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From The Network

ComNet16 is over. The conversation continues:

  • Need advice? Ideas? A mentor? Every Network member is at your fingertips in our all-new Communications Network Members Community. Find every member of The Network by name, org, where they live, what issues they work on, and what expertise and experience they have to share. See a quick primer video on how it works hereGet in touch with us if you're a member and need an invite.
  • We'll be posting replays and transcripts of all of our 2016 keynote sessions online soon. When they're up, you'll find them here.
  • Check out all of our photos from the conference, including stunning shots of the DIA — they're free for your re-use under Creative Commons.
  • "Diversity is a fact, inclusion is a practice, equity is a goal...Get comfortable with being uncomfortable," says Anusha Alikhan, Communications Director at the Knight Foundation, reflecting on her ComNet16 session that explored race, discrimination, power, privilege, and communications for good.
You don't have to wait to sign up for ComNet17 in Miami Beach. Early bird registration is open now, and you can reserve a discounted room at the historic and recently refurbished Fontainebleau Hotel. We've set aside 200 discounted tickets. Almost 100 are already spoken for, so please don't delay. The conference will sell out.

Can you measure the impact of strategic communications work? Of course you can. But according to a recent survey by Forum One, almost 70% of us are measuring activity — not impact. Want to know how to up your game? Watch the replay of our recent webinar, Measuring and Communicating the Impact of Your Digital Strategy

Upcoming Events

November 1: ComNetworkMiami Launches tomorrow evening in Brickell.

November 17: ComNetworkSeattle gathers at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a Fall Happy Hour.

November 17: ComNetworkSanFrancisco kicks off at former Google CEO Eric's Schmidt's Schmidt Family Foundation in downtown SF

Surveying the Field

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the first woman and first African American to lead the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is stepping down after 14 stellar years as President and CEO of the nation's largest foundation devoted to health.

Understanding and speaking to people's values are key. Sign up for updates from American Aspirations, a new communications research project from Ford Foundation and Hattaway Communications aimed at helping you connect your cause to people’s hopes for their own lives.

Have you seen the all new Check out the new look and logo and get a glimpse into the Foundation's grantee work and the thinking behind its giving.

NBC has a new show about philanthropy. "Give" introduces viewers to the world of philanthropy through the stories of small charities making a big impact. The series features Jenna Bush Hager and celebrity philanthropists. In each episode, celebrity ambassadors will visit two charities that use innovation, best practices, and dedication for change in their communities and the world. 

World Wildlife Fund's new Living Planet Index reports that the "global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined by 58% between 1970 and 2012," and will continue to rapidly decline in the future. Fortunately, WWF has developed a strategy to combat this. Have a look at their recent case study, part of our Case for Communications series with Stanford Social Innovation Review.

New research from Rockefeller Foundation reveals a new aspect of the glass ceiling: When things go south at an org, a female CEO shoulders the blame 80% of the time. A male CEO? About 30%.

Good Work + Good Jobs

The California Wellness Foundation is looking for a Director of Communications. See more from our redesigned job bank.

Coming Soon

If you're a Network member, the Fall/Winter issue of Change Agent is coming to your mailbox. Soon. Designed by Constructive and featuring smart pieces on effectively using strategic communications for good from Rockefeller Foundation, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Kaiser Family Foundation, and more. 


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

How to Write Short | NPR
Identifying what to leave out of a story is just as important as what to include. Look for sentences that are not essential and can be cut (or as the novelist Elmore Leonard advised: “Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”) 

Stock Photos That Don't Suck | Medium 
Finding great stock photos is a pain. You’re left with either low-res amateur photos, people wearing cheesy headsets, or photos that are out of budget for the project you’re working on. [Here's] an ongoing list of the best stock photo sites.

You've Set Up an Email Welcome Series, Now What? | EveryAction
Just ask your supporters what they care about - you may not get a lot of responses, but the ones you get could be fulfilling and have a positive impact on your email program.

Four Ways to Fix Broken Communications in the Social Sector | Stanford Social Innovation Review
Abandoning “me too” thinking means being willing to try something before everyone else is doing it. It means weighing the risk of unproven but potentially powerful tactics against the opportunity cost of using safe and unoriginal communications.

2016 NGO Online Technology Survey | Nonprofit Tech for Good
Some interesting tidbits from over 4,500 NGOs worldwide: 52% report live from events on social media, 15% regularly text supporters, and 4% are active on Snapchat.

2016 Guidestar Nonprofit Compensation Report | GuideStar
Median compensation of females continued to lag behind that of males when considering comparable positions at similar organizations. The gap ranged from eight percent for CEOs at organizations with budgets of $250 thousand or less to 23 percent at organizations with budgets of greater than $25 million.

How to Use Social Influence to Inspire Action | Nonprofit Hub
Social influence is all about tapping into people’s tendency to gravitate towards behavior that other people approve of.

8 Ways You're Making People Tune Out When You Speak | Fast Company
It’s well-known that eye contact is important in interpersonal communication, but there’s a fine line between being warm and engaging and making listeners feel intimidated or threatened.

In Praise of Jargon: 3 Times You Should Embrace It | Big Duck
Does the word or phrase encourage people to learn more, or does it cause them to tune out? If you can pique interest, you probably have an opportunity on your hands.

5 Ways for Nonprofits to Tell an Ethical Story | Nonprofit Quarterly
Reducing someone to a problem when he offered to share his story—an extraordinary act of charitable giving all its own—is a victimizing act, and it imposes a viewpoint of his situation he may not share. On a broader scale, it can reinforce false stereotypes most nonprofits try to combat about who lives in poverty, who has a mental health condition, and who faces obstacles bigger than they alone can overcome (which is all of us).

Culture Report

Nobody Knows What the Hell They Are Doing | 99U
And the truth, deep down, is that we all feel as though we’re just winging it. “I have written 11 books,” said the late Maya Angelou, who was renowned as a novelist, poet, and memoirist, “but each time, I think ‘Uh-oh. They’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.’”

Tristan's Three Things for Fun 

  1. ComNet16 keynoter George Packer's latest for The New Yorker tries to explain what's really going on in this wild, wacky election.
  2. A cool infographic from Georgetown University and the Meyer Foundation breaks down what's happening in storytelling these days.
  3. Need a last-minute Halloween prank? Scroll down and print — you're welcome. (I'll try this on Sean and let you know how it goes, if I don't get fired.)

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Interested in sponsoring the newsletter? Have feedback, upcoming events or news, or pranks so good they'll get you fired? Email

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