We support and advance the work of our members to engage in government relations and public policy work at the national, state and local level; help regional and national PSOs advance effective policy that will strengthen philanthropy and advance issues that their members support; strengthen relationships and partnerships between philanthropy and government; and provide a strong, collective voice for the Forum network. Some of our key efforts in public policy and government relations include:
- PolicyWorks for Philanthropy. Started in 2011, the Forum's PolicyWorks for Philanthropy initiative aims to build the capacity of regional PSOs and their members to engage in public policy, in order to enhance and advance foundations’ impact on issues that they fund. In 2017 we will be expanding PolicyWorks to include national PSOs.
- Federal Policy. The Forum helps our members engage with federal legislators, and other federal policymakers, to advance sound policy that ensures a positive environment for strengthening and growing philanthropy in our country and to help bring philanthropy's voice to other important policy issues. A cornerstone of this work in the annual Foundations on the Hill event, which the Forum presents in partnership with the Council on Foundations and the Alliance for Charitable Reform. Foundations on the Hill is the one time each year when philanthropy speaks with a strong, collective voice on Capitol Hill. In addition to Foundations on the Hill, the Forum provides information, resources, programming and networking to help our members engage with their congressional representatives throughout the year back in their districts.
- State Policy. Many Forum members engage with legislators and policymakers at the state and local level, to ensure a positive environment for strengthening and growing philanthropy in their state and to help bring philanthropy's voice to other important state and local policy issues. The Forum provides information, resources, programming and networking to help our members engage in policy at the state and local level.
- Census 2020. Thanks to support from The Joyce Foundation, the Forum is managing a project to engage regional funders in ensuring a fair and accurate census count in 2020. Through our Census 2020 Project, the Forum is working with our members to mobilize regional funders to advocate for policy improvements for the 2020 census, and to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of a fair and accurate census count to philanthropy.