Key Points

Strategic communications can play a role in implementing organizational change by reinforcing understanding of and advancing audiences to accept the changes that impact them. The Colorado Health Foundation uses strategic communications as an integral tool in achieving its organizational mission to improve the health of all Coloradans. Evidence reveals that it was critical to successfully announcing and implementing significant changes to how the foundation operates and invests.

This article profiles the strategic communications approach, from its inception through the application of learnings gathered from a subsequent evaluation. The success of the foundation’s “change” communications strategy was rooted in use of multiple communications and opportunities to engage with the foundation about the changes. Preparing foundation staff to have front-line communications with primary audiences proved to be critical to conveying information appropriately.

Applying an emergent-learning practice to this strategy and other ongoing communications work has resulted in grantees’ continued awareness and understanding of the foundation’s grantmaking opportunities.

Open Access