Senate Democrats Meet with Leaders in Philanthropic Community


Washington, D.C. – U. S. Senators Mark Begich (AK), Chairman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee (DSOC) and Chris Coons (DE), Chairman of Business Outreach for the DSOC hosted a dozen private and corporate foundation representatives and social entrepreneurs for a discussion on how Congress can help them thrive in the current economy and maintain their organizational visions.

“As the budget conference committee reconciles House and Senate budget resolutions, we must stay focused on working together on balanced plans that grow the economy, create jobs, and provide a strong safety net for struggling middle class families,” Senator Begich said. “When nonprofit organizations and foundations partner to tackle pressing issues, they can achieve sustained success. The work Candace Winkler, President & CEO of the Alaska Community Foundation and Diane Kaplan, President of the Ramuson Foundation are doing back home are welcome reminders that the generous giving of individuals can often fill gaps to make essential community programs possible.”

“Combining proven business methods and innovative financing strategies with a dedication to advancing the public good, social enterprises are making inroads on some of our society’s most intractable social and economic challenges,” Senator Coons said. “Today’s discussion highlighted opportunities for the federal government to support their transformative work tackling problems from food deserts to difficulty accessing affordable housing. I am thankful to Georgette Wong, CEO, Creator, and Curator of the Take Action! Impact Investing Conference series, for sharing her insights and look forward to working with all of today’s guests to advance positive change in our communities.”

During the wide-ranging discussion, attendees encouraged Senate Democrats and their staff to view foundations as resources on key public policy issues. In addition, they asked that Senate Democrats continue to pass legislation that supports charitable giving and helps social entrepreneurs thrive.

“Philanthropy is independent, innovative and an investment in communities,” said Candace Winkler, President & CEO of the Alaska Community Foundation. “It uses private resources to do public good, and its independence allows the philanthropic sector to takes risks, achieve greater results and affect change. I was honored to share the initiatives of my organization with the Steering Committee, and hope Congress maintains the charitable giving deduction in their upcoming tax code discussions.”

Photos from this event can be found HERE.

About the Senate Democratic Steering & Outreach Committee

The Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee is dedicated to fostering dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts numerous meetings with advocates, policy experts, and elected officials to discuss key priorities and enlist their help in the development of the Senate Democratic agenda. The Committee serves as a liaison between Senate Democratic offices, advocacy groups, and intergovernmental organizations. It is one of two Democratic Leadership Committees in the Senate and is chaired by Senator Mark