Understanding the Impact of Apartheid on South African Social Investment

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.

Getting the Word Out: A Foundation Memoir and Personal Journey

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.

Getting to Results: A Tool and Lessons from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s K-12 Education Portfolio

FavoriteThe Annie E. Casey Foundation developed a exible but rigorous “results framework” tool that helped focus its investments and choose grantees that shared its aims by dening success, specifying results, tracking progress, and aligning its work. The framework includes an understanding of population and program accountability and lays out overarching categories for thinking about results: impact, inuence, and leverage. This paper described how the tool was developed and tested with grantees and shares lessons learned for other philanthropies in the eld of education.

Are We There Yet? How to Know Whether Your Communications Are Effective

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.

Strategic Communications for Influence: Lessons From the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Its KIDS COUNT Initiative

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.

Speak Your Peace: A Communications Strategy for Changing Community Culture

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).