With over 250 contacts with key policymakers during 2016, Philanthropy Ohio advocated on state and federal issues to promote charitable giving, improve the health of Ohioans and increase student success from pre-school through post-secondary education. Ohio philanthropy leaders headed to Washington, D.C. in April to meet with key members of the Ohio congressional delegation, carrying messages of support for extending the IRA Charitable Rollover to donor advised funds and for simplifying the private foundation excise tax. We also continued our effort to create a tax credit for gifts to endowments at eligible grantmaking organizations such as community and religious foundations through HB 128.
The member-driven Education Initiative focused on two major areas of work, producing a series of briefing papers and co-sponsoring regional meetings with the Ohio Department of Education. The briefing papers seek to help the state’s early childhood, K-12 and higher education leaders, elected officials and other key stakeholders plot a clear direction for the future of education and improved student success. The 10 regional meetings engaged over 1,500 parents, educators, funders and community leaders to talk about the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and how it will roll out in Ohio. A white paper summarizing key themes from the meetings aims to inform the state’s ESSA plan.
Our Health Initiative convened members around the state’s health policy reform, focused on access to care, advancing Medicaid transformation, prevention & treatment of mental health and addiction and addressing the social determinants of health. Philanthropy Ohio submitted comments opposing the state’s Medicaid waiver during state and federal comment periods. Toward the end of the year, we supported SB 332, a coordinated, innovative approach to reducing the state’s high infant mortality rate.