PLANT YOUR FLAG Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) had two goals in mind: First, raise awareness and build conversations within the foundation community around the importance of investing in the people who work at nonprofit organizations. Second, elevate EPIP’s profile as a thought leader and field frontrunner on critical issues for philanthropy. To achieve these goals, EPIP created the Generating Change Initiative, but quickly realized that it needed a solid jump-start to launch the initiative in a meaningful way. EPIP wanted a strong, knowledgeable partner with the capacity to create and deliver compelling messages to a wide and relevant network. Putnam Consulting Group was the perfect choice. “Generating Change was a departure, in that we were telling funders what they should be doing with their money,” says EPIP Executive Director Rahsaan Harris. “Putnam gave us very high-skilled, professional staff to produce the content and they had the view of the larger field to determine what would be acceptable as we engaged others.”
SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE Putnam’s team of seasoned philanthropic consultants dove deep into studies of the current state of nonprofit talent and leadership investment and constructed a clear, convincing argument for increased foundation investment, which became EPIP’s flagship framing paper for Generating Change. The team also interviewed dozens of foundation funders to capture the stories of their successes in nonprofit talent and leadership investment and turn those stories into engaging case studies. Finally, Putnam consultants traveled to key foundation leaders to capture their experiences and advice on video. Putnam packaged all of these tools — framing paper, case studies and videos — into an attractive, user-friendly online funder “Generating Change Toolkit” that was launched at the EPIP national conference in 2012. But the online launch was only the beginning. Putnam also helped EPIP create five conference workshops and two plenary sessions about Generating Change content. Once the resources were live, Putnam created a series of blogs and newsletter articles related to the toolkit content and pushed them out to tens of thousands of readers across the country. As a result, the Generating Change Toolkit has received thousands of visitors in the past year, and EPIP is establishing its place as a leading expert in the critical area of nonprofit talent and leadership development.
LEAD THE FIELD “If you’re going to be a thought leader, you need to put thought out in the field,” Harris concludes. “Having a chance to collect the best thinking and present back to the field has been a valuable asset for EPIP and helped enhance our reputation. It also allowed us to play a key role in launching the talent and leadership development movement within the field of philanthropy.” “Putnam helped us with a very complex initiative, and did an amazing job. They understood exactly what we wanted and brought in a great team to turn research findings into relevant and engaging resources. They also created a great social media buzz.”