One of my favorite sessions was “When Program and Communications Are Integrated, Good Things Happen For Foundations,” moderated by Bruce Trachtenberg, the Communications Network, with Marc Fest, Knight Foundation and Julio Marcial, CA Wellness Foundation. The big takeaways? Strategic communications can affect public opinion and catalyze policy reforms. It can help foundations transform lives and communities. An important part of Julio’s story was the role of the press in putting pressure on city officials to act. The press was a key part of Marc’s story along with social media and how much philanthropy has to gain by being transparent, seeking input and opinion and tapping into the global brain.
A final thought. Marc shared his mantra for stressful times: “It will be lovely.” I will leave this conference glad to have reconnected with friends, full of new ideas, confident in some of our work and inspired by new ideas. I also leave eager to get back to New York and confident that “It will be lovely!”
Vicki Rosenberg is vice president—education, communications and external relations at the Council of Michigan Foundations.