Did you know: It was easier to get accepted at Amherst this year than to get your breakout proposal picked for ComNet16? 

From The Network (or: Shameless Plugs)
ComNet16 opens for registration June 1st. Early rates will be in effect until June 20th. Learn about registration rates and more about our plans at

Didn't catch our recent webinar on what it takes to create a content strategy that resonates? Watch the replay.

Jesse Salazar, Vice President of Communications at the Council on Foundations and The Network Board Vice Chair, joined a small group of Network members to wrestle with what works and why when organizing movements around social change in this new digital era.

Communication Matters: Make communications decisions that are aligned with your mission and consistent over time. That's how you build a reputation.

A new is coming soon. Our aim? To make The Network more useful. Want more details? Click here. Among the things you can expect:

  • A re-imagined members-only section to help you find the exact members you want to connect with, allow you to share files, start discussions (and archive them), form groups, and more
  • A site that's much easier to use, along with new and improved resources to help you do your job better 
While we were at it, we refreshed the visual look for The Network. Why? We needed a visual ID that could work better in the modern era of mobile and digital platforms. We could geek out here about how it reflects The Network's brand, captures our aspirations and values of community, learning and leadership. But we won't. Suffice to say, we thought about it with our partners at Atlantic Media Strategies. A lot. Yeah, the red shocked us at first too. Have a peek:

Learn from World Wildlife Fund's CEO and Vice President of Communications how four key communications principles helped WWF organize a global clarion call to stop wildlife crime in the latest installment in our series, The Case for Communications

  • How to use the series: these case studies are meant to serve as evidence to help you secure new resources, take new approaches, and encourage CEOs, board members, program staff, and others to embrace the impact of modern strategic communications. 
  • You can help: please promote the series on social media and encourage your colleagues (program staff, senior leadership, board members) and peers to take a look (#Case4Comm).
Upcoming Events

Surveying the Field
Digital first — with a nod to history. John S. Knight, co-founder of Knight Foundation, won the 1968 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a series of columns about the Vietnam War. Read his work at this beautifully imagined and designed Knight Foundation online feature.

Knight is also partnering with Columbia University to create a center to advance First Amendment rights in the digital age, using research, education, and litigation to address concerns about the amendment's application to new technologies.

MacArthur Foundation announced that it will be expanding its commitment to journalism and media by funding professional nonprofit reporting, nonfiction multimedia storytelling, and civic media that enables new ways for people to express and organize themselves for social change. 

Business for Social Responsibility's Melanie Janin reflects on five lessons in sustainability communications she's learned five years in as BSR's Managing Director of Communications.

Spitfire Strategies's AndACTION project is launching a new site at the end of June. Stay tuned and sign up for updates here.

Good Work + Good Jobs 
Make your mark. Work for Marc. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Los Angles is hiring a Digital Communications Manager.

See more from the Network's job bank here.

Coming Soon to Your Mailbox

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

The Worst Nonprofit Jargon, According to You | The Chronicle of Philanthropy
The nonprofit world, like any other group, can develop its own language that doesn't make much sense to outsiders...does a donor understand the meaning of a "strategic partnership working to leverage best practices for sustainable collective impact?" Do you?

Stop Saying "I Feel Like" | The New York Times
“I feel like” is not a harmless tic...The phrase says a great deal about our muddled ideas about reason, emotion and argument — a muddle that has political consequences.

Why Your Brain Loves Visual Content | Column Five
Why is visual communication so powerful? Science. The brain absorbs and synthesizes visual information faster than any other stimuli, making visual content an incredibly effective medium. 

Grantmakers Need to Pay Nonprofits What it Takes | Stanford Social Innovation Review
The advantage of a pay-what-it-takes policy is that it eliminates the need for the shadow economy in which funders and grantees purposely obscure financial data and quietly craft end runs around the arbitrary indirect cost spending caps imposed by most foundations. 

The Stacks: A Library of Nonprofit Tools | EveryAction
Whether you're looking for a campaign launch template, a storytelling guide, or even a fun nonprofit playlist, this resource library has it.

7 Essential Lessons from the Harvard Innovation Lab | Fast Company
If you want to lay the groundwork for a big idea, focus on developing one segment of it until it has strong roots. 

Data Visualizations that Really Work | Harvard Business Review
Data visualization is a process, not an outcome. Two questions you should ask to set yourself up for success.

Typography Is a Matter of Life or Death — Literally | The Atlantic
From highway signs to weather alerts, typography matters. Because we see words as shapes, rectangular blocks of all caps take longer to process.

How People Use Smartphones to Access Information | Knight Foundation
Pulling data directly from smartphone users, a new report provides insights into navigating the growing mobile news ecosystem. 

Facebook Has 50 Minutes of Your Time Each Day, and It Wants More | The New York Times
Time is the best measure of engagement, and the average person spends more than 1/16th of their day on Facebook's platforms.

A Map of How Emotions Influence Our Lives, by The Dalai Lama | Fast Company
Psychologists have found that being able to recognize your emotional states and take a proactive view of understanding their causes can be an extremely effective way to manage day-to-day stresses. 

The Washington Post Tests Personalized Newsletters | NiemanLab 
So much of what we do with the newsletters and email alerts and app alerts is to reach people where they are. People take their inboxes with them.

How to Communicate with the 5 Most Common Personality Types | Fast Company
Learn how to work with Nurturers, Creatives, Guardians, Connectors, and Pioneers.

How to Use a Storytelling Grid to Develop Stories | CauseVox
When creating stories for your campaign, what you want to do is match a Beat with a Channel as a way to chart out your stories.

10 Signs Your Small Nonprofit Excels at Social Media | Nonprofit Tech for Good
Now is a good time to step back and look at your social media campaigns with a fresh perspective. All nonprofit social media campaigns – even those of large, well-funded organizations – can be improved upon. 

Culture Report
The World Bank has eliminated the phrase "developing country" from its vocabulary.

Google tried to build the perfect team. Here's what it learned.

Don't be afraid to show emotion in policy stories. The best stories don't run from messy details — they embrace them.

Tristan's Four Things for Fun 

  1. Pixar has 22 rules they adhere to in their storytelling. Number one: WHY must you tell this story?
  2. Maybe you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but you can apparently teach it to fly a plane.
  3. A History of Modern Philanthropy is an interactive journey through time that takes you around the world from 1500-today to chart how philanthropy has evolved over time.
  4. Hang Up the Conference CallThe conference-call details include a dial-in number followed by a PIN. The PIN is too long to memorize. (Wait, I just got a text message from the organizer: That PIN isn’t working, here’s a new one.)

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Interested in sponsoring the newsletter? Have feedback, upcoming events or news, Dalai Lama sightings, typography dangers or Dan Pallotta rants? Email

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