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Nonprofit Policy Council
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Who We Are

The Arizona Nonprofit Policy Council is an advisory group composed of individuals interested in public policy and advocacy for Arizona’s nonprofit sector. Participation in the council is open to members of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits and is primarily made up of professionals from the nonprofit sector who are working in or for a nonprofit organization. Other members include lobbyists or other experts in public policy who support the sector. Our goal is to have a council that accurately reflects and represents our diverse nonprofit community in Arizona.


What We Do

The Council provides critical insight and feedback on issues, opportunities and obstacles facing the nonprofit sector. Council members share their issues, concerns and viewpoints on a variety of nonprofit issues through productive discussion and information sharing. The Council helps mobilize the ‘grassroots’ and ‘grasstops’, and informs boards of directors, partners and the media on legislation, propositions or positions important to the nonprofit sector in Arizona.

This helps shape the Alliance’s advocacy strategies and the formation of the Alliance’s annual legislative agenda, guided by the Alliance’s Policy Framework. The Council also helps plan advocacy related programs and events. Council members are also often invited to meet with policy makers and other leaders, or provide testimony at the legislature, as part of the Alliance’s ongoing advocacy efforts. Finally, the Council provides review and recommendations on legislative and policy issues to the full Alliance board for approval as necessary.  


Council Leadership

  • Chair: Sonia Perillo, Audubon Arizona with the National Audubon Society
  • Vice Chair: David Martinez, III, St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance

Council Members

  • Shaylinn Aleman, Arizona College Access Network
  • Penny Allee Taylor, Valley of the Sun United Way
  • Jamie Aragon, Planned Parenthood Arizona
  • Damita Curry, Children’s Action Alliance
  • Deb Dale, Smith & Dale
  • Bahney Dedolph, Arizona Council of Human Service Providers
  • Eric Ehst, Neighbors Who Care
  • Geoff Esposito, Expect More Arizona
  • Rusty Foley, Arizona Citizens for the Arts
  • Karl Gentles, Back to School Clothing Drive
  • Stuart Goodman, Goodman Schwartz
  • Len Gutman, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
  • Karen Jayne, Stardust Building Supplies
  • Jodi Liggett, Planned Parenthood Arizona
  • Laurie Liles, Arizona Grantmakers Forum
  • David Martinez III, Vice Chair, St. Mary's Food Bank 
  • Patrick McWhortor, Lead for Change
  • Kristen Merrifield, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
  • Stephanie Nichols-Young, Animal Defense League of Arizona
  • Marc Osborn, Kutak Rock
  • Sonia Perillo, Chair, Audubon Arizona
  • Brandy Petrone, Goodman Schwartz
  • Connie Phillips, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest
  • Yesenia Pinales, Goodman Schwartz
  • Celeste Plumlee, Arizona Community Action Association
  • Michael Powell, 8 Spirals
  • Sam Richard, PAFCO
  • Angie Rodgers, Association of Arizona Food Banks
  • Edson Salas, Arizona Friends of Foster Children Association
  • Laine Seaton, Child & Family Resources
  • Sandra Simmons

Staff coordinates and provides ongoing education and information to Council members to keep them informed on local and national issues, trends and best practices. Council members also receive a monthly report from the National Council of Nonprofits at each meeting, providing insight and perspective on issues facing the sector on a broader scale. Also, council members have access to the legislative bill tracker and advocacy communication from the Alliance. 


Get Involved

The Council is open to accepting new members year-round, and we are regularly looking for nonprofit leaders who represent the diversity of the communities and causes we support.If you are interested in learning more, or applying, please contact Council Chair, Sonia Perillo, at sperillo@audobon.org. The Council reviews and votes upon new members at each meeting.  If approved, you will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and a roles and responsibilities acknowledgement prior to your first meeting. Meetings are normally held once a month (except July & August) at the Alliance’s Central Phoenix office, with the option to call in from other parts of the state. 


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Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits
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Phoenix, AZ 85004
602-279-2966