From Cautious to Courageous: How Foundations Can Step up Advocacy & Invest in Change | Session 2

October 20, 2022 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm America/New York Timezone

Register here!


In just the past few months, we’ve seen an unprecedented assault on reproductive rights, the heart-breaking need for stricter gun control policies, and cruel efforts to harm trans people and walk back LGBTQ+ protections. These headline-churning developments come on top of ongoing efforts to undermine climate action, criminalize poverty and further erode civil liberties.

All too often, philanthropy likes to stay above the political fray. But philanthropic foundations have tremendous leverage – especially when it comes to their ability to invest in social welfare organizations pushing for racial, social, environmental and economic justice.

Join The Funders Network,, Philanthropy New York,  Asset Funders Network and Bolder Advocacy for a two-part, funder only webinar series exploring the benefits of supporting 501(c)(4) organizations, also known as social welfare organizations, as powerful drivers of policy reforms and systemic change.

From Cautious to Courageous: How Foundations Can Step up Advocacy & Invest in Change will take place Sept. 29 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET and Oct. 20 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. ET.

Private and public foundations can play an important role in advocacy by engaging in advocacy themselves and funding their grantees to advocate on critical issues.

Whether your mission focuses on voting rights, police accountability, access to healthcare or any of the myriad challenges we face in bringing about a just society, it is critical that you use all available (and legally permissible) tools to enact change at the local, state and federal levels.

By bringing key constituencies to the policy table, particularly those with a real stake in the outcome, we have a better chance of creating impactful systemic change.

While the tax code provides simple methods for foundations to fund 501(c)(3) public charity grantees, there are often questions about how (and when) a foundation can fund non-public charities such as 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations.

After these sessions, your foundation will have a clear understanding of:

  • Why public and private foundations should support 501(c)(4) organizations;
  • The differences between 501(c)(3) public charities and 501(c)(4)s;
  • How public grantmaking institutions, such as community foundations, can make lobbying (or non-lobbying) grants to 501(c)(4) groups;
  • How private foundations can utilize expenditure responsibility to support the work of 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations;
  •  Lessons learned and key takeaways from grantmakers who have successfully sought buy-in from foundation decision-makers to engage with social welfare organizations; and
  • How foundations can support coalitions and collaborative relationships by investing in and engaging with 501(c)(4) organizations.  


Attendees can register for one or both sessions. Please contact Hazel Paguaga at if you have any questions about registration.

Session 2

Thursday, Oct. 20 | 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Register here!

Join us as we dive deeper into 501(c)(4) advocacy and provide additional context about how to amplify the power of nonprofit advocates by investing in social welfare organizations and diverse coalitions of 501(c)(3) and (c)(4) organizations.

This discussion will include examples of how foundations can support collaborative relationships between 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) groups. We’ll also hear from funders who will share how they have supported coalition work, notably efforts to boost civic engagement and advocacy among BIPOC-led organizations.

Please register by Oct. 19 for this funder-only webinar.


Rickke Mananzala
Executive Director, New York Foundation





Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort
Interim Program Director, Bolder Advocacy, a program of Alliance for Justice




Erica Teasley Linnick
Senior Director, State Infrastructure Fund, NEO Philanthropy






Session 1

Thursday, Sept. 29 | 2-3:30 p.m. ET

Register here!

This session will unpack the reasons your foundation should consider funding 501(c)(4) advocacy work and offer a deeper understanding of federal tax and election law.

We’ll also hear from Elizabeth Love of the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, a Texas-based funder with an organizational commitment to protecting reproductive rights, about her team’s experiences ensuring buy-in from board members and investing in 501(c)(4) groups.

This session will set aside time for small-group breakouts for candid discussions and Q&A’s about working with social welfare organizations.

Please register by Sept. 28 for this funder-only webinar.


Elizabeth Love
Chief Executive Officer, Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation




Natalie Roetzel Ossenfort
Interim Program Director, Bolder Advocacy, a program of Alliance for Justice


Learn More

About The Funders Network

The Funders Network (TFN) is a network of more than 160 national, regional and local grantmaking institutions committed to leveraging philanthropy’s unique potential to help create communities that are sustainable, prosperous, healthy and just for all people.

About Philanthropy New York

Philanthropy New York is a regional association of grantmakers that champions effective grantmaking by building a vibrant philanthropic ecosystem that strives to advance meaningful social change.

About Asset Funders Network

The Asset Funders Network engages philanthropy to advance equitable wealth building and economic mobility. AFN is a national grantmaker membership organization with over 150 institutional members investing in policies, programs, and financial products as tools for confronting inequities. AFN’s statewide and regional chapters connect grantmakers and colleagues in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. They collaborate to multiply their impact on individual, family, and community wealth.

About Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy

Bolder Advocacy equips nonprofits with the knowledge they need to be confident and powerful advocates. It is a program of Alliance for Justice , a national association of more than 140 progressive organizations that are united by a commitment to a fair, just, and free America where everyone has equal access to justice and can fully participate in our democracy.
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