This Nonprofit Quarterly article makes the case for foundations focusing on public policy at a state, rather than federal, level.
"Like Robert Frost nearly a century ago, today’s foundation leaders stand where two roads diverge. They can continue down the usual road of fixating solely on federal policy debates, such as the one over the charitable deduction. Or they can take the road “less traveled by” to where the real action is: the states. If they choose the latter, then years from now they too can look back with Frost’s sigh of satisfaction because that choice will have “made all the difference”—for their missions, their grantees, and the individuals and communities they serve."