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Hands-on Workshop: Communications Evaluation for Foundations and Nonprofits

Media Impact Funders, Philanthropy New York, and Public Policy Communicators NYC convened a hands-on workshop with innovators, offering funders concrete examples of how to use evaluation methods to better understand the role and impact of media campaigns and productions.

As the philanthropic sector increasingly recognizes the potential impact of changing hearts, minds, and actions, many foundations are funding or engaging themselves in multifaceted communications campaigns to achieve their social missions. But how can those funding or executing such projects meaningfully measure success beyond press clippings, social media follows and YouTube viewers?

Well-chosen analytics can provide a formative and continuous feedback loop pointing to your organization’s success in raising awareness (of your organization or an idea), changing behavior and motivating people to take action. The author of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, Katie Paine, provided basic concepts in how to think about evaluation.  We also heard from such innovators as Amy Sample Ward of The Nonprofit Technology Network, Jessica Clark of Media Impact Funders, and Subarna Mathes of the Open Society Foundations, who offered concrete examples of how to use evaluation methods to better understand how strategic communication and media can move the needle on issues.

Attendees learned about the various tools for assessing the social impact of documentaries, feature films, and short videos, heard about the most promising of the bunch, as well as, related debates regarding frameworks for defining film impact.

 

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