Guest post by Kevin Murphy, President of the Berks County Community Foundation and Vice Chair of the Council on Foundations. This post also appears on RE:Philanthropy, a blog from the Council on Foundations.
On March 21–22, organized philanthropy will gather in Washington, D.C., for Foundations on the Hill, two days of face-to-face meetings with our nation’s legislators.
It’s important that you be there. Shrinking government budgets put an ever-brighter spotlight on foundations. To some in Washington, we’re a big pile of cash waiting to be spent. To others, we are potentially valuable partners. But for most, we’re an enigma. Spending time with our legislators and their staff members is critical to helping them understand that our work directly improves the quality of life for their constituents.
One of the beautiful parts of Foundations on the Hill is the hard work that the Council’s talented staff puts into making it easy for you to connect to your members of Congress. You’ll receive a thorough briefing on key issues facing the field before you’re sent off to Capitol Hill. Council staffers will help you coordinate your meetings and make sure you can find your way around. In short, if the idea of traipsing around the Capitol looking for the offices of your elected officials is daunting, Foundations on the Hill should take away that concern.
At the Council, there is a great Public Policy Committee and a wonderful staff team led by Andrew Schulz, vice president of legal and government relations. But their efforts aren’t enough. It’s critical that members of Congress hear directly from you to truly understand the importance of philanthropy in their states and districts.
As the head of the Berks County Community Foundation in Reading, Penn., I get to see my members of Congress regularly in their home districts because Washington, D.C., is only a few hours away. Still, one of our congressmen thanked me for coming to the nation’s capital to visit last year and told me, “It’s good for the staff down here to see how much you care.”
Foundations on the Hill is a great chance to promote your work with key policymakers and help advance the field. Will you join me in Washington D.C. March 21–22? Register today!