News from the Field

Internet Policy and Communicating for Policy Change

By Jon Stahl, communications director, Philanthropy Northwest

In the past few days, we’ve hosted a pair of events with our friends at Media Impact Funders, the national network of grantmakers working on media and technology issues. In different ways, both touched on the power of communications — both medium and message — to drive forward the social change issues that animate philanthropy. Read more

Museums and Digital — The 2015 Museums and the Web Conference

By Sarah Lutman, Principal at Lutman & Associates and author of the report, Like, Link, Share: How Cultural Institutions are Embracing Digital Technologies

Media funders take note. The museum community has been investing steadily in its collective media capabilities: in technical infrastructure, media production tools, staff expertise, and asset digitization. As a result, museums are becoming some of the 21st century’s most compelling conveners, storytellers, and media producers. Read more

Notes from NTC 2015

Our friends at the Nonprofit Technology Network had the great idea of convening their annual Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Austin, Texas, a week before the massive horde arrived for South By Southwest. In addition to popular sessions from NTC stalwarts like Beth Kanter, Steve MacLaughlin and Heather Holdridge, NTEN conference participants had all the barbecue and breakfast tacos they could hope for, without the endless lines and crushing crowds associated with the annual media/tech extravaganza that SXSW has become. Read more

#Frank2015 Recap

By Bruce S. Trachtenberg

I’ve been working in the field of social change communications for a long time, and over the years I’ve seen various efforts to measure – even define – success. Then, just the other day, while attending the frank2015 conference, an annual gathering focused on public interest communications, I heard a speaker say the following:

Success in public interest communications starts when people say ‘OMG this is important!’ Read more

A Tribute to Dori J. Maynard

By Jon Funabiki

On Monday morning (3/2), I joined hundreds of family members, friends, journalists and funders in mourning the death of Dori J. Maynard, the president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and an unflinching critic of the news media’s treatment of African Americans and other minority groups. She passed away on Feb. 24 from lung cancer at the age of 56. Read more

Net Neutrality Updates

March 12, 2015 The FCC releases the new rule, protecting the Internet from blocking, throttling and paid prioritization. See excerpts and analysis from the New York Times.

February 26, 2015 Victory for the open Internet. The FCC formally voted 3-2 in favor of reclassifying Internet under Title II protections, enshrining net neutrality into law. Read more about this major achievement. Read more

Impact Is Not A Four-Letter Word

By Molly de Aguiar | Originally published in Journo.biz

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of nonprofit organizations more than when a funder asks about impact.

Foundations demand that nonprofits measure and understand the impact of their work, but rarely give their grantees the resources to do that kind of evaluation. Read more

Film on Campus Rape Could Take Philanthropy Activism to a New Level

Originally published in Philanthropy.com

The signs of an avalanche were stirring at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, one that could have especially strong reverberations for everyone who is concerned about promoting social change — including activists, donors, and fundraisers. That low rumble you hear comes from the premiere of The Hunting Ground, a film about sexual violence on campuses that has the potential to take activism to a new level, especially among philanthropists and lawmakers. Read more

Arts Institutions Could Benefit From Embracing Digital Media

Originally posted in Philanthropy.com

Patrons at the venerable Philadelphia Orchestra were invited to bring their smartphones and tablets to a special concert last week so they could follow along on the LiveNote app, which provides images and commentary information to illuminate musical themes as they are played. On a typical concert night for most orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra included, ushers would yank you out of your chair if you kept your mobile device open throughout the concert. Read more

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