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Advocacy Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to be a central resource for people engaged in the philanthropic space to learn about why it is important for philanthropy to have a voice in policy, how to effectively use advocacy and lobbying to advance your mission, what the most critical or priority “asks” are for the sector at any given time, and to better understand the key policy issues that are top-of-mind for our sector.  









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Investing in Change: The Importance of Supporting Advocacy

When a foundation gives money directly to a program that provides community services, the impact is seen immediately: low-income children receive a new educational program or a charity hospital can provide health care to individuals in need. Supporting advocacy is a little different. The impact may be harder to see and measure at first, but changes in public policy are often a precursor to the meaningful, long-term success vital to tackling larger community challenges. Supporting advocacy is, quite simply, one of the most powerful tools available to foundations for creating change.





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How Does Your Community Foundation’s Public Policy Work Stack Up?

Across the country, community foundations are recognizing the power of public
 policy work to advance their missions. Some do so by awarding grants for advocacy activities like public education and research. Others support nonprofits to lobby. And many others engage in advocacy themselves by taking positions on issues they care about. How many actions to support advocacy has your foundation taken? Tally up your score and scroll to the end for explanations.





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ACT NOW! Cover the Bases: 5 Policy Advocacy Approaches Foundations can Support

There’s more than one way to influence policy. Larger public policy battles like health care reform, immigration, and civil rights often take place in multiple venues including legislatures, courts, executive agencies, candidate forums, and public forums on ballot measures. But even small policy campaigns present opportunities at federal, state, and local levels to influence the outcome via the following targeted advocacy avenues which are discussed later in this article: Administrative Advocacy Legislative Advocacy Ballot measures or referenda Nonpartisan election-related activities Litigation





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ACT NOW! In It for the Long Haul: How Funders Can Help Grantees Sustain Long-Term Advocacy

Bolder Advocacy expands on the final capacity areas from the Advocacy Capacity Tool and present skills, knowledge, and practices that can help funders identify organizations’ capacity for sustainability and long-term advocacy: Organizational Commitment to supporting advocacy work, including leadership commitment for, and staff time dedicated to, this work; Organizational fundraising practices that incorporate an understanding of how foundations can support advocacy and that help funders understand how the group can use advocacy to accomplish its mission; Decision-making structure and process that allows the organization to make timely and well informed decisions related to public policy advocacy; and Fiscal management practices Read more





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Why Advocacy? Talking Points for Nonprofits and Foundations

Advocacy is an important tool to help an organization advance its mission. You know that and we know that, but perhaps you need some help convincing colleagues or board members that engaging in advocacy is essential for your organization. Recently, Bolder Advocacy Legal Director Abby Levine conducted a series of webinars in conjunction with the Stand for Your Mission (SFYM) campaign. The first webinar focuses on the importance of advocacy and makes the case for why and how organizations can benefit by standing up for their mission.









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Black Out: Understanding LGBTQ Advocacy and Black Communities

Black LGBTQ communities have always been at the intersection of racial justice and LGBTQ advocacy and activism, although their continued invisibility within these movements have marginalized their voices due to homophobia, transphobia, bi-phobia and racism. Although pioneers such as James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Audre Lorde and Bayard Rustin used activism to advance racial justice and LGBTQ issues, there is still more work to be done. LGBTQ Black communities experience a unique form of discrimination at home and within faith institutions, schools, workplaces, health facilities and communities. This session, co-sponsored by Funders for LGBTQ Issues and The Third Wave Fund, will examine Read more





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Vital Funding Part Two: Grantmaking Strategies for Improving LGBTQ Health

Vital Funding Part Two builds upon the rich conversations from the first LGBT Health Funding Summit and Funders for LGBTQ Issues’ special report, Vital Funding – Investing in LGBTQ Health and Wellbeing. This second report identifies several potential strategies for funders concerned about health disparities, HIV/AIDS, and LGBTQ communities to increase access to insurance coverage for LGBTQ people; build the capacity of the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health services sector; increase LGBTQ cultural and clinical competence of health service providers and systems; strengthen HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ health policy and advocacy infrastructure; and support efforts to address mental and behavioral health and Read more





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Webinar Recap – Community Voices Heard: Engaging Constituents for Social, Economic and Racial Justice

Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led multi-racial organization, principally women of color and low-income families in New York State that builds power to secure social, economic and racial justice for all.  They accomplish this through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy. Learn how CVH builds leadership development and collective power towards broader goals of government transparency and social justice. We explored case studies around three impact issues: welfare policy reform, public housing reform, and participatory budgeting. We also learned what it looks like to fund this work. Attendees learned how funding community Read more