When I first attended the Nonprofit Communications Institute five years ago, I was looking to hone my skills for working on nonprofit campaigns. I had spent more than 15 years doing public relations primarily for corporations, tech start-ups, and social entrepreneurs and I was ready to learn new ways to approach public interest communications.
I was blown away by how generous the presenters were in sharing their trade secrets and how much fun they seemed to be having. The elegant simplicity of the tools and models that the LightBox team was teaching helped renew my love for my craft and reminded me that good communications is creative, strategic, and joyful. This is especially important for communications strategists that work on serious and complex issues. It’s easy to get bogged down with an un-ending to-do list or feel overwhelmed by the enormity of the problems we face, but we are most effective in reaching our goals when we can lift our heads up to gain some big-picture perspective and learn from our peers.
After the training, I was excited to share what I learned with my colleagues and facilitated a mini-training with the tools I received at the Institute. The GAME Plan and Editorial Calendar became the foundations of our communications department, and with these tools we were better able to help steer the train of how our organization communicated, versus hanging off the caboose and feeling like we could never catch up or have enough time to be strategic.
When I changed jobs, I took what I learned at the Nonprofit Communications Institute with me and continue to apply the smart, straightforward approaches I learned to my work nearly every day. When I became a LightBox collaborator, I was thrilled to be able to channel my positive experience as an Institute participant, and several years of using all I learned, into being a facilitator.
Sign up for the Nonprofit Communications Institute March 20 & 27, 2018
The Nonprofit Communications Institute is ideal for any organization looking to refine, polish, or optimize their strategic communication efforts. After the training, participants often organize their own mini-trainings to share what they learned with the rest of their staff. They often find that unpacking the core values and organizational personality with everyone is an eye-opening and valuable experience!
Here are a few other insights from past participants:
“The Nonprofit Communications Institute gave us a solid foundation in the elements of a strong brand, and the importance of rooting all messaging in organizational goals and strategy.”
“I would recommend this class to anyone in a nonprofit trying to appeal to their donors or get their message out.”
“The Institute expertly showed us how we can forge our own path when given the right tools and knowledge.”
“As a mid-sized nonprofit with a 20+ year history, we’ve outgrown some legacy elements and habits in our communications. The workshop gave us the vocabulary, tools, and confidence to start a deeper conversation about refreshing & strengthening our brand.”
“Three of us (from our organization) were able to attend. Doing the exercises together was a fun bonding experience, giving us an opportunity to step back and think big-picture about our messaging.”
Doing the Institute as a team is a great experience, but so is doing it solo. For me, sitting in that training room five years ago felt more like getting an inside scoop from really smart mentors than attending a basic workshop. The facilitators really wanted me to apply what I was learning in order to make my job easier and more effective.
Next month I will co-facilitate my sixth CompassPoint Nonprofit Communications Institute with my colleague Holly Minch. I’m excited to watch other nonprofit leaders feel that renewed sense of control and possibility that I felt sitting in their places. I hope you will join us.
Anna Ghosh will co-facilitate this year’s Nonprofit Communications Institute and can’t wait to learn and be inspired by all the amazing participants who will attend and looks forward to passing onto them the tools and knowledge she’s collected over the years.