Bainum Brief, Volume 2
Creating Change Through Policy Advocacy: 10 Ways Foundations Can Engage

Achieving big outcomes that create a better and more equitable society requires public investments, as private dollars simply aren’t enough to effect long-term, systemic change. Foundations are well-positioned to lift up community voices and educate decision-makers on smart public policies — addressing long-standing concerns such as racial and economic inequity, education and the environment, as well as emerging ones such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Some foundations already have taken steps in this direction, and there is tremendous opportunity to expand this role.

The good news is that there are many ways to support better public decisions, with models to suit every foundation’s context and interests. This Bainum Brief highlights 10 ways foundations can engage in policy advocacy, with examples from many funders, including the Bainum Family Foundation, across an array of topics. It also provides lessons learned to make the best use of scarce resources and maximize the chances of success.