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Strategic Communications in the digital age
Benton Foundation
September 04, 2006

A best practices toolkit for achieving your organization's mission

Effective communications is mission critical. Information and communications technologies must be leadership and CEO concerns in any organization that wants to be a powerful agent of social change. The emerging -- and converging -- digital media environment also brings new potential for partnerships and collaborations, inviting qualitatively different relationships between organizations and their constituencies, members and donors.

Nonprofit leaders need credible, succinct information to meet the challenges of the digital age. The Benton Foundation capacity building project documented best practices and lessons learned by nonprofits about the impact, successes, failures and struggles in using strategic communications. This toolkit catalogues valuable lessons and models for peer learning and archival reference purposes. The site is not updated but is archived in our library as a resource to the nonprofit community. Except for relevant event announcements, it was last updated May 2002.

Toolkit Features:

Think it Through
What it takes to design & fund an effective communications technology strategy, including planning, audience development, message shaping, evaluation and funding.

Put it to Work
Profiles, resources and tools to help you implement your plans for advocacy, building community, creating partnerships, reaching your audience.

What to Watch
Leaders and innovators sound off on communications trends in funding, e-commerce, nonprofit policy and more issues important to the nonprofit sector.

Funders Corner: Who's doing what with digital media and communications technology in the funding community.

Partners in Public Service: A Working Guide for Public Broadcasters and Community Organizations
The Benton Foundation, in collaboration with Penn State University, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, documented the stories of eight partnerships between public television stations and museums and libraries. Their stories shed light on the challenges of partnering and their suggestions help to ensure greater success for those undertaking similar endeavors.

Reassessing Your Communications Initiatives: Lessons from Environmental Defense
Successful experimentation with communication technologies in the early and late 1990s signaled to Environmental Defense the importance of new communication vehicles. Benton examines the organization's evolving strategy to target new audiences and collaborate with like-minded organizations to expand their reach.

The partnership between the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Foundation Foundation and Planned Parenthood on the Pro Choice Voice Project resulted in 1 million new pro-choice supporters. This article examines the lessons learned in maintaining a working partnership between these two organizations.

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.