An essay by Leah Stokes was just published on HistPhil, a web publication centered on the history of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations. Leah's commentary explains how foundations can push for policy more effectively by prioritizing more funding to grassroots NGOs. Her essay profiles the work of the Energy Foundation, which played a key role in pushing for pro-renewable energy policies during the energy restructuring debate of the 1990s. While the Energy Foundation helped fund "insider" technical NGOs to design policy options (like the renewable portfolio standard), She argues that the Foundation's long-term funding of "outsider" grassroots NGOs was equally as important:
"In politics, it’s not enough to come up with a great idea—you also have to get that idea onto the agenda, and create political pressure to pass the policy. While technical groups are skilled at designing and negotiating policies with other political elites, they typically lack the grassroots networks necessary to get the policy signed into law."
To read Leah's full essay, click here.