Coming Together to Support Public Policy Through Philanthropy

by Stephanie Green

This month nine philanthropists and funders from across the state came together to learn how they can support policy advocacy and systems change. The Women’s Foundation of California launched the Philanthropy and Public Policy Institute in 2017 in response to a request from funders and philanthropists who supported the Women’s Policy Institute and wanted to know more about how they can invest in policy advocacy and engage with policymakers.

PPPI is a three day intensive that not only teaches funders and philanthropists about the policy process, but how they can be effective partners with community advocates to support effective, values-centered systems change. This year’s Institute was co-chaired by WFC CEO Surina Khan and State Senator Holly Mitchell, one of our greatest champions for gender justice in Sacramento.

Timed to run concurrently with WPI-State and WPI-Local Retreats, participants had the opportunity to learn directly from advocacy leaders and engage and build relationships with WPI fellows advocating for policy change across a range of issues and localities. They also were able to learn from and connect with one another and other philanthropists on the leading edge of policy advocacy funding.

The third and final day of the Institute was spent inside the Capitol meeting with advocates and legislative staffers learning the ins and outs of advocacy including how to navigate the halls, and the spoken and unspoken rules of how policymaking is accomplished. This year we were thrilled to end an exciting three days in the Governor’s Council Room where we heard from Camille Wagner, the Governor’s Legislative Secretary and were joined by Senator Holly Mitchell for lunch and our graduation ceremony.

If you are interested in learning more about the 2019 Philanthropy and Public Policy Institute or how philanthropists can and should support policy advocacy, contact us!


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