Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) is an annual, two-day event that brings together hundreds of foundation leaders from across the country to meet their federal lawmakers face-to-face in Washington, D.C., to personally discuss issues of importance to philanthropy. The event is organized by IPA, United Philanthropy Forum, and Council on Foundations.
The next FOTH takes place March 21-24, 2021 in Washington, DC. Visit the FOTH website to learn more.
Foundations on the Hill:
- Educates Congress about philanthropy
- Creates visibility for the philanthropic sector on Capitol Hill
- Advocates on issues affecting foundations
- Encourage Congress to view foundations as a resource on key public policy issues
It is critical elected officials hear from their foundation constituents. By attending FOTH, you can develop or strengthen your relationships with your members of Congress and share your views on the latest charitable legislation. Members of Congress are most influenced when constituents from their states or districts advance a cause on behalf of themselves and their national organizations. A meeting in Washington shows an extra level of dedication and commitment to that cause. Philanthropic leaders also learn about the political landscape and hear from experts how to effectively use public policy to advance core values of philanthropy.
Join IPA at FOTH
If you are interested in joining IPA's FOTH delegation, contact Holly Davis (317.630.5200 ext. 117).
"I think everyone should consider a FOTH experience at least once. It is a chance to be part of the democratic experience and to really appreciate the process from our legislators perspective. As nonprofits, we need to understand the special space we occupy as a tax exempt entity—tax law is what defines our professional space—and Congress can narrow it, making our jobs harder, or broaden it, giving us more freedom to serve our constituencies. We need to make sure they understand the implications of each vote."
TRACY SOUZA | Heritage Fund–The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County
"I came away understanding more about how the political sausage is made and how to better make our case with legislators on the state and federal level when my community’s issues need legislative solutions to complex problems. I was also able to talk to a Senator’s staff about an initiative that is important in Kosciusko County—the shortage of child care. I am now connected to the staff person leading child care/education initiatives on behalf of the Senator.
STEPHANIE OVERBEY | Kosciusko County Community Foundation
"After 18+ years in the field, I took this opportunity—and I honestly wish I had done so earlier. There were other first-timers on this trip. But you wouldn't know it because we were prepped and on message for every meeting. Our wonderful IPA staff prepped the group in advance and provided us with information that was the envy of other groups attending FOTH."
LIZ TATE | Retired Grantmaker
"FOTH is our opportunity to bring impactful stories of success to the forefront to ensure policies remain aligned with funding, and to provide sound recommendations on those that do not. I would encourage all foundation leaders to participate, to strengthen our collective voice around issues that affect us and the nonprofits we support."
RACHEL GOODSPEED | Vectren Foundation
Key Issues Discussed at FOTH 2020
- 1. Make the charitable deduction available to all. IPA urges Congress to make the charitable deduction available to all taxpayers—regardless of their tax rate or whether they itemize—to incentivize and recognize the giving of all Americans.
2. Support the availability of donor advised funds (DAFs) as viable charitable giving vehicles. IPA supports legislative reforms for DAFs that promote ethical and accountable management of the charitable resources in these funds without compromising privacy of the donor. We oppose reforms that inhibit or diminish the reasonable growth and effectiveness of DAFs. IPA supports the expansion of the IRA charitable rollover by allowing gifts to donor advised funds.
3. Support a fair and accurate census count. Accurate census data are an essential foundation for fair political representation and the fair allocation of government resources at the national, state, and local levels.
4. Allow foundations to administer post-graduation scholarships. IPA supports legislation allowing foundations to administer post-graduation scholarship programs, like the Workforce Development through Post-Graduation Scholarships Act (H.R. 4038), which would combat “brain drain,” stimulate regional economic growth, and address the growing student debt crisis.
5. Support legislation to amend the tax code to recognize nonprofit cemeteries as public charities. 501(c)(13) cemeteries, which can receive tax-deductible contributions from every living American, cannot receive estate gifts or gifts from public and private foundations. Community foundations, which manage endowments benefiting public charities, cannot hold designated funds or endowments for these cemeteries. There are over 12,000 of these 501(c)(13) cemeteries in existence in the U.S., and Indiana ranks 6th in the nation with 523 of them.