Back to top
Back to top

Public Policy: Get Involved


In order to achieve public policy objectives, the Forum’s member-driven public policy program is comprised of three principal components that help implement an active strategy:

  • Member Engagement
  • Government Relations
  • Strategic Partnerships

The Forum’s current public policy model includes representation at the staff, member, and Board levels. This model offers several engagement opportunities to Forum members. The two main catalysts for member engagement via public policy are the District to D.C. Advocacy Network and public policy committee.

The District to D.C. Advocacy Network

The District to D.C. Advocacy Network harnesses the power of the Forum network and its more than 90 member organizations, creating an active culture of public policy engagement from coast to coast.

The Network makes this possible by mobilizing and engaging hundreds of PSO professionals and sector leaders on public policy issues in a collaborative fashion.

With a focus on strengthening the sector’s ability to participate in the advocacy process, the District to D.C. Advocacy Network seeks to amplify philanthropy’s voice on Capitol Hill and instate houses, addressing and supporting the needs of communities across the country.

Public Policy Peer Community

The Public Policy Peer Community serves as the dedicated action network for the Forum and its members. The Public Policy Peer Community offers peer learning opportunities for members, while providing a network for members to share, discuss, and implement best practices of government affairs work at various levels of engagement. The Peer Community meets regularly throughout the year, hosts periodic public policy programming for members, and has an active listserv, for members to exchange ideas and communicate about public policy issues.

Participants in the peer community have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the sector by:

  • Writing emails regarding specific key public policy issues.
  • Calling congressional and/or legislative staff to encourage support or opposition of legislation.
  • Responding to Forum legislative action alerts.
  • Leveraging digital advocacy to help raise awareness about philanthropy and policy priorities.
  • Participating and encouraging PSO members to meet with Member of Congress in Washington, D.C., or their congressional district; and meeting with their state legislators.

Forum Public Policy and Advocacy Liaisons (PALs)

Another important aspect of the Forum District to D.C. Advocacy Program is the role of Policy & Advocacy Liaisons (PALs). Forum PALs play an integral role by seeking to maintain regular contact with Members of Congress, and leading delegations to meet with legislators. This work is fundamental in helping supplement the efforts of the Forum professional staff in Washington, D.C. and by helping lead policy efforts on behalf of their perspective PSOs.

Forum PALs will serve as key public policy related contacts for their PSOs by:

  • Working with the Forum to create a coordinated government relations approach, establishing a two-way system of advocacy, both in district and in D.C.
  • Encouraging PSO colleagues and members to participate in advocacy opportunities.
  • Serving as a point of contact to follow up with legislators.
  • Expanding the network of advocates to increase the sector’s advocacy presence in a particular state or district.

The District to D.C. Advocacy Program is dedicated to empowering and mobilizing the philanthropic sector to impact practical public policy solutions that catalyze a just and equitable society where all can participate and prosper.

The Forum is committed to providing strong, sustained support to the Program to create a powerful voice for the philanthropic sector in communities across the country.

Public Policy Committee

In addition to the Advocacy Network, an integral part of the Forum’s public policy work is the Public Policy Committee. The Public Policy Committee is made up of public policy leaders from across our membership including Forum Board members. The committee meets regularly to inform our public policy process, while developing recommendations for public policy strategies including proposed policy positions and taking action on policy issues. Additionally, the committee works with staff to set bi-annual public policy principles, identify legislative priorities and foster member engagement in advocacy. The public policy committee meets regularly throughout the year. 

Learn more about the committee.