EOF has the capacity to support private listservs and working groups that offer members the opportunity for information sharing and learning as well as the coordination and alignment of investments among identified areas of interest.

Building State Advocacy and Engagement Capacity Funder Strategy Room

Economic Opportunity Funders (EOF) is proud to announce a new Strategy Room for EOF members interested in building advocacy and engagement capacity in the states. The Strategy Room will provide a maximum of 12 grantmaking institutions with an opportunity to engage in deep learning and conversation regarding their strategy and potential areas of alignment. We have the capacity to include one to two staff members from each participating philanthropic institution.

The Strategy Room will be held over four sessions from October 12 through December 7, 2021. Sessions are virtual via Zoom Meetings application. Please note that sessions are roughly two to three weeks apart with an expectation that each participant will engage in occasional peer-share activities between sessions to maximize the learning experience. 

Who Should Attend

Grantmakers with a focus on economic opportunity and aligned program areas are encouraged to consider this opportunity. We have a special interest in supporting peer exchange and dialogue among funders focused on statewide strategies with an intentional interest in ways to build advocacy and engagement capacity across an ecosystem of organizations within a state.  

To ensure that the Strategy Room is encouraging conversation and engagement, we are limiting participation in the series to 12 institutions with no more than two people from each institution. Your institution must be an EOF member to participate. Participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. We welcome foundation staff members who can attend each session alone or with a team member.

Topics Covered

The agendas for most sessions will be co-created with participants based on advocacy and engagement-related topics and questions curated during the registration process.  Sessions will include sharing, deep learning and opportunities for feedback on individual, emergent strategies via a mini case study. 

What Participants Will Gain

  • A greater understanding of the strategies used by peers to build advocacy and engagement in the states.
  • An opportunity to workshop an idea or internal strategy question.
  • An opportunity to identify and create alignment on approaches and within geographies.

Expectations of Participating Grantmakers

All participants must commit to attend each session. Sessions are scheduled for one or two hours as detailed below. In addition, participants are expected to engage in occasional peer-share activities between each session as part of their commitment.

Session Days and Times (Tentative)

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 2 – 3pm ET: Introduction and Emerging Trends for Building Advocacy and Engagement Capacity in States
  • Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 2 – 4pm ET: Deep Learning, Issue 1: Building Advocacy and Engagement Capacity in States
  • Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 2 – 4pm  ET: Deep Learning, Issue 2: Building Advocacy and Engagement Capacity in States
  • Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 2 – 3pm  ET: Thinking Ahead: Working Collectively to Identify Gaps and Areas of Alignment 

More Information

To learn more about the Strategy Room, please reach out to Ami Nagle at anagle@eofnetwork.org.

Are You Interested?  

Please let us know by completing the registration form below. Completed registration forms should be submitted no later than Friday, September 24, 2021, at 5 pm Eastern. You can view a complete list of registration questions here

Previous Working Groups

Post-Election Funder Strategy Room (November 2020 – February 2021): Federal and state elections, regardless of outcomes, provide an important opportunity for philanthropy to assess the new environment and identify new windows of opportunity to work strategically and collaboratively. EOF established this funder strategy room to provide a table around which members can gather to share common questions, analyses of challenges and opportunities, and philanthropic strategies post-2020 election. Thirty-seven funders participate in the strategy room. Seven video calls were held. A google drive and listserv were created to support the working group. Video call notes and resources can be found in the members area of our website.

COVID-19 Funder Strategy Room (April – September 2020). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its many impacts, EOF launched a funder strategy room in April 2020 to support information sharing and learning as well as the coordination and alignment of investments around economic security and support for low-wage workers. Thirty-eight funders participated in the strategy room. A google drive and listserv were created to support the working group. EOF also began curating and sharing resources on a COVID-19 Emergency Response and Planning resource page. Six video calls were held. Video call notes and resources can be found in the members area of our website.

Discussion Group on Equity, Tax Policy, and Community Engagement (May – December 2019). In 2017 and 2018, Economic Opportunity Funders (EOF) and the EITC Funders Network engaged their members in conversations about the role of tax policy in advancing racial and gender equity. As part of these discussions, we found that too often the foundations working on equity and the foundations working on tax policy were not in the same rooms sharing analyses and strategies. In 2019 we launched a discussion group to provide a platform for funders to share strategies, questions and learnings. A google drive and listserv were created to support the working group as well as spreadsheet of related field examples and resources. Three video calls were held. Video call recordings and resources can be found in the members area of our website.

Transformation of Work, Workers and Social Supports Working Group (May – December 2019).  Continuing to build out our exploration of the interconnecting spheres of the transformation of work, workers and social supports, EOF launched a working group in 2019 to raise awareness of the substantive areas and funder strategies connected to policy, narrative, and power. A google drive and listserv were created to support the working group as well as spreadsheet of related field examples and resources.  Three video calls have been held and EOF dedicated its Fall meeting on bringing an equity lens to this topic. Video call recordings and resources can be found in the members area of our website.

Post-Election Funder Strategy Room (February 2017 – March 2018). An invitation only working group was created in late 2016 with the goal of convening a small group of policy-focused funders to share information and strategies related to existing and new investments as well as policy and political intelligence across the various poverty and opportunity issues and sectors in response to the new political and policy environment. Activities included three in-person meetings, six teleconferences, a private listserv and state deep dive discussions focused on four key topics: ACA/Medicaid, workers’ rights, safety net, and immigrant families. Video call recordings and resources can be found in the members area of our website.

Communications Collaborative (2009-2015). Established in 2009, the Communications Collaborative was formed to bring together funders interested in coordinating investments to build communications capacity in the field, with a focus on the essential role of government and advancing the alignment of national narratives. Activities included in-person meetings, webinars, a private listserv, and making connections among members pursuing similar objectives or working in similar regions. Two special projects emerged from this work:

  • EITC Pooled Fund: A pooled fund was established to support rapid response, campaign and policy development efforts in the states to protect, expand and create new state EITCs.
  • EOF Mapping Project: An online mapping tool was created to identify and illustrate the various state groups and initiatives funders are working with and to help foster connections across these efforts.

This working group is no longer active, with key activities ending in 2015 and a listserv remaining active until the end of 2018. Communications programming is now integrated into the EOF workplan and for the EOF membership more broadly. The listserv has been rebranded as a EOF “In the News” listserv to better reflect its content and purpose (see above).

Budget Working Group. The Budget Working Group was a joint affinity group effort formed in early 2016 to bring together funders from Economic Opportunity Funders, Peace and Security Funders Group, and Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation’s Money in Politics Working Group who are interested in exploring the unequal dynamics of wealth, power and influence in America through the lens of the federal budget. After hosting several events in 2016, the working group was able to meet its primary goals but had run its course as an active working group.