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Policy & Advocacy Highlights

As CMF continues to champion the policy leadership of members of our community of philanthropy, our team is sharing highlights of our recent policy and advocacy efforts to advance equitable and transformative change in our state and beyond. 

With the leadership of the Government Relations Public Policy Committee (GRPPC) and CMF’s Government Relations Public Policy (GRPP) team, we have focused on cultivating and deepening relationships with policymakers as the collective voice for Michigan philanthropy by sharing best practices, actionable resources and impactful ways that philanthropy is partnering to address complex issues. 

These efforts were all done in alignment with the CMF member-adopted Government Relations Goals and policy priorities anchored by our policy domains of education, economic prosperity, health, civic engagement and the health of the sector. 

Highlights of our 2023 advocacy engagement efforts by the numbers: 

  • 35 meetings with lawmakers and staff to share the benefits of restoring Michigan’s charitable tax credit. 
  • 52 connections with our federal delegation and their staff through emails, letters and meetings. 
  • 15 lawmaker and staff meetings during Foundations on the Hill with 34 CMF members participating. As well as two agency meetings with the Department of Education and U.S. Department of Treasury. 
  • 25 lawmaker meetings during our first in-person Foundations in Lansing meetings with 24 CMF members participating. 
  • 6 coalition sign-on letters and public comments submitted by CMF. As a member of the Charitable Giving Coalition, CMF signed a letter to federal lawmakers urging support of the House-introduced companion bill for the Charitable Act. As a member of Independent Sector’s NIC, we have expressed support for the SEAT Act. 
  • 3 lawmaker conversations during our GRPPC meetings. 
  • Plus, countless connections with policymakers during the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. 

CMF continues to leverage opportunities to participate in state and national conversations on scholarship displacement and financial aid transparency. CMF hosted several Scholarship Learning Community meetings to discuss the impacts of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship on foundation scholarship programs and scholarship displacement. We also connected with foundation peers nationwide to learn from their efforts to mitigate scholarship displacement, including peers in states that have successfully adopted laws banning scholarship displacement. 

Additionally, in the fiscal year 2023/2024 state budget, we saw significant wins in alignment with our policy priorities, including the introduction of the Opportunity Index in K-12 funding, increases in funding for low-income students, universal free breakfast and lunch program, expansion of the Great Start to Readiness Program (GSRP) and additional funding for Out of School Time. 

CMF was among those who championed the successful passage of the bipartisan supported Working Families Tax Credit, which increased the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) cap to 30% of the federal credit beginning in the 2023 tax year. Six CMF community foundation members joined more than 230 organizations in sending letters of support to the Legislature and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. 

Several CMF members directly contacted lawmakers about the high impact that an EITC expansion would have on working families. 

In a follow-up to the joint response that CMF and the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) provided to the U.S. Census Bureau in response to their solicitation of input and suggestions on 2030 census preliminary research, CMF partnered again, this time including the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) to respond to the Initial Proposals for updating the Office of Management Budget (OMB) Race and Ethnicity Statistical Standards. 

CMF’s joint response on revised standards supports combining the current two-question format into one race and ethnicity question and adding a distinct Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) category. CMF also joined more than 90 national state and local organizations in a sign-on-letter urging federal appropriators to support “sound investments now” to ensure the future success and cost efficiency of the 2030 Census and to enable the Bureau to “pursue a thoughtful research agenda to ensure the 2030 Census is inclusive and accurate.” 

These are just a few highlights of our ongoing efforts in service to our community of philanthropy and the communities we work with and in across the state. In 2024, we continue to identify new partnerships and opportunities to foster connection and learning for CMF members to advance their policy and advocacy efforts. 


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