Ms. Grayson discussed the current state of affairs at the federal level and it’s potential impact on nonprofits. She encouraged the audience to visit Giving100 to learn more, to join sector coalitions to stay informed, and to become advocates for their causes at the local, state and federal levels. Ms. Bluin noted that it only takes 10 emails or phone calls for legislators to receive before they pay attention to issues and are willing to listen to constituents.

Allison joined Independent Sector as director of policy development and analysis in 2013, where she develops public policies to increase the capacity of nonprofits to fulfill their missions. Prior to joining Independent Sector, Allison served as a legislative analyst with the Administration for Children and Families, where she worked with Congress to support $23.5 billion in federal programs, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Head Start, and the Social Security Block Grant.

Her experience with state and local nonprofit organizations began in in 2003, working with state nonprofit associations in Minnesota and Alabama on sector-wide issues. She then joined United Way, where she led coalitions that secured $11 million in federal funding to prevent chronic health conditions, delivered 4,600 services in one day to people experiencing homelessness, and served 10,000 Hurricane Gustav evacuees.

Allison holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota.