Focusing on Systems Change: How Funders can Engage In and Support Advocacy Efforts

An SIF Funder Education Program in partnership with Bolder Advocacy
October 25, 2021
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Rectangle image with white, purple, green, and blue checkered background. Focusing on Systems Change: How Funders Can Engage In and Support Advocacy Efforts. Headshot of Ronnie Pawelko, white woman with brown hair and glasses.

The Social Innovation Forum is excited to invite you to join us on Monday, October 25th from 2:00-3:30pm for a unique funder education opportunity focused on supporting nonprofit-led advocacy efforts as a catalyst to larger-scale systemic change.

We are pleased to have Bolder Advocacy, an organization focused on providing resources and training about advocacy to funders and nonprofit leaders, join us in offering this training to our funder community.

In an effort to provide ample opportunity for questions and discussion, space will be limited to 50 participants for this session.

About the workshop:

Funders, including individual donors as well as public and private foundations, play an important role in advocacy by engaging in advocacy themselves and funding their grantees to advocate on their priority issues.

This workshop will cover the basics of why funders should support advocacy, an overview of activities that constitute advocacy and public policy work, various advocacy roles for foundations, and rules for private and public foundation grants to nonprofits that lobby, including general support, specific project, and multi-year grants. After this workshop, you will have a clear understanding of the rules that apply to advocacy activities, and best practices for grantmaking so your grantees have the most flexibility under the law for their advocacy efforts.

About the trainer: 

Ronnie Pawelko is Senior Counsel for the Bolder Advocacy program at Alliance for Justice and is based in AFJ’s Washington, DC office. Through trainings and technical assistance, she provides nonprofit advocacy organizations and foundations with accessible information, resources, and information so organizations can safely navigate complex laws and rules as they pursue systems change.

Ronnie received her J.D. from Albany Law School and her B.A. from Russell Sage College. Before joining AFJ, Ronnie was General Counsel at Family Planning Advocates of New York State. Previously, Ronnie served as Health and Human Services Team Counsel for the New York State Senate and as staff attorney for the MergerWatch Project.

Accommodations: The Social Innovation Forum strives to be accessible, inclusive, and diverse at all of our events. Please contact Kassandra Goncalves, to request accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

If you have questions about SIF's funder education curriculum or would like to learn more about the Social Innovation Forum, please reach out to Carolyn Shaughnessy at Thank you for your continued dedication to learning alongside us.