I always prefer to end my week on an upbeat note, but I find myself, instead, wondering why is today the day to pick on philanthropy and foundations? (Friday the 13th was last week.)
By whatever quirk of fate, two rather pointed and less than flattering articles appear in today’s Wall Street Journal, and both take their inspiration from the Gates/Buffett Giving Pledge, to which some 40 billionaires have signed up.
There’s no substitute for on the job training, but there’s also much to be said for getting a formal education for the kind of work foundation and other kinds of communicators do who are in the business of social change. Yet, up until now, those contemplating these kinds of careers have found few opportunities for such an education at the college or university level, short of courses sandwiched into a more typical degree program for public relations.
The good news is that’s changing.
One of the emerging themes of our work at the Communications Network is that “you can’t go it alone.” Instead, the more we can share with and rely on each other and remember that what we do collectively is bigger than what we do individually, the greater the chance for success of the work our individual organizations do as well as for philanthropy overall. In that same spirit, we’re reprinting the post below from Kris Putnam-Walkerly, founder and president of Putnam Community Investment Consulting, Inc. Walkerly, who also blogs at Philanthropy 411, reminds us that not only does this culture of sharing apply to foundations, but it should also include our grantees.
Ever since Marc Fest launched his special site dedicated to tracking what he calls “communications tips and tricks,” mostly time-savers and unique ways to help get our jobs done more quickly, efficiently, and with a bit of fun, I’ve become an avid reader. That’s why I was very happy when Fest, who in his day job serves as vice president of communications for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, invited me to submit a guest post on a very easy to use, low-cost and useful self-publishing tool. The post is reprinted here for the benefit of Communications Network blog readers.
Guest Post: Michael Hamill Remaley
Can games move people in ways that traditional media can’t? Can they supplement a foundation’s more traditional communications programs, and provide a form of interactivity and engagement beyond what you can expect from a print publication, video, and even a website? Some people in foundations, government and media who have begun experimenting with games say “yes.” But what does it mean for those of us who work in communications? Are there games in our future? Will we work with program staff to use games to help further understanding of issues and what actions people can take?