Here are some of the building blocks of our foundation advocacy journey, which is relatively new:

  • Advocacy can include many different elements, large and small. Provide board members with examples of how other foundations activate advocacy and the results of those efforts. Exponent is one source of advocacy stories and examples, via its BlogPodcasts, and Advocacy Field Guide.
  • Engage board members in conversations with other foundations that support advocacy.
  • Invite a legal expert whose practice area includes foundations and advocacy to speak with your board about what you can support as a foundation. I think board members will be surprised about the many ways you can engage in advocacy.
  • Identify incremental steps: technical assistance, op-eds, letters of support, and other ways to amplify the voice of the communities you’re serving.
  • Fund research! This can be an important aspect of advocacy that helps to inform, educate, and engage. Yet, it’s very low-risk.
  • Act as a convener and support knowledge-sharing among your nonprofit partners.
  • Choose a nonprofit with whom to partner on your first effort. Identify first incremental steps, and invite that partner to share the progress of that work with your board.

Read the full article about dispelling fear and anxiety about advocacy by Angela Hult at Exponent Philanthropy.