Budget and Tax Briefing Watch Parties



What is a Local Watch Party?
The Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce (GIST) hosts an Annual Budget and Tax Briefing for Grantmakers to provide funders and philanthropic advisors with a unique opportunity to learn about and discuss pressing political developments, federal and state budget and tax issues, and emerging advocacy and communications strategies for protecting programs and policies that support struggling families, workers and communities.

Since 2014, local viewing parties have been organized to expand our reach to funders unable to travel to DC by web streaming our anchor federal budget and tax outlook plenary session. Typically, watch parties are organized as two-hour programs, where participants come together to view the federal budget and tax outlook presentation (live or as a recording on a later date) and then engage in a discussion with local experts on how the federal landscape impacts critical programs and services in their state. The purpose of the watch parties is help state and local funders:

  • Gain a better understanding of this year’s pressing federal budget and tax issues and the impact on their state budgets and economies;
  • Discuss with peers the implications for programs serving children and families; and
  • Consider grant making strategies and opportunities for collaboration with like minded stakeholders.

Why Federal Budget and Tax Policy Matters to State and Local Funders
States get about one-third of their revenue from the federal government -- funds that help pay for health care, schools, housing, roads, child care, job training, and a range of other programs. President Trump's 2018 budget includes massive cuts to state and local programs and services, shifting costs to the states and leaving policymakers with difficult choices about how to respond. With most states struggling to balance their budgets and 30 states facing revenue shortfalls in fiscal year 2017, 2018 or both, states may be forced to scale back or eliminate critical programs and services.  Programs that support kids and families and help them afford the basics—like food assistance, Medicaid, housing, and education investments—are all at risk.

Local Watch Party Logistics

  • The federal budget and tax outlook plenary session will be held on March 22, 2018 from 11:15‐12:15pm ET. We will share any ppts and resource materials for the session as soon as they are received. 
  • Watch parties can view the live web stream on March 22 or a recording of the session at a later date (recording link will be available cob March 22).
  • There is no fee to participate.
  • Watch parties will participate via a URL link. The only technology needed is an internet connection.
  • Participants viewing the live web stream will be on mute, but will have the opportunity to post questions via text or email during the Q&A portion of the session. You can submit questions for the Q&A portion of the session to Cema Siegel via email (csiegel@gistfunders.org) or text(207-450-4268).
  • To ensure live viewing parties receive the video without incident, we will schedule a technology test before the meeting to check that the link works and there are no problems with your audio or visual connections. This should only take a few minutes.
  • See sample agenda here.
  • We ask that hosts share watch party details (date, time, venue, cosponsors, speakers, and number of participants) so that we can track participation. Watch party hosts will be recognized on our web site and meeting materials.

2018 Watch Party Hosts

  1. Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (Baltimore, MD) - Contact: Elisabeth Hyleck, ehyleck@abagrantmakers.org
  2. Gateway Center for Giving (St. Louis, MO) - Contact: Clare Brewka, clare.brewka@centerforgiving.org     
  3. Grantmakers Council of Rhode Island (Providence, RI) – Contact: Nancy Wolanski, Nancy.Wolanski@uwri.org
  4. Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, PA) – Contact: Jennifer Nielsen JNielsen@gwpa.org
  5. New York Funders Alliance (Buffalo, NY) - Contact: Emily Alber Chase, emily@nyfunders.org
  6. Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA) – Contact: Theresa Jackson, theresa@philanthropynetwork.org
  7. Philanthropy Ohio, in partnership with The Gund Foundation (Cleveland, OH) – Contact: John Gest, JGest@philanthropyohio.org
  8. W. Clement & Jessie V. Stone Foundation and Steans Family Foundation (Chicago, IL) – Contact: Sara Slaughter, sara@wcstonefnd.org and Brandon Thorne, Brandon@wcstonefnd.org

Related Resources


For more information on organizing a watch party, contact Cema Siegel at
csiegel@gistfunders.org or 202-379-2929.