I’m working with a number of organizations who are scratching their heads (and mine) trying to figure out how to best communicate — and examine — their successes and challenges from 2013.
A visual strategy, just like any communications strategy, is more effective the more deeply it’s integrated into regular workflows, and it is most effective when it can permeate the organization’s culture for both internal and external facing work.
The infographic explosion of 2012 resulted in some great resources for organizations to make their own slick visual representations of program and fundraising data, often for little or no financial investment. But using a picture to say a thousand words can be just as effective internally at your organization at is is on your external-facing website charts and facebook posts.
Visual communications tools can be just as powerful to engage your internal stakeholders — including your staff, board, and volunteers — and help you see things you’ve been missing across your organization.
Imagine moving beyond the pie chart and using high-level visual communications tools to do things like:
- Internal program planning and evaluation
- Reporting to the Board, staff, and other internal stakeholders
- Organizational mapping and assessment
- Train your staff and volunteers
- See patterns across organizational metrics (eg site traffic and program events, the creation of new positions and change in organizational outputs, etc)
On January 14th at noon ET the Chronicle of Philanthropy is hosting a web discussion about visual strategy with some design heavy-hitters that promises, at a minimum, some interesting discussions about what’s worked in the past and what’s affordable now.
If 2013 was the year of the animated .gif, maybe 2014 will be the year of the visual strategy. Here’s hoping.