Returns seen for advocacy funding

Each dollar awarded for advocacy efforts at 14 New Mexico nonprofits generated $157 in benefits to the state’s residents, a new report says.

That translates to $2.6 billion in benefits from $16.6 million in advocacy funding provided to nonprofits in the state between 2003 and 2007, says the study by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a foundation watchdog group.

Those results should encourage foundations and other funders to invest in advocacy, organizing and civic engagement to stretch their dollars during both good and bad economic times, the watchdog group says.

“This is true strategic grantmaking that gives foundations a real bang for their buck,” Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the committee, says in a statement.

Funding for a collaborative advocacy effort to raise the minimum wage in New Mexico resulted in an additional $250 million for low-income workers in the state.

A partnership among advocacy groups helped pass the 2003 Home Loan Protection Act, an anti-predatory lending package that has helped New Mexico keep foreclosure rates lower than many other states, the report says.

And nonprofits and state agencies worked together to created a trust fund to provide permanent funding for affordable housing in New Mexico.

The 14 nonprofits included in the study received funding from New Mexico foundations as well as large and small funders outside the state.

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