ORGANIZATION CAPACITY BUILDING
As limited grant dollars restrict nonprofit and government budgets, project managers are forced to meet the same requirements with fewer and fewer resources. Nonprofits and municipalities seldom have the time or dedicated staff members to create, implement, and evaluate effective social marketing campaigns on their own. As our mission states, Bluestem Communications is dedicated to building the communications capacity of environmental groups. We feel this is a critical component of achieving environmental and conservation goals, yet we know that many groups work with tight budgets that don’t provide adequate internal capacity.
Bluestem Communications helps organizations maximize limited budget and staff expertise by building internal communications capacity.
Building the communications capacity of environmental groups and municipalities is a critical component of achieving environmental and conservation goals. Bluestem Communications works to increase individual and coalition-wide communications capacity by:
- Working with individual organizations or coalitions to design a communications strategy to address a specific goal. For example, if a watershed network group (comprised of nonprofit organizations, state and federal agencies) wants to encourage and help implement green infrastructure practices in municipalities, Bluestem Communications would develop a detailed education and outreach strategy to meet those goals. We plan backwards and implement forwards and use impact maps to create the direct linkages between activities, outcomes and goals. Our strategies have specific messages, detailed activities, defined roles for stake holders, evaluation plans, timelines and budgets. Sometimes we are involved in just the strategy development, and other times, we continue working with the group or organization to help with some or all aspects of implementation.
- Hosting half or full day workshops on topics such as basic communications “do’s and don’ts” or evaluating communication tools (brochures, websites, newsletters) or sharing recent public opinion research and explaining how this information can be used in communications work. Our workshop attendants highly value these opportunities because they learn valuable techniques that can use immediately to improve their effectiveness as an organization and because they realize the importance of communications in reaching their goals.