Advocacy Activities

Foundations on the Hill and District Meetings

Philanthropy Colorado actively takes part in our national network’s annual Foundations on the Hill advocacy program. Every year, we organize a delegation of foundation leaders to meet with our Senators and House Representatives to discuss our issues and our work.
(Pictured at left, Sen. Michael Bennet meets with Colorado foundation leaders, including Carrie Tynan, Executive Director of Adolph Coors Foundation.)

This year's Foundations on the Hill event took place virtually on April 5 - 7, 2022. We heard from the leaders of United Philanthropy Forum, Independent Sector and Council on Foundations and discussed legsislation that affects the philanthropic sector. Panel discussions focused on the role of philanthropy in advocacy and public policy, from coalition-building to equitable public policy processes. Philanthropy Colorado also organized meetings with our Congresspeople to highlight how the funding community has provided a critical safety net to Coloradoans and local communities as they grappled with the additional challenges of a pandemic and wildfires.

Philanthropy Colorado and its member volunteers regularly meet with our congressional delegation members and their staffers in the district to urge them to support policies that encourage generous charitable giving, allow us to focus on our social missions, effectively use our resources and leverage government investment to maximize our collective impact.

  (Pictured at left, Philanthropy Colorado staff and foundation leaders meet virtually with Senator Hickenlooper in spring 2022)
 

Thanks to all of our members who have joined us in DC over the years, including some who are no longer with us. Watch our video from an earlier trip to Foundations on the Hill.

              Day at the Capitol

Philanthropy Colorado and Colorado Nonprofit Association members are encouraged to take part in our annual Day at the Capitol, which last featured remarks by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (pictured at right). The event was postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID restrictions. 

The program aims to make our presence known as a sector on Capitol Hill and also includes networking with lawmakers, Capitol tours and member training for thos wanting to learn more about the State’s General Assembly and our policy and advocacy work.

The 2019 event also marked the official release of our Colorado Nonprofit Economic Impact Study, which was distributed directly to every senator and representative at the State Capitol. The report was commissioned by Philanthropy Colorado and our partners: Colorado Nonprofit Association, Community Resource Center, Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, Spark the Change Colorado and University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs. 

Convenings with Colorado's Governor

Philanthropy Colorado brings members together with Colorado’s Governor at least once a year. The Governor’s Cabinet members often meet with our members and take part in our programming as we seek to build and maintain connections with our partners in state government.

As Gov. Jared Polis started his first term, he joined CEOs at our Leadership Forum to discuss his four key priorities and how they aligned with many of the focus areas of Colorado foundations.

(Picturesd at left, Governor Jared Polis addresses foundation leaders at Philanthropy Colorado's June 2022  Leadership Forum) 

 

Governor Polis, Coloradans Launch COVID Relief Fund
Read the Governor's news announcement quoting Philanthropy Colorado and its members Colorado Health Foundation and Mile High United Way. 

To mark the many times former Gov. John Hickenlooper met with our CEOs and addressed our full membership, our then Board Chair Mark Andersen and CEO Joanne Kelley presented him with our own version of a “proclamation” at our Annual Meeting at the Governor’s Mansion in November 2018. (pictured right).

Joseph Ignat Memorial Endowment

Philanthropy Colorado established the Joseph Nord Ignat Memorial Endowment with a grant from Nord Family Foundation and matching grant from Community First Foundation.
Earnings from the fund go toward an annual policy-related program, something that Joe delighted in during his many years of involvement with our network. Our 2016 Annual Meeting was dedicated to Joe, who passed away just two weeks beforehand. A Governor’s proclamation was read at the meeting to celebrate his passion for philanthropy and advocacy.

Joe served as Board President and Treasurer of his family’s foundation before passing the torch to other members of the extended Nord family. Nord has invested heavily in many Colorado nonprofit organizations over the years and Joe and his wife Pam have also been personally involved in supporting many local causes.

Joe co-chaired our public policy committee for multiple years. His guidance and leadership – and keen sense of humor – proved pivotal in helping us make strides in the advocacy arena and he was adamant we begin taking public positions that made sense for the field even if he didn't personally agree with them. Joe is one of only a few family foundation trustees to have served on our board. He was nominated by John Mullaney, Executive Director of Nord, which is based in Ohio but invests in the communities where members of the extended Nord family live. Joe had to be out of town when he was first elected as a director at our annual meeting several years back. We sent him the following email: “Good news! You’re a board member starting in January. The election yesterday was quite civilized and unanimous with no attack ads or alternative candidates.” He responded: "Just goes to show you that you can't trust elections to select good people."

Joe was a champion for the sector and for the importance of our ability to take stands on important issues rather than remaining silently neutral. Our policy committee and board has engaged in many healthy debates about policy issues and has since taken many thoughtful public positions. Joe actively took part in many of our sojourns to Washington for our trip to Foundations on the Hill.

(He is pictured here holding the chair’s gavel in the House Rules Committee hearing room on our 2014 trip.)