What Grantees Wish Funders Knew about Advocacy Funding

  1. It’s not necessary — and it’s often counterproductive — to expressly forbid lobbying in grant letters.
  2. General support grants are a useful way to support public policy work while minimizing legal risk to the foundation.
  3. Support for local organizing is a key first step toward higher level advocacy.
  4. Have a frank discussion with grantees about their advocacy plans.
  5. Don’t demand more collaboration among grantees than funders can manage among themselves.
  6. Stick with it. People experienced with advocacy — both grantees and grant makers — routinely tell stories of successful public policy efforts that took years, sometimes decades, to have an effect.
  7. Know the game - Foundations need public policy veterans on their staffs or among their close advisers.
  8. Don’t expect instant “metrics,” but recognize the value of advancing the process.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Advocacy Funding.