March Amplifies Voices for Women’s Rights
It's estimated more than 1 million people participated in the Women's March on Saturday with peaceful demonstrations throughout the U.S. and around the globe. The largest turnout was at the parent protest in D.C., with 500,000 people taking part in the Women's March on Washington.
As USA Today reports, the turnout will likely place the Women's March, “among historic demonstrations.”
The Boston Globe noted there was a broad range of causes highlighted at the Women's March from immigration to Black Lives Matter.
The Women’s March on Washington said it intended to “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
Peg Talburtt, co-chair of the Michigan Grantmakers for Women & Girls (MGWG), a CMF affinity group, chief executive of the Lovelight Foundation and CMF trustee attended the march in Washington.
Before departing for D.C., Talburtt shared her hopes for the mobilization of people across the county.
“I hope that it will put the spotlight on the fact that women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights, and will also highlight issues including reproductive health, poverty and inequality,” Talburtt said. “I hope above all it encourages women and men, as President Obama said in his farewell address, to create an active, engaged group of citizens.”
The march brought together more than 100 different groups including Planned Parenthood and the NAACP. Sister marches took place in Michigan, with thousands of supporters lining the statehouse steps in Lansing, as well as events in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Traverse City.
“Because we (Michigan Women’s Foundation) have been a non-partisan organization that has had tremendous ongoing support from both sides of the aisle, we salute and support civic engagement by every woman in this country and state,” Carolyn Cassin, co-chair of the MGWG affinity group and president and CEO of the Michigan Women’s Foundation said.
While national efforts and specific action steps following the march are in the works, the work to address issues facing women and girls in Michigan continues.
Cassin said this year the Michigan Women’s Foundation will focus on advancing the Enough SAID (Enough Sexual Assault In Detroit) campaign by completing the testing of untested rape kits in Detroit. The foundation is also working to fund the investigation and prosecution of the suspects.
Talburtt said the MGWG affinity group will continue addressing issues such as pay equity and economic security that face Michigan women, helping CMF members take steps and form action plans within their own communities.
Join the Michigan Grantmakers for Women & Girls in Detroit on March 7 for Investing in the Future of Michigan Women, to connect with your peers about how foundations can invest in women and women’s issues.
Learn more about Enough SAID
The State of Our State
Governor Rick Snyder’s 7th annual State of the State address last week gave us insights into how our state is making gains on the job front, in economic development, autonomous vehicles and with our booming agriculture industry.
- Michigan has the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade
- We’ve experienced five consecutive years of population growth
- More people with bachelor’s degrees are coming to Michigan than any other state in the region
Following the address, Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) released a statement saying in part, “As for Michigan’s economic recovery, many everyday people in Michigan are still not feeling it. Poverty is still high around the state, especially in Northern Michigan and the U.P., and Flint and Detroit have some of the highest poverty rates in the nation for cities their size.”
Since the governor’s speech, there’s been growing conversations on social media by the MLPP and in other articles about the challenges still facing our state, including our urgent infrastructure needs and the Flint water crisis.
“The Flint crisis taught us a sobering lesson,” Snyder said in his speech. “Our state has a hidden problem, and it’s our aging infrastructure.”
Snyder called for more investment in our infrastructure, acknowledging the recent recommendations from the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, which CMF shared in December.
The governor talked about some of the progress in Flint, but admitted there’s still more work to do.
Earlier this month city, state and federal officials announced improvements in Flint’s water quality at a town hall meeting.
It’s estimated only 700 of the 29,100 lead service lines have been replaced. The governor said in his address the state is working to accelerate the process.
Ridgway White, president of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation stressed the crisis in Flint is far from over.
“State and — to a lesser extent — federal government already have provided some funding to address harms that have been caused,” White said. “But in order to repair the many wounds that have been inflicted on Flint, government at all levels will need to make long-term, sustained investments in helping the city and its citizens recover and rise.”
In terms of our infrastructure, Snyder said a regional pilot program is in the works this year for an integrated asset management system, which would ensure the same road isn’t torn up repeatedly for different projects and wasting money.
As for water quality, legislation is expected to be introduced this year to make the Michigan standard for lead and copper limits stricter than the federal standard.
We’re expecting the 21st Century Education Commission to release its report on February 28, CMF will report out on the findings and next steps.
Join us in Washington, D.C. in March for Foundations on the Hill as we meet with our elected officials to discuss issues of importance to Michigan philanthropy.
