Foundation Liaisons

Many states have numerous foundations that could be enlisted to help create a robust innovation ecosystem and expand access to capital. Every year, foundations award billions of dollars in grants, ranging from youth development to emerging energy technologies. In Michigan, the Governor has a Foundation Liaison, a cabinet-level, non-partisan position. The Foundation Liaison works with the governor, state legislators, federal officials, the business community, and foundations to build funding partnerships and strategic collaborations. Since 2003, the foundation community has invested more than $150 million through partnerships brokered by the Foundation Liaison. Investment priorities include education, workforce development, and economic development. The Foundation Liaison and the office’s staff come to the state on loan from participating foundations. State leaders could reach out to the leading foundations in their state and request assistance in staffing the foundation liaison office. Through a Foundation Liaison, the state and its foundation community could successfully leverage investments and work together to promote local businesses, innovation, and the creation of jobs.