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Funders Forum

Public Welfare Foundation

November 2011

Public Welfare Foundation The Washington, D.C.-based Public Welfare Foundation supports efforts to ensure fundamental rights and opportunities for people in need. By focusing on criminal justice, juvenile justice, and workers' rights, the foundation believes that its grantmaking can serve as a catalyst for reforms that can make dramatic differences in the lives of countless Americans. The Foundation Center asked Mary E. McClymont, the foundation's president:

Question What would you like your colleagues in the field to know about particular strategies that the Public Welfare Foundation has found helpful in pursuing its chosen program areas?

Answer

"Whether we call them strategies or simply lessons to keep in mind, I can name several of the concepts that guide us in our work to support systems change and policy reform, and I would welcome hearing how others view them. Since we undertake grantmaking nationally, we find it useful to foster and support communities or clusters of advocates in each program area to tackle a set of similar problems often using different approaches that are appropriate to their geographical contexts. Much of our funding is directed to key states where policy reform and systemic changes can be achieved. We strive in many circumstances to equip the grantee advocacy organizations directly, or through support to fellow organizations, with important tools such as strategic communications techniques or research capacity to bolster the advocacy they undertake.

"In the often elusive and non-linear world of systems and policy reform, fostering change can take extended periods of time, and is greatly influenced by external factors that can move events in many different directions beyond anyone's control. Although project or opportunity grants are important to address a discrete issue, we find that making multi-year general support grants to a core set of groups in a program are particularly helpful as grantees pursue their goals over the long haul. This enables more flexible and nimble responses to quickly changing problems that grantees encounter as they pursue longer-term policy change goals.

"As all grantmakers appreciate, no single entity alone can make desired changes happen. There is never a straight path to the finish line taken by any lone runner. Many different forces and actors must push forward together in the right direction to create desired positive change, or must push back enough to prevent worse problems from emerging and prevailing. That is why we encourage collaboration among grantees where possible, or at the least communication. Of course, the same goes for communication or coordination among and with our fellow funders in order to help move ahead effectively as we tackle problems that are often difficult and complex."

Funder's Forum: Donor Profiles

Teagle Foundation
July 2014

Robert R. McCormick Foundation
June 2014

Bush Foundation
May 2014

The Kresge Foundation
April 2014

The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation
March 2014

Rauch Foundation
February 2014

Stavros Niarchos Foundation
January 2014

The Louis Calder Foundation
December 2013

The Bella Vista Foundation
November 2013

The Skillman Foundation
October 2013

Rosenberg Foundation
September 2013

The Pittsburgh Foundation
August 2013

Saint Luke's Foundation
July 2013

The Sobrato Family Foundation
June 2013

W.K. Kellogg Foundation
March 2013

Trustees' Philanthropy Fund, Fidelity Charitable
February 2013

The Duke Endowment
January 2013

The Beazley Foundation
October 2012

The Colcom Foundation
September 2012

The Clark Foundation
August 2012

The Hyde and Watson Foundation
July 2012

Annie E. Casey Foundation
June 2012

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation
May 2012

Markle Foundation
March 2012

The Commonwealth Fund
February 2012

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund
January 2012

Posner-Wallace Foundation
December 2011

Public Welfare Foundation
November 2011

Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
October 2011

Walter & Elise Haas Fund
September 2011

Alcoa Foundation
August 2011

Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
July 2011

The Cleveland Foundation
June 2011

Fannie E. Rippel Foundation
May 2011

The California Wellness Foundation
April 2011

Jerome Foundation
March 2011

Lumina Foundation
for Education

February 2011

Charles Stewart
Mott Foundation

January 2011

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
December 2010

M. J. Murdock
Charitable Trust

December 2010

Surdna Foundation
October 2010

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