The Michigan Forum for African Americans in Philanthropy (MFAAP), a CMF affinity group, will have Gilda Jacobs as a guest speaker at an upcoming event, watch for details on programming.
Bringing Clarity to Advocacy: Yes, you can advocate.
As the social sector anticipates tax reform and its impact on charitable deductions, and other potential pieces of legislation on the horizon, how can foundations of all sizes and legal structures advocate?
Advocacy is considered an effective framework for creating change and it’s something many foundations and their grantees are already engaging with, whether they realize it or not.
With this previous election season and a new administration in D.C., CMF has seen an increase in members asking what they can and cannot do when it comes to advocacy. CMF recommends the resource, Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook: Leveraging Your Dollars, by the Alliance for Justice. The Alliance is a national association of more than 100 organizations working to ensure the nonprofit sector has a voice in policy. The resource provides a clear picture as to what advocacy is, how it can work and how everyone can advocate.
The playbook defines advocacy as addressing “an injustice or create social change through changes in the law or how the law is interpreted or applied.”
What can my foundation do?
Public and private foundations can “legally support almost every type of advocacy,” including educating people about an issue, outreach, policy development and capacity building.
Here’s a few examples of what’s allowed for public and private foundations, according to the playbook:
- Public education: Printed materials, neighborhood canvassing, petition drives, social media outreach (without providing views on specific legislation)
- Policymaker education: Providing responses to written requests by a legislative body, holding meetings on an issue (without providing views on specific legislation)
- Organize: Mobilizing individuals and groups to speak out about issues (without discussing specific legislation)
- Convene Key Constituencies: Gathering nonprofits, community leaders, unions, businesses, etc. to build support for acting on an issue (without discussing specific legislation)
- Capacity building: Supporting the development of staff, infrastructure, or advocacy capabilities of an organization
- Inform and influence agencies: Meeting with government agencies about regulations, commenting on rulemaking
See the full list of unlimited advocacy actions for public and private foundations on page 14 of the playbook.
What about lobbying?
There are some misconceptions surrounding advocacy versus lobbying, the playbook shows lobbying is only one form of advocacy.
Everyone can advocate, but lobbying is “an effort to influence specific legislation either through communicating with legislators or the public.”
Lobbying is not allowed for private foundations. Public foundations can engage in lobbying, with limitations. However, both private and public foundations can support public charities that lobby.
Finding your role in advocacy
There are many roles and approaches to advocacy foundations may consider, advocacy can look like any of the following:
- Capacity builder: Build capacity of grantees to advocate and lobby
- General supporter: Fund grantees and advocate through general support grants
- Convener: Bring nonprofits and policy leaders to the table to find solutions
The resource clears up many misconceptions about advocacy, highlighting how it can be used as a tool for foundations of all sizes, in all communities. It encourages foundations to decide the most effective way to engage in advocacy that aligns with the foundation’s mission, sharing that “advocacy is typically a strategy to accomplish the foundation’s goals, not an end in itself.”
CMF plays an active role in advocating for the charitable sector and on issues that are identified as priorities by the Public Policy Committee, Government Relations Committee and CMF's Board of Trustees.
Join us for Foundations on the Hill in March as we meet with our elected officials to make quality connections
Download the Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook: Leveraging Your Dollars from CMF’s Knowledge Center
Read Nonprofit Advocacy: A Michigan Primer, developed in collaboration with MNA and CMF
Check out Investing in Change: A Funder’s Guide to Supporting Advocacy
Connect with Karista Gallick, CMF’s public policy fellow
Have a specific question or research request for advocacy? Ask CMF, our team of experts are on hand to track down your answers.
Learn about our issue-focused affinity groups.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation helps launch Detroit Public Television Channel for Kids
Content excerpted and adapted from a Crain’s Detroit Business article, read the full article here.
A new 24/7 Detroit PBS Kids channel launched last week on Detroit Public Television, thanks to the support of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.
“It fits perfectly with our mission of helping the children of Michigan and beyond through education, research and community service,” Lawrence Burns, president of Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation said.
Detroit Public Television’s CEO Rich Homberg told Crain’s Detroit Business that children watching television with a parent often happens in the evening, calling the 24/7 station one of the “most significant moves PBS has ever made.”
The new channel is also streamed online and available on the PBS Kids app.