What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• TCC Group explores the fraught nature of funding advocacy work and how to establish a better comfort level by asking a few crucial questions.
• There are good resources listed here for funders still dipping their toes in politically-oriented grantmaking. Some myth-busting is required as well: Yes, advocacy can be effective even in red states.
• Here's how to make advocacy a family philanthropy affair.
Since the 2016 election, my colleagues and I have noticed one of two things: more funders considering a first-time investment in advocacy, or funders strengthening their existing commitment to funding advocacy work. In response to this surge of activity, we’ve had the opportunity to share our findings — regarding effective strategies to support advocacy campaigns — with different groups of funders.
These engaging and deliberate conversations generated additional questions — from which we’ll highlight three:
How can we support advocacy if my board shudders when they hear that word?
One of the major barriers we have heard from funders is that their board members are uncomfortable with “political” work. Additionally, support of advocacy may conflict with political views of board members. In our experience, two strategies have been helpful in moving board members along. First, board members may have legal concerns about supporting advocacy. Providing education on what is permissible for your foundation in supporting advocacy (as well as what peer funders do) willbe helpful in this regard. Secondly, as we learned from our findings, using your foundation’s theory of change is a helpful tool in showcasing where support for advocacy can fit in your goals.
We are excited to see advocacy efforts grow and evolve in response to community needs — engaging foundations of all sizes, structures, and missions. We hope you find these questions and answers useful when considering advocacy work and support — and we look forward to continuing this conversation.
Read the full article about asking key questions when funding advocacy by Katherine Locke from the TCC Group.