Page 64


2014 Impact Report

Communications Context Over the past few years, the efforts of CFT Communications have grown from executing a fairly basic communications plan to creating a full-bodied marketing strategy—one that is better aimed at the foundation’s key audiences and more inclusive of foundation goals. CFT surveyed all of its donors in 2011 to gain of sense of where CFT was meeting expectations and where it could improve. Following this, the foundation added additional one-onone interviews with all key stakeholder audiences, including new and established fund holders, professional advisors, board members, staff, and nonprofits—to even better understand how CFT is perceived by the many different groups of people that partner with us. That effort culminated in a session with CFT leadership that redefined CFT’s vision, positioning, and brand personality, thus forming the basis for a new brand identity system that was approved by the CFT board. For the first time, the new visual system brought together the Caruth Foundation, Educate Texas, and Entrepreneurs for North Texas (EFNT) under a CFT master brand, building more awareness for the foundation and its related initiatives and giving greater vigor and cohesiveness to foundation-wide efforts to make tomorrow better. CFT now has a master marketing strategy and corresponding communications plan that is segmented by target audience and that leverages more mediums than ever. CFT’s own communications channels have expanded to new media—a website and social media channels—and its longstanding vehicles such as the annual report and newsletters have been sharpened to further illuminate CFT’s role as a trusted partner in community knowledge and collaboration. The new brand vision was launched in the foundation’s FY 2011 annual report, which won a Silver Addy from the Dallas Press Club. That report, as well as the subsequent FY 2012 and FY 2013 annual reports, have been praised industry-wide for their storytelling effectiveness. The newly designed newsletters follow an improved editorial plan that dedicates space to reporting on key initiatives such as donor matchmaking, community impact grantmaking progress, EFNT results, and Educate Texas advances—making it possible to strategically highlight more grantees and donors to further build relationships with each. The launch event for donors brought to life the new brand and vision through video, mayoral endorsement, and grantee vignettes and set the stage for a bold new phase of our work. Since 2011, external PR media outreach has been significantly increased as well. It is rare to go a month without seeing CFT receive an earned media mention. President and CEO Brent Christopher continues to build his reputation as a trusted advocate for the nonprofit sector in the region and a voice for philanthropists nationwide. His community speaking (as well as that of other staff) has increased, highlighting role of CFT in the community


Communities Foundation of Texas Impact Report 2014  
Communities Foundation of Texas Impact Report 2014