The , , , and foundations have announced the launch of a free online resource to help program officers navigate the rules of lobbying and advocacy.
Intended to be the first in a suite of free training resources for private foundation staff, the course, , covers such issues as how lobbying laws apply to private foundations, who and what they can legally fund, the types of grants private foundations are allowed to provide, and how to fund projects when advocacy and lobbying are involved. It also offers guidelines and tools designed to help foundation staff engage with grantees and legislators.
As part of the course, "Maya," a virtual program officer, leads participants through the training, which takes less than an hour to complete. Users can return to the training at any time for a refresher and can click on individual modules to refer back to specific topics.
The course aims to supplement existing in-person workshops or staff trainings already provided by foundation legal counsel. "While there are many rules and regulations applicable to our grantmaking, we find the IRS lobbying laws are some of the more important ones for our staff to clearly understand," said Mary Anne Rodgers, general counsel for the Packard Foundation. "Since these rules apply to all private foundations, we wanted to share this important resource with the field and make it accessible to program staff across the country."