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What is the Policy and Advocacy Training Center?

As more foundations are expanding their portfolio to include policy advocacy, all staff need to learn the skills of advancing policies from the philanthropic position. The Center is a comprehensive hub for foundation staff to access the tools, training, and community to build their staff capacity, connect with peers, and find information to advance the policy changes important to their mission. We will continue to expand this page with more tools, events, and opportunities as they become available.

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Upcoming Trainings and Webinars

Rules of Advocacy and Lobbying for Grantmakers
Webinar | August 2, 2022 | 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET
Registration open now

Essentials of Policy Advocacy for Grantmakers
Training | October 6-7, 2022
Registration open now

Practice & Purpose of Policy: Training for Community Foundation Leaders
Training in partnership with CFLeads | February 1-2, 2023
Save the date - Registration will open September 2022

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Coming Soon...

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Training

Essentials of Policy Advocacy for Grantmakers

The Essentials of Policy Advocacy for Grantmakers course will help foundation staff use their resources effectively to advance public policies that support the greater good. This training is designed for private foundations staff with a basic understanding of policy, but it is also applicable for staff at all experience levels whose work touches policy advocacy.  

Date & Time

Location

Virtual 

Cost

Council Members = $349
Nonmembers = $499

Early registration discount! Members that register by August 26 receive a 20% discount. Please contact us at educate@cof.org for the discount code prior to registering.

Registration now open!

The Essentials of Policy Advocacy for Grantmakers course will help foundation staff use their resources effectively to advance public policies that support the greater good. Rather than focusing on what policies foundations should address, this training will focus on how to engage in policy advocacy to advance your goals. This training is designed for private foundations staff with a basic understanding of policy, but it is also applicable for staff at all experience levels whose work touches policy advocacy.

Led by Council on Foundations staff and philanthropic leaders, this training will address policy advocacy strategies that support racial equity and effective practices. Participants will gain helpful tools and resources, network with peers developing and implementing their foundation’s advocacy strategy and create a summary action plan to guide their next steps.

Workshop Hours

  • Thursday, October 6: 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET
  • Friday, October 7: 1:00-5:00 p.m. ET

Participants will explore the following during the course:

The Big Picture

  • Why engaging in policy advocacy is essential for foundations to achieve their goals

  • A refresher on legal rules governing grantmaker funding and actions

  • Inside the Foundation: Understanding staff roles and how to build internal support

Building understanding and support across the foundation for policy advocacy engagement

  • How different staff roles across the foundation can support advocacy

  • Characteristics of grantmaking that support effective policy advocacy

  • Outside the Foundation: Working with others to advance policy

Using all a foundation’s assets to advance policy

  • Funding vehicles that support effective policy advocacy

  • Building an effective relationship with nonprofit partners and grantees to advance advocacy

  • Appropriate evaluations of partner contributions

  • Real-life Challenges and Action Planning

Explore current challenges with fellow participants in peer breakout groups

  • Discussion of initial action planning and next steps

  • Additional support available from the Council on Foundation

Who should take this training?

  • Private foundation staff with a basic understanding of policy work.

  • Foundation staff of all experience levels that incorporate policy advocacy into their work - such as those in leadership, communications, grants management or strategic planning.

Please note, this course is limited to foundation staff and Board members only.

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Training

Practice & Purpose of Policy: A Training for Community Foundation Leaders

As organizations committed to strengthening community foundations, CFLeads and the Council on Foundations are partnering to offer a new public policy and advocacy training course for community foundations. This updated training will provide community foundation leaders and staff with the knowledge and resources needed to excel in advocating for the nonprofits and communities doing the hard work of social change.

Date & Time

Location

Zoom Meeting

Cost

Interested in attending?

Fill out the Interest Form to receive more information when it is available.

Save the date!

As organizations committed to strengthening community foundations, CFLeads and the Council on Foundations are partnering to offer a new public policy and advocacy training course for community foundations. This updated training will provide community foundation leaders and staff with the knowledge and resources needed to excel in advocating for the nonprofits and communities doing the hard work of social change. 

Workshop Hours

  • Wednesday, February 1: 1:00-5:30 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, February 2: 1:00-5:30 p.m. ET

Government policies and programs affect almost every aspect of our lives, from housing, healthcare and the environment to education, transportation, and safety.  For foundations striving to create equitable, inclusive, and widely prosperous communities, it is necessary to focus on strengthening and reimagining policies and systems.

Participation in advocacy is an essential strategy to advance the mission of community foundations. Yet a lack of understanding of the rules of advocacy and lobbying, confusion about the appropriate governance and risk management, as well as a dearth of tools and internal capacity needed to be successful prevents many community foundations from engaging in public policy. 

This learning opportunity is intended for CEOs and senior leadership staff from community foundations of all sizes that are committed to getting more involved in policy and advocacy work.

This training will provide community foundations across geographies and of all sizes with:

  • Increased understanding of the importance of public policy to improve outcomes

  • Improved policy practice

  • Increased advocacy action

In this training, participants will:

  • Understand a comprehensive picture of possible community foundation strategies to engage in effective public policy advocacy that advances the greater good

  • Understand the complex dynamics around foundation staff’s relationships with policy advocacy organizations and explore the optimal relationship for your foundation

  • Learn how to build support for advocacy among your foundation’s staff and board

  • Learn how to improve your foundation’s grantmaking to more effectively participate in policy advocacy

Fill out the Save the Date Interest Form

 

Offered in partnership with: 

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Advocacy & Lobbying

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Webinar

Rules of Advocacy and Lobbying for Grantmakers

Join the Council on Foundations Legal Team to learn more about all the ways foundations can engage in public policy and advocacy. We will also explore tips on how grantmakers can support civil engagement and what foundations need to know about election year politics.

Date & Time

Location

Zoom Webinar

Cost

Free for Members; $99 for Nonmembers

It is easy to get hung up on what you think you cannot do when engaging with policymakers. The good news is, you can do more than you may think!

Though the law varies among different types of foundations, all foundation types can engage in advocacy! Join the Council on Foundations Legal Team to learn more about all the ways foundations can engage in public policy and advocacy.

Participants will learn what constitutes permissible, non-partisan advocacy. We will explore regulations versus legislation, learning the difference and why it matters. Attendees will find out about exceptions to the limitation on lobbying. We will also discuss how grantmakers can support civic engagement, including what foundations can do to educate voters during election year politics and what it means to support or oppose a candidate.

Purchase of this webinar guarantees access to the webinar recording.

In this webinar, we'll explore:

  • What constitutes permissible, non-partisan advocacy and whether bi-partisan action is as good as non-partisan action

  • The difference between regulation and legislation and why it matters

  • Exceptions to the limitation on lobbying

  • What foundations can do to educate voters and support civic engagement

  • What qualifies as support or opposition for a particular candidate

Featuring the Council on Foundations Legal Team:

Remy Barnwell
Remy Barnwell
Staff Counsel

 

Ben McDearmon
Ben McDearmon
Staff Counsel

 

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