You Can’t Really Say That, Can You?: How Your Foundation Can (and Cannot) Use and Fund Advocacy to Support Its Mission

Friday, May 6, 2011 -
8:00am to 10:00am EDT
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
Philanthropy New York, 79 Fifth Ave., 4th floor, NYC
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A kick-off event presented by Philanthropy New York's new program series, Foundation Advocacy 2011.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: CEOs, trustees, program officers, and other funders interested in education, civic engagement, community development, social justice, and/or advocacy as a tool to further their mission.


True or false: 
  • It’s permissible for your foundation to advocate for specific public policy or legal issues
  • Your foundation cannot fund nonprofits that advocate or lobby.
  • Your foundation can take a stance on a piece of legislation
  • A 501 (h) election allows your foundation to give gifts of more than $15,000 to your congressperson
  • Administrative lobbying is subject to all the same rules as legislative lobbying
The answers to these and many other questions may surprise you. And, if they do, you may be missing out on a strategy that can advance your foundation's goals.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn what you need to know about the ins-and-outs  -- what's licit and what's not -- about using or funding advocacy to further your foundation’s work.  Join colleagues for  a lively discussion with Sean Delaney, Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Alliance for New York.  Mr. Delaney’s expertise in this field will give even the most seasoned grantmaker new information that can be put to use immediately.  This program is open to funders of all levels of experience.


Advocacy 2011 is a four-part series designed by Philanthropy New York to engage our members in cutting-edge conversations on why and how foundations can engage in advocacy and/or public policy issues.  Not so long ago, many of the foundations that supported advocacy did so because of how much government could do to move foundations’ respective agendas forward.  Today, a broad national debate is raging about what government can – or should – do, and more foundations may want to support advocacy—and organizations that do it well—in order to have a voice in this debate.  Advocacy 2011 will give you the tools to figure out whether participating in the debate makes sense for your foundation and, if so, how to do it effectively.
The series will inform you about what foundations legitimately can (and cannot) do – what’s licit and what’s not.  We think many foundation staff and board members will be surprised by just how much advocacy we can do.  Along the way, the series will highlight two broad examples of successful advocacy, illuminating both the victories and the ongoing challenges faced by each.  It will also introduce you to local, national, and international funders who believe their advocacy has brought them closer to achieving their objectives.
The second session, "Successful Advocacy -- and Its Challenges: What's 'Public' About Public Education?," is scheduled for May 18.  The final two programs in this series will be announced shortly.
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