Understanding the Rules of Engagement: Advocacy in an Election Season

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 -
8:45am to 11:00am EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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This new program series begins with an overview of the legalities concerning foundations and advocacy. Many foundations impose restrictions on themselves and on grantee use of funds that are far narrower than required by law. Restrictions in foundation grant agreements that impose limits not required by the Internal Revenue Code may undermine their grant making objectives. The question then becomes:  how does one provide sufficient protection to the grantmaker without unnecessarily limiting flexibility for the grantee? 
Sean Delany, an attorney eminent in the nonprofit sector, will provide an overview of the opportunities and limits for advocacy funding for foundations and their grantees. AFJ attorney -- Abby Levine -- will discuss how these rules apply in an election year and how funders and their grantees can best (and legally) maximize their voice. Funders will then show how they incorporate this information into their everyday work.


  • What the law says regarding a private foundation’s support of advocacy
  • How to create an advocacy litmus test in the form of internal guidelines
  • How to address related issues likely to arise in the current election cycle
  • How to effectively and seamlessly incorporate advocacy into a larger communications strategy



Designed for

All interested funders. 
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