About the Network
We believe communications is critical for today’s foundations. To help, we provide resources, guidance and leadership to advance the strategic practice of communications in philanthropy.
Why communication matters
In recent years, growing numbers of foundations have recognized the value of using strategic communications as a tool for advancing their missions and extending the impact of their grantmaking. Several forces drive the resulting investment in more robust communications: a desire by foundations to demonstrate the results of their philanthropic efforts; a desire to be more transparent; and a need to respond to increasing scrutiny from policy makers and the media seeking proof that foundations deliver value to American society.
As a result, foundations have moved beyond simply publishing annual reports, grants lists, and the occasional press release. They are implementing sophisticated and comprehensive communications programs. These enhanced activities require a deep knowledge of how to create and deliver messages, how to brand and position organizations, and how to integrate new forms of communications technology and social networking tools into communication programs.
As these communications efforts grow, so does the need for communications practitioners in philanthropy to have timely access to knowledge, expertise, practical advice, and guidance to improve their work. More and more, foundation communicators are finding valuable assistance in the Communications Network.
The Network Today
Formed nearly 20 years ago as a volunteer membership association to promote the use of strategic communications in philanthropy, the Communications Network today is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support foundations and nonprofits to improve lives through the power of smart communications. The Network connects communications professionals working in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector to each other. We provide guidance and mentoring and regularly offer learning and networking opportunities through webinars and other presentations, both online and in local communities, and at our annual conference. Today, the Network’s membership comprises a wide range of individuals from foundations, nonprofits and consulting firms who are committed to making communications an integral part of effective philanthropy.
Watch the video below for a brief history of the Communications Network and the story behind our mission.
Video credits: Minna Jung-script; Eric Brown-narration; Jai Sen-direction; Bishakh Som-illustration