Communications Collaborative Calls

The Communications Collaborative held periodic calls from 2013-2015 to provide a platform for members to discuss and exchange information on investments and communications strategies. A summary of topics is outlined below.


December: Narrative Update Webinar Series: Part 1 - Emerging Communications Capacity Building Initiative, featuring two new communications capacity building initiatives: Our Story – The Hub for American Narratives and Progress Centered Communication (WI).

January: Moving the Persuadable Middle: Lessons from the Colorado Narrative Project, featuring findings from research that aimed to begin to identify the key values that are most prominent among the "persuadable middle" and to better understand how to communicate progressive ideas in ways that resonate with a broader segment of the population.


November: A Window of Opportunity: Media and Public Opinion on Poverty in America, featuring Alan Jenkins, Executive Director of the Opportunity Agenda, who will share key findings from their new report and actionable recommendations on how the research can inform grantmakers' communications strategies and that of grantees. 

October: Mapping a Strategy for Proactive Tax and Revenue Proposals, featuring Joseph Grady, co-Founder of the Topos Partnership, who will share the goal and design of the research, the specific ideas they are testing, and early results. 

June: Unifying National Narratives Call, exploring the outcomes from a recent 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 explore ideas for strengthening collaboration and changing practice in the field.

April: Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children, highlighting lessons learned and policy recommendations coming out of The Annie E. Casey Foundation's new policy report and how the Foundation's concentrated efforts to effectively frame the report and communicate about race contributed to its success.

February: State Fiscal Threats and Opportunities, featuring Center on Budget and Policy Priorities experts Nick Johnson, Vice President, State Fiscal Policy and Jon Shure, Director of State Fiscal Strategies.


November:  The Collaborative's EITC Rapid Response Fund (RRF) Update, featuring a review of the results and lessons learned from 2013 grantees and discussion regarding plans for continuing the Fund in 2014.

October: Participants reflected on the two in-person meeting sponsored by The Collaborative in September in NYC:

  • What Does Polling Tell us About the Future of Fiscal and Social Safety Net Issues? September 23, 2013, 10:30-5:00pm (EST) - 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.
  • The What and Why of Narrative- A Powerful Tool for Social Change. September 24, 2013, 10:00-4:30pm (EST) - A funders convening to help demystify what narrative is and why its use is an effective tool for social change.

September: Update on Communications Investments, featuring Lynda Parmely, Program Director at the Hagedorn Foundation, who provided an overview of Hagedorn’s communications work with a focus on their immigration and civic engagement programs.

July: Ford Foundation Jobs Quality Initiative Update, featuring Anna Wadia from the Ford Foundation and Meg Bostrom from Topos Partnership to provide an update on a national research project funded by the Ford Foundation to develop an effective core narrative and messaging to advance a job quality agenda.

June: How to Talk About Medicaid Expansion in Your State, featuring Bruce Lesley of First Focus to provide an update on the status of the Medicaid expansion in the states, as well as advice about how funders might improve effective communication about Medicaid Expansion in the states.

May: Prelude to the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty, featuring special guests Half in Ten and the Center for American Progress for a discussion about how to leverage the potential of upcoming 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty and advance critical goals to create lasting economic security for struggling families. Click here to view the ppt presentation.

April: Update on Communications Investments: Featuring Kimberly Chin, Programme Executive, Atlantic Philanthropies, who provided an overview of the KidsWell Initiative and NLC leadership academy . Click here to view ppt presentation.

February: The Emerging Electorate, Their Values and the Issues that Move Them, featuring Celinda Lake, President, Lake Research Partners.

January: The Intersection of Racial Equity and Messaging, featuring Alice Warner-Mehlhorn, Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Click here to view ppt presentation.