Communications Collaborative Listserv

Established in 2009, the Communications Collaborative is a network of nearly 50 grantmakers representing national and regional foundations interested in coordinating investments to build communications capacity in the field. An active listserv is maintained by GIST staff. More than 600 messages were shared in 2017.

Grantmakers and philanthropic advisors interested in joining this listserv should contact Ami Nagle or Cema Siegel.

Previous Collaborative activities included:

  • Facilitated periodic calls to provide participating funders with a neutral platform to discuss and exchange information around strategic communications. (2013-2015)
  • GIST dedicated its Fall 2015 meeting entirely to the topic of strategic communications. Making Waves: Philanthropy, Communications Investments and Creating Change included interactive discussions on narrative as a tool for social change, public engagement through pop culture and the arts, building communications infrastructure through networks and hubs, the impact of the changing landscape of the media in how we do our work and more. (November 2015) 
  • Co-sponsored a meeting on unifying national narratives, where a small group of practitioners and funders engaged in narrative work joined together to determine the degree of agreement and alignment, as well as any important differences on the shared themes of a commonly shared progressive narrative and explored ideas for strengthening collaboration and changing practice in the field.  This meeting built off the convening on the importance of narrrative as a tool for social change. (May 2014)
  • Co-sponsored a meeting on what polling tells us about the future of fiscal and social safety net issues, where funders joined in a unique day-long conversation with leading pollsters and grantmakers to explore where public opinion and political climate are coming together to create opportunities for action. (September 2013)
  • Co-sponsored a meeting on the what and why of narrative - a powerful tool for social change - where funders gathered for a discussion on the essential elements of narrative, current narratives in practice, and critical issues around narrative, and how funders can advance narrative work. (September 2013)
  • Hosted a webinar on aligning our national narratives during an election year and beyond, to share the basic tenets of larger narratives and communications efforts around government and the economy and to provide funders and state policy and advocacy networks access to the information and tools available to support their work. (October 2012)
  • Hosted a webinar on why a strong public sector is important to philanthropy, examining why philanthropy should care about a healthy public sector, the current research on effective messaging on the essential role of government and how it connects to a broad array of issues areas, with specific examples of effective messaging from the field. (June 2012)
  • Hosted five communications learning exchange calls covering EITC, TABOR, Medicaid, the use of video and coming together around a national narrative. Calls featured state grantees, national communications firms and intermediaries who shared information on successful (and less successful) communications efforts and discussed opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Participation on the calls ranged from 15 to 100 and included funder colleagues as well as national partner organizations and state-level grantees. (May 2011-January 2012)
  • Drafted an initial set of talking points for grantmakers to use internally to garner support from their colleagues and leadership in forwarding key messages and frames regarding the role of government.
  • Click here to learn more about the work of The Collaborative to support a healthy public sector.