The Arizona Community Foundation has established public policy priorities to drive change within each key area of our Philanthropic Agenda, as well as the broader philanthropic landscape. 

Guiding principles for public policy engagement by ACF

To engage in public policy in a way that is thoughtful and strategic, the Arizona Community Foundation utilizes a set of guiding principles for each area of engagement.

Arts & Culture

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that enhance Arizona’s infrastructure to create a vibrant arts and culture community, celebrates a rich history and embraces diversity, and creates valuable learning experiences for children and adults. 

Driving change in the arts

In 2018, ACF and the Arizona Commission on the Arts formed a public-philanthropic partnership to support Arizona artists. By pairing ACF’s arts resources with the Commission’s existing reach and infrastructure, this partnership expands Arizona’s investments in artists and supports the work they do as innovators and creative contributors to Arizona’s future.

Quality Education

In addition to its strategic investment, the Arizona Community Foundation supports public policies that provide long-term funding solutions for Arizona’s education system from early childhood through college and career readiness. 

ACF also supports policies that encourage equity and excellence, expand and scale innovative solutions, and address high-quality reforms that benefit all Arizona students.

Driving change in education

In partnership with Education Resource Strategies, Rodel Foundation of Arizona and ACF published a report highlighting challenges and opportunities for Arizona’s teacher labor market.

 Additionally, through a partnership with other local funders and the Governor’s Office for Education, ACF leveraged additional resources for programs such as FosterEd Arizona and Arizona Pathways to Prosperity.

Community Improvement & Development

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that provide access to affordable housing, promote economic success initiatives for the working poor, ensure basic needs for Arizona’s most vulnerable populations, promote social justice for all, and build strong communities for all generations.

Community improvement in action

Since 2016, ACF has supported an ongoing research partnership between ASU’s Morrison Institute, Arizona’s Department of Child Safety, and community stakeholders to examine prevailing forms of neglect throughout the state in an effort to reduce the number of children placed in foster care.

Environment & Sustainability

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that protect, preserve, and responsibly manage Arizona’s natural resources in both urban and rural areas.

Environmental support in action

Since 2014, ACF has participated in the Fix.Adopt.Save. initiative to raise awareness about Maricopa County’s homeless animal problem. Through a coalition of six local animal welfare groups and other local partners, an increase in adoptions, spay/neuter services, and fostering has resulted in an 86% decrease in euthanasia rates and a 45% decrease in animal intake.

Health Innovations

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that improve the health and well-being of all Arizonans, ensure a strong health care safety net for our most vulnerable populations, and create healthy communities that enhance the quality of life across Arizona. 

Driving change in health services

With financial support from ACF in 2018, Arizonans Concerned About Smoking worked with community members and the Prescott City Council to move forward with a Smoke and Vape-Free Parks Ordinance that would protect health for Prescott residents and guests at all Prescott parks.

Philanthropy for All

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that address the issues facing Arizona’s growing populations and promote diversity and inclusion for all populations across the state. 

Advocating for all of Arizona

Since 2017, ACF’s Courage to Listen, Learn, and Act series—a platform for community dialogue around persistent and critical challenges—has brought together key stakeholders around the topic of mass incarceration. Community members, grassroots organizations, and public officials have participated in constructive dialogue that increases knowledge, leverages resources, and maximizes connections to influence community change.

Strengthening Arizona

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that strengthen rural communities in Arizona and address the issues facing their specific needs and diversity within their regions.

Driving change in rural Arizona

For nearly a decade, ACF has been a premier sponsor of the annual Arizona Rural Policy Forum. ACF’s statewide affiliate network engages with other leaders from rural communities during the Forum to learn about common issues, legislative impacts, and to share their work in philanthropy and community initiatives with rural communities that lack a local ACF presence.

Philanthropy, Nonprofit Capacity Building, and Charitable Giving

The Arizona Community Foundation supports policies that encourage charitable giving, promote partnerships between nonprofit organizations and government agencies to stimulate collective impact, and advance the sector’s role in advocacy.

Working together to drive national change

Since 2012, ACF has collaborated with more than 100 community foundations from across the nation to address issues affecting charitable giving and philanthropy at the federal level. These issues range from limits on the charitable deduction, to donor-advised and endowed giving regulations, among others.