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Nonprofit Advocacy Spotlight: Emily Griffey, Voices for Virginia’s Children

Emily Griffey is the Policy Director at Voices for Virginia’s Children. Founded in 1994, Voices for Virginia’s Children is the commonwealth’s only independent, multi-issue child policy and advocacy organization.

They are home to the KIDS COUNT data center for Virginia, which includes more than 200 state- and locality-level indicators on child well-being over time.  Using this data and independent policy research, they determine unmet needs and threats to child well-being, recommend sound policy solutions, provide objective input to policymakers, and educate and mobilize leaders and concerned citizens to support policy initiatives.

Emily leads the policy team to develop a nonpartisan and cross-cutting state-level policy agenda for children’s issues. She advocates with the Virginia General Assembly for the most vulnerable children— those experiencing economic hardship, children in foster care, children with mental health challenges and babies and preschool-aged children.

Emily says that she, “loves getting program staff involved in shaping their policy agenda and advocating for the implementation,” because, “hearing from the professionals applying policy changes helps create better policy solutions. Often these professionals can share the stories of the children they have served to help put a face on the impact of policy.”

Nonprofit advocacy work can be very rewarding, according to Emily.  “Children can’t vote and often don’t even get asked to weigh in on policy changes– that’s why they need others to speak up on their behalf. Knowing that you have advocated to help marginalized children have more opportunities feels great at the end of the day.”


Read more about local nonprofit advocate Ross Catrow, Executive Director of RVA Rapid Transit.

Want to learn more about Emily’s work and how local nonprofits can get involved in advocacy?  Join us the Community Foundation at our “Kickoff Panel Session”, where Emily will be one of several panelists that will share more about this important topic:


What is Advocacy? Learning Session and Panel
February 28, 2019
9:00 am to 11:00 am
The Community Foundation
3409 Moore St.
Richmond, VA 23230
Free – Registration Required

What is nonprofit advocacy? Whether you know the answer, think you know, or have no idea – this free panel session is for you! From educating the public to lobbying on Capitol Hill, advocacy plays a vital role in the nonprofit sector.

Come learn more about this topic and related legal, social, and practical guidelines and impact as we “kick off” our advocacy convening and learning for the year.


Facilitator: Claire Gastanaga, Executive Director, ACLU Virginia

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