Key Points

There has been growing recognition in the philanthropic field that public-policy engagement and advocacy are critical strategic investments to support social change. For those foundations that are new to advocacy or are contemplating adding this type of work to their portfolio, however, this can be a significant shift in how they do business.

Before a foundation engages in this type of work, it is critical that leadership and staff understand the role and potential impact of foundations in the advocacy and policy arenas, the practical considerations of how best to engage in advocacy and policy work, and the role of policy consultants in enhancing a foundation and/or nonprofit grantees’ capacity and impact in this arena.

This article details the key considerations for preparing and launching a successful advocacy effort, as well as specific tools that can help foundations and their grantees make the best use of an external policy consultant.

Open Access