If it’s not already on your reading list, one publication you might want to add is the European Foundation Centre’s magazine “effect.”
While the twice-yearly publication is primarily focused on European foundations, the topics should be of universal interest — and, in the case of the current issue, much should appeal to foundation communicators everywhere. The current issue, available here as a pdf, is devoted to a discussion of “foundation legitimacy,” which Gerry Salole, EFC Chief Executive, notes in an introduction, is designed to bring “a bit more out into the open” questions of “legitimacy, transparency, accountability, regulation and self-regulation.”
Among the contents:
- In How Facebook can help foundations connect and share, Constanze Claus, Communications and Programme Planning Officer, and Susanne Kutz, Head of Communications and Programme Planning, Körber-Stiftung, look at how the foundation”wrestled” with the question of how to make its work appealing to a Facebook audience.
- Rien van Gendt, Vice Chair, Van Leer Group Foundation, and Chair, Dutch Association of Foundations, reminds in his essay, The parameters of legitimacy, that while “foundations have the right to exist” as tax-exempt entities that are pretty much entitled to use their money any way they please “we should not be or become complacent.”
- Darin McKeever, Senior Program Officer, Charitable Sector Support, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses in Embracing the scrutiny of the crowd how foundations should welcome how much easier social media makes it easier for “people to weigh in on our activities, and for those comments to travel and be amplified across continents in seconds.” Says McKeever: “Being open to greater scrutiny means inviting insights that can improve our impact.”
- Diana Leat, a trustee of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, asks in Will transparency tame the tiger? whether being more open carries risks as well as rewards to foundations.
Taken together, the collection of articles in the current issue of “effect” make for lively and though-provoking reading.