Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities

Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing, and Civic Engagement in Pennsylvania

Impacts of Advocacy, Organizing, and Civic Engagement in Pennsylvania


Written by: Julia Craig

Date: February 04, 2011

When foundations and other institutional grantmakers invest in nonprofit organizations engaged in policy advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement, does it make a difference for Pennsylvania communities?

This report describes, measures and—where possible—monetizes the policy impacts of 13 organizations in Pennsylvania, achieved largely with foundation support. The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) analyzed data on the organizing, advocacy and civic engagement these groups undertook during a five-year period (2005-2009).

The research reveals impressive results. Collectively, the groups garnered more than $3.1 billion for marginalized communities in the state and achieved many equally significant non-monetary benefits. The groups studied worked with underrepresented constituencies in Pennsylvania on a range of issues, including poverty, low-wage worker issues, education, access to affordable health care, environmental issues, affordable housing and civil rights. These organizations utilized a variety of strategies to achieve change, including working in coalition, mobilizing affected communities, conducting research, employing legal strategies, reaching out to the media and engaging in direct legislative advocacy.

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