16 Grantmaking Characteristics to Effectively Support Public Policy Advocacy



Funding Advocacy, Private and Public Foundation Advocacy

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Created in partnership with Dr. Sara Watson, this resource outlines the sixteen characteristics of grantmaking that best supports effective policy education and advocacy. 

Foundations and other grant-makers often start their grantmaking strategy focused on supporting direct services, specific programs, or research – all important elements to achieve their overall goal. That experience often leads to a decision that reaching their broad goal – whether it be saving the environment, educating children, or protecting the right to vote – requires public policy engagement. So, they add public policy to their strategy (consistent with legal rules), widening their impact.

Of course, foundations can take many actions, in addition to funding, to inform the policy process. They can use their communications platforms, convene stakeholders, and enlist other funders. But creating the conditions for change, including engaging the people most affected and knowledgeable, requires money. 

Dr. Watson is the founder of Watson Strategies LLC and has a 30-year career in philanthropy and policy advocacy.  She has written a variety of publications on foundation engagement in public policy advocacy.