Too few policymakers and other decision makers understand the unique work and contributions of foundations. Does this matter? Recent experiences in California and Michigan suggest it does–and the results can be dramatically different when foundations make the effort to be better known to key audiences, or otherwise leave their fate to chance.
Each year, foundations fund nonprofits (large and small) to produce and disseminate research that support their programmatic and advocacy goals. Foundations, too, disseminate a lot of their own knowledge products. But even the most resource-rich and communications-savvy nonprofits and foundations still struggle to reach their intended audience, let alone a broader readership. How can we do a better job, and use the knowledge from our work to advance our organization’s goals? This presentation discusses what foundations can do to make dissemination more than just an elusive goal associated with their grantmaking.
In this handout, you’ll learn to uncover hidden opportunities in seven key areas (called Alignment Gaps) where most problems arise in foundation communications. For example, in “Step 1: Identify the Problem” you’ll see how you can achieve better outcomes for your foundation simply by identifying and isolating key problems that cause communications to go awry.
The question for foundations is no longer whether to invest in a website but how to make sure your investment is paying off. That means having a well-designed website that creates meaningful connections between your organization and the people who are critical to helping your organization achieve its strategic goals. The following presentations describe offer some guidance on marketing your website and measuring results.
The Communications Network in late 2007 launched an extensive study of how Web 2.0 technologies are being employed at foundations across the country. At the Fall 2008 conference, David Brotherton and Cynthia Scheiderer of Brotherton Strategies, reported on the findings from their yearlong exploration (also contained in their report, which can be downloaded here). They were also followed by presenters who shared their foundations’ experiences with Web 2.0 and related technologies.
- About the Network
- Our Board Members
- Sean Gibbons, Executive Director
- Fall Conference