To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.
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Yesterday I attended a forum on funding advocacy and civic engagement to increase community impact, hosted by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. The event was co-sponsored by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and Minnesota Council on Foundations and highlighted the impacts of advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement among nonprofits in the state of Minnesota. A sample of 15 organizations were included in the study and concluded that just a small number of grantmakers in the state consistently fund advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement efforts. They concluded with the following recommendations for funders:
1) Increase the percentage of dollars devoted to advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement;
2) Engage board members and donors in dialogue about how advocacy and organizing can help a grantmaking institution achieve its long-term goals;
3) Strengthen peer learning and strategizing about advocacy and organizing;
4) Engage nonprofit partners in strategic planning;
5) Apply a racial lens to grantmaking;
6) Provide general operating support and multiyear grants.
An additional piece of data included in the report worth noting is the quantification of the return on investment (ROI) for civic engagement and advocacy efforts. Their calculation of ROI included dividing the aggregate dollar amount of all wins by the aggregate dollars invested in advocacy and organizing. The ROI shows how collective financial support by grantmakers and other funding sources for a set of organizing and advocacy groups in a location over time has contributed to the collective policy impacts of these groups. Curious to know the aggregate ROI of dollars spent on organizing and advocacy efforts benefited Minnesota? 138 - For every dollar invested in the advocacy, organizing, and civic engagement activities of the 15 groups (in the sample), there was $138 in benefits to Minnesota communities. PubTalkers, what are your thoughts? Is it possible to quantify the intangible impact of public policy work?