Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary — Engage, Educate, and Empower: Philanthropy’s Voice in the Public Policy Arena

Wednesday, April 11, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

We are in a unique moment in our history. The day’s political debates increasingly divide our country. Philanthropy has a role to play in maintaining our nation’s democracy and supporting the many issues that motivate our work. We have a voice. We must raise it loud and clear.

Speakers: Pedro Ramos, President and CEO, Philadelphia Foundation; Angela Rye, Principal and CEO, IMPACT Strategies; Julianne Sobral, Chief Operating Officer, Council on Foundations


Pedro Ramos

Angela Rye

Julianne Sobral


Breakfast Plenary — How Foundations Can Encourage Voter Engagement and Participation – Strategies and Case Studies

Thursday, April 12, 9:00-10:30 a.m.

Low voter participation levels, especially in the communities most served by nonprofits, impacts the health of our democracy, the effectiveness of our grantees, and the ability to fulfill our foundations' missions. Join us at this plenary where we’ll launch a new set of toolkits—one for community foundations and one for private foundations—that explore the ways foundations can and have encouraged their grantees to become more fully engaged in the communities they serve through nonpartisan voter and civic engagement.

Speakers: Brian Miller, CEO, NonProfit Vote; Carla Thompson Payton, Vice President for Program Strategy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Aaron Robertson, Director, Community Programs, Seattle Foundation; Deborah Schachter, Senior Program Officer and Policy Advisor, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

Brian Miller

Carla Thompson Payton

Aaron Robertson

Deborah Schachter

Closing Plenary —  Politics and Power: Building and Utilizing Political Power in Pursuit of Policy Goals

Friday, April 13, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Following the passage of tax reform, our sector is examining our successes and our challenges within the political sphere. Our speakers will discuss tools, tactics, and strategies for building and wielding political power in support of specific policy goals.

Speakers: Matt Chase, Executive Director, National Association of Counties; Ellen Davis, Senior Vice President, Research and Strategic Initiatives & President of the National Retail Federation Foundation; Captain Mark Kelly, Founder, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence; Robert Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

Moderator: Mason Rummel, President and CEO, James Graham Brown Foundation


Matt Chase

Ellen Davis

Captain Mark Kelly

Robert Lynch

Mason Rummel



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