Public Policy

Policy in Focus

 Take Note: Rural Issues Front and Center in 2016 Legislative Session

Legislative leaders talk about what DFL and GOP lawmakers propose for Greater Minnesota in this MPR interview. (Posted: Feb. 10, 2016)

Take Note: Senate Committee Considers Early Childhood Education and Workforce Development

The Minnesota Legislature doesn’t convene until March 8 but committees are working now. Take a look at the Minnesota Department of Education report on early childhood education the Senate Education Committee received on February 2. The committee had a joint meeting with the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee on February 9 to consider options for strengthening Minnesota’s workforce(Posted: Feb. 10, 2016)

Take Note: Minnesota’s Legislative Leaders Discuss Plans and Challenges for the 2016 Session
Senate Majority Leader Bakk and House Speaker Daudt guess at the size of a bonding bill, and discuss investments in early childhood education, strategies for addressing Minnesota’s racial household income gap and head different directions on how to invest in roads and transit. Take a listen courtesy of The Uptake. While “working groups” are meeting now, the legislature officially convenes March 8. (Posted:  Feb. 4, 2016)
Take Note: Report Provides “Tea Leaves” for Possible Changes in Minnesota for Estate, Inheritance and Gift Taxes
The crack research team at the Minnesota House just published a review of estate, inheritance and gift taxes that compares Minnesota’s policies to other states. It’s a briefing document to help Minnesota lawmakers weigh options for future reforms. Read the report. (Posted:  Feb. 4, 2016)
Take Note: Series to Layout the Role of Philanthropy and Nonprofits in Voter Engagement
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Stanford Social Innovation Review are launching a 15-part series of articles exploring how philanthropy and nonprofits can improve voter engagement and promote a robust democracy. We’ll keep an eye on the series. You can also engage in the conversation by attending MCF Public Policy Retreat on March 18 and the Funders Committee for Civic Participation national convening in Saint Paul in May.  (Posted:  Feb. 4, 2016)
Take Action: Prepare Yourself for the Minnesota Legislature's 2016 Session

The Minnesota legislature doesn't convene until March 8, but leaders and committees will get to work in January to get a jump on the short, eight-week session. The Star Tribune is running a three-part series of editorials and commentaries, "Minnesota's Growing Divide," to provide context for the upcoming session. The challenges of addressing widening income gaps - by race and geography - loom great, as do questions about transportation, higher education, keeping talent in the state, and extending high quality broadband infrastructure throughout the state. Other publications will be offering legislative session previews and we will share that information with you as it becomes available. But, this Star Tribune series is a good place to start developing an understanding of how decisions made in St. Paul this spring are likely to effect you, your grantees and the communities you serve. (Posted: Dec. 14, 2015)

Advocacy Agenda

MCF's public policy goals are (1) to expand philanthropy, charitable giving and Minnesota's community of grantmakers, and (2) to create a more prosperous, inclusive and equitable Minnesota by eliminating disparities. The Legislative Statement is MCF's compendium of public policy statements and positions. The Annual Advocacy Agenda includes initiatives that are the focus for proactive development during the current year.

Public Policy Programs

MCF's Public Policy Programs help you increase the impact of your grantmaking. Issue Briefings and other programs connect what's happening in public policy to the issues you are working on through your grantmaking. In the Policy Connections Institute you develop concrete strategies for sharing information about research and what you are learning through your grantmaking with elected officials, at the national and state levels. We connect you with elected officials through events such as Coffee with Congress and Foundations on the Hill. You can increase your advocacy and public policy knowledge and skills while also developing Minnesota grantmakers shared advocacy agenda as a member of MCF's Government Relations and Public Policy Committee

Resources for Action

We provide you with tools and connections with MCF partners to help you learn more about grantmaker engagement in public policy and to connect you with peers who share an interest in issues that affect your grantmaking interests. You take responsibility for knowing who represents you in Congress and the Minnesota Legislature, so we can be stronger partners in advocacting for policies that promote charitable giving and inclusion and equity for all Minnesotans.

Commitment to Advocacy

MCF sees Minnesota's stark and persistent racial, ethnic and economic disparities as a threat to future prosperity and the common good. We catalyze philanthropy's voices on key public policy issues that advance a more prosperous, inclusive and equitable Minnesota, along with those that grow and sustain philanthropy and charitable giving. We provide education, skill-building and convening support for Minnesota grantmakers to help increase the impact of their grantmaking through advocacy and public policy. We amplify the voices of Minnesota grantmakers through a robust public policy program that draws upon a full range of advocacy tools to advance a public policy agenda that corresponds to MCF members' top grantmaking interests and draws from the work of issue-based member networks and coalitions. MCF's advocacy and public policy services are guided by its Government Relations and Public Policy Policies and Procedures. (MCF Strategic Plan - Leadership for the Future - 2012 to 2014)

"Change-oriented mission statements - by necessity - require a foundation to pursue public policy efforts that attempt to fundamentally change how the system operates." 
Emmett D. Carson, Phd. CEO and president of Silicon Valley Community Foundation (formerly CEO and president of The Minneapolis Foundation and MCF board member)