In this conversation, Mark Sedway, Project Director of the Philanthropy Awareness Initiative (PAI) and Communications Network Contributor Susan Herr, explore the challenges foundations face in informing both the larger public, and in particular, “influential” Americans about the many important contributions philanthropy makes to the nation and world. That said, Sedway says new research shows that there is a growing interest among key members of the public to learn more about the work of foundations. As a result, Sedway asks, will more foundation leaders — including trustees — embrace this opportunity and become vocal ambassadors who aggressively make the case for how philanthropy can help drive change in partnership with others, such as policymakers?
In the Communications Network’s debut of a new video feature — our diavlog series (dialog+video+blog) — we explore the question: “Should Foundations speak in human voices?” Susan Herr, president of PhilanthroMedia, and a regular contributor to the Communications Network website, speaks with Michael Margolis, principal of Get Storied, about how the new communications technologies — notably Twitter — enable foundations to engage in conversations with audiences, not as institutions, but as individuals. Over the course of their wide-ranging conversation, they also discuss Philanthropy 411′s research about which foundations are Twittering, an assessment by social media expert Beth Kanter about the different ways foundations are Twittering, and blogger Sean Stannard-Stockton’s (Tactical Philanthropy) assertion that these human-to-human interactions underscore the difference between sharing knowledge and wisdom.
It was funny the first time I saw it, and it does make a point. But if Sal Alaimo succeeds at delivering his film on philanthropy, I have high hopes we won’t ever again have to watch people make fools of themselves when asked to speak into the camera and say what they think philanthropy is or does.
There’s probably never been a time like the present when we’ve been so bombarded — some might say overwhelmed — with stories. In addition to traditional means of storytelling — newspapers, books, radio, television, movies, etc. — the internet and social media have given birth to an endless stream of stories to sift through.
If your job involves storytelling, does it make a difference whether you tell yours in print or video form? Is there something that makes the way we tell stories likely to have a greater impact — especially so we remember what we read, see or hear so we can take action on what we learned or pass it on to someone else?
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