Chances are good that your organization is sitting on a pile of data. How do you take those vital nuggets of information hidden in files and trapped behind your four walls and shape them in ways that help advance your organization’s work or mission? How might you mash it up with other data to create new knowledge? And how can you bring all of this to life through data visualization?
To provide answers to these questions, we recently held a webinar, Seeing is Believing: Data Visualization for Philanthropy (Replay available below.)
Guest Post: Sharon Hurley Hall
When the Communications Network conducted its 2011 “State of the Practice Survey,” foundation communications practitioners said their biggest frustration — “far and away” — was not having enough time to do all that is being required of them as their roles grow. If finding more time to get everything done isn’t an option, perhaps some help can be found in taking advantage of online project management tools.
Here are six we identified, including five that are free:
Today, there are a lot of communications people wringing their hands about the dearth of traditional media outlets and trying to find new ways to reach out to journalists who are interested in their organizations’ work and mission. Tried-and-true distribution channels are being replaced by a bewildering multiplicity of Internet outlets. Editors and press contacts are now bloggers and Twitter feeds. Press releases can seem like ticker tape floating over a digital parade. The challenge of placing well-edited, well-researched, in-depth material in front of the right audience can feel like trying to outpace an iPad with a manual typewriter.
These changes also provide opportunities for new approaches. Take The Commonwealth Fund, which is investing in several new — what might be called — “media relations 2.0″ strategies. In one case, it is piloting a program to provide content for small-town newspapers. In another effort, it is complementing pitching new journalists with educating them. As a third way, the Fund is partnering with a venerable journalism institution to provide cutting-edge health care reporting online. In each case, the focus is on cultivating and maintaining cadres of professional, trained health care journalists and relationships with traditional, trusted publications. As part of The Commonwealth Fund’s mission to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency for all, these programs are designed to put well-researched information about health care issues in front of a broad audience.
(Special webcast January 15th at 3 pm ET. Details below.)
In a recent opinion piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Vince Stehle, executive director of Media Impact Funders, asked why so few foundations had “made any notable calls for action” on gun control or gun violence in the wake of the “horrific bloodbath” at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Stehle argued that instead of sitting on the sidelines and letting others shape the debate and discussion, “foundations need to pay attention to the high cost of gun violence to our nation.”
Is — as Stehle suggests — philanthropy missing an opportunity to contribute to the gun violence debate similar to the ways it has addressed other major social issues, ranging from health care to immigration reform to climate change to education reform? Should — and can — foundations, in particular, do more?
That question will be explored during a special event — to be webcast nationally on January 15, beginning at 3 pm ET.
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