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The California Wellness Foundation supports a wide variety of projects that broaden and strengthen philanthropy in California. To learn more about philanthropy in California and nationwide, you may want to explore the following links.

Below you will find:

General Resources

The Foundation Center's mission is to strengthen institutional philanthropy by advancing public understanding of the field and providing training in the grantseeking process. The Foundation Center's website provides comprehensive data on philanthropy in the United States and links to hundreds of sites dedicated to foundation and corporate giving in the United States and Canada.

GuideStar, produced by Philanthropic Research, Inc., provides information — including tax returns — about the operations and finances of private foundations and nonprofit organizations.

National Associations and Organizations

The websites of these organizations include information about how to start a foundation, as well as regulatory and legal guidelines for foundations.

Formed nearly 20 years ago as a volunteer membership association to promote strategic communications in philanthropy, the Communications Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support foundations and nonprofits to improve lives through the power of smart communications. Through its website, social media networks and events, this organization works to connect communications professionals working in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector to each other.

The mission of the Council on Foundations, a national nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations, is to promote responsible and effective philanthropy. The Council on Foundation's website offers information about services for members, as well as general information about grantmaking. Also featured is information about affinity groups, which are formal or informal associations of grantmakers that share similar interests.

Grantmakers In Health (GIH) is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to helping foundations and corporate giving programs improve the health of all people. Its mission is to foster communication and collaboration among grantmakers and others, and to help strengthen the grantmaking community's knowledge, skills, and effectiveness. Its website features numerous publications, reports, resources and event information, as well as webinars on the work of health funders, institutions and nonprofits working to improve the health and wellness of all individuals.

Independent Sector is a national association of foundations, corporations and nonprofit organizations that focuses on tracking and promoting volunteering and charitable giving in the United States. The association’s website provides information about trends in the nonprofit sector and updates on public policy issues that impact individual donors, foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Regional Associations of Grantmakers

Regional associations of grantmakers (RAGs) represent foundation and corporate givers at the regional and statewide levels, focusing on issues unique to the geographies they serve.

The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers is a national association of RAGs, which provides information about the activities of its individual members and collaborative efforts among RAGs, as well as links to member websites.

Northern California Grantmakers is an association of foundations, corporate contributions programs and other private grantmakers in the Bay Area.

San Diego Grantmakers is a leading convener and resource for organized philanthropy in the San Diego region.

Southern California Grantmakers is a regional association serving public, private, community, family and corporate foundations, as well as individual philanthropists, in Southern California.

News Media Resources

The field of philanthropy is covered by numerous news media outlets, some of which are listed below. Some websites may require a subscription to access certain types of content.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, “the newspaper of the nonprofit world,” is published biweekly.

GrantWatch, a section of the health policy journal Health Affairs, focuses on health philanthropy with a particular focus on news about foundations. It features guest posts by leaders in health philanthropy, researchers and others.

Each issue of Nonprofit Quarterly focuses on a theme of critical importance to nonprofit leaders.

The Nonprofit Times provides financial-oriented news and information for nonprofit management.

Philanthropy Journal is a resource for national news, and provides information and opinion about charitable giving.

Philanthropy News Digest is a resource for nonprofit organizations that can be easily searched by topic (e.g., health, general fundraising and expert opinion).

Published by the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University, Stanford Social Innovation Review presents new thinking about nonprofit management, philanthropy and corporate citizenship.

Communications Resources

The following list of communications resources for grantees and other nonprofit organizations contains resources that examine the role of communications and recommends an array of tactics that can help further the missions of nonprofit organizations. This section also features resources on such topics as developing a strategic plan, advancing policy and advocacy issues, working with the news media, creating advertisements and framing issues.

The Active Voice Lab for Story & Strategy builds tools that help people use stories, art, and culture to advance social change.

Alliance for Justice, a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women's, children's and consumer advocacy organizations has worked to advance the cause of justice for all Americans, strengthen the public interest community's ability to influence public policy and foster the next generation of advocates.

The Association of Health Care Journalists website features easy-to-access resources for reporters, editors and others covering health news.

University of Southern California’s The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy promotes more effective philanthropy and strengthens the nonprofit sector through research that informs philanthropic decision-making and public policy to advance community problem solving.

The Communications Network is a nonprofit organization with the mission to support foundations and nonprofits to improve lives through the power of smart communications.

