Guest Post: Minna Jung
Almost one year ago today, just after the Network conference last year in Boston, I posted on what has been one of the perennially hot topics among our Network members: the integration, or sometimes, the lack thereof, between communications and program staff at foundations. The post received some thoughtful comments, including a great response post from Ben Rodriguez, program officer at Connecticut Health Foundation. The exchange reminded me of a few important things: that sometimes, the tension between program goals and communications goals is a good, healthy dynamic; also, that it’s not always program officers who don’t “get” communications, sometimes it’s communications officers who don’t “get” strategy.
Guest Post: Doug Hattaway
Strategic communications is all about motivating and mobilizing people to achieve goals, but making an impact is a highly complex undertaking in today’s hyper-charged media environment. It’s hard to know where to focus your energy and resources, much less create content that will rise above all the noise.
That said, there’s actually an art and a science to strategic communications that can take some of the guesswork out of your work. In this post, the first in a three-part series on how you can apply the science of psychology and the art of literature to inspire and engage people to support your cause, I discuss the first step in every effective plan: mapping out a smart strategy with clear communications objectives.
Do you have a powerful story to tell about how your foundation has used communications to advance your mission or achieve its organizational goals?
If so, you are encouraged to enter the newly revamped Wilmer Shields Rich Awards program that honors excellence in foundation communications. Entries are due December 14.
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.
Social media is increasingly ubiquitous, but it can be hard to know what impact your efforts are having on your followers. With survey responses from more than 6,000 grantees about their experiences with one of 34 foundations, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) set out to address a very basic question: Are grantees using their foundation funders’ social media?
Only 16% of grantees surveyed report using social media created by funders or their staff.