Guest Post: Minna Jung
After years of throwing heart and soul into planning the program for the Network’s conference–one of the roles I play on the board–I reached a new level of zen this year; I suggested that we let others into the fun of conference planning this year. More specifically: you. And my motives for doing so may not have been exactly pure. On one hand, I’m genuinely interested and excited to see how the Network crowd will do in sourcing and picking sessions. On the other hand, after years of reading delightful and not-so-delightful comments from the conference feedback surveys, I admit, there’s an element of, “Let’s see how YOU do in saving us all from the suckitude of bad sessions.”
So this year, we solicited session proposals. THAT’S not the new part—we’ve done that before. But this year, we’ve put the session proposals up for a vote. Top vote-getters for a limited number of slots (12) get the green light.
The Communications Network and Council on Foundations today announced the 2013 recipients of the Wilmer Shields Rich Awards. A partnership between the two organizations, the awards recognize and encourage excellence in communications by foundations and corporate giving programs, and showcase organizations that are effectively using communications to achieve their goals and further their mission.
Guest Post: Susan Herr
During the past decade, a protracted debate raged as to whether foundations should produce printed annual reports in this digital age. (For the low down on the debate, check out this microsite, produced by the Communications Network and Philanthropy Awareness Initiative in 2010.)
Two new digital annual reports from two foundations – The Atlantic Philanthropies and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – suggest that a lot of arguments fueling the conversation back then have been rendered moot as foundations have found ways to breathe new life into their annual reports.
For the second installment in our Science of Communication speaker series, co-sponsored by the Communications Network and Spitfire Strategies, Harvard behavioral economist Sendhil Mullainathan proved why when he talks, you should listen.
Mullainathan, whose work touches on how people’s brains process messages, has a sobering message for those of us whose jobs depend on getting people to listen, pay attention and–most important of all–act on what they’re hearing.
Guest Post: Tony Proscio
Among the pleasures of the past year was my introduction to a new friend, Karl Brown of the Rockefeller Foundation, who wrote last March to ask why I had never included “innovation” on my list of public-interest jargon. After all, it has most of the characteristics that grate on people who pay attention to the language of civic and public affairs: it’s vain and self-glorifying, it’s numbingly overused, and its meaning has become so stretched out of shape that it can be (and is) easily stuck onto anything more recent than the Pleistocene megafauna. As Karl pointed out, “everything you do is technically ‘new’, in that this particular thing has never been done by you in that particular moment.” Consequently, from the minute you pour your first cup of coffee, you’re “innovating” left, right, and center. Got to be jargon, no?