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And Now a Word From Our European Friends

One of the things the Communications Network does best is to promote the exchange of ideas, tips, advice, how-tos, and other information to help people who do communications for their foundations.

In this blog, on our website, via research projects, in videos, during webinars and at our conferences, we give communications practitioners opportunities to share the work they’re doing, lessons being learned and to ask questions about how to be more effective.

We try to bring attention to and foster connections among foundation communicators everywhere, and not just here in North America, but around the globe.  That’s why I’m pleased to share this summary of how communicators throughout Europe are making increased used of online communications and social media for their foundations.

These and other examples of growing use of online communications–mostly meant to promote greater understanding of the work their foundations are doing and to foster greater engagement with the public and other key audiences–were among the topics discussed at the second gathering of a newly forming European Foundation Centre communications network, EFComEx, held during last month’s European Foundation Centre Annual Conference in Portugal.

A tip of the hat to EFC’s Triona Keaveney, who serves as communications and information senior officer, for this list and summary, and who has been spearheading efforts for a European communicators group:

  • European Cultural Foundation recently launched the We are more campaign to collect signatures for a petition to “strengthen the recognition of the role of arts and culture in the development of our European societies by increasing the support to culture in the next EU budget.” The foundation, which had collected 12,000 signatures through May, is aiming for 15,000 signatories by the end of June.
  • Stiftung Mercator similarly is relying on social media, including Facebook and Twitter to support an initiative, including an online petition being advanced by young people from Islamic countries, to promote better relations with people of all nationalities and backgrounds living in Germany.
  • King Baudouin Foundation stopped printing its annual report, opting instead to use a video presentation to showcase its work, as well as providing other basic information in pdf form that website visitors can download.
  • Sparebankstiftelsen DnB NOR made an initial effort to use Facebook to get feedback from the public about plans for a cultural house in Oslo. The foundation invited comments on topics such as what programs to offer and whom to serve. After the Facebook queries yielded few results, the foundation placed an article about its plans in the news media, which subsequently generated many responses from members of the public who emailed the foundation.

These are just a sampling of the ways our European colleagues are putting communications technologies to use.  Do any of our European readers have others to share?  We’d love to hear from you.


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