Creating Change Through Policy Advocacy: 10 Ways Foundations Can Engage

  • February 23, 2021
  • 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM



“We don’t do advocacy…” is a common refrain from philanthropic entities that shy away from the sphere of advocacy. However, philanthropy has a long and honored history of advocating for social causes through increased engagement and activism. According to the Center for Effective Philanthropy report, three-quarters of foundation CEOs said they have increased policy efforts in the past three years.

Join this discussion with our guest speaker, Sara Watson, to learn what, how, and why foundations across the country are using the important strategy of advocacy to advance philanthropic missions. 

Discussion Topics:

  • What can foundations do – given the concerns and limitations of philanthropy being involved in advocacy?
  • What are the rules of engagement?

This program will provide tangible and practical ways to be involved for all types of foundations, regardless of size, geographic scope, priorities, or risk tolerance.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Sara Watson -

Dr. Sara Watson is the founder of Watson Strategies,  a consulting firm specializing in designing effective advocacy campaigns, with a special focus on the role of philanthropy and public-private partnerships. Most recently she was the Senior Director, Policy at the Bainum Family Foundation where she led a portfolio of grants to reduce racial and economic inequity through advocacy for early childhood programs in Washington, D.C.

Previously she was the founder and Global Director of ReadyNation/ReadyNation International, a unique business membership organization supporting executives to be champions for children from prenatal to young adulthood. She was a Senior Officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts, where she led a ground-breaking national advocacy campaign for prekindergarten, contributing to doubling state and federal spending. She has also been a Senior Vice President at America’s Promise and a Policy Analyst for the Washington State Family Policy Council. Her educational background includes M.P.P. and Ph.D. degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. from Carleton College. In her volunteer life she is a Master Emergency Medical Technician for the local fire department and a board member of Voices for Children Montgomery.

Note: This event will be recorded.  By registering for this event, guests at this program allow Philanthropy Delaware to use any recording and/or pictures taken at this event, without compensation, for promotional and publicity purposes in all media formats.

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