After the Law is Passed: An Opportunity for Influence

One area of wide freedom for foundations and nonprofits is in the public policy process surrounding the writing of regulations. After a piece of legislation is passed, many important decisions about the effect and reach of that legislation are left to executive agencies and regulatory bodies to iron out. “Foundations don’t fund this much,” says a grantmaker who works extensively in health care advocacy. “But if you want to fund advocacy, there are no restrictions on funding it in the regulatory process. Once you get a policy passed in the legislature, the most critical question is: Will this be implemented in the spirit for which it was designed? Private interests who feel they suffered a setback in the legislative process are well-versed in recouping their losses once things get into the rulemaking stage. It is a weakness of advocacy organizations that they don’t spend enough time and resources in the regulatory realm. Foundations don’t really fund this activity — partly because advocates don’t pursue it, but also because foundations may not realize what a critical role implementation plays in the public policy process.”

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This takeaway was derived from Advocacy Funding.

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