The last couple weeks I've been talking and talking about Media Impact Funders' new study, Growth in Foundation Support for Media Funding that looks at trends in the last five years of foundation funding for media. They developed five "buckets" of funding and looked at the trends in it.
Just on the surface, it's fascinating to see that media funding is on the rise and who's getting the big money. Funding for video production or new technology? Awesome! Investment to shrink the digital divide? Fabulous.
But here's the bad news. The buckets don't include funding for Command Central, for the work that I and my colleagues do - strategic organizational communications. In the last 15 years, people's expectations have been defined by Zappos and Google and Amazon, but foundations' grantmaking and nonprofit budgets have not adapted. To use media for change, you need media and organizational muscle. (In a couple of weeks, I'm going to post a presentation I did at USC last fall about this strategic coupling of organizing and media.) Organizational communications funding is still wildly under-resourced at nonprofits. And the gap is totally not on the radar in the new report.
My wonderful brilliant friend Pete Manzo at United Ways of California said to me the other day, it used to be that we made things and then talked about them. Now we - that is, Invisible Children and Charity: Water and other au courant nonprofits -talk about things, then make them. The world has changed. And the nonprofit sector is catching up, but there's still a lot of catch-up to do!