Advocacy and Collaboration—The Two Secret Ingredients for Leveraging Your Philanthropy

May 27, 2011

The examples of advocacy that inspire me are the ones that take seemingly basic issues, drill down to examine root causes and barriers, and then work to remove those barriers. The following two stories of philanthropic advocacy come from Minnesota grantmakers—the Northwest Area Foundation and the Blandin Foundation. The success of these projects can be attributed to the unique collaboration that brought donors, nonprofit agencies, community organizations, and policy makers to the same conversation to find solutions to a community problem. By bringing multiple voices to the table, these philanthropic organizations found that their funding efforts went further to achieve innovative, large-scale, and lasting solutions.

Advocacy and Collaboration—The Two Secret Ingredients for Leveraging Your Philanthropy
  • Fund local groups who are working on the ground. It’s effective because it’s grassroots.
  • Use your network of colleagues to set a meeting. Or, if you don’t have a connection, just pick up the phone and reach out. It’s as simple as that.
  • Bringing people together, convening conversations, and mutually engaging in policy improvement can change the course of entire communities
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