Every year when we begin promoting our annual conference, we hold our breath, cross our fingers and take some side bets about when – not if — it will sell out. Last week, we signed up our 300th attendee for our upcoming event in Seattle, making our fourth sellout in as many years. As much as we’re gratified by this success — especially with still two months to go before the conference begins — what’s more meaningful is what makes our conferences so attractive. To us it’s the fact that people who do communications for foundations have a strong desire to connect with peers, trade information, learn new skills and share knowledge — something our conferences offer.
This year’s event, held in partnership with our friends from CommA, is no exception. Between formal programs and lots of opportunities to network with colleagues, this promises to be an engaging, fun and energizing event – just like all our conferences
We’ve been updating our website — and will continue to do so — to make it easy for everyone coming (and those just looking in) to stay current on developments. A good starting place is the Fall Conference section of our site, which also has helpful links to information about the schedule of events, program line-up and a list of who’s coming.
There’s probably not many other foundations that can make the claim that a major program initiative grew out of the need to update its messaging plan.
Yet, it was just such a request from CEO and co-founder Jean Case for a short, sweet and simple way to tell the story of the Case Foundation’s first 15 years that gave rise to the Be Fearless Campaign, a program that launched earlier this year that encourages all organizations trying to improve people’s lives “to take risks” in how they approach their work.
(A version of this post also appears on The Center For Effective Philanthropy Blog.)
In a perfect world, our ideal audiences would read every one of our tweets, consume every blog post and make sure not a day goes by they don’t check Facebook for our latest updates.
But we know it’s not a perfect world, and for proof we have the results of a Center for Effective Philanthropy survey that examined grantees’ engagement with foundations’ social media. For any tweeting, blogging, or Facebook-using foundation that presumes their grantees are paying routine attention to what they’re writing, posting and featuring through social media channels, this study may surprise, but I don’t think it should disappoint.
A Quick Word With… is our ongoing series in which Communications Network members from a range of organizations tell us about themselves, their work and where they draw their inspiration. This installment features Deena Leventer, communications director, Yad Hanadiv – the Rothschild Foundation in Jerusalem, Israel.
Last year you attended your first Communications Network conference and you’re joining us again this year in Seattle. What inspires you to travel from Israel to the United States for this event?
I guess the Communications Network is what inspires me. Last year was my first year at the conference. Fay Twersky (currently at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and previously at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) deserves a lot of credit for my being there. Fay spent a year in Israel working with Yad Hanadiv from 2010-2011 and – among the amazing things that she accomplished – was pushing to give communications a more prominent role in the foundation. This included a new perspective on my role and a stress on the importance of professional development and getting out of the small and sometimes parochial world of Israeli philanthropy to look around at what is being done in the bigger wider world.
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