Advocacy and family philanthropy: Leveraging limited dollars for impact
Board members, CEOs, consultants, and infrastructure groups that are interested in learning more about the power of advocacy to enhance philanthropic grantmaking.
New research from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy shows that family foundations are a leading source of support for nonprofits active in policy advocacy and civic engagement. Why do family foundations choose to invest in these strategies to advance their mission? What kinds of impacts are they achieving, and how do they measure success? What legal parameters guide their advocacy grantmaking? Find out by tuning into this timely and important webinar!
Featured presenters include:
- NCRP’s Executive Director, Aaron Dorfman, will share findings from three years of research in 13 states on the return-on-investment of foundation-funded policy advocacy benefiting underserved communities.
- Abby Levine, Legal Director of Advocacy Programs at the Alliance for Justice will talk about the legal rules governing advocacy grantmaking and resources for foundations that want to learn more.
- Family foundation leaders will share their own stories of impact and describe how their trustees came to embrace these strategies.
Aaron Dorfman is executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a research and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. NCRP works to ensure America's grantmakers are responsive to the needs of those with the least wealth, opportunity and power. Before joining NCRP in 2007, Dorfman served for 15 years as a community organizer with two national organizing networks, spearheading grassroots campaigns to improve public education, expand public transportation for low-income residents and improve access to affordable housing. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Carleton College (where he studied under the late Senator Paul Wellstone) and a master's degree in philanthropic studies from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Dorfman frequently speaks and writes about the importance of diversity in philanthropy, the benefits of foundation funding for advocacy and community organizing, and the need for greater accountability and transparency in the philanthropic sector.
Abby Levine serves as Legal Director of Advocacy Programs at Alliance for Justice. She provides legal guidance that encourages grantmakers to support advocacy and other nonprofit organizations to participate in policymaking decisions through an understanding of federal tax and election law. Abby’s work includes creating curriculum, teaching workshops, providing technical assistance, writing plain-language legal guides, and describing federal legislative and regulatory developments that impact nonprofits. Prior to joining Alliance for Justice in 2004, Abby served as the Public Policy Analyst at the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA). At NCNA, Abby monitored and analyzed issues affecting the nonprofit sector, such as challenges to nonprofit tax exemptions and advocacy, state budget cuts, government grants streamlining, and corporate governance. Before working at NCNA, Abby was an associate in the tax department at Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio. She holds a B.A. from American University and a J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Ashley Smith Juarez is Executive Director of the Chartrand Foundation, a family foundation launched in 2006 to support public education and early childhood initiatives. Ashley is a Jacksonville native who studied at Vanderbilt University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, earning a bachelor’s degree in History and Secondary Education. While receiving her degree, she was a substitute teacher and worked with English Language Learners in the Nashville School District. She then returned to Jacksonville to teach middle school social studies for The Bolles School, an independent K-12 school. Ashley taught for five years, coached both soccer and track, served as an advisor to the Student Honor Council and presented at conferences on technology integration in the classroom. Although Ashley was passionate about her role in the classroom, her convictions regarding opportunity for youth led her to work as a Student Advocate for the Duval County Take Stock in Children program facilitated by Communities in Schools of Jacksonville. In this role she worked with students and their families, guidance counselors, teachers, principals, community partners and volunteer mentors in 16 Duval County middle and high schools. In 2008, Ashley transitioned to The Chartrand Foundation to improve education at a systemic level. In addition, Ashley currently serves on the board of her own family’s foundation, the Emily Balz Smith Foundation founded in 1997, as well as the Board of Trustees at WJCT, the Take Stock in Children Leadership Council, the Family Support Services Board of Directors and the Women’s Giving Alliance Steering Committee. She also continues to work with students through volunteer tutoring and mentoring.
Jennifer Straub Corrigan is president of the board of directors for the Wieboldt Foundation. Jennifer graduated from Vanderbilt University with majors in Economics and French. She has served on the Foundation Board for over 20 years. She worked for and then managed a small processing business in the Chicago area. She has served as President of her local PTO, and served on the Boards of several civic and non-profit organizations in Chicago. She is currently on the parent board of the local high school, the Womens Board of the Field Museum, and teaches French for a local enrichment program. She has three children and currently lives in Winnetka, Illinois.
Regina McGraw is the Executive Director of the Wieboldt Foundation, a family foundation established in 1921. It currently funds multi-issue, grassroots community organizing in Chicago. She formerly worked with Travelers and Immigrants Aid, a social service agency. While there she helped to create the Midwest Immigrants Rights Project, which recruits pro bono attorneys for individuals applying for political asylum, and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. As Vice President for Public Information at Voices for Illinois Chicago, a children’s advocacy group, she oversaw the writing and production of public policy reports, coordinated community briefings, and was in charge of an annual Illinois Kids Count Project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. While at the Wieboldt Foundation, Regina has designed and coordinated two funder collaboratives. The Successful Schools Project joined 11 foundations to fund school reform in Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Community Capacity Building Initiative, anchored by a sizable grant from the Ford Foundation, increased the effectiveness of grassroots community organizing in Chicago through general operating support to community organizations and on-going workshops and meetings. At the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG), an affinity group for funders of community development and organizing, Regina has served in a number of leadership roles, including being a member and Chair of the Board of Directors, Co-Chair of two NFG conferences, and Chair of the Membership Services Committee and the Working Group on Community-Labor Collaborations. Regina has received numerous awards from community organizations including the Washington Park Community Coalition, the Coalition to Protect Public Housing, the Mutual Assistance Associations of Chicago and SOUL, Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation. Her non-profit experience includes stints on the Boards of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Center for Economic Progress, the Law Project, and the Chicago Network for Survivors of Domestic Violence. She also served on the Local School Council of her neighborhood public school.
What participants said:
"This webinar covered three key areas of interest -- the rules, what advocacy can do, and personal insight from a trustee on how to keep board engaged."
"I really liked hearing about the nuances regarding lobbying. I also liked how you carved out time to have foundations speak about their experiences....theory/practice mix was great."