Ways to Work with Government: Exchange and Learning

Another way to work with government is by supporting discussion or exchange that enables public officials to learn, plan, and make connections. When officials in one Western U.S. state expressed interest in redesigning its Medicaid delivery system, for example, a local foundation covered the cost of briefings and workshops at which key government stakeholders vetted promising ideas.

One foundation makes a practice of pulling together people from different agencies when interagency cooperation is essential for implementing a new system or reform — a tricky business if they’re not accustomed to working together. “We coach people,” a grantmaker reported. “Sometimes we feel like marriage counselors.

Some foundations support organizations that have relationships and track records with government officials (i.e. National Conference of State Legislatures or the National Governors Association). Those organizations, in turn, use foundation grants to host seminars and training sessions that give government officials opportunities to hear from experts, learn about reform in other places, and compare notes.

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.