David BiemesderferA Time to Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk … Comfortably

By: David Biemesderfer In: Advocacy| Foundations On The Hill| Public Policy

2 Feb 2012

Florida Philanthropic Network is pleased to once again be leading the state’s delegation to Washington, D.C., for Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), March 21-22. Although we coordinate visits with our members of Congress back in their home districts throughout the year, FOTH is a critical part of our annual public policy engagement work.

Because Florida is such a large state, FOTH offers a great opportunity for our grantmaking members from Miami to the Panhandle to gather in the nation’s capital for two days of focused interaction with our senators and representatives and their staffs. Our FOTH team members always walk away from the experience feeling energized and inspired by the collective voice we bring to Washington, on the statewide and national levels, and they enjoy the camaraderie that the FOTH experience always engenders.

FOTH is also a great model of collaboration between the Council on Foundations, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Forum’s members across the country. Our sector is much better served, and has much more power, when we all come together for the common good.

A highlight for us last year was our meeting with Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who at the time was a new member of the all-important House Ways and Means Committee. Two years ago, it was our meeting with then-Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, which led directly to her introduction of a bill to extend the IRA charitable rollover. Talk about seeing our Hill visits make a difference! We always walk away from our days on the Hill learning something new, making new connections, and feeling like we moved the needle just a bit further in helping philanthropy to build a better Florida.

I’ve been involved with FOTH since the beginning, and my advice to our delegation members never changes. First, make sure you tell your story, in your own words, about the good work you’re doing in your communities. Second, always wear comfortable shoes.

David Biemesderfer is president and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network. This post also appears on Forum’s Forum, a blog from the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers.

2 Responses to A Time to Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk … Comfortably

Susie Bowie

February 10th, 2012 at 2:24 pm

David, you and FPN are such fabulous advocates for all of the foundations in the state of Florida. We appreciate you and all of your efforts! …Plus, we love to see you blogging!

Mary Chance

February 13th, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Great update, Dave! After many years of legislative work on the state level, I echo the comfortable shoes as being a VERY close second priority to telling a compelling story about the impact of your work!

Comment Form


Welcome to RE: Philanthropy! In this blog, guest and Council bloggers share ideas and insights on the most pressing issues in philanthropy. If you want to contribute, please contact webteam@cof.org.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Council on Foundations.

Contributors

John Barnes
Ali Webb
Marco F. Cocito-Monoc
Kevin F. Walker
John Tyler
Liza Petra
Omar Brownson
Carol Goss
Rockhelle Johnson
Jeff Pickering and Susanne Norgard
David Abramson
Chauncy Lennon
Ryan Ginard
Terry Kaelber
Susie Nelson
Chris Cardona
Robyn Schein
Laura Tomasko
Brooke Bailey
Helen Brunner
Suzanne Skees
PJ Watters
Kevin Murphy
Jeff Hoffman
Jennifer Leonard
Daria Teutonico
Dan Hymowitz and Heather Lord
Eliana Vera
Robert Weaver
Larry Ottinger
Helen Ishii
Jorgen Thomsen
Sue Hildick
Margaret Gage
Jeff Pryor
Daniel Kaufman
Jessica Bearman
Hallie Preskill Mayur Patel and Charles Gasper
Nelli Garton
Melissa Bradley
Donnell Mersereau
Kate Levin Markel
Tim Walter
Rajasvini Bhansali
Niamani Mutima
Sterling Speirn
Dori Kreiger
Peter Laughran
Elizabeth Ramirez
Jordan Marshall