Advocacy and Elections - How Can Funders Engage?

Thursday, August 13, 2020 1:00pm - 2:00pm CDT

The landscape for funder engagement in advocacy and elections-related activities is shifting. COVID-19 is having a profound impact on primaries and elections across the country in 2020. Voter education on safe voting is a new and pressing need. The murder of George Floyd and the subsequent uprising is moving funders to think more deeply about how to incorporate policy change and advocacy into their work, embracing the fact that systemic and policy changes are needed to address systemic racism. While some MCF members are no stranger to advocacy and elections-related activities, it is new territory for many, and there are a lot of misconceptions out there about how funders can engage.

This virtual briefing will include education and resources on what funders can (and can’t) do when it comes to advocacy and elections-related activities, and there will be a particular focus on the unique work that needs to be done to ensure a safe 2020 election.

This briefing will include an introduction and call to action from Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon, as well as a training on how foundations can engage in and/or fund advocacy and elections-related activities. Abby Levine from Bolder Advocacy will review the federal tax rules governing public and private foundation support for election-related activities and also explain the types of activities in which foundations may be involved, such as issue advocacy, voter guides, voting records, and candidate debates and forums. She’ll also review the special rules for private foundations looking to fund voter registration.

There will be time for questions and discussion, with a focus on what funders can do to support a safe 2020 election.

Note: This meeting is the first half of MCF’s Government Relations and Public Policy Committee meeting. At the conclusion of this briefing, non-committee members will sign off and the committee will continue on with its remaining committee business.

Find More By
Event type