Foundation Activities

The Foundation is substantially engaged in lobbying and educational activities, as well as grantmaking, to meet the strategic plan’s goals. Our tactical flexibility enables us to put resources where they can be best deployed. And each activity leverages the resources we have devoted to the other.

Our public policy and lobbying activities enhance our effectiveness as a grantmaker. We learn about and can then support organizations that share our point of view and have demonstrated the ability to successfully advance an issue. When we became committed to cleaning up the air in California, our initial approach was political and legislative. Through our public policy work, we became familiar with a number of organizations that needed financial support to pursue a clean air agenda. And our grant to the Natural Resources Defense Council to maintain current environmental legislation resulted from our keen awareness of the potential consequences of new regulations and laws supported by the new Administration.

Our flexible grantmaking enables us to participate in major policy debates when we have identified a specific outcome to an issue as critical to our goals. When the issue of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research became a national topic, for example, we knew our medical grant resources would be best leveraged in the long term if federal funding of stem cell research became a reality. Our grant in support of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR) enabled us to have a voice and role in the debate that far exceeded the financial value of the grant. We became an active member of CAMR and made use of our political contacts to promote federal funding.