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'Public Policy Peer Community' overlaid on plaid of different shades of blue

Public Policy Peer Community

Public Policy Peer Community

Policy Listserv (publicpolicy@lists.unitedphilforum.org)- You must be a member of the Forum & this Peer Community to post to this list.

In order to help members navigate the ever-evolving legislative landscapes at the federal, regional, and state levels, the Forum remains committed to building the capacity of our members to be effective advocates and industrious government relations practitioners, on behalf of the sector.

Through that commitment, the public policy peer community serves as the principal facilitator for Forum members and colleagues to become informed, engaged, and inspired about all things public policy.

Informed

The Public Policy Peer Community will continue to serve as a sounding board and exchange for Forum members to connect and learn from one another. Peer Community members will have the opportunity to: 

  • Share issues, ideas, strategies, and news from their states and/or regions
  • Read timely Public Policy Updates and share them with their members
  • Participate in meetings & engaging discussions with policy experts and guest speakers
  • Use peer community listserv to discuss and uplift specific national, state, and local policy issues

Engaged

The Public Peer Community gives members the chance to engage as a broader advocacy action network, where they can contact elected officials and use a collective voice when advocating on behalf of the sector. Engagement opportunities include:

  • Mobilize at the federal level via public policy alerts and the new Phone2Action Platform
  • Recognize public policy trends at the state and local levels, and organize strategy efforts
  • Access policymaker contact information for every level of the government using the Phone2Action platform
  • Participate in the Forum’s new District 2 D.C. Advocacy Program

Inspired

One of the many strengths of United Philanthropy Forum is the power of its vast network of PSO members. Many members have staff that participate in public policy in various ways and with them, comes an intellectual capital that helps boost the sector’s public policy reach. Peer community members will have the opportunity to become inspired by:

  • PSO Advocacy Spotlight webinars hosted by public policy leaders who will give insight into their PSOs public policy work at the national, state, or regional levels
  • Exchanging best practices via the peer community listserv and Forum Public Policy Townhall events
  • Public Policy Member Check-ins from Forum staff and committee leadership
  • Participate in working groups for specific PSO types

The public policy peer community is a place where members can foster ideas, share strategies, and network with each other. A true community of colleagues using public policy to advance philanthropy’s impact for the common good.

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

Interested in joining this Peer Community? Submit your email address on the form at the bottom of the Our Networks page

Forum Staff Lead: Matthew L. Evans, Director of Public Policy, matthew@unitedphilforum.org

Public Policy Peer Community Co-Chairs

Lauren Bennett, Funders Together to End Homelessness

Lauren is responsible for all communications, grantwriting, and advocacy/public policy efforts for Funders Together. She has gained experience in both the not-for-profit and private sectors focusing mainly on public relations, social media, and community outreach. Previously, she held the position of Communications Leader for a not-for-profit healthcare organization focused on payment reform and price and quality transparency. Lauren is passionate about advocating and using influence to bring about awareness and social change around reproductive rights, infertility, and family planning. Lauren has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Public Relations from Eastern Illinois University.

While she lives in North Carolina, Lauren is a native Midwesterner from Illinois and stays true to her roots by keeping up with her Chicago sports teams. She loves to run and enjoy the beach with her family.

Holly Davis, Indiana Philanthropy Alliance

Holly oversees IPA’s public policy initiatives, executes strategic initiatives important to IPA members, and secures sponsorships to aid in furthering IPA's mission.

Holly joins the team at IPA after working for trade associations representing home builders in two of the fastest growing cities in the country—Austin and Seattle. Prior to working on housing policies, Holly served as executive director of the Center for Women and Democracy, Indiana Leadership Forum, and Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, non-profits focused on civic engagement.   

From 2008-2010, Holly served as an appointed Commissioner on the Marion County Alcoholic Beverage Commission. She has worked for various levels of government, including as staff to the Indiana Senate and Program Director for the Indiana State Treasurer's Office, overseeing the Public Deposit Insurance Fund (PDIF) as well as the Education Savings Authority.  Additionally, Holly implemented a new voting system while directing the Marion County Election Board in 2001, and later organized the first satellite voting sites in the state of Indiana setting the stage for current vote centers.

