Guest Post: Rebecca Arno
This time of year in Denver, gardeners know that deep freezes and spring snow are behind us and it’s finally safe to plant. It’s also when the residents of the Whittier neighborhood will begin putting in their community garden – on a site formerly used by gangs to hide drugs and guns. They’ll need to recruit volunteers, but that shouldn’t be a problem, because they’ve already started telling their story and connecting their neighbors to the vision, through a new tool called Floodlight.
Floodlight is a partnership of The Piton Foundation, a private operating foundation created by energy entrepreneur and philanthropist Sam Gary, and The Denver Foundation, the oldest and largest community foundation in the Rockies, with generous support through the Knight Community Information Challenge. Both Piton and The Denver Foundation have longstanding commitments to helping people in low-income communities make change by using the power of data and storytelling.
When we launched voting last week to pick the 12 sessions that will make it on to the agenda for our New Orleans conference, we knew it wouldn’t be easy for you to make your picks from the 66 proposals.
That said, none of us at the Communications Network realized it would be so tough. Sorry about that
Guest Post: Liz Banse
A few years ago, I had a light bulb moment when talking with a branding expert about how the images that companies use – more than anything else – influenced how their products were perceived by their customers. The light bulb moment was not, however, the idea that good ads – in all their well-executed glory – get us to buy stuff we never thought we needed. Heck, even kids know that!
The a-ha moment came instead in thinking about whether the nonprofit community was adopting best practices from Madison Avenue and applying them to cause communications. Were there Mad Men amongst us? I compared notes with my colleagues. Our conclusion was that most nonprofits start their persuasion efforts in the opposite fashion from corporations – with words. Oh, my, we sweat over every word choice. But then we spend only a fraction of that time on finding a picture to go with our narrative, almost as an afterthought. This is the exact opposite way that our brains process information – the visual first, the verbal second.
Guest Post: Minna Jung
After years of throwing heart and soul into planning the program for the Network’s conference–one of the roles I play on the board–I reached a new level of zen this year; I suggested that we let others into the fun of conference planning this year. More specifically: you. And my motives for doing so may not have been exactly pure. On one hand, I’m genuinely interested and excited to see how the Network crowd will do in sourcing and picking sessions. On the other hand, after years of reading delightful and not-so-delightful comments from the conference feedback surveys, I admit, there’s an element of, “Let’s see how YOU do in saving us all from the suckitude of bad sessions.”
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