Be SMART: Designing Effective Media Campaigns (Stage 1)

Why are funding organizations looking more and more toward media as a valuable method to affect social change?

Because it has been shown to work.

There are four key stages in the use of media. These stages include design, development, distribution and reflection. In this piece, we discuss the importance of design and the impact evaluation can have in this stage in creating a successful campaign, and subsequently detail the process. Continue reading

Building Evaluation Capacity Across International Offices

For NGOs with offices in a wide variety of geographic locations, establishing a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system that works for both the headquarters office and field offices can be a real challenge. If those offices operate in different countries, that challenge becomes even harder.

As a former program manager for Latin American health programs, I appreciate that needs and outcomes differ by region, by country, and even sometimes by community. I remember long conversations with my colleagues about how a solution for one geographical area would never get off the ground in another! So, how can we create a measurement framework that serves both field office and headquarters’ needs? Continue reading

What Surprises Me about Human Rights Grantmaking

When your job centers on helping funders assess needs, devise strategies, and manage and evaluate their grantmaking, you wish that every field would have a resource like Advancing Human Rights: Update on Global Foundation Grantmaking. Since IHRFG and Foundation Center launched this series four years ago—and added an interactive website three years ago—I have made regular use of these tools to understand levels of foundation engagement within and at the intersection of issues ranging from women’s rights in the Global South to environmental justice in the United States. This research has also been invaluable in helping the foundations I work with to see just how many peers and practitioners have aligned interests and could become partners in realizing their goals.

That is why I was surprised when I sat down to read the 2017 Edition of the Advancing Human Rights report. I realized that in using these resources to answer my very specific, client-focused questions, I had been missing some findings and trends that are beginning to reshape my thinking about foundation support for human rights. Continue reading

4 Tips for Culturally Responsive Programming

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

I’ve always had an inherent appreciation for diversity – yet my training and work in the evaluation space has fostered even greater realization that diversity is a critical component to both program design and evaluation. Continue reading

Build Trust With A Purpose Statement

As we enter a new era in US politics, there is increased pressure on companies to build trust with customers, and both deliver and communicate their broader value to society and their employees.

As stated in the Edelman TRUST BAROMETER 2016, “A yawning trust gap is emerging between elite and mass populations. The most profound difference between the elite and the broader populations is found in their attitudes toward business. This skepticism is clearly manifested in the perception of specific industries, in particular the financial services sector where there is a gap of more than 20 points between the elite’s trust in the sector and the general population’s.”
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How to Strengthen Your Family Foundation’s Impact

As with all foundations, family foundations work to have a meaningful and measurable impact on social problems. But they also have a second, unique purpose: to serve as a unifying vehicle for multiple generations, providing opportunities for family members to share philanthropic interests. Establishing this cohesion can be accomplished by Continue reading

4 Key Stages for Measuring Your Media Outcomes

What can media accomplish? What can it affect? These are questions funders often ask. Restating those questions from an evaluation perspective translates to: how can one measure the impact of media? To understand how to measure media, we must first understand the strategy behind media.

Media:

  • Draws attention to issues.
  • Improves understanding of issues and possible solutions.
  • Inspires people to care.
  • Motivates people to do something.
  • Connects people with solutions.

I previously spoke to these, diagramming the flow of media effect, where people move through various different states from awareness to action. Looking at the model, it is easyMedia Affecting Change Flow Chart to think that one piece of content can affect change.
However, it is rare that just one exposure to one piece of content affects change; rather it is the sum of multiple experiences – a subset of which is content. Savvy media professionals take into account the environmental factors in the development and distribution of their content, building on what is available, constructing multiple pieces of content for distribution, and developing a campaign for that distribution to affect their target audiences.

During the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Continue reading

The Story of a TCC-er at Summer Camp

This is the story of a TCC-er.

I may not be unique. Like most people who work in or with the social sector, I have a personal drive to give back. But volunteering at a week-long summer camp gave me pause – and I will share with you how this experience reinforced how I embody TCC’s values – that is, a client-centered approach focused on learning, sustainable change, and resourcefulness.

For five of the last seven years, I have spent the third full week of July in Ripley, West Virginia – a rural community approximately 45 minutes from the state capitol.

What’s there?

Summer camp.

But not just any summer camp. Continue reading

Using an Ecosystem Approach to Define Nonprofit Strategy

You’ve been hearing about the “external environment” “ecosystem” “collaboration” “collective impact” and “hubs, spoke, nodes, etc.” a lot lately. Have you been wondering how all these concepts should influence your organization’s strategic priorities? So have we. Continue reading

Building a More Effective Community Approach

Companies are developing their corporate citizenship approaches and strategies based on three primary drivers: aligning with their purpose; addressing an operational issue; and/or supporting the communities where they have operations and employees.

Public media and high-profile stories surrounding companies and their corporate citizenship efforts tend to focus on the major programs and initiatives that the company has developed and promoted, such as Unilever’s Sustainable Living commitment (Purpose) or Starbucks’ focus on sourcing products responsibly (Operations).

The approach to community, however, tends to be less developed. Numerous companies state that they support the communities where their employees live and work, but with employees scattered around the globe in possibly hundreds of locations, companies struggle to develop an approach that effectively meets the needs of their various stakeholders in all of their localities.

Companies experience an increasing pressure to address critical issues, as well as communicate the activities and impact of the company in the communities where it operates, even in the most rural locations. As a result, there is a greater need for companies to develop an approach that addresses the issues and concerns of those stakeholders. Continue reading