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.

  (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 in 2019 featured remarks by our newly elected regulators, 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 memnber 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.

(In photo above, Colorado Health Foundation CEO and Leadership Forum Co-Chair Karen McNeil-Miller sits to left of Gov. Jared Polis at convening attended by leaders of member foundations and government funding agencies.)

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).