GrantCraft combines the practical wisdom of funders worldwide with the expertise of the Foundation Center to improve the practice of philanthropy. The organization offers free resources in more than 10 languages and multiple formats, including guides, infographics, blogs, podcasts, and more.

Hershey Cause Communications mission is to communicate for good and elevate the nonprofit sector through best practices, tools and training.

Renaissance Journalism provides training, technical assistance and funding to journalists an organizations with a passion for media innovations that strengthen communities. Key to the organization’s success is its partnerships with mainstream news outlets, ethnic and community media, academia, foundations and nonprofits.

"The Sixty-Second Guide to Working Effectively With the News Media,"a pamphlet published by the Independent Sector, is a quick reference for staff and volunteers about building good Media Relations.

SPIN Project is a media technical assistance organization that provides public interest advocacy designed to develop the capacity of grassroots groups to shape public opinion and garner positive media attention.

Storytelling Best Practices: Websites by Andy Goodman features the best in online storytelling by nonprofit organizations, foundations, educational institutions and government organizations.

ZeroDivide is a mission-driven consulting organization that stays true to its original philanthropic purpose of helping communities transform through technology.

“American Opportunity: A Communications Toolkit,”produced by the Opportunity Agenda in collaboration with the Spin Project in 2006, provides communications tips, tools and techniques for leaders working on a wide range of social issues.

“Communications Toolkit – A Guide to Navigating Communications for the Nonprofit World,”produced by Cause Communications in 2005, provides practical, comprehensive information for developing a communications plan.

"Why Bad Ads Happen to Good Causes and How To Ensure They Won't Happen to Yours," written by Andy Goodman and published by Cause Communications in 2002, draws from research to explain how nonprofit presentations can engage, educate and persuade.

"News for a Change: An Advocate's Guide to Working With the Media," written by Lawrence Wallack, Katie Woodruff, Lori Dorfman, Makani Themba-Nixon and Iris Diaz, and published by Sage Publications in 1999, details the strategic use of news media, advertising and community organizing to advance a public policy initiative.

"Strategic Communications for Nonprofit Organizations: Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Plan," written by Janet M. Radtke and published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in 1998, provides step-by-step instructions and demonstrate nonprofit communications strategies that work.

"Promoting Issues and Ideas: A Guide to Public Relations for Nonprofit Organizations," written by M. Booth & Associates, Inc. and published by The Foundation Center in 1995, is an all-in-one guide about promoting issues and ideas using proven strategies.

"Media Advocacy and Public Health: Power for Prevention,"written by Lawrence Wallack, Lori Dorfman, David Jernigan and Makani Themba, and published by Sage Publications in 1993, develops the concept of media advocacy as a central strategy for the prevention of public health problems.

Resources for Foundation Communications Programs

This section provides resources for funders interested in building or supporting the work of grantees. Traditional news media relations and marketing tools are provided along with culturally appropriate ethnic media information, tips on positioning grantees as public spokespersons and guidelines for communicating clear and concise messages.

"Bad Words for Good (How Foundations Garble Their Message and Lose Their Audience)" by Tony Proscio and published by Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in 2002, looks at the widespread use of jargon and other forms of unclear writing that prevent foundations and nonprofit organizations from successfully communicating their messages.

“Communicating for Impact: Strategies for Grantmakers” by GrantCraft and published by the Ford Foundation in 2009, helps grantmakers use a “communications lens” to develop strategies, evaluate impact, take advantage of new media technologies and more.

"In Other Words: A Plea for Plain Speaking in Foundations,” (PDF) written by Tony Proscio and published by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation in 2000 examines the use of jargon among foundations and hints for avoiding it.

"Minorities and Media: Diversity and the End of Mass Communications," written by Clint C. Wilson II and Felix Gutierrez and published by Sage Publications in 1985, analyzes the ways in which the mass media have portrayed minorities in the United States since the late nineteenth century.

"Strategies for Shaping Public Policy: A Guide for Health Funders" (PDF), published by Grantmakers in Health in 2000, is a guide to foundations on funding health policy efforts.

“Storytelling & Social Change: A Strategy Guide for Grantmakers” is a guide outlining “narrative strategies” that use storytelling to advance social change.

Wilmer Shields Rich Awards, presented by the Council on Foundations, annually recognizes and encourages excellence in communications by foundations and corporate giving programs.


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