Katina Mortenson, Minnesota Council on Foundations

Katina came to MCF from Grassroots Solutions, an engagement strategy firm based in Minneapolis, where she had the opportunity to work with a number of local and national foundations, partnering with them on community engagement efforts, grantmaking initiatives, project planning, policy change efforts, training, facilitation, and assessment and evaluation. She received her Master's of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 2011. Katina is the director of MCF's public policy team, which promotes philanthropy and charitable giving and advocates for prosperity through inclusion and equity at the state and federal level. Katina organizes all public policy efforts toward a coherent, coordinated approach of lobbying, member engagement, and partner collaboration. She serves as the program lead for MCF's community foundation programming and policy-focused working groups.

Many philanthropy-serving organizations engage in government relations, advocacy, and/or public policy work at the local, state, and national levels and have different capacities to do this work. Policy resources are easily accessible on this page. If you have resources to post, please share them online or by emailing Courtney Moore.

Building Systems

PolicyWorks Starter Kit & Case Studies

The PolicyWorks Starter Kit has been created for use by the PolicyWorks Community of regional associations of grantmakers who have made a commitment to growing their capacity and increasing their work in government relations and public policy work.

Public Policy Committee Charters

Sample Public Policy committee charters from regional associations in the PolicyWorks for Philanthropy initiative.

RA Public Policy Committee and Affinity Groups Descriptions

Sample descriptions of RA affinity groups working on policy.

Public Policy Job Descriptions

Sample job descriptions and requests for proposals for public policy related positions including fellows, lobbyists, liaisons, and consultants.

Policies on Legislative Positions

Sample policy and procedures that provide a framework for public policy work and the process by which public policy committees adopt and express legislative positions.

RA Policy Positions

Sample public policy agendas, principles, and action plans from regional associations participating in PolicyWorks for Philanthropy.

Endowed Philanthropy

Position statements made by philanthropy-serving organizations in defence of endowed philanthropy.

Logic Models and Evaluation Tools

Sample logic models and evaluation tools, such as outcome maps, from regional associations participating in PolicyWorks for Philanthropy.

Advocacy Funder Collaboratives

For this suite of resources, GrantCraft captured the wisdom of philanthropic leaders who have participated in multi-party advocacy collaboratives and conducted a literature scan of how foundations talk about advocacy-focused collaborative work.

Tools for Encouraging Members Policy Work

What, Why, and How of Advocacy

An overview of how foundations and their grantees can participate in advocacy developed by the PolicyWorks for Philanthropy community.

Private and Public Foundations May Fund Charities that Lobby

501(c)(3) public charities may legally seek to influence legislation—in other words, lobby – subject to generous limits. In addition, private foundations and public foundations (which are public charities) may support public charities that lobby. Foundations should follow the following rules when making grants to grantees that lobby.

Foundations for Civic Impact - Private Foundations

This advocacy and civic engagement toolkit is designed for private foundations that want to educate and encourage their grantees about getting involved in civic and policy activities to increase organizational capacity and impact.

Foundations for Civic Impact - CommunityFoundations

This advocacy and civic engagement toolkit is designed for community and public foundations that want to educate and encourage their grantees about getting involved in civic and policy activities to increase organizational capacity and impact.

Tools for Engaging Policymakers

PolicyWorks Outreach Worksheet

This worksheet developed by the PolicyWorks for Philanthropy community can help regional associations develop strategies to reach policymakers.

PolicyWorks Outreach Checklist

This checklist developed by the PolicyWorks for Philanthropy community can help you create strategies to reach policymakers. It focuses on seven core questions to explore and includes reflections from regional association leaders.

Sample RA Letters to Congress Regarding Donor Advised Funds and the IRA Charitable Rollover

Sample communications from regional associations and their grantmaker members to Members of Congress encouraging an end to the prohibition for Donor Advised Funds in the IRA Charitable Rollover.

PolicyWorks Materials for Legislators and Candidates

Sample leave-behind information for legislators developed by regional associations to equip their members with tools for engaging state and local candidates on the most important issues to philanthropy.