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Post-Training Successes, Still Seeking Cohesion

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations

As Grantmakers for Effective Organizations vice president of programs and manager of content development, respectively, Courtney Bourns and Lori Bartczak attended training together in 2008. At the time, their organization was in the midst of a web redesign, and lessons on storytelling and bringing content “alive” were of particular interest. “A lot of what we learned went into that web design,” recalled Bourns.

Today, both are proud of the website, as well as a set of key membership materials. “We did a huge streamlining to make sure we are crystal clear,” said Bartczak. “Our publications are strong. We are known for them and recognized for them.”

Bourns described the publications as “my favorite ways to introduce us… I give people our annual report, one of our publications and our membership brochure.” Bartczak added, “This is the first time we’ve ever really boiled [who we are] down like this.”

A remaining challenge, as Bourns put it, is “having a really comprehensive, systematic way of thinking about our communications. We have not been proactive about engaging the full staff in our communications strategy so that everyone is part of it and sees how it connects to our organizational mission and vision,” she said. Bartczak concurs: “We do a lot of communications planning for specific activities, but we could do more to clarify how all these activities wrap up to one cohesive strategy.”

Bartczak and Bourns found the communications planning taught in training a confirmation of their existing convictions and approaches.

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