The sgENGAGE Podcast: Creating an Advocacy Agenda

Whether it be convincing a board of directors, finding the time and resources, or seeking funds from grantmakers, many foundations face hurdles in creating an advocacy agenda. Chynna A. Phillips, senior director of policy and research at Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, and Melissa Levesque, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Coastal Community Foundation, spoke with Blackbaud’s Sally Ehrenfreid, government relations lead, about advocacy in foundations and their respective journeys.

Topics covered:

  • Introducing advocacy and policy to boards
  • Building advocacy into your organizational infrastructure
  • Creating an advocacy agenda rooted in core values
  • The distinction of advocacy and policy versus politics
  • Advice for nonprofit organizations seeking funding from grantmakers
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Chynna A. Phillips

Melissa Levesque

Sally Ehrenfried

Advocacy and Awareness: 4 Tips for Virtual Campaigning


“Boards decide how fast you’re going to move as an organization.”

“We had our grantmaking and community leadership committee really own sort of the nuts and bolts of developing our advocacy agenda.”

“A great grant proposal is really just exceptional storytelling that matches a need for financial support.”

“Stay connected to your ‘Why?’, build trust with your community leaders, and have honest conversation.”

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