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October Quarterly Membership Meeting | Investing in Change: A Funder’s Guide to Supporting Advocacy

October 11, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm



In a growing age of mass communication, where our voices can reach millions in a matter of seconds, it is increasingly important to understand the ways that we as funders can use that influence and reach to advocate for the programs, changes and causes that are important to our mission and values. Join us as Abby Levine, Director of Bolder Advocacy at Alliance for Justice helps us define the line between advocacy and lobbying and understand the important roles funders can play in public policy. Levine will highlight rules and regulations for both public and private foundations as well as ways funders can support advocacy through funding and programs, as well as advocate themselves.

In the afternoon, we will hear from several ICoF members and partners about advocacy and lobbying efforts they have been or are currently involved in. We will hear from:

  • ALICE Report – A representative from United Ways of Iowa will share the newly released ALICE report and share ideas on how the report can inform your public policy efforts as we head into the 2019 legislative session.
  • Dawn Oliver, Iowa Women’s Foundation Executive Director – Dawn will share about the IAWF’s work to support child care needs across the state. She will share their research report, advocacy strategy development and highlight communities that have used this information to drive action in their local communities.
  • Dave Geenen, Doris & Victor Day Foundation Executive Director – Dave will share about work the Day Foundation is doing to support the 2020 Census Count.

These examples will help you think about the advocacy roles you can play in your communities and in our state.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the activities that constitute advocacy and public policy work
  • Learn the definition of lobbying and what activities are exceptions to the definition of lobbying
  • Understand the rules for private and public foundation grants to nonprofits that lobby, including general support, specific project, and multi-year grants
  • Review grant agreement language that permits support for policy work
  • Increase your knowledge of what roles and responsibilities funders have in advocacy and lobbying efforts
  • Increase your understanding of the value of embedding advocacy practices into our communities/nonprofits
  • Access tools for funders to serve as advocates, support for advocates, and maintaining the line between advocacy and lobbying
  • Discuss interests and topics for further learning

Who should attend?

  • Foundation executives and members of your Board of Directors who set the strategic direction for your foundation
  • Grantmaking staff who support grant programs and work directly with nonprofit applicants and grantees
  • Program staff who coordinate nonprofit networks, nonprofit learning, nonprofit trainings and support nonprofit peer-learning
  • Staff at new foundations that are establishing their grant programs and focus areas

Please join us – we think this session has something for everyone!

ICoF Meeting Policy: Each ICoF member organization is given one free registration and is charged $25 per each additional attendee.


Speaker: Abby Levine, Director of Bolder Advocacy at the Alliance for Justice

Before going off to college, Abby lived in five states and Canada. This was the perfect preparation for her work at Alliance for Justice where she has conducted trainings for hundreds of nonprofits in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and even Mexico City since joining the team in April 2004.  Can you guess which states she has not visited…yet?

Over the last decade, Abby has focused her career on assisting nonprofits.  While she never expected to be a tax lawyer, she found her niche helping nonprofits maximize their effectiveness by understanding the rules regarding lobbying and election activities.  It is a great way to combine her interests in law, politics and social issues. In her spare time, Abby reads, runs, bakes, watches crime shows and continues her search for a real hobby.


October 11, 2018
10:00 am - 2:30 pm


Iowa Credit Union Foundation
7745 Office Plaza Drive North Suite 170
West Des Moines, IA 50266 United States
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Kari McCann Boutell
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