Foundations invest in communications for a number of reasons: to bolster their image and reputation, to advance program goals, and to strengthen grantees’ communications capacity, among others. But when asked which of these efforts are working, which ones aren’t, and why… The answers aren’t always readily available, if at all. Part of the reason: the lack of a tool to help foundations evaluate their communications.
Annual reports are like the weather. Everyone complains, but no one thinks they can do anything about it. Well, maybe it’s time to do something—even if it means never producing another one again. Do annual reports still play an important role in foundation communications, or should be put on the endangered species list? Here are some reasons why we ask the question.
Funding public policy work is becoming increasingly common at foundations of all sizes and whose areas of focus differ from one to the next. Does this kind of grantmaking affect the role of communications staff? Are communications at the core of this work? Should we be? Learn more.
So you’ve done your planning and you’ve got your communications program or campaign underway. And then, *%# happens. Current events, changing conditions, opposition attacks and other variables that are beyond your control can throw even the best-laid plans off track. Would you know what to do when the crisis hits? What about preparing in advance? These handouts from the conference, offer some suggestions about how to prepare for the unexpected.
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.
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