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Policy Influence: What Foundations Are Doing and Why

Foundations’ engagement in public policy has contributed to advances in society in areas from civil rights to consumer protections to public health. At the same time, the role of philanthropy in influencing policy has been the subject of scrutiny. CEP studied the perspective of foundation leaders across the country on this topic to learn more.

Based on survey responses from 214 foundation leaders and in-depth interviews with CEOs and staff at 43 foundations, as well as survey responses from 419 nonprofit leaders on CEP’s Grantee Voice panel, this report provides insights into foundations’ engagement with public policy, including why they seek to influence policy, how they approach this work, and what they identify as best practices and challenges.

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