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Foundation Messaging

In 2019, foundations contributed $75 billion to the philanthropic ecosystem, making them a crucial player in affecting positive change. How they talk about their work is therefore incredibly important. In this episode of Messaging on a Mission, we talk about the challenges and opportunities foundations have for their messaging strategies.

Key Takeaways
  • A lack of focus is one of the most significant challenges foundations face.
  • It’s more than just writing checks. The best foundations are also partners with their beneficiaries.
  • The most significant mistake foundations make in their messaging is over-thinking the stories they have to tell.
  • What’s well known to the foundation may not be well-known to the rest of the world, which is why they may have more stories to tell than they realize.
  • For your message to resonate, it is best to present in the context of existing conversations if possible, e.g., the pandemic, the political landscape, or racial equality.
  • Non-profits should craft Foundation-specific messages when looking for partnerships.
Episode Guest

Matt Wilder. Matt Wilder is a communications and media strategist with a passion for telling great stories. With deep roots in the education, government, and non-profit sectors, Matt has crafted and executed communications plans that educated and inspired stakeholders and also moved constituencies to rewrite the narrative, challenge the status quo and move forward together.

Notably, Matt recently led the communications efforts for the historic ‘Yes on 3’ campaign, which successfully upheld the Massachusetts law protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places, the first-ever statewide vote on transgender rights in United States history.

Before creating his consultancy, Matt served as chief of staff and communications director to the Massachusetts secretary of education in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick. Before state service, Matt served in the administration of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino as the chief spokesperson for the Boston Public Schools and as an advisor to Superintendent Carol Johnson.

Prior to his public service, Matt was a television news producer at Boston’s acclaimed ABC affiliate, WCVB-TV, Channel 5. He is a graduate of Suffolk University in Boston.

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