SoCal Grantmakers pledges to pursue a policy agenda that supports philanthropy in advancing equity and social justice. We collaborate with policymakers and regulatory departments in the Southern California counties we serve, in addition to those at the statewide and federal levels. Our policy work includes heightened coordination with Philanthropy California, our statewide alliance, to analyze, discuss, and advocate for policies that support the values of our collective membership.
In addition to our legislative advocacy efforts, the SCG Public Policy & Government Relations team actively develops relationships with policymakers, funders, community activists, and other partners to build coalitions and further our policy agenda. We engage our membership through educational programming, written publications, and skills trainings, and work to strengthen our existing partnerships with the Governor’s office and other stakeholders who shape California’s policy landscape.
For more information on SCG’s advocacy work, please contact Emily Michels, Manager, Public Policy & Government Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the input of members, partners, trusted consultants, and research into similar organizations, the Public Policy team has developed a policy plan that moves away from specific issue-based buckets to a focus on big picture, systemic change. This shift allows for more meaningful and focused impact instead of spreading efforts thinly across many specific issue areas, especially when existing organizations are leading excellent work in those areas, and we look to them as our partners.
SCG’s Public Policy Agenda starts with broad guiding principles (“why we do the work”), moves through focused policy priorities (“what we work on”), and narrows in on specific strategies for taking action (“how we do the work”).
In collaboration with our Public Policy Advisory Committee, our team identifies proposed legislation and regulation, advocacy initiatives, and collaborative projects that impact the philanthropic sector’s work and the communities our members serve. It is extremely important for us to find opportunities to support and progress intersectional policies that have an impact on diverse regions and historically marginalized communities, and to collaborate with partners and SCG peer communities. Advocacy activities include coordinated letter-writing campaigns, individualized stakeholder outreach, public testimony, and the production of amicus briefs, among other efforts. Write-ups of these activities – along with resources, templates, and examples of materials – are housed in the searchable Advocacy Hub.
Mission, vision, and values for our public policy work, aligned with the larger SCG strategic framework. General, big-picture ideas and goals that shape our policy decisions.
Utilize our unique position to harness philanthropy’s influence to work toward systemic and institutional change
Elevate the intersectional nature of the challenges that philanthropy aims to address and expand the opportunities for funders to have an impact through policy and advocacy
Create a more equitable landscape for historically marginalized communities and support the organizations working closely with these communities
Increase diversity within the philanthropic sector and uplift new voices and regional perspectives
Advance racial and gender equity and justice, and inspire members to shift their actions toward policies that are anti-racist and tackle the root causes of inequities
Focus areas that align with the goals of the guiding principles. Systems-level approaches that all funders can participate in regardless of their mission areas. These priorities allow for flexibility and responsiveness to current events.
Actions and initiatives that work toward the success of the policy priorities. Concrete measures taken both to empower members to take action and to be a voice that is representative of the SoCal funders community. These strategies are types of actions (trainings, educational webinars, relationship building, etc.) that are specific to each policy priority but not to any one issue area (climate, housing, health, etc.).
Supporting a Transformative Sector
The philanthropic and nonprofit sectors can embrace their agency to carry out impactful work that is responsive to the current policy atmosphere and to adapt to calls for a changing sector
Connections between philanthropy and government are crucial to better develop public-private partnerships, share best practices, and inspire innovative solutions
Providing pathways, tools, and opportunities for members to grow and learn about their own organizations, the philanthropic sector, and specific policy issues
Making connections with government to ensure policies are inclusive of nonprofit, philanthropic, and community voices; acting as a convenor and advocating for a “seat at the table” for different groups
Fighting for Racial and Gender Equity and Justice
Rights are being rolled back at an alarming rate, through judiciary decisions and legislation across the country; although California often feels safe from these changes, it is important to remain aware of local and regional policies that can have widespread influence
While there is still room for improvement, California has often been a model for other states and now is no different; philanthropy has the opportunity to make bold statements through the support of policy and advocacy work at the local, state, and federal levels
Continuing to work to raise consciousness of inequalities and the policies and institutions that purposely or inadvertently uphold these inequalities
Uplifting diverse voices and amplifying the important work being carried out by partners with expertise in racial and gender justice
Building a Multiracial Democracy
In order to have a fair and representative government at all levels, we must emphasize the importance of policy implementation, co-governance, and opportunities for civic engagement
Rhetoric, narrative, and information-sharing have an enormous impact on how communities and individuals receive news, interact with civic systems, and feel about government institutions
Challenging dominant narratives and pushing for more accurate and accountable information-sharing systems
Educating members on the wide spectrum of possibilities for philanthropic participation in civic engagement and the downstream effects of support for democracy work on specific issue areas
Mobilizing philanthropy to adopt an expanding definition of civic engagement that encompasses more than “Get Out the Vote” or topics that feel political in nature
Developing Nonprofit Sustainability and Infrastructure
Nonprofits help communities thrive, acting as first responders during times of emergency and throughout the year, and that they are a direct connection to community voices
Government and the private sector need to shift toward a culture of sustainability, inclusivity, and accessibility for nonprofits that are an economic engine of communities
Encouraging philanthropy to support the capacity of nonprofit organizations to engage in advocacy and organizing
Fostering innovative partnerships with city, county, and state governments
Supporting policies that remove barriers for local and BIPOC-led and serving organizations to access public and private funding
SCG's signature policy events provide members with the opportunity to connect with state and federal lawmakers. We encourage participants to share their grantmaking efforts and best practices to scale our work and improve the lives of millions of Californians.
Foundations on the Hill
Once a year, the SCG team and our Philanthropy California delegation of members across the state convene to ensure policymakers in Washington, D.C. understand the landscapes of the communities we serve. Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) brings together hundreds of foundation leaders from across the country to meet with Congress and discuss issues of critical importance to philanthropy.
This annual gathering brings together our state’s elected officials with philanthropic leaders. SCG members participate in Sacramento Day to develop and cultivate relationships with fellow policy-oriented peers and policymakers. Together, we encourage legislators to view foundations as thought partners and to trade best practices.
SCG Policy Conference
Every year, SCG convenes funders from across California for our annual policy conference. We are proud to host various elected officials alongside the civic, philanthropic, movement leaders advancing bold policy agendas in our communities. Themes have included: Reimagine Multiracial Democracy; Power Building for Systems Change; and California: The Road Ahead.