On Working with Public Leaders

From Christine DeVita, Wallace Foundation: “Foundations that aspire to bring about beneficial change must be willing to work with public leaders who have the power and authority to create change.”

  • There are many ways to work with public leaders — sometimes by opposing them, sometimes by joining forces. In either case their power and authority cannot be ignored. A foundation that turns its back on public leaders is likely to find its contribution trivialized.
  • Foundations need to spend time building relationships with elected officials, who often do not understand how foundations work and what we do.
  • Go where the power is. Why reinvent the wheel when you can use the strengths of both private and public entities to accomplish similar goals?
  • I agree, but I also believe that foundations must be willing to work with everyday people, who, in my view, also have the power and authority to create change.

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 Working with Government.