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From The Network

The Communications Network just got better — we're thrilled to announce Yabby Faris as our new Membership and Program Coordinator and Amy Kramer as our new Managing Director. Say hi to Yabby and Amy! And a big congratulations to our Emma Lister, who was married in Vail, Colorado on New Year's Eve — check out the beautiful pics on Instagram via #ListerFoundHerMister.

With help from our colleagues at The Met, Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and others, we're currently reviewing nominations for the first ever Clarence B. Jones Impact Award. We've been thrilled to see such a strong list of communications campaigns that changed our society. This year's winner will be announced in June.

The storytelling issue of our Change Agent journal is in the mail! Let us know what you think about our latest Issue, featuring Andy Goodman, World Wildlife Fund, The Brookings Institution, The Moth, and the University of Florida, among others. Haven't gotten yours yet? Hang in there — nonprofit media mail, is, ahem, slow. Have your copy? Snap a photo of it and share it on social via #ChangeAgent.

You can still register to receive early bird rates for ComNet18 in San Francisco. Tickets are going fast. The conference is October 10-12, 2018 at the historic Westin St. Francis on Union Square in downtown SF.


Members Community: What's Trending?

That question that has you stuck?

The answer is in here. Join the conversation and get feedback from your colleagues and peers.

Any recommendations for social media training programs, from two-day workshops to college certificate programs?

Upcoming Events

February 5: ComNetworkMICHIGAN — Why Detroit is Investing in Storytelling

February 27: WEBINAR — We're partnering with AndACTION to talk about using pop culture as a comms tool to drive social change. Stay tuned for an invite.

February 28: ComNetworkNY gathers. Hold the date, details to come.


Surveying the Field

Only 33% of Americans have a favorable view of the news media, and just 44% can name an objective news source. Knight Foundation's Survey on Trust, Media, and Democracy reveals eroding trust in the U.S. media.

Why The Gates Foundation Just Paid Off Nigeria's $76 Million Debt.

The California Health Care Foundation's new website is a great example of web redesign done well — clean, crisp, and easy to navigate.

Read Justice over greatness: A new year's reflection, Darren Walker of the Ford Foundation's call to action for 2018, and a great reminder of the moral imperative that underpins the work of the social sector.

Grant Oliphant and Maxwell King, of The Heinz Endowments and The Pittsburgh Foundation, respectively, penned SHAME, a response to the controversial "Reason as Racism" editorial in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

This is interesting...The Pittsburgh Foundation filed an amicus brief in a gerrymandering case in Pennsylvania.

Not to cheerlead or sound a clarion call to the barricades; everyone working in the social sector understands that extraordinary events are afoot and fundamental values are being tested. What matters now, is not rhetoric, but how we meet these tests—substantively, and on the ground. Hewlett Foundation's Larry Kramer reflects on the foundation's strategy and approach to giving in Adapting our philanthropy in trying times.

What would MLK say today? Listen to Dr. Clarence B. Jones at The Apollo Theater on WNYC.  

NCF is a foundation that is willing to take on a high level of risk. We heard loud and clear from our Board that we can view risk as an asset, not solely as a liability to be managed. Sharon Alpert, President & CEO of The Nathan Cummings Foundation, shares her view on what philanthropy was built for and how her foundation is supporting its partners in her Letter to the Field, Risking Boldly.

Use this link to save $300 on registration for this year's NTEN conference: This year's gathering is April 11-13, 2018 in New Orleans.


Good Job + Good Jobs

Matt Herrick is the new Managing Director of Communications at The Rockefeller Foundation.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced Mary B. Cohen as its new vice president for communications.

Give a warm welcome to Misty Whited, a new Network member and the new VP of Marketing and Communications at the Austin Community Foundation!

Darin McKeever has been named President & CEO of the William Davidson Foundation, succeeding Jonathan S. Aaron.

Wherever you are or want to be, there's work to be done. Check out our job bank to find your fit. United We Dream is looking for a Communications Director. Silicon Valley Community Foundation needs a Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Schusterman Family Foundation needs a Communications Officer. The Trevor Project seeks a Head of Communications.


Pick up the new book
from the Heath Brothers:
The Power of Moments

What We're Reading (So You Can Use It)

Use Human Connection to Breathe Life into Emails | Ad Council
Hi, I’m Vignesh. Check that out. Almost instantaneously this faceless bunch of online words is now someone talking to you, directly. The idea of being personable has long been a part of human culture, but it has been a slow burn for email marketers.

HuffPost, Breaking From Its Roots, Ends Unpaid Contributions | The New York Times
The site’s everyone-is-welcome ethos was once seen as a democratizing force in news. But Ms. Polgreen said in an interview that unfiltered platforms had devolved into “cacophonous, messy, hard-to-hear places where voices get drowned out and where the loudest shouting voice prevails.”

How Facebook's Newsfeed Changes Will Affect Your Org | Craft & Commerce
Create great stuff. Add value. Focus on meaningful, social- and mobile-native interactions. And, yes, put money behind the content you believe in. 

They Took On the Food Giants — and Won | The New York Times
With a natural bent as a communicator, Dr. Jacobson was able to sell serious science with catchy phrases and humor, alerting the public to foods to avoid and offering suggestions for more wholesome alternatives. Today, the organization’s Nutrition Action Healthletter still counters unwholesome products (it calls them “Food Porn”) with healthier options (“The Right Stuff”).

Start Your Engines: How Immigration Communicators Can Fine-Tune Their Strategy | Nonprofit Quarterly
The most important work that immigration reform advocates must do is to disrupt the Them narrative and establish an Us story. This is the reframing prerequisite.

How to Manage Your CareerThe New York Times
A successful career requires managing the person in the mirror – overcoming your tendencies and habits that can undermine efforts to find happiness at work. Discover strategies for navigating different situations, whether you have a job, recently lost one, or are making a go at the ‘gig economy.’

Communicating directly about racism, discrimination, and xenophobia. | Big Duck
Communicate your values in everything you do. This is a fundamental principle for developing communications that are credible, compelling, and inspiring, and will help move people to action.

What Separates Good Writing from Bad Writing? | Contently
“Good communicators make themselves look smart. Great communicators make their audiences feel smart." So how do you make your audience feel smart? Teach them something new. But do it in an enjoyable way.

10 New Principles of Good Design | Fast Company
Good design chases more than clicks. It’s mindful of potential impact–whether economic, social, cultural, or environmental–and it’s mindful of that impact over time.

Social Science for Good

The Desirability of Storytellers | The Atlantic
That’s why individuals choose to tell stories on a moment-to-moment basis—it’s what biologists call the “proximate cause” of a behavior. But it’s the broader benefits—the “ultimate causes” like transmission of knowledge or inculcation of values—that might explain why storytelling arose in the first place.

4 Elements of Great Storytelling, Backed by Neuroscience | Contently
Short video on the four pillars underlying all great stories: relatability, novelty, tension, and fluency.

Tristan's Three Things for Fun 

  1. Google's Year In Search for 2017 will make you feel a lot of feelings.
  2. Burger King used the Whopper (an American institution) to explain net neutrality. And it's great.
  3. Want your coworkers to play nice with you? Put on "Yellow Submarine."

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