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Foundation Operations: Communications-> Publications


Benton Foundation, Benchmarks for Building Extranets and Online Communities (Washington, DC: 2003). With support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, Benton developed these guidelines to help foundations and nonprofit organizations plan, build, and sustain on-line communities.

Benton Foundation, Strategic Communications in the Digital Age (Washington, DC: 2001). The Benton Foundation's capacity building project documented best practices and lessons learned by nonprofit organizations about the impact, successes, failures, and struggles in using strategic communications. This toolkit catalogues valuable lessons and models for peer learning and reference purposes. It can be obtained at

The California Wellness Foundation, Reflections: On Communications Strategies That Accent Grantees (Woodland Hills, CA: February 2003). This issue of Reflections shares what the foundation has learned about communicating its mission and tailoring messages to reach specific audiences through the use of compelling stories.

Cause Communications, Communications Toolkit - A Guide to Navigating Communications for the Nonprofit World (Santa Monica, CA: 2005). This toolkit offers practical information in virtually every area of communications based on findings from national qualitative and quantitative surveys of what nonprofits want in the area of communications.

Council on Foundations, Grantmakers Communications Manual (Washington, DC: 1998). This manual includes strategies and techniques of respected communications and grantmaking professionals. Learn how to identify target audiences, communicate your mission, determine the core information you want to share, create vehicles to deliver messages, and evaluate how well information was received. The manual can be ordered from

The Foundation Center, Communications for Social Good (New York, NY: 2004). This publication examines foundation opportunities and techniques to leverage social change goals through the use of communications media. It is available at

FoundationWorks, How to Make the Most of Working with Your Marketing Communications Professionals (Washington, DC: FoundationWorks, 2004). This report offers pragmatic advice on working with communications professionals, including how to find the right help for your job, how to structure a relationship that protects your budget, how to turn a paper-thin contract into a productive partnership and quality product, and how to track success.

FoundationWorks, Making American Foundations Relevant: Conversations with 21st Century Leaders in Philanthropy (Washington, DC: FoundationWorks, 2006). This report summarizes anonymous interviews with 43 individuals including foundation and related professional association executives and opinion leaders from national policy centers and universities. The findings indicate nearly universal agreement that the role and importance of the sector does not register with critical audiences to the extent that it should. Making American Foundations Relevant presents essential strategies for overcoming many of the barriers to effective philanthropy as indicated through the interviews.

FoundationWorks, Philanthropy in the News: An Analysis of Media Coverage, 1990 - 2004 (Washington, DC: FoundationWorks 2006). This report represents an in-depth historical media analysis to understand how philanthropy - specifically the foundation portion of the philanthropic sector - has been covered in the news. These findings and implications suggest that there is a growing appetite among the media to cover philanthropic activity and foundations may have an opportunity to talk to the press more about the transformational nature and substance of their efforts.

Frameworks Institute, Framing Public Issues (Washington, DC: 2002). This toolkit was created by the FrameWorks Institute to help issues advocates learn and apply new communications thinking to frame their work for better public understanding and engagement.

Goodman, Andy, Free Range Thinking. A monthly journal of best practices and resources for public interest communicators, this newsletter can help grantmakers reach more people, more effectively. The current and archived issues can be accessed on-line at

Goodman, Andrew, The Seventh Annual Summer Reading List (Los Angeles, CA: 2006). In his summer 2006 newsletter, Andrew Goodman provides a selection of recommended reading for those seeking to improve their communication skills. From working with the media to developing Web sites, the books on this list provide useful strategies and insights.

Goodman, Andrew, Storytelling as Best Practice (Los Angeles, CA: 2004). Written expressly for public interest communicators, this booklet includes articles on why stories are your most powerful tool, seven questions that can turn you into a better storyteller, how to build and use a story bank, why story memos make program officers better communicators, and how stories can make you a more effective presenter.

Goodman, Andrew, Why Bad Presentations Happen to Good Causes (Los Angeles, CA: 2002). Based on a 10-year study of public interest advertising, and incorporating interviews with leading practitioners in the field, this book will help communications professionals understand what readers are looking for and whether or not an organization's ad is giving it to them.

Hershey, Christine, Communications Toolkits: A Guide for Navigating Communications for the Nonprofit World (Santa Monica, CA: Cause Communications, 2005). This toolkit takes an in-depth look at nonprofit communication strategies and offers guidance on how to brand your organization, develop effective messages, work with the media, as well as other communications strategies.

Hope, Hollis, David Fan, and Vikki Spruill, An Analysis of Media Coverage: 1990-2004 (Washington, DC: FoundationWorks, 2006). This publication examines how the foundation component of the philanthropic sector might better express its value to society. It also looks at how leaders within and outside the sector view philanthropic foundations and assess foundation leaders' willingness to collectively enhance the understanding of the value of foundations in the world of philanthropy.

Huang, Judy, Foundation Communications: The Grantee Perspective (Cambridge, MA: The Center for Effective Philanthropy, 2006). This report is the first in a series of issue papers designed to provide practical and actionable research on communicating effectively with grantees. It examines how, by clearly communicating goals and strategies, a foundation can improve its chance of achieving its desired effect.

Interactive Applications Group, Foundations for Success: Emerging Trends in Grantmakers' Use of the Internet (Washington, DC: 2004). This guide focuses on four major trends in grantmakers' use of the Internet. A copy of the guide can be downloaded from

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, “A Case Study in Advocacy Through Public Education: How the Public Media Center Used Facts to Counter Tobacco Industry Politics,”
Pink Book – Making Health Communication Programs Work

National Cancer Institute, (Washington, DC: 2003). This book is a revision of the original Making Health Communication Programs Work, first printed in 1989, that the Office of Cancer Communications of the National Cancer Institute developed to guide communication program planning. The purpose of this revision is to update communication planning guidelines to account for the advances in knowledge and technology that have occurred during the past decade.

The Rockefeller Foundation, Communication for Social Change: An Integrated Model for Measuring the Process and Its Outcomes (New York, NY: 2002). The purpose of this report is to provide a practical resource for community organizations, communication professionals, and social-change activists working in development projects that they can use to assess the progress and the effects of their programs.

Spitfire Strategies, Smart Chart 2.0: A New and Improved Tool to Help Nonprofits Make Smart Communications Choices (Washington, DC: 2005). Whether you are just starting the communications planning process, checking in on a communications campaign already in progress, or interested in reviewing an effort you have already executed, the Smart Chart 2.0 will help you assess your strategic decisions to ensure that your communications plan delivers high impact.

Spitfire Strategies, Breaking Through to Great: Smart Strategies for Developing Winning Communications Campaigns (Washington, DC: 2004) and Spitfire Strategies, The Spitfire Strategies: Smart Chart 2.0 (Washington, DC: 2004). These publications examine successful public relations campaigns and lead organizations through a communications check-up. Smart Chart 2.0 guides organizations through the process of developing a solid communications strategy using exercises and a comprehensive worksheet. Both are available from Spitfire Strategies at




































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