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Philanthropy's Role in Advocacy and Policy Change
Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Philanthropic organizations have long fostered social change through grants targeted at specific causes that fall within their mission. Increasingly, there is a focus on law, policy, and regulation because these avenues have the greatest likelihood to reach the greatest number of people at the least cost and with the greatest impact. Public Health philanthropies partner with the legal, policy and advocacy sectors to shape, create, and influence a healthy society.
There is, however, a wariness and confusion about the real or perceived restrictions on the use of federal funds for advocacy, as well as the extent to which a nonprofit can participate in the legislative process. This lack of clarity oftentimes silences the voices that speak on behalf of the health of our public and environment, creating a void in public health protection and advancement. The more frequent use of federal and state preemption is another practice that should be carefully weighed, yet advocacy groups often lack the resources to work at the level at which they can enter these discussions.
The purpose of this session is to share how philanthropies at the local, state, and national levels have used law, regulation, policy and grantmaking as effective tools to advance their philanthropic missions and ensure that advocacy on behalf of the public’s health continues. It will facilitate a “Town hall” discussion that will invite audience comments on: successful examples of using legal and policy approaches, guidelines to successful partnering with grassroots advocacy agencies, recommendations for improving and expanding philanthropies’ policy work, and the challenges to communities that attempt to use these approaches to improve their health. Experts will be present to answer questions and provide advice, helping to generate ideas about continuing and creating the policy that supports the goal of achieving improved population health.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe why law and policy are important tools for improving the public’s health.
2. Identify strategies that funders have used to advance law and policy as a tool to influence health.
3. Discuss challenges to communities and leaders trying to make innovative and lasting changes in their communities through advocacy, law and policy.
See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.
Organized by: APHA