The Gift of Communication is a pillar of the IABC Foundation that encourages members and chapters to give back to their communities utilizing their professional skills and expertise. The goal is to work with local social service organizations or other nonprofit agencies, such as United Way, and help them to address their communication challenges by providing expert communication counsel and training.
We recognize that many nonprofit social service organizations have limited financial resources and may depend heavily upon volunteers to deliver their communication messaging to fulfill their missions. Often it may be difficult for them to communicate effectively with their constituents, supporters and the general public.
Gift of Communication identifies local nonprofits with unmet communication challenges and links them with communicators who will help them develop appropriate solutions to meet their needs. In some cases, Gift may take the form of an intimate workgroup of members working closely with agency representatives; in others, it may include training symposia or other resources to help build agencies’ communication skills.
In addition to providing a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the community, Gift of Communication demonstrates how communication professionals add value to any enterprise. What’s more, it also provides our members with an outstanding, dynamic professional development experience.
Since 2010, the IABC Foundation has hosted an international Gift of Communication event in conjunction with IABC’s World Conference. Participating communication professionals are invited to provide pro bono advice and counsel to help local charitable organizations to address their most pressing communication challenges. IABC members partner with local nonprofit agencies to develop solutions, generate creative ideas and encourage diverse perspectives to tackle their most pressing communication challenges. We are proud to say this international event helps to drive communication as a force for good in business and society.
Here’s what one participant had to say about the event:
“The Gift of Communication event [at the World Conference] was unexpectedly poignant, and resonated deeply with me. All too often, we forget that our talents and expertise as communication professionals are not obvious or intuitive to others, and therefore we may not recognize the simple ways we can help make immediate impacts in our community through sharing these aptitudes and strengths…. This event not only reinvigorated my professional commitment to this industry, but inspired me to find ways I can put it into practice in my own community more often. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be involved in such a worthwhile event, and one that I hope will only grow and flourish across the world in the years to come.” (Anne Moorer, Program Manager, Red Hat)
For more on the event check out this video, recorded before the Gift event at the 2017 IABC World Conference.
Give the Gift of Communication
Gift of Communication initiative allows chapters to get creative and explore what Gift format best fits the needs of their communities. Many chapters have adopted the Gift concept to meet their local needs, while maintaining the concept of giving back to the community. Read the blog post by Bonnie Caver on her experience with the Gift of Communication.
The IABC Foundation developed a Gift of Communication toolkit designed exclusively for IABC chapters to help plan, promote and run a successful Gift of Communications event.
If you’d like to put on a Gift event at your local chapter – we’d love to hear about! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Questions? Contact Kirsten Peterson, IABC Governance & Foundation Manager