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Harris Interactive
The Giving Practice, Philanthropy Northwest
Millennium Communications Group & the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, Maine Philanthropy Center and Ohio Grantmakers Forum
Council of Michigan Foundations, Hattaway Communications & the Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University

Telling stories of foundation impact

Theodora Lurie

How can news media coverage of philanthropy move beyond the transactional?

The PAI report Philanthropy in the News found that 98.6% of all news stories about foundations between 1990 and 2004 were transactional in nature—about grant money out the door, but not about the benefits or impact of those grants. What are good examples of foundation stories in the news that get it right? And how did they come about?

Thea Lurie, a consultant and former journalist and Ford Foundation deputy director for strategic communications, researched these questions and prepared a series of case studies on efforts that worked—news stories and editorials that convey a broader vision of how foundations make a difference—and the strategies that brought such coverage about. The ultimate goal of this "Moving Beyond the Money" series is to help foundations tell better stories about their work, in the news media and elsewhere.


Click to download Case Study One: A Story that Captures the Risk-Taking Role of Foundations