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Values-Based Communication: How Leading with Values Can Power Your Organization

All organizations – whether funders, nonprofit service providers, advocates, large or small, or focused locally, nationally, or internationally—have values that are operationalized and communicated every day. These values may or may not be formally articulated or even align with mission and vision, yet they shape all interactions and can either serve to advance an organization’s goals or, unintentionally, undermine them.

To live and communicate our organization’s values, it is essential to be purposeful in communicating these values internally.  Building a consistent, powerful voice and story rooted in values that can be shared by all staff members will help organizations speak to many constituencies.  This primer demonstrates the ways an organization’s values are already being communicated through their work and decide whether you are ready to engage their full power.

TCC Group’s focus on values reflects growing acknowledgement across the nonprofit and philanthropic sector that we must collectively marshal every resource possible to counter systemic inequity and injustice, climate catastrophe, rising authoritarianism, and other threats to the wellbeing of individuals and societies globally. We created Leading with Values: Why Values-Based Communications Should Power Our Organizations to explore how centering your work and communications on your organizations’ values can simultaneously strengthen organizations and address these challenges.

In this brief, we share ways to determine how to identify an organization’s values and reconcile competing values, consider what it means for an organization to “live” its values, and assess ways to communicate an organization’s values both externally and internally. Informed by TCC Group’s more than 40 years of supporting mission-driven organizations, Leading with Values offers a starting place for considering how adopting a values-centered approach can advance organizations, communication, relationships, and more.

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