Pop Quiz: If you wanted to find the latest published research on arts and culture, immigration reform, health care children and youth – or any other of the many program areas in which foundations and their grantees work – where would go?
Before you answer that – here’s a bonus question: If you had research on those – and other topics – where would you turn for help in getting this knowledge into the hands of people who need to see it?
Guest Post: Minna Jung
Almost one year ago today, just after the Network conference last year in Boston, I posted on what has been one of the perennially hot topics among our Network members: the integration, or sometimes, the lack thereof, between communications and program staff at foundations. The post received some thoughtful comments, including a great response post from Ben Rodriguez, program officer at Connecticut Health Foundation. The exchange reminded me of a few important things: that sometimes, the tension between program goals and communications goals is a good, healthy dynamic; also, that it’s not always program officers who don’t “get” communications, sometimes it’s communications officers who don’t “get” strategy.
At this year’s Fall Conference in Seattle, we’re holding 14 separate breakouts on a range of topics from storytelling to program/communications collaboration to using data effectively. This post previews the session titled Analytics in a Digital Age: Using Data to Drive Strategy for Marketing and Communications. Session presenters are: Anjula Carrier, vice president, marketing and communications, and Vanessa Schnaidt, director of communications, Foundation Center; Roxanne Joffe, communications lens leader, and Melissa Thompson, communications lens manager, The Patterson Foundation.
Guest Post: Melissa Thompson
Data in context is a powerful way to show social good, philanthropic progress and promote funder collaboration. Before a data-driven story can be told, communicators – and their organizations – must understand the role of analytics. It’s about extracting and collecting the “right” data – those gems that are going to engage and inform.
Taking cross-sector cues
Social issues that foundations tackle are often complex. In fact, that may be the understatement of the century. It goes without saying that the application of data in philanthropy can be challenging and a bit daunting.
Rule No. 1? Don’t do it alone. Just as chief marketing officers and chief information officers are learning how to work together in the corporate world, there’s a call for foundations to adopt collaborative cultures where all employees value using data and analytics to inform, engage and drive strategy.
Guest Post: Jenn Whinnem
While we can forge and foster some strong bonds over social networks, nothing can quite replace face-to-face interaction. Moving from Twitter to the tweet-up is a great solution. A tweet-up–a mash-up of the words “tweet” and “meet-up”–is simply a physical meet-up of people who know each other over Twitter. It serves as an antidote to the irony of social media: for all of the opportunities it provides for connection with others on an unprecedented scale, it is essentially a lonely activity. It’s you and your screen of choice. Whether you’re in front of your computer monitor, bending over your tablet or thumbing furiously on your phone, you have to block out the world around you to interact with others. A tweet-up affords the opportunity to meet the person behind the avatar and to deepen the connection.
At this year’s Fall Conference in Seattle, we’re holding 14 separate breakouts on a range of topics from storytelling to program/communications collaboration to using data effectively. The post below is the second in our ongoing series highlighting the topics these breakouts will cover.
During the session titled, Bedsider: Sharing is Caring, Jenn Maer, storyteller, IDEO; Bob Morehouse, chief executive officer, Vermilion Design+Interactive; and Lawrence Swiader, senior director, digital media, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy will discuss a unique program created to re-frame the conversation about birth control education. Bedsider’s “big hairy audacious” goal is to create new messages and methodologies to bring about a 20 percent reduction in unplanned pregnancies among single women under 30 by 2020. In Seattle, presenters also will discuss how local partners are successfully implementing a version of Bedsider in Colorado, called Beforeplay, which uses website, billboards, TV spots and social media.
In the Q/A that follows, Lawrence Swiader talks about how a concept called human centered design helped in the development of Bedsider’s communications strategy.