• No Assault Weapons

    Should Philanthropy Have a Bigger Say in the Gun Violence Debate?

    (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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    5 Tips for Live Tweeting Conferences and Events

    Guest Post: Elizabeth R. Miller

    Whether intended to expand the audience for a small discussion or curate content from a large conference, live-tweeting events is becoming the norm in philanthropy.

    Too often people see it as an add-on, or even a hassle in the flurry of putting on an in-person event. Done right, though, live tweeting can be a core tool to spread information and engage people in issues important to your work. It’s also a unique opportunity for you to show the personality of your organization; people will respect you for being authentic and showing your true voice.

    Below are some tips and tricks that may help you use Twitter to accomplish a range of goals. Although designed for organizations, many of the tips below can also be used to help conference participants who want to up their Twitter game.

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    The Art and Science of Storytelling (VIDEO)

    As communications professionals, storytelling is what we do. We do it because it is one of the best ways to evoke an emotional connection to an abstract issue – to put a human face on the messages we convey. However, it’s how the story is framed that matters. Studies in neuroscience and psychology show that while stories can evoke a quick emotional response, carefully framed narratives that appeal to reason are also needed to inspire action.

    To help people understand this new research and learn more about how to use it in their communications practice we recently held a webinar, The Art and Science of Storytelling. (Replay available below.)

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  • Ac Vs

    Don’t Be Afraid to Jump on the Analytics Bandwagon

    Guest Post: Anjula Carrier and Vanessa Schnaidt

    Have you jumped on the “data analytics” bandwagon yet? Or are you worried it has passed you by?

    If you haven’t made the leap, you’re not alone. Data analytics – the use of tools that can help you better understand the effectiveness of your communications strategies (or any organizational strategies) – are still in the “emerging state.” A recent Bloomberg Businessweek study notes that despite the growth of powerful and relatively easy-to-use software that can help organizations make meaning of valuable data (such as the well-known Google Analytics), spreadsheets are still the number one tool used for data analytics.

    That said, there’s neither a reason to fear nor to be overly cautious about integrating data analytics into your work.  The most important reason is that by making a better effort to analyze the data your work is yielding, you (and your organization) can move from a “measure and respond” mentality to “predict and act.”

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    What Our New Mission Means for You (VIDEO)

    Guest Post: Rebecca Arno

    In her recent post about the survey results from last October’s Fall Conference, Minna Jung, our vice chair, mentioned that I was planning to share some additional insights about the Communications Network’s revised mission and strategy that we previewed in Seattle and subsequently discussed on our blog.

    Last week, I sat down with long-time Network contributor, Susan Herr, principal of Trigger Creative, to talk about our new mission.  Because of comments and questions we heard during and since Seattle, we decided to record two separate conversations.

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