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Communications Peer Community

Each philanthropy-serving organization (PSO), depending on its size, scope of its membership, and needs of its constituents, has something unique to offer to the field of philanthropy. The ability to share this information and these experiences with colleagues is one of the Forum's top priorities. Resources for PSOs in this area are easily accessible on this page including resources around social media, working with the media, and marketing and branding. If you have resources to share, please share them online or by emailing Courtney Moore.

Communications Peer Community

The Communications Peer Community is for those with a communications role at a PSO. Topics for discussion may include newsletter, social media strategy, website and other content curation, writing op-eds, etc.

  • Communications Listserv ( You must be a member of the Forum & this Peer Community to post to this list.
  • Three round-robin calls per year
  • In-person meeting at Forum’s Annual Conference

Interested in joining this Peer Community? Submit your email address on the form at the bottom of the Our Networks page

Forum Staff Leads: Brandon Iracks-Edelin, (202-991-5217),


Kayla Ballard, Northern California Grantmaker

Kayla Ballard joined NCG in 2014 and serves as the Communications Manager. In this role, she is a highly-skilled communications jack-of-all-trades—designing and maintaining the NCG’s website, handling all of NCG's outreach, overseeing social media strategy, and managing NCG’s brand. She leads the communications outreach for Philanthropy California, an initiative of Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers, and Southern California Grantmakers. She also serves as a committee member for the Bay Area chapter of The Communications Network.

Kayla most recently earned a Certificate in Social Sector Leadership from Berkeley Haas School of Business. She holds a BS in Business Management and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. In her career, she has supported communications in the social impact arena for four years, working with foundations and nonprofits mobilizing new generations to drive transformational social change using skills and pro bono service.

Jen Meehan, Hispanics in Philanthropy

Jen is responsible for strategic communications focusing on helping grow overall awareness of HIP & its work. She has 10+ years of experience in marketing & communications. With a varied background working with nonprofits, Fortune 500 brands, and startups; she brings a unique perspective to HIP.

Prior to HIP, Jen led the marketing team at Gallery Media Group where she built multi-platform communications plans in order to help clients grow their visibility and business. She also worked at publications such as TIME and AARP as well as the nonprofit Institute for War & Peace Reporting.

Jen is a graduate of the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University and lives in New York City.

Karen Westing, Philanthropy Northwest

Karen is a professional storyteller with more than fifteen years of experience developing and leading marketing, communications and public relations campaigns. She is passionate about nurturing a storytelling culture in the organization and sharing our network’s impact through digital media.

Karen came to Philanthropy Northwest from the City of Seattle where she worked as a communications advisor at the Department of Transportation. Originally from Baltimore, she’s lived in Seattle for 19 years and also worked previously at the YMCA of Greater Seattle as the director of strategic communications and public relations. Her work with Philanthropy Northwest includes communications and content strategy, brand management, social media marketing and media relations. 

She developed a passion for the outdoors during an Outward Bound semester course while in her senior year at Washington College, and became a full-time Outward Bound instructor following graduation. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is one of the things that motivated her to stay in the Seattle-area and she often spends her weekends hiking, camping or snowshoeing. She's also an enthusiastic Orioles baseball fan and is happy to spot more and more O's hats popping up in Seattle. 

Working with the Media

More and more regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations are becoming a go-to source on philanthropy for media professionals. Below are sample policies for how our members work with the media.

Secrets of the Media Savvy

An excellent tipsheet of Do's and Don'ts during the interview process with media developed by Tom Wadsworth of Wadsworth Communications.

MCF Process for Handling Media Calls

This policy details the internal process for handling calls from the media at Minnesota Council on Foundations. 

MCF Media Call Information Notes

A template that organizes crucial and common information for responding to and documenting a media inquiry.

Marketing and Branding

Sample Communications Plans, Goals & Templates

Sample communications plans, goals, email templates and marketing calendars used by philanthropy-serving organizations to guide their communications work.

Community Foundations: Local Partners in Promoting Philanthropy

A guide to understanding, recruiting, and retaining community foundation members.

Corporate Foundations and Giving Programs: Philanthropy's Place in Business

A similar guide for corporate foundation members.

Family Foundations: A High-growth Force for Philanthropy

The final guide in the series, aimed at recruiting and retaining family foundation members. 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an essential tool to managing your website, spotting trends, and serving your members' interests.

Listserve Discussion Website Traffic Benchmarking

This spreadsheet compiles ongoing Google Analytics bench marking research among regional associations.

Google Analytics Goal Identification Worksheet

This worksheet developed by Minnesota Council on Foundations helps Google Analytics users identify goals for their sites.

Website Optimization Worksheet

Minnesota Council on Foundations developed this worksheet to help Google Analytics users optimize their website to top search engine results, improve user experience, and accomplish organizational goals.