Why Foundations Support Advocacy

Many people believe that private foundations are prohibited from funding advocacy — and there are, to be sure, some kinds of advocacy that are legally impermissible. But these are few and relatively easy to avoid. “I don’t think the principal constraints are legal ones,” said one grantmaker, reflecting on attitudes he encounters in the field. “The issues that hold foundations back have to do with understanding how things work and with having confidence that you can make a difference.” Engaging in public debate about public issues is, said another grantmaker, “part of our legal and moral responsibility” to seek out public support for new ideas and new methods of solving problems, including when those ideas and methods might entail changes in law, regulation, and government practice.

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.