Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

Public Policy Initiative

Publication date: 
April 2015

MPC's Public Policy Task Team is charged with developing recommendations for how MPC can best support and enhance the public policy work of our philanthropic network.

MPC's Board created the task team after the 2014 Funder Forum panel, "Philanthropy, Public Policy, and the Maine Philanthropy Center." The Task Team met through April 2015 and will seek input from our membership in order to make the best-informed, most-representative choices for the work ahead. Look to this resource page for regular updates on the work of the Task Team.

Resources

Report: Public Policy: A Path to Greater Impact Report

The Public Policy Task Team proudly presents its report, Public Policy: A Path to Greater Impact, containing conclusions and recommendations for how philanthropy in Maine might best advance our collective action in the public policy arena. The report summarizes the team's work over the past six months and outlines the promise, value proposition, definitions and parameters for philanthropic engagement. It also suggests a potential structure and process for working together and the role that the Maine Philanthropy Center might play.

The Public Policy Team also held two webinars covering the team's work, what public policy involvement might mean, why it’s important, and recommended next steps to move the work forward. Missed the webinars? Watch them here:

Webinar Part 1: The What and Why of Public Policy Involvement

Webinar Part 2: Moving from Ideas to Action

Timeline

October 2014: MPC Announces Public Policy Task Team

MPC Board Member John Shoos, Executive Director of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation and Meredith Jones, President & CEO, Maine Community Foundation, will co-chair MPC's new Public Policy Task Team. The Team will develop a recommendation to MPC's Board regarding the scope and criteria for MPC's involvement in public policy. Additional team members will come from the membership. A kick-off meeting is slated for November.

Download a summary of the original 2014 Funder Forum conversation, "Philanthropy, Public Policy, and the Maine Philanthropy Center."

December 2014: Task Team Holds First Meeting, Welcomes MPC Public Policy Intern

MPC Board Member John Shoos, Executive Director of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation and Meredith Jones, President & CEO, Maine Community Foundation, co-chaired a November kick-off meeting of MPC's Public Policy Task Team. The Task Team is comprised of representatives from the MPC membership and is charged with developing a recommendation to MPC's Board regarding the scope and criteria for MPC's involvement in public policy. The team welcomed Garvan Donegan, the new MPC Public Policy Intern. Garvan is a Masters Degree candidate in Community Planning & Development at the Muskie School of Public Service and works in policy and land use planning as a Community Planner at Milk Street Capital.  

Click here to see the full roster of the Public Policy Task Force, its charge and the project plan

February 2015: Ongoing Work from the Task Team

MPC's Public Policy Task Team continues to meet this winter to develop a recommendation for how MPC can best support and enhance the public policy work of our philanthropic network. MPC's Board created the task team after the 2014 Funder Forum panel, "Philanthropy, Public Policy, and the Maine Philanthropy Center."  The Task Team will meet through April and will seek input from our membership in order to make the best-informed, most-representative choices for the work ahead

April 2015: Public Policy Survey

As reported in previous e-news, and ad-hoc Task Team has been hard at work since last November thinking about the role that public policy could play to increase the impact that philanthropy has in Maine and the support role that MPC might play in this arena.  This effort is being shepherded with capable care by Meredith Jones of the Maine Community Foundation and John Shoos of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation.

The team is now eager to get a sense from the MPC membership about how you are thinking about public policy and the role it is or might play within your organization and across the network.

Please be on the look out for a survey that will be sent to your organization's leadership in the next week or so. We hope that you will make it a priority to give us the important feedback we need on this topic. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. Organization leaders are encouraged to bring this survey to the attention of your board/trustees and seek their input/participation as deemed appropriate. Many thanks in advance. Your input is important to us!

Past Events

Investing in Change: Increasing Impact Through Public Policy and Advocacy, October 15

All foundations strive to make their giving count. While funding nonprofit services is the most common approach, supporting advocacy and encouraging specific policy outcomes can be the most powerful way to advance your mission. The Maine Philanthropy Center hosted Isaiah Castilla, Counsel for the Alliance for Justice Bolder Advocacy Program, for this half-day workshop featuring strategies for increasing the impact of a foundation's mission by supporting advocacy and encouraging specific policy outcomes.

Download Isaiah Castilla's presentation. The presentation covers topics including: the range of advocacy roles for foundations; rules for private and public foundation grants to nonprofits that lobby; definitions of lobbying and activities that are exceptions to those definitions; and rules around election year support of advocacy and policy.

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