Peace & Joy

Happy Holidays from
The Communications Network

Thank you for caring about our field and about your craft.
Thank you for being open to new ideas and new approaches.
Thank you for generously sharing your insights and expertise. 
Thank you for being part of The Network.
Most of all, thank you for your work to make ideas move in 2015.
It matters. 

Hoping the holidays are peaceful and joyous for you and the ones you love. 

-Sean, Tristan, and Maggie
From The Network (or: Shameless Plugs)

Missed our webinar with Medium? Watch the full replay to learn how you can join Ford Foundation, New America, and others to effectively use 2015's hottest communications platform.

Planning for 2016? The first step in any strategic communications effort is to clearly define your goals

Download the presentations from some of our ComNet15  breakout sessions and workshops. Use them. Share them. Have a question? Ask a presenter.

Should old acquaintances be forgot, get in touch. Relationships matter. They help you advance your agenda and shape behavioral change.

Upcoming Events
Join ComNetworkDC on Wednesday, January 13th. In addition to networking with your local DC-area foundation and nonprofit communications colleagues, you'll learn why the American Legacy Foundation (you know them through their landmark anti-tobacco Truth Campaign) decided to change their name. 

Join us online Wednesday, January 20th at 2 PM ET as we partner with award-winning journalist Ben Feller, the former chief White House correspondent for The Associated Press, for our next webinar, Make Your Writing More Inviting.

Surveying the Field
You've seen Ford Foundation's new site. Now, read foundation president Darren Walker's NYT op-ed on Why Giving Back Isn't Enough and check out Ford's plans to transform their building into a center for philanthropy, civil service, and social justice.

Recognize excellence: submit your nominations for the Council on Foundations's Wilmer Shields Rich Award, focused on communications.

Game on. The Rockefeller Foundation recently teamed up with a tech firm to research how video games can help assess the prospects of unemployed, under-qualified 16-24 year-olds for entry-level jobs (paywall).  

The Council on Foundations's renewed commitment to addressing diversity in philanthropy is also worth a look.

Five lessons the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust learned in redefining their role. 

Knight Foundation is making a push to support entrepreneurs of color.

And Now, a Word from Our Sponsor
Are the experiences audiences have with your brand aligned with your mission? We’re a strategic branding & design partner that helps nonprofits increase cohesion, capacity, and impact.

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

Use Storytelling to Explain Your Org's Purpose | Harvard Business Review 
The reason your organization exists is a story. You know it. Can you tell it? 

Being Labeled An Expert Can Make You Close-Minded | NPR 
People who are even temporarily given the feeling that they are experts become more rigid in their thinking, and become less likely to be willing to consider new points of view, according to research.

Is It Time for a Rebrand? | The New York Times
One of the hardest things with nonprofits is that they do a lot of different things. “It’s hard to put in a box and put a label on. It’s a paragraph, not a couple of words."

Hemingway, Grammarly, and 5 Other Online Tools to Make Your Writing Better | Fast Company
Make your writing more Ernest, inclusive, personal, concise, and error-free. (No shame in these, we use 'em.)

Information is Contagious. No, really. Here's the science. | Science Daily 
New research using advanced computer modeling sheds light on how behaviors may become 'contagious' in large groups, showing that the memory of one individual can indirectly influence that of another via shared social connections.

9 Digital Trends To Watch for in 2016 | Atlantic Media Strategies 
We don’t live in an era of binary choice — we fluidly shift from device to device, from channel to channel, and from moment to moment at will. And this trend is only accelerating.
Why We Need Both Networks and Communities to Succeed | Harvard Business Review
...effective companies function as communities of human beings, not collections of human resources. Of course, all companies need robust networks, to communicate among their parts as well as to connect to the outside world.
What You Learned in Preschool Is Crucial at Work | The New York Times
Say two workers are publishing a research paper. If they lack interpersonal skills, the cost of working together might be too high to make the partnership productive.

Culture Report
Through the doors of 7124 Tuxedo | Detroit Free Press
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Stephen Henderson found his childhood home in Detroit abandoned. He didn't walk away: 
...I find myself drawn back to the house, and to the neighborhood, over and over, as a vehicle for knowing more about my father's life, and how it relates to mine. And importantly, I'm beginning to see a convergence between doing that work and meeting the challenges all of us face in the aftermath of the bankruptcy.

Where Do the Candidates Stand on Foreign Policy? | Council on Foreign Relations
A nonpartisan, visually engaging way to track who's saying what on issues ranging from energy independence to immigration.

Tristan's Three Things for Fun 

  1. Google does it again. Awaken the Force within—choose the light or the dark side (and even use your phone as a lightsaber!). 
  2. Learn how to tell emotional stories like Pixar does.
  3. "Shake their little booty": how to get any baby to stop crying.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Interested in sponsoring the newsletter? Have feedback, upcoming events or news, know who Rey is or have anything (and we mean anything) Star Wars related, or have a Pixar-worthy story? Email


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