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Philanthropy’s New Playbook for Policy Advocacy

In search of greater impact, innovative philanthropists and foundation leaders are embracing new approaches to policy advocacy, including alternative legal structures (especially LLCs), more ambitious collaborative giving vehicles, new ways of listening to and empowering groups directly affected by social problems, and more direct engagement in public debate. These innovations can be both inspiring and bewildering for a wide range of donors who are eager to make a difference on issues they care about — but unsure about how to move forward legally and with high impact.

The Urban Institute invites you to a discussion of these issues with four of the nation’s top philanthropic leaders. We will explore a number of specific innovations and shed light on how givers of every political stripe can make a difference through effective issue advocacy. We will also offer insights to help advocates and policy experts better understand the new landscape.



  • Melanca Clark, President and CEO, Hudson-Webber Foundation
  • Brian Hooks, Chairman and CEO, Stand Together; President, Charles Koch Foundation
  • Kelli Rhee, President and CEO, Arnold Ventures
  • Mark Rigdon, Deputy Director, State and Local Government Relations, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Phil Buchanan, President, Center for Effective Philanthropy (moderator)


Framing Presentation

  • Shena Ashley, Vice President for Nonprofits and Philanthropy, the Urban Institute
Event Materials


Check-in and lunch will be available at 11:30 a.m. and the program will begin promptly at 12:00 p.m. Please contact [email protected] with questions regarding this event.

Photo credit: Makyzz/Shutterstock


Date & Time Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Urban Institute 500 L'Enfant Plaza SW
Washington , DC , 20024
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