Private Foundations Engaging in Direct Advocacy Amid Disaster - Alliance for Justice

Private Foundations Engaging in Direct Advocacy Amid Disaster


Leslie Barnes

As government officials around the globe work to respond to public health and economic emergencies, it is essential that they hear from the communities hardest hit by crises. This new resource from Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy program is geared towards private foundations that want to speak out directly on relief efforts and lift up proposals their grantees and communities have developed.

Black and Latinx communities face wildly disproportionate rates of infection and death from the coronavirus.  They face higher rates of unemployment due to the stay-at-home orders, and lower access to health care than the rest of the population. The public, media, and policymakers, in response, are seriously discussing guaranteed family and sick leave, safe work environments, and access to affordable health care. Workers and advocacy organizations have been calling for these and other policies that will enable our country to weather other imminent crises.  They need strong, well-connected allies.

Although private foundations cannot lobby themselves (but of course their grantees can!), they can engage in many policy activities that are not defined by the IRS as lobbying. This new factsheet contains a few tips for those private foundations that want to join sign-on letters, leverage relationships with decisionmakers, and engage in direct advocacy themselves during this time.

Now is the time for bold voices and bold solutions.

Private Foundation Direct Advocacy Amid Disaster.pdf


Some examples of bold voices and bold solutions from private foundations:

The Bainum Family Foundation March 23rd, letter in the DC Line

The Ford Foundation & Open Society April 27th, article in the Project Syndicate

The Annie E. Casey Foundation April 30th blog article on their website


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.