FavoriteAssessing the performance of a foundation is notoriously challenging, but it is crucial to learning and improvement. How well do foundation leaders believe they understand what is and isn’t working in their foundation’s programmatic efforts? How are they building that understanding? What information are they choosing to share with others? To answer these questions, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) surveyed and conducted in-depth interviews with private and community foundation leaders regarding what they know about what is and isn’t working in their foundations’ efforts to achieve their goals. Based on 119 survey responses and 41 interviews, Understanding & Sharing What Read more
FavoriteKey Points In 2011, the Fremont Area Community Foundation launched a community investment strategy, focused on education, poverty, and economic development, that shaped corresponding aspirational goals aimed at improving the quality of life for residents of rural Newaygo County, Mich. While there had been significant community involvement and input into foundation planning for a number of years, the announcement of these strategic goals and their implementation created some apprehension among the local nonprofits. The new funding paradigms were a big change, and it took several years for many of the grantees, with assistance in the form of backbone services and Read more
FavoriteAlliance is pleased to offer free access to this issue thanks to Democracy and Media Foundation who are sponsoring the removal of the paywall in order that the content can be shared as widely as possible. The centrepiece of the issue is our special feature on philanthropy and the media. Our guest editor, Miguel Castro of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and I take you on a journey through the key issues facing philanthropy. Our stellar panel of contributors from publications including Spiegel, The Guardian and the BBC consider philanthropy’s role in sustaining investigative journalism and combating fake news, Read more
FavoriteThese ten steps will help your organization become more inclusive internally and externally. Develop discussion materials that will make your dialogues more inclusive of varying learning styles and literacy levels.
FavoriteThis recap of a presentation explains why internal communications are as important and necessary as external communications for the long-term impact and sustainability of your foundation. A framework and suggested activities are offered along with a handout and powerpoint presentation.
FavoriteThe goal of this survey was to get a clear, data-driven definition of what skills, qualities, and competencies are necessary for people who do work in communications for good to excel. Based on the survey findings, it’s clear there are steps you can take to improve your communications work in this ever-evolving field. You can access the executive summary and full report below: Executive Summary Core Communications Competencies
FavoriteNonprofits and foundations value the importance of web and digital media; yet the idea of developing a strategy for their content tends to be an afterthought to lengthy design and development projects, if it is considered at all. This how-to guide will help explain what content strategy is, how you can develop one, and how you can put it to work for your organization.
FavoriteThis guide offers practical lessons in communicating for impact based on the experiences of funders and others involved in social investment in South Africa. It explores universal themes related to how to communicate with partners, social investors, and grantees; how to identify and achieve communication goals; and how different media can help enhance different messages.
FavoriteThis article reflects on the role that foundations play as publishers of grey literature and on the great potential for improved learning if foundations were to adopt more intentional and shared approaches to this dimension of their work.
FavoriteThis chapter is a personal reflection by Frank Karel on his years as vice president for communications of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He looks back on the early days, when the Foundation was groping to find an appropriate role for communications, and traces its evolution to the present. Long active in philanthropy, Karel helped many foundations consider how best to use the tools of communications.
FavoriteThis article describes the results of a study on current knowledge and practices in evaluating foundation communications. The study consisted of three parts: an online survey of practitioners, a series of in-depth key informant interviews, and an extensive literature review.
FavoriteThe Annie E. Casey Foundation is using the KIDS COUNT network in a new way: as a strategic communications tool in its focused efforts toward policy change, broad social change, and improved conditions for vulnerable children and families. Grantee activities surrounding the release of the 2008 KIDS COUNT Data Book led to the quantity and quality of media that Casey believes will help achieve its desired outcomes. Relationships with journalists, use of locally relevant information, use of locally relevant media advocacy strategies, good preparation, and a solution orientation were present in states demonstrating desirable media coverage.
Favorite“Speak Your Peace: The Civility Project” (SYP) was developed by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation and the Millennium Group to improve the civility of public discourse, under the premise that this would strengthen community decision making, expand civic engagement, and increase residents’ interest in elected office. The SYP campaign used a multi-modal approach to promote nine principles (or “tools”) adapted from Forni’s book Choosing Civility (e.g., pay attention, take responsibility, apologize, give constructive criticism).