 2017 as a Next City Vanguard. In 2018, Seyron joined a cohort of ten individuals across philanthropy, nonprofit, and government selected by Independent Sector for the American Express NGEN Fellows. He earned his Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and his B.A. in Rhetoric and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

How to Join the Public Policy Peer Community

To join this Peer Community, please use the sign-up form below. The form is restricted to members of the Forum. Please login to unlock it. By subscribing to the community you will be added to its respective listserv and will receive notices of peer community calls and shared resources.