80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, offices of strategic partnerships and liaison offices have been established through collaborations between foundations and  governmental entities around the country at the federal, state, and local levels; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of these offices is to ensure a close working relationship between philanthropy and governmental entities to develop a shared agenda, streamline government, and leverage resources to help solve the most pressing problems, including the critical needs in under-served communities; and

WHEREAS, the federal government recently established a number of such offices in many different departments, including the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the White House Office of Social Innovation; and

WHEREAS, the State of Michigan established in 2003 a Foundation Liaison within the Governor's Office in partnership with the Council of Michigan Foundations and developed joint programs to enhance prisoner reentry, work force development, and early childhood education; and

WHEREAS, a number of cities have benefited greatly from working closely with philanthropic partners to implement a defined office that facilitates dialogue, develops shared agendas, and coordinates the implementation of partnership efforts involving philanthropy, non-profits, and cities and counties; and

WHEREAS, these offices include the Los Angeles Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships, the Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships, and the Newark Philanthropic Liaison; and

WHEREAS, recognizing the importance of these collaborative initiatives, the University of Southern California Center on Philanthropy recently convened the leaders of many of these government/philanthropy partnerships to discuss achievements and challenges, define best practices, and establish a network of these offices; and

WHEREAS, the Council on Foundations hosted panels about these programs at its recent annual conference in Los Angeles and facilitates regular convenings of all federal agencies that have established mechanisms to work.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors encourages local governments to work closely with foundation partners to establish appropriate offices that:

  • Facilitate ongoing collaboration and communication between local government agencies, foundations, and community partners, all engaged from different vantage points and perches in improving the quality of life and opportunity for people.

  • Advocate for and champion a partnership model between local government and philanthropic sectors to galvanize and share expertise, lessons learned, and creativity for civic problem solving.

  • Develop, as feasible, a shared agenda and specific joint initiatives that leverage synergy and quicken results between government and philanthropic priorities.

  • Help facilitate effective relationships for foundations engaged in partnering with various governmental agencies on existing programs.

  • Promote and model a more engaged culture of “civic philanthropy,” actively partnering with foundations and their associations, as well as public and nonprofit leaders in this effort.

  • Serve as a coordinating and information-sharing hub for foundations engaged in efforts surrounding the government agencies’ social and environmental policy priorities.

  • Proactively link nonprofit leaders and organizations to these efforts.