I work with nonprofits, news organizations, funders and community groups to help them better understand the context in which they work, engage in inclusive conversations and communicate their mission and activities.
Whoever you are trying to serve, and whatever you are trying to accomplish, you are working within an ecosystem of information. I draw from a variety of methods to assess the role of information in an organization’s mission, activities and impact.
Media Ecosystem Mapping / Asset Mapping
What role does information play in your activities? What kind of news and information environment do your stakeholders navigate? What information assets are already in place to help you achieve your mission?
You don’t have to work in the media to be an integral part of a media ecosystem. Many community organizations are vital sources of news and information for their clients and stakeholders. Anyone who advocates for social change knows how vital trusted, quality information is to the work they do.
News organizations tend to think in terms of their industry competitors, but by better understanding the ecosystem in which they operate and the assets their audiences and communities possess, they can better meet the needs of those they serve.
I draw on a mix of techniques from reporting, social science and organizing, tailoring the mix according to the client’s and the community’s needs.
Theory of Change / Systems Change Analysis
What is the impact of your work? How do you know? Theory of change is an essential practice for organizations to clearly articulate mission, use resources wisely and create a meaningful framework to evaluate impact.
My approach is rooted in both theory and practice. It involves listening carefully to your organization’s stakeholders; using collaborative thinking and inclusive dialogue to surface ideas, aspirations and meaning in your work; and building consensus within your organization around a clear shared understanding of what you do, what you need, who you serve and where you’re heading.
Investing in this kind of strategic thinking pays dividends in every aspect of your work, including fundraising, leadership development and impact.
No one accomplishes anything alone. We are smarter and stronger when we put our heads together. Engagement is a powerful way to tap into the wisdom of a group, be it a group of colleagues or an entire community. Engagement surfaces new ideas and solutions and builds consensus and commitment to carry the work forward.
Are you willing to listen to many points of view, but unsure how to make the conversation productive? I can help you open the floor to many perspectives while staying focused on your objective.
I’m a trained facilitator with experience guiding conversations with as few as three and as many as 150 people at a time. I’ve used techniques such as World Cafe, Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry to lead inclusive conversations that have resulted in real-world projects and collaborations.
I can help you determine the best format and venue, design the process, guide the discussion and document the insights in ways that maximize outcomes. I can also design and facilitate workshops for your team or your community of interest.
Outreach can mean many things. To me, it means meeting people where they are and inviting them into the conversation. If you want to move beyond the usual suspects and learn from people directly affected by an issue about what they need, outreach is a priority. When done with intention and cultural competency, outreach can build trust among stakeholders, both old and new, laying the foundation for powerful collaborative work.
I approach outreach with the skills of a reporter and an organizer. I can help you figure out who you need to be in relationship with to achieve your goals and help you make connections that set you up for strong, lasting partnerships.
If you’re looking for conventional public relations, I’m not the right person. But if you want to communicate your mission, goals, activities and impacts, I can help you find your story and tell it clearly and effectively.
Translating your work into clear, succinct prose isn’t easy. It helps to have an outside perspective, someone who can lift you out of the weeds. I can craft your internal research or documentation into a public-facing story about your work, be it an annual report or a white paper. I can develop narratives you can adapt for websites, brochures, social media or the platform of your choice.
Grant writing is a challenge, especially for small organizations and those just getting started in the quest for philanthropic funding. The best grant writing is collaborative, the end result of thoughtful internal planning. I can lead that collaboration and help communicate the full value of your work.
I can help you navigate the landscape of private philanthropic foundations. I have experience as both a staff member and a board member writing successful grants totalling more than $1 million. I’m versed in the specialized world of journalism funding, which requires understanding not just of funders’ perspectives but of ethical requirements of independence and transparency.
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