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Pushing the Policy Envelope: Foundations Acting in a Pivotal Time

Monday, June 14, 2021
9:00am - 12:00pm PDT

We are in a pivotal time for public policy action in our nation. Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, and racial justice crisis magnified the deep-rooted systemic barriers that prevent many Americans — especially Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other marginalized communities — from building a better future. As communities and the nation begin the process of recovery, how can philanthropy support a more equitable, inclusive future through civic engagement and advocacy?

Join this Leading Together 2021 pre-conference session to hear from thought leaders, foundation executives, and advocates who are working at the forefront of social change and challenging existing policies that maintain the status quo.

Separate registration from the conference is required for this event.

 

Pursuing an Inclusive Economy through Systemic Change Policies that Center Gender Equity

10:30 am - 11:45 am 

It feels challenging to envision a post-COVID world, one that can begin the hard work to chart an equitable national recovery. This exploration will address what opportunities can be created if philanthropy prioritizes strategies and grantmaking that focus on promoting new public policies to eliminate the systemic barriers impacting communities of color and economically marginalized populations, including the record number of women who have been forced out of the labor market during the pandemic. How can foundations work together to achieve these results? How must philanthropy change its operations, practices, and advocacy - both to ensure systemic change and marginalized groups gain political plus economic power in response to that systemic change? What are the missed opportunities because philanthropy is not investing in systemic policy change today?

Speakers and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their vision of philanthropy’s future and the actions and investments needed today to realize an equitable and truly inclusive future. Small group breakouts will share ideas and strategies with each other.

 

Moderator

Megan Thomas

President & CEO, Catalyst

Megan currently serves as Catalyst’s president & CEO, providing strategic leadership and partnership to the entire Catalyst staff, board, members, and community partners. Megan oversees Catalyst’s facilitation of collaborative efforts among its funder members and other stakeholders; leads the production of philanthropy and impact investing skills-building and issue based learning; and spearheads Catalyst’s work related to championing equity and opportunity. She provides strategic and logistical support to strengthen San Diego communities through shared learning and pooled and aligned funding strategies. Current focus areas include early education, STEAM education, immigration, homelessness, military/veterans issues, leadership development, racial justice, and impact investing, as well as support for the steering committees of pooled grant funds, including that of Women Give San Diego, which is fiscally sponsored by Catalyst.

Megan brings 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and philanthropic fields to this role, having most recently served as Executive Director of San Diego Coastkeeper where she built partnerships among the nonprofit, business, and public sectors to advance environmental goals across San Diego County. Megan received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University and her Masters in Business Administration from Yale School of Management. She serves on the long-term vision advisory committee for Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees and previously served on the board of directors of Hope Horse Ranch, United Way of San Diego County; advisory council for The San Diego Foundation’s Center for Civic Engagement; and the Port of San Diego Environmental Advisory Committee.

Speakers

Deidre Lind

President & C.E.O., Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles University of Southern California

Deidre Lind is an award-winning philanthropic leader with effective, impact-driven results.  Ms. Lind served as the founding President of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles created to build a diverse array of public/private partnerships focused on innovation and impact.  Ms. Lind has built her career over two decades leading corporate responsibility and philanthropy programs, including serving for a decade as Mattel’s chief global social impact strategist where she launched their two-percent pre-tax profit annual commitment, and delivered the Company’s first global sustainability assessment. Ms. Lind has served as the President of a private foundation and consulted with a number of corporate clients and government entities. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Southern California Grantmakers and the Social Impact Fund. 

A native of Los Angeles, Ms. Lind received her BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Masters degrees in both  Social Work and Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Surina Khan

CEO, The Women’s Foundation California

Surina first became involved with WFC as a volunteer in 2004. Now, as CEO Surina oversees the Foundation’s strategic direction which is focused on building community-based power through investing in effective community-based organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources. Surina has worked at the Ford Foundation where she designed and launched Ford’s LGBT Rights Initiative. She is a member of the Board of Voices for Progress, CalNonprofits, the American LGBTQ Museum, La Cocina, a founding Advisor for the Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap Initiative, and a member of the Public Policy Committee for Northern California Grantmakers. Surina enjoys cooking, swimming, photography and resides in San Francisco, Irvine, and Sea Ranch with her partner.

Agenda for Pre-conference Sessions

9:00 am Welcome
9:05 am

Exploration #1 - Demystifying Philanthropy for Policymakers: The First Step to Systems Change

If philanthropy wants to achieve systemic change on multiple fronts during this pivotal time nationally, public policymakers are key. Philanthropic organizations need to understand that legislators look for trusted partners and voices as they pursue policies that come up against the status quo. The trust factor is critical in the equation of public policy change. Does the philanthropy sector have the benefit of trust by public policymakers? Is there a growing distrust and if so, why? What are the perceptions of the motives of philanthropy in this time of increasing wealth inequality and disparity? Is philanthropy seen as part of the problem or part of the solution?

We will explore what the proposals to regulate philanthropic vehicles (DAFs and payouts), donor transparency, and potential caps on the charitable deduction signal for the institution of philanthropy. It begs the question of whether policy makers understand contemporary philanthropy and its role in supporting civil society? Does philanthropy need to do a better job—and faster—of telling the story of the work (not the assets!) and the community impacts?

This exploration will unpack the issues of trust of philanthropy by policymakers and the “hot issues” driving perception. Speakers will provide provocative food for thought to guide breakout group discussions among attendees about how they build trust with their policymakers.

10:30 am

Exploration #2 – Pursuing an Inclusive Economy through Systemic Change Policies that Center Gender Equity

It feels challenging to envision a post-COVID world, one that can begin the hard work to chart an equitable national recovery. This exploration will address what opportunities can be created if philanthropy prioritizes strategies and grantmaking that focus on promoting new public policies to eliminate the systemic barriers impacting communities of color and economically marginalized populations, including the record number of women who have been forced out of the labor market during the pandemic. How can foundations work together to achieve these results? How must philanthropy change its operations, practices, and advocacy - both to ensure systemic change and marginalized groups gain political plus economic power in response to that systemic change? What are the missed opportunities because philanthropy is not investing in systemic policy change today?

Speakers and attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their vision of philanthropy’s future and the actions and investments needed today to realize an equitable and truly inclusive future. Small group breakouts will share ideas and strategies with each other.

11:45 am

Closing

 

Presented by:


 

 


Fee
The price for Council members is $59.
The price for non-members is $79.

Beginning June 01, the Council on Foundations offers a complimentary pre-conference registration for everyone who is a Leading Together 2021 full conference attendee (paid $279 member or $399 non-member). Those who fall into this category will receive a refund if payment for the pre-conference has already been processed.

Who May Attend
Current SCG, NCG, and Catalyst members and eligible non-members

Registration
SCG members: Register online (you must log in to your SCG account to register).
NCG & Catalyst members: Please contact [email protected] to register.
Non-members: Register online. If you do not have an SCG account, contact us.
If you have additional questions regarding these sessions, please contact us at [email protected]

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
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