Personally and professionally, I’m rarely at a loss for words. In fact, since becoming a regular user of Twitter, the 140-character limit on the size of a Tweet leaves me with lots of spare words at the ready.
But when my friend Mitch Nauffts asked the other day, So what have you learned about social networks and networking?, I found myself speechless. I realized then that I’ve become so immersed in social networking — as a user, creator, booster and true believer — that I’ve yet to take the time to analyze and sum up what I’m learning about this still evolving way of being connected to all sorts of people and institutions via the Internet.
One of the hallmarks of the Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) communications strategy is its reliance on the news media to inform opinion leaders and decision-makers about issues relating to health policy concerns in the United States.
Yet, in an ironic twist, as health policy is becoming an increasingly major agenda item for policymakers across the nation, reporting on the subject is rapidly shrinking as newsrooms fall victim to budget cuts and fewer and fewer reporters are covering this story.
A lot of foundations talk about “driving” change. At the Missouri Foundation for Health, they’ve gone one step farther.
For its 2007 annual report, the foundation created a fully online presentation that takes viewers on a virtual car journey to showcase the work it is supporting across the state to improve the health of Missouri’s citizens, especially those with limited access to quality care.
What would you do if your foundation wanted to spark some thoughtful discussions on topics that range from the meaning of life to the existence of God, especially if the goal is show that these questions can be answered by “open-minded” scientific inquiry?
It’s a concern every foundation faces: How do we ensure that our report or study gets the attention it deserves, generates useful conversation, and helps advance the featured issue or cause?
That was certainly the question for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as it prepared to release The Non-Profit Marketplace: Bridging the Information Gap in Philanthropy, a report that advocates for a “marketplace of information” as a way to promote more effective charitable giving.