Making Advocacy a Plus

Commenter Maureen O’Connor suspects that foundations will avoid advocacy rather than use it as a basis on which to give general operating support.  She’s probably right, but what I wonder is, why?  Are foundations reluctant to support agencies that do advocacy because they’re afraid they will jeopardize their own tax-exempt status (the fear the general-operating-support solution is designed to assuage), or for some other reason?  And is the reluctance to fund advocacy more pronounced among liberal than conservative foundations?  It seems to me the Heritage Foundation and the Scaife Foundations do nothing but fund advocacy, albeit often in disguised forms.

Are there any program officers out there who can explain foundation advocacy avoidance to the rest of us?



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