Philanthropy and Organizing: My Journey

As veterans of the Affordable Care Act fight know, there were times during the debate over its passage when things looked bleak, and Atlantic questioned whether to keep its support going. We stayed the course, but I didn’t realize until after the Affordable Care Act was signed into law just how nervous our establishment board had been. If HCAN hadn’t been successful, I’m not sure the board would have had the appetite to fund more organizing efforts. Even in success, they were initially skeptical of some of the other large organizing grants we later proposed, like a $20 million, three-state effort to build power on the ground in key battlegrounds. In overcoming that skepticism, we were greatly aided by a series of timely reports from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy making the case for the “return on investment” in policy change and public funding from grants to organizers in New Mexico (one of the states we proposed to focus on) and several other states.

Read more in The Forge.