Wednesday, September 24, 2008

foundations: dive into the new-media pool

So says a new report from the Communications Network in Philanthropy, with the encouraging title Come on in, the water's fine: An exploration of Web 2.0 technology and its emerging impact on foundation communications. Among its recommendations for how foundations should use new technology:
  • Provide their staff members with the skills they need to operate in the new digital world.
  • Reward creativity and innovation in using these new media internally and among grantees.
  • Build social networks that cut across sectors and institutions, to engage in ongoing dialogue among private, public, nonprofits and research stakeholders.

Good ideas for any organization wanting to take the plunge--and they're among the recommendations I make in my "get your toes wet" orientation and strategy sessions on new and social media for communications. I'm at the Network's annual meeting in Chicago (and will be live-Twittering many sessions over the next two days under the hash tag #comnet08). At this conference, we'll have participants from all ends of the pool, from the MacArthur Foundation--an early player in Second Life--and the Mott Foundation, which reorganized its website around themes important to its audiences, rather than its own structure, to organizations still hesitant to employ new technologies due to a wide range of concerns captured in the report. My guess: This year's conference will get the group even further than last year's, in which we started a Network Facebook group that's actually done well keeping group members in touch between conferences. Check back for more updates: I'll be sharing innovations and good ideas here.

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