Be at the Policy Table (or be on the Menu)

Philanthropy411, is currently covering the Council on Foundations conference with the help of a blog team.  This is a guest post by Robert Eckardt, Executive Vice President of The Cleveland Foundation.

by Robert Eckardt

I just attended the “Washington Update” session at the Council on Foundations (COF) conference, presented by Andrew Shultz (vice president, Legal and Government Relations at COF) and Chatrane Birbal (associate director, Government Relations at COF). We heard the litany of fiscal problems facing the federal, state and local government. Most striking to me was the fact that the $38 billion federal spending cut package just announced on Tuesday roughly equals the total spending by all foundations. That, combined with bigger fiscal fights to come and a poor understanding of the philanthropic sector among legislators, increases the importance of public policy work. The call for more philanthropic engagement in public policy rang out clearly at our session. However, the audience’s questions suggested that the field has a long way to go to answer the call.

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Posted by Kris Putnam-Walkerly © Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Philanthropy411, 2010.

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