Why communications alignment is worth the time and effort

Posted on August 06, 2012 by The Patterson Foundation

Last week, we talked about the critical need to tightly weave communications strategy throughout facilitated nonprofit partnership and collaboration discussions. Heading down this path without discussing communications is like trying to successfully bake a cake without an oven. Not good.

There are fabulous examples of nonprofits working together through shared services, partnerships, collaborative opportunities - even mergers. (See some great examples from the Collaborative Restructuring Blog here and here.) When we talk about nonprofit partnerships and collaborations, the end goal is and should be improved operations and outcomes.

Here is our top list of lessons learned:

Communications alignment - From announcements to talking to staff, getting clear about "who needs to know when" is a crucial first step.

Messaging - Entities need to speak with one clear voice to ensure accurate information about partnership is shared and that the rumor mill doesn't continue to churn.

Timing - Entities need to communicate with all internal stakeholders about potential partnerships and what it means before any public announcement is made.

Plan for the worst -  Entities should prepare statements in case partnership breaks up during facilitation.

Aligning communications builds trust and helps partnership discussions be the best they can be.

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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