April 2, 2024

How Philanthropy Can Support Advocacy - Resources and Research

Our selection of tools, articles, and case studies for assisting donors who seek to create impact with their philanthropy through advocacy and policy change. 

Voter registration on the street in Nevada

Using All the Tools in the Toolkit: Funding Advocacy for Social Change

As more philanthropists consider whether and how to invest in new types of organizations and advocacy efforts, they have a lot of questions. This article provides research-based, tactical guidance on how, when, and where to consider investing in advocacy efforts. It reflects new research, including more than 30 interviews with practitioners and philanthropists. Our interviewees shared that thoughtful, nuanced, and sustained advocacy and policy work can lead to scaled, durable progress on just about any social issue in the United States.

Inside an empty courthouse

Betting on the Tortoise: Policy Incrementalism and How Philanthropy's Support Can Turn Small Sustained Steps into Big Impact

It might surprise some people to hear that profound shifts in US public policy have been the result of incremental policy making, step-by-step, over many decades. But here are four ways that funders can bet on the tortoise with strategic, sustained investments in social movements.

advocacy activities for nonprofits

When Philanthropy Meets Advocacy

Increasing numbers of Americans want charitable organizations to step into the public policy arena and lead the causes they care about. And a handful of bold philanthropists—both on the left and the right—are stepping into the breach, with outsized investments to influence civil and political society. But if philanthropists are going to step up their advocacy work, what is the best way for them to proceed?(Stanford Social Innovation Review)

Audacious Philanthropy Framework

Audacious Philanthropy

Private philanthropists have helped propel some of the most important social-impact success stories of the past century, from virtually eradicating polio to ending apartheid in South Africa. These 15 examples demonstrate that effective initiatives build a shared understanding of the problems and their ecosystems, set concrete and compelling “winnable milestones," design approaches that work at massive scale, drive demand, and embrace course corrections. (Bridgespan.org and Harvard Business Review)

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The Bridgespan Group would like to thank the JPB Foundation for its generous and ongoing support of our knowledge creation and sharing work.