Philanthropy Strategies for Partnering with Government
- Pooled and/or Matching Federal Resources Around Aligned Areas of Investment (Leverage)
- Addressing Staffing and Capacity Needs of Government Agencies (Talent)
- Strategic Insights, Networks and Expertise to Tackle Public Sector Challenges (Expertise)
- Supports for Convenings, Conversations, and Connecting Policymakers to Communities and Families (Engagement)
EXAMPLES OF PHILANTHROPY PARTNERSHIPS WITH GOVERNMENT
ECFC hopes to continue gathering and cataloging examples of how philanthropy has worked with government by leveraging resources, providing expertise, and supporting collaboration and convenings with communities and partners. A few examples include:
Hawai’i: In 2020, the Samuel L. and Mary Castle Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Kamehameha Schools (the largest indigenous ECE funder in America), combined efforts with business groups and other public and private partners, to advocate for the passage Act 46, a massive expansion of public Pre-K from just four-year-old’s to all three and four-year-old’s. The bill passed in June 2020. With little state money available to fund the expansion, several vital private funders, including the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, stepped up to support initial implementation of the Pre-K expansion. Castle is also currently co-sponsoring a legislative bill (HB 1236) to fund an early childhood educator stipend program for AY 2021-2022. The House bill would not have been introduced without the Castle Foundation paying for the stipends for 1-3 years while the state tax base slowly recovers from the pandemic shock. A recent award from the Early Educators Investment Collaborative for Hawaii’s ECE efforts also helped spur the bill.
New Jersey’s ACEs Action Plan: Created in partnership with the New Jersey ACEs Collaborative (New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Burke Foundation, The Nicholson Foundation, the Turrell Fund) and the Center for Health Care Strategies. To support implementation of this work, the philanthropy partners are working closely with the state to establish the NJ Department of Children and Families – ACES Executive On Loan.
Nurture NJ Strategic Plan: A public/private partnership led by the Office of the First Lady of New Jersey, funded by The Nicholson Foundation and the Community Health Acceleration Partnership. Nurture NJ is a bold plan for reducing maternal mortality by fifty percent and eliminating racial disparities in birth outcomes. It includes over 70 specific, actionable recommendations for maternal health stakeholders across all sectors, and will position New Jersey as a national leader in the fight for maternal health equity. A group of funders are also considering the role of a funder collaborative focused on infant and maternal health to help support this work.
Oregon: In 2020, a voters approved a tax measure to fund one of the most progressive universal preschool policies in Multnomah County, OR – where Portland is located. The Portland chapter of Social Venture Partners played a major role in the Preschool for All initiative, providing leadership on the planning task force, and incubating early strands of planning and assessment via staff and volunteer partner efforts over several years. Oregon Community Foundation, United Way of Columbia-Willamette and a number of other foundations, individual donors and donor advised funds supported planning costs (including amplifying the capacity of local community-based organizations serving communities of color to participate and bring parent voice to the table).
BUILD Initiative –Launched in 2002 by 14 ECFC foundations to leverage private funds to stimulate public investments in early learning. Today, the BUILD Initiative works intensively with 8 states and DC to support state leaders in their work to develop a comprehensive system of programs, policies and services that serve the needs of young children and their families.
The Federal Philanthropic Fund (FPF) – Launched in 2013 through a pooled fund among ECFC members and other funders to support state organizing and coordination around Early Learning Challenge Grants. (See ECFC History)
Supporting the Public Sector
- A transformative moment for philanthropy (May 21, 2020) McKinsey & Company
5 practices to build on in COVID-19 recover including supporting the public sector.
- The Philanthropic Liaison Phenomenon (2010) GrantCraft
- A Philanthropist’s Guide to Working with Government and Local Communities, Bridgespan (compilation article of other examples and resources)
- Preparing for Change: How Nonprofits Can Shape Policy By Engaging Transition Teams (2020) Bolder Advocacy
- Philanthropy and Government Working Together: The Role of Offices of Strategic Partnerships in Public Problem Solving (2012) The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy Sol Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California
- The Essentials for Collaboration Between Foundations and Government (2010) Council on Foundations
- Abramson, A., Soskis, B., & Toepler, S. (2012). Public-philanthropic partnerships in the U.S.: A literature review of recent experiences. Arlington, VA: Council on Foundations
Building Advocacy Infrastructure
- Building the Advocacy Infrastructure to Win Equity Victories for Children and Families (2021) by Sara Watson and Kimberly Perry, Capita
- Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Results by Funding Policy and Community Engagement (2016) National Council for Responsive Philanthropy
Philanthropy as Conveners and Connectors
- Philanthropy’s SuperPowers of Convening (2019), The Center for Effective Philanthropy
- How can grantmakers facilitate connections and collaboration? (2013) Grantmakers for Effective Organizations