How Do You Stack Up?

July 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

I needed a break yesterday from a high-intensity project with a looming deadline, so I decided to clean out my e-mail inbox. I deleted 2,216 e-mails—things that I glanced at when I got them and put them aside to “read later.” The oldest was from May 2008. (I don’t clean out my inbox often, much to our IT guy’s dismay.)

Photo by Jason Lander

Among the nuggets of information I found in those e-mails was the announcement of the results of the Communications Effectiveness survey done by Cause Communications in the summer of 2008. This was a survey of foundation and nonprofit communications professionals about, well, communications in the nonprofit world.

I participated in the survey, got the e-mail when the results came out, and put it aside to read later. My mistake, because the results were very informative.The cool thing is I got a report comparing my answers to the rest of the people who took the survey. It told me I’m not alone in many of our organization’s successes—and frustrations—when it comes to communications.

Here are some of the key findings from the whole survey:

  • 97% said communications is vital to the livelihood of their organizations
  • 80% use communications to influence policy
  • 76% collaborate with other organizations regularly
  • 48% feel they have a place at the table when decisions are made

Cause Communications took the results of the survey and created a Communications Effectiveness Index, or the characteristics shared by organizations who think they are highly effective at communications. Read more about this Index.

Even though the survey happened two years ago, Cause left the assessment tool they used for the survey up on its website, and you can take it today. It’s free to do, and you’ll get a report that compares your answers to the survey findings. You’ll also get a special code that lets you come back later and pull up your report.

Yesterday, I took the time to take the survey again, and I compared my answers today to my answers from the summer of 2008. This is really helpful—I could track my progress and see how our organization’s communications are advancing and improving. It also lets me see what I still need to work on.

So how do you stack up? Take the assessment and look at the results. What is your organization doing well, and what does it need to work on? And how can the Health Foundation help you work on that? We’ll soon be planning our capacity building workshops for next year, and I’d love ideas for new communications workshops that will help you reach your goals. Let me know.

Christine Mulvin, Guest Blogger
The Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati
Director, Communications

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Entry filed under: Communications.

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