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Championing the Policy Leadership of Our Community of Philanthropy

We have recently launched transformative policy efforts that set the groundwork for advancing the CMF strategic framework, Equity at the Center.

A group of CMF members talking

With the leadership and guidance of the CMF Board of Trustees and our community of philanthropy, we have recently launched transformative policy efforts that set the groundwork for advancing the CMF strategic framework, Equity at the Center. The framework includes a focus on fortifying the field through public policy action and championing the policy leadership of Michigan philanthropy.

Member input garnered through the development of the strategic framework informed the creation of the newly formed Government Relations Public Policy Committee (GRPPC) which combines the formerly separate Public Policy Committee and Government Relations Committee.

The committee, chaired by CMF trustees Neel Hajra, CEO, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and Julie Ridenour, president, Steelcase Foundation, is composed of 33 members and five advisors from a diverse cross-section of foundation types, geographies and lived experiences. Included are seven members appointed by CMF affinity groups to represent the affinity group’s interests.

Serving as a conduit between CMF members and the efforts of government, the GRPPC helps share philanthropy’s voice in shaping policy.

“In my view, one of the most important contributions CMF and its members can make to improving the quality of life of the people we serve, and working to promote greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, is through public policy advocacy,” Dave Mengebier, president and CEO of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, GRPPC committee member and CMF trustee said.

GRPPC committee members have identified five policy domains in which CMF will prioritize its 2021 advocacy efforts, each representing key issue areas where philanthropy’s voice has the ability to resonate in advancing long-term, systemic impact.

  • P-20 Education: CMF is committed to supporting the advancement of equitable education policies, systems and programs along the P-20 continuum that ensure every child and young adult across the state of Michigan, regardless of their race, socioeconomic status, address or disability status has the resources to achieve at their highest potential.

  • Economic Prosperity: A strong and inclusive economy is made possible by equitable access to resources and opportunities. CMF supports policies, programs and partnerships that address structural and systemic barriers to economic opportunity and ensure economic prosperity is accessible to all Michiganders.

  • Health: High-quality health infrastructure and equitable access to healthcare, healthy food and other health resources are essential to the well-being of Michigan families. CMF supports work to improve social and environmental determinants of health through multiple approaches to contribute to better health outcomes for Michiganders.

  • Civic Engagement: An active and engaged citizenry is essential for the health and advancement of our democracy. CMF supports policies, programs and partnerships that advance the active engagement and participation of Michiganders in civil society.

  • Health of the Sector: CMF is committed to ensuring the integrity, health and stability of the charitable sector. We will support policies in alignment with our annually reviewed Government Relations Goals that enhance the resources, operational capacity and flexibility the sector needs to continue serving society.

With this new framework in mind, GRPPC plans to advocate for policies and legislation that promote equity across CMF’s policy domains and to build and maintain working relationships with the state’s elected leaders and policymakers.

“Building trusting relationships with policymakers at the local, state and federal levels and serving as an informed and trusted source of information is mission-critical. CMF’s combined governmental relations and public policy committee includes a cross-section of our foundation community with some very experienced and skilled professionals,” Mengebier said. “I feel fortunate to be part of such a talented team.”

Guided by CMF’s 2021 Government Relations Goals and the new policy domains, CMF’s Government Relations and Public Policy team continue to work with state and national partners to advance advocacy efforts.

In 2021 the policy team will debut new regional, virtual opportunities for CMF members to connect with state lawmakers, lift up philanthropy’s work and learn more about lawmakers’ priorities. CMF is also working closely with the United Philanthropy Forum to support CMF members’ engagement in Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), held virtually this year, from March 16-18, 2021 and March 23-25, 2021.

Want more?

Read more about CMF’s government relations and public policy work.

Learn about the GRPPC and its members.

View CMF’s 2021 Government Relations Goals.

Questions? Connect with Regina Bell, director, government relations and public policy at CMF.