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Public Policy & Government Relations

Minneesota State CapitolMCF has been involved in government relations since its inception in 1969. Read about the six principles that have guided our work for over 40 years.

Grantmakers of all types engage in public policy as a leadership strategy to advance their missions in ways that are more far-reaching and enduring than grantmaking alone. This is particularly true in Minnesota where grantmakers use philanthropic tools to pursue a broad spectrum of public policy and systems-change work addressing difficult community issues.

2014 Advocacy Agenda

Expand philanthropy, charitable giving 
and Minnesota's community of grantmakers.

Expand philanthropy, charitable giving and Minnesota's community of grantmakers.

  • Lead efforts to enact state legislation to increase resources available to support community and economic development by providing a tax credit for contributions to the permanent endowments of community foundations through the Endow Minnesota Program. [State]
  • Advocate for protection and expansion of state and federal tax incentives to maximize the impact of charitable giving.[Federal/State]
  • Advocate for federal legislation to increase resources available for community benefit and relieve administrative inefficiencies by establishing a flat excise tax for private foundations. [Federal]
Create a more prosperous, inclusive and equitable Minnesota by eliminating disparities.
  • Support state legislation to reduce disparities in educational achievement by providing access to a statewide system of early childhood education to assure that all young Minnesotans are physically, socially and cognitively prepared for school and lifelong learning by promoting leadership. [State]
  • Educate and develop state policy initiatives to promote disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and long-term recovery policies and procedures that involve marginalized communities, respond to their needs, and define a realistic and effective role for philanthropy. [State]
  • Educate and promote development of state policy initiatives to preserve and strengthen democratic processes and civic participation by relieving barriers of structural racism or economic inequity that limit equitable treatment in voting, election, judicial and census processes. [State]

MCF Public Policy Infographics

  • Charitable Giving Deduction. About one-third of Minnesota residents "“ at every income level "“ reported making contributions by itemizing and claiming deductions on their federal tax returns. In 2011 Minnesota residents donated $3.2 billion.
  • The Minnesota Paradox. Minnesota ranks high nationally for voter turnout, high school graduation, health outcomes, home ownership and many other social and economic indicators. Yet, the underlying data tell a different story . . . one of disparities and underlying inequities.

Why is Public Policy Important for Grantmakers?

Resources to Get You Started

Opportunities to Get Involved with Public Policy

  • Support Endow Minnesota
    Find out more about this new legislative initiative to foster increased giving to community foundation endowments.

Websites to Track Legislation

  • Minnesota Legislation
    Use this section of the North Star site to track the status of state House and Senate bills.
  • Federal Legislation
    Track U.S. bills, search by bill number or keyword, link to congressional directories and more.
  • Minnesota Budget Project
    Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
    This site encourages active, effective and timely participation in Minnesota's public policy debate.

More Public Policy Resources

Tracy_bob_smallStaff Contact
Bob Tracy, director of government relations and public policy

Is your foundation considering public policy or government relations as strategies to ensure funding impact? Bob Tracy can answer questions and connect you with other grantmakers doing similar work. Contact Bob.

Photo Minnesota State Capitol, CC manyhighways

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