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2018 Foundations on the Hill Agenda

Publication date: 
November, 2017

Monday, March 12, 2018

3:00 - 6:00 pm 

Registration Open at the Hotel Liaison 

3:30 - 5:00 pm

Breakout Sessions

  • Breakout Session 1: Creating Unlikely Alliances for Action - Hotel Liaison Metropoliton Room
    Moderator: Rob Fersh, CEO, Convergence Center for Policy Resolution

    Our country is facing serious challenges in the active engagement of our citizens in civic life and the resolution of major pressing issues including recidivism rates, immigration, educational attainment and many other challenges. We have great leaders in every sector who are pulled away from the table based on political divides. How do we find the spaces where our values or ideas align and enable us to put the brain power and leadership muscle to work on these critical issues?

    Helping us answer this question will be project stakeholders from Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, which has developed a process to bring together people with varying perspectives and political ideologies and help them to find solutions across these differences. We will participate in a dialogue with leaders who have agreed to participate in the Convergence process, focused on the following questions:

    • What motivated them to come to the table?

    • How did they learn from the process and how have they changed from the process?

    • What were the long-term external results or unexpected results from the process and relationships that continued?

    • What were their expectations going into their project? Were these expectations met? How did they change as the project continued?

    • What should we learn that can help us bring together philanthropy and other sector leaders in divisive times?

    • What do you wish you had known at the beginning of the process that you would offer as advice to those participating in collaborative stakeholder processes?

    Speakers: Stuart Butler, Senior Fellow – Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; Romanita Hairston-Overstreet, Program Director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust; Shelley Waters Boots, Senior Consultant, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

    Note: This is a closing session for the Forum’s 2018 PolicyWorks Institute, but is also open to FOTH participants not attending the Institute.

  • Breakout Session 2: Foundations on the Hill Orientation - Hotel Liaison Hill Room
    Is this your first time doing Hill visits, or are you looking for a quick refresher on working the Hill? If so, join us for this FOTH orientation session. Among the topics to be covered:
    • What to Expect on the Hill
      So you’re sitting across from your Congressperson and/or his or her legislative aide, and you’ve never met them before. What are they thinking? What do they want to hear from you? How can you get them to understand your message in a few short minutes? You’ll get the scoop from a seasoned Hill staffer.
    • How to Run Effective Hill Meetings
      What’s the secret sauce to having a good Hill meeting? You’ll get important tips and advice from some seasoned FOTH participants.
      Moderator: Nina Stack, President, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers; Panelists: Seyron Foo, Director, Public Policy and Government Relations, Southern California Grantmakers;
      Will Kauffman, Senior Associate, Programs & Partnerships, Southeastern Council of Foundations; John Mullaney, Executive Director, Nord Family Foundation.
    • FOTH Q&A
      Last chance to get answers to your burning FOTH questions!

5:30 - 7:00 pm

Foundations on the Hill Opening Reception - Hotel Liaison Metropolitan Room

Network with your FOTH colleagues from across the country and get ready for the next two days of Hill visits.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

8:30 - 11:00 am

Alliance for Charitable Reform Summit for Leaders - Hotel Liaison Metropolitan Room

This annual FOTH event will offer programming to cover the most late-breaking policy issues in Washington and offer an insider's view of what's happening in Congress in the moment—offered in partnership with our colleagues at The Philanthropy Roundtable. Discussions will include the following:

  • Congressional and Administration Staff Panel
    Congressional and administration staffers will offer their unique perspectives on the lead-up to tax reform last year as well as highlight some of the concerns they've heard since. They'll offer lessons the sector can learn from that process, and insights into what lies ahead for the year. This opportunity to hear from and ask questions of those privy to the inner-workings of Washington is always a highlight of the Summit.

    Elinor Carson Ramey, Attorney-Advisor in the Office of Tax Policy of the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Christopher Arneson, Tax Policy Advisor to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Democratic Staff; and Mark Warren, Tax Counsel, Senator John Thune (R-SD) and former Tax Counsel to the Ways and Means Committee under Chairmen Dave Camp (R-MI) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) (invited)

    The Congressional and Administration Staff Panel is off the record.

  • Tax Reform Reflections and 2018 Predictions
    Building on the insider perspectives we gain from the staff panel, practitioners and policy influencers will join us to reflect on the 2017 tax bill and what we might see in the sector as the law is applied. They’ll offer their perspectives on lessons learned and possible glitches in the new tax law – we expect there will be a few – of which the charitable sector should be aware.

    Alexander L. Reid – Partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; Harold Hancock – Partner at McGuireWoods LLP; and  Wes Coulam – Member of the Washington Council Ernst & Young practice of Ernst & Young LLP

  • Johnson Amendment Panel
    The Johnson Amendment – legislation that prohibits 501(c)(3) organizations from intervening on behalf of or in opposition to political candidates or campaigns – was thrust into the spotlight last year when President Trump urged Congress to repeal it. While the Johnson Amendment was ultimately preserved in tax reform, the debate over repeal has divided many, even within the nonprofit sector. Some argue that the Johnson Amendment stifles free speech while others argue it appropriately keeps partisan politics and spending out of the charitable sector. With repeal still a goal of the President and many on Capitol Hill, this panel will host a broad discussion of the issue, featuring panelists offering both sides of the argument.

    Amanda Tyler, Executive Director, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and Christina Holcomb, Legal Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom

11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Hill Visits

Grab a snack bag and head off to the Hill for congressional visits, which are coordinated by your delegation captains.

6:00 - 9:00 pm

Delegation Dinners & Dine Arounds

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

7:30 - 9:00 am

Breakfast Plenary

Veterans' Issues: Philanthropy’s Advocacy Role Across Silos - Hotel Liaison Metropolitan Room

Enjoy breakfast as you learn and discuss how philanthropy has played, and will continue to play, a critical advocacy role for policies that impact our country's veterans population.


  • Amanda Andere, CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness
  • Catharine Grimes, Director, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
  • Don Cooke, Vice President, Philanthropy, Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • David Sandman, President and CEO, New York State Health Association

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Hill Visits

You're off for Day 2 of your congressional visits!

5:00 - 6:00 pm

Philanthropy Caucus Reception

Join the Philanthropy Caucus, hosted by the Council on Foundations, for a social reception to recognize the role of philanthropy as a unique stakeholder in collective efforts to address some of today’s toughest challenges. Network with philanthropic leaders from across the country, national charitable organizations, lawmakers and congressional staff over drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Special Opportunity

National Museum of American History Tours

Constitution Avenue, NW
Between 12th and 14th Streets
Washington, D.C

Join Dr. Amanda Moniz, David M. Rubenstein Curator of Philanthropy, at the National Museum of American History for a tour of the Giving in America exhibit and learn about the Smithsonian’s new curated collection of artifacts around charity, volunteerism and giving in America. There are two tours scheduled, which require advance registration and are limited to 20 people for each tour. Each tour should last no more than an hour, but you are of course welcome to stay and enjoy more of the museum before our evening receptions or visit the exhibit on your own anytime your schedule allows. To register for a tour, please contact Parys Grigsby at Tour groups will be instructed where and when to meet Dr. Muniz for the start of their tours. The museum is a 30-minute walk or 8-minute ride from Hotel Liaison.

Tour  Dates and Times:

  • Monday, March 12th at 2:00 pm
  • Wednesday, March 14th at 3:00 pm
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