December 31, 2004
Nonprofits, including all foundations and public charities, have championed many of the most important advances we enjoy in our society today. Without their leadership and advocacy efforts, we would not have achieved our vast environmental and consumer protections or won the civil rights and women's rights struggles of the last century.These organizations promote changes in government, industry, and other institutions in order to affect the lives of ordinary people in America and around the world. They provide a mechanism for people to confront important issues in their families and communities, and empower them to make needed changes. Nonprofits amplify the voices of underrepresented members of our society. They tackle the seemingly unsolvable problems that government and business avoid. They regularly immerse themselves in the public policy arena through tireless advocacy on behalf of the causes they champion.But they could not do all of this alone. None of this work would be possible without foundation support.Foundation resources—in the form of financial support, formation, organizing, convening and more—enable nonprofit organizations to shape public policy and conduct powerful advocacy work. Investing in Change: A Funder's Guide to Supporting Advocacy provides an indepth discussion of the various roles foundations can play in the advocacy process.