Public Policy

We connect Philanthropy New York members to policymakers and act as a voice on local, state and federal public policy issues that promote effective philanthropy and build stronger communities.

We monitor and address legislation and regulations that directly affect our sector.

We engage our member foundations in public policy that directly affects the issue areas they fund, such as education, health, social justice and the arts.

We see policy work as a way to achieve our mission of promoting — and protecting — philanthropy and a strong nonprofit sector in the region. We are strengthening the voice of our foundation community to create greater giving impact. more >>

How We Engage in Public Policy

Weighing in on policies directly affecting the sector: We monitor and address legislation and regulations that directly affect foundations and the larger nonprofit sector. We will only take a position on a proposed bill or rule if it is clear that the majority of our members agree and we have engaged in a substantial process of engaging them. Our board developed that process to determine when — if at all — Philanthropy New York should take a position on sector-related matters.

Promoting solutions in issue areas: We engage our members in public policy that directly affects the issue areas they fund, such as education, health, social justice and the arts. Although we don't anticipate Philanthropy New York will take positions on proposed bills or rules in those areas, we work to ensure our members have the policy data, skills and connections they need to achieve their missions and help their grantees.

Connecting funders and policymakers on shared areas of work: We regularly host programming with funders and policymakers to engage in critical cross-sector conversation about shared areas of work. PNY also participates in Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), an annual trip to Washington D.C. with more than 300 philanthropy representatives from around the country, to speak with our elected officials about the policies that matter most to philanthropy. The goal of FOTH is to inform and educate congressional leaders about philanthropy and encourage our elected officials to view foundations as resources on key public policy issues.

PNY's Policy Priorities

Philanthropy New York's Public Policy Priorities elaborates why we engage in policy work, our organization's core principles for our policy work and our advocacy agenda for the year. 

Read PNY's full 2020 Public Policy Priorities.

PNY Official Positions

Philanthropy New York follows a process laid out by our Board of Directors to determine whether or how to take an official stand on public policy issues. We anticipate taking positions only on issues directly affecting the philanthropic sector or the broadest array of nonprofit organizations, as opposed to issue-specific policy matters on topics like education, health, etc. We will take our cues from our members on what issues we should consider.

New Views on Policy

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

To move a $2.6 billion infrastructure project, in the face of strong opposition, takes a daunting amount of power. How is a regional foundation to tap so much force?

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages New York, we know that these are precisely those difficult times. Our commitment to supporting grassroots organizations led by communities of color is as essential as ever. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

As COVID-19 forces those of us in the philanthropic and global community to reassess what normal is, it’s important to be mindful not only of the challenges facing the communities we serve, but our internal communities as well. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

In October 2019, the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund travelled to the U.S. South for a deep dive into our Democratic Practice portfolio.

PNY Public Policy Issue Guides

Our guides explore the pros and cons of a variety of policy developments that have the potential to deeply affect the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. They are intended to be informative for a general audience, for PNY members and for our Public Policy Committee as it develops recommendations on specific legislation or proposed regulatory activity.

Regulating Donor Advised Funds

OMB Uniform Guidance on Indirect Costs

Simplifying the Excise Tax on Private Foundations

Capping the Charitable Deduction

Limits on Nonprofit Executive Compensation

Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs)