By Dave Biemesderfer
The giving sector deserves credit for many things, but efficiency is not always one of them. For as long as there have been foundations investing in worthy causes, there have also been critics rightfully pointing out the duplicative, even wasteful ways with which the business of grant making often gets done.
- Changing public opinion can be a long, uphill climb.
- The first step to securing a policy victory is identifying the one point you want to change the public’s mind on. Then, ask yourself if changing opinion on that point will make it easier to enact a policy change.
- Embrace your cause and don’t be afraid to address it directly — the public will respond to authentic campaigns.
- If nonprofits are going to succeed, they have to be strategic about how they use communication. They need to have a clear sense of who they are and why their mission matters and how to successfully convey that to their audiences. They need to embed effective communication throughout the organization and have the systems and discipline to measure the results.
- SmartScan™ is a free online tool to help nonprofits and foundations assess where they are poised to be communication powerhouses and where they have room to improve. Users answer a series of questions about their organization’s current practices and receive a tailored report detailing where they can focus attention to improve their communication.
- Participants will need to take a hard look at organizational materials and systems and engage their colleagues in the process. The payoff is a clearer understanding of what the organization is doing well and should keep doing and where more communication capacity or resources will enable it to create a bigger impact.
A Most Violent Year:
Eric Antebi Talks to Lori Dorfman of Berkeley Media Studies Group on 2014, the media & violence
A culture of violence is the antithesis to a Culture of Health. As The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey recently said in a speech to the American Public Health Association, “We will never be a healthy nation, if we continue to be a violent one.”
Violence is always in the news. But 2014 saw several high profile stories about violence dominating news cycles, including major stories about child abuse (Adrian Peterson), intimate partner violence (Ray Rice), sexual assault on college campus, and, of course, the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York.
Because media coverage influences the social and political response to violence in America, I wanted to hear from Lori Dorfman, who directs the Berkeley Media Studies Group. She has spent decades monitoring how the media cover violence and other public health issues, helping public health advocates work with journalists, and helping journalists improve their coverage. The following is an excerpt of my interview with her.