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mp_510 mission forward nicole Engdahl

Giving For Good with Nicole Engdahl

In January of 2015, Nicole joined the National Parks Foundation charged with formalizing the organization’s planned giving department. By 2016, she was tapped to lead the efforts of three major fundraising groups all under one big umbrella including direct response giving, mid-level giving, and estate gifts. That means her department is responsible for all park giving from the nickle in the point-of-sale jar to bequests.

See? Nicole Engdahl is a park person.

She’s been practicing her nonprofit fundraising craft for over twenty years having helped grow the domestic estate giving program for Special Olympics International and planned giving for the National Geographic Society. It takes an extraordinary set of communications skills to navigate nonprofit giving in our current global context. How do you communicate your mission in such a way as to inspire and connect with donors, motivating them to generosity and benevolence for your organization when there is so very much need in the world all around us?

We love Nicole’s exuberance for her work, her passions for the parks and all the things we do there, and her love of telling the National Parks Foundation’s stories in a way that inspires us all. Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your wisdom with us this week.

Episode Transcript

Carrie Fox: Hey, hey friends, we have a great episode coming up today, but before we get there, I have a very quick request for you. So we’re coming to the end of this season of Mission Forward, and we need to know if this show is resonating with you. As you probably imagine, we put a ton of our hearts and our minds and our energy into producing the show, and we want it to be the best it can. So if you can take two minutes and head over to missionfoward.us, you’ll see a link right at the top to take our survey. I would so appreciate it. Thanks so much. And here’s the show. Hi there and welcome to the Mission Forward podcast, where each week we bring you a thought provoking and perspective shifting conversation on the power of communications. I’m Carrie Fox, your host and CEO of Mission Partners, a social impact communications firm, and certified B corporation. This season, we are talking with an awesome mix of nonprofit and foundation leaders, along with some of my favorite communicators, about what it takes to truly move a mission forward. There were a lot of things that we had to put on pause during the pandemic that worked exactly moving forward. And for our family, it was family vacations to the national parks, which in recent years have become some of our most cherished trips. My daughters have their national park passports. They love getting them stamped wherever we go. And while we couldn’t get on a plane, we did find that there were a lot of local national parks that we could go to and spend time in. And as you’ll hear today, it wasn’t just us who were doing that. That’s really where a lot of families and individuals found rest and reprieve during those days that we were all in quarantine and out of school, and out of our typical work environments. Today’s guest was on the front lines of managing through how to fundraise for the parks during a time when people maybe couldn’t as easily get on a plane to visit them, but there were going to them locally and benefiting from their value. Nicole Enghdal joined the National Park Foundation in 2015. She now leads the planned and annual giving department. She is no stranger though, to building effective giving programs at large nonprofits, having similarly grown the estate giving program at Special Olympics, and having worked in planned giving for National Geographic. She’s also like me, an active runner who, and I totally love this, Nicole, runs in the various DC national parks almost every weekend. Nicole, welcome to Mission Forward.

Nicole Enghdal: Hi Carrie. Thank you for having me. I’m delighted to be here.

Carrie Fox: And I’m so delighted to have you. First, tell me a little bit more, and I’m so curious to hear a little more about your journey. What got you into fundraising and what brought you to the National Park Foundation?

Nicole Enghdal: It’s funny when I was preparing for this, I was looking at this question in particular, and right now in my life, I have quite a few young people who are about to go to college, or who are currently in college, and they’re trying to figure some of these big questions out. And so I’ve been reflective on how did I get here? I went straight through from undergrad to graduate school, and I wanted to be a professor, I wanted to teach. And my major was communications, and it was something I felt very passionately about and I really wanted to become a professor. And then at the end of my first year of grad school, I had some health issues, and it really made me reassess some things. And I decided to change my major for something very, very academic, like rhetorical criticism. And I changed it to organizational communication. And I realized I needed a break. I’d gone straight through in school. And I just needed to take a break from school. And it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever done. So when I left grad school, I thought to myself, do I want to go into PR, or do I want to go into fundraising? And my first job happened to be in fundraising, and I’ve been in fundraising ever since. But the joke of that matter is, those passions that you have deep inside you, to teach, to do PR, to do marketing, to do all those kinds of things, they come out, no matter what your job actually is, or what it looks like. So I give presentations all the time now. So I am still teaching. I lead a team and I’m helping mentor and teach them the same way that I might have done differently if I’d done with students. But I do fundraising, and that involves a tremendous amount of PR and marketing and all those kinds of things. But I get to do it for organizations that I feel really, really passionately about, and that makes my life really fulfilling. And so I look back on all of the different kinds of fundraising jobs I’ve had over my career, and it was actually at National Geographic when I first got into planned giving, it’s also called gift planning, or estate planning, it’s called different things at different places. And that really stuck. That became my favorite thing to do, because it really focuses on long term relationships with donors. And we really focus on listening to donors and what do they want to accomplish? What do they want their legacy to be? And we get to help them figure that out. It’s incredibly gratifying. And so when I first started the National Park Foundation, the organization had been around for about 45 years at that point, but they didn’t have a formalized plan giving program. So I was hired to start their plan giving program. And then within a couple of years, we reorged. And all of a sudden I was in charge of three programs, which was annual fund, mid-level giving and planned giving. And I have absolutely loved it. Those are three groups that work very closely together. It’s been an incredibly successful team. I’m so grateful for my team, especially for these past two years, but plan giving is the thing I think I will always go back to over and over and over again, just because I am grateful to be able to work with donors at the end of their life, as they’re looking backwards, trying to figure out what their legacy is, and how does that align with the mission of the organization that you’re working for. So, that is how I got here today. And it’s been interesting to think of all the twists and turns that get you here, but at the same time, that young 22 year old, who was like, I want to be a teacher and it’s like, well, still am a teacher. It just took a different curve along the way.

Carrie Fox: Right. Right. And it’s so interesting, it makes perfect sense, thinking about where you started and where you are now, having seen you firsthand and having seen you work with your team, that you are truly one of the warmest leaders that I have ever seen in action, and how you care for your team and support your team and lead from behind your team. Those are things that I’m sure started with you when you were thinking about being a teacher. And that fundraising is not a solo sport, communications is not a solo sport. It needs a team. And you, I think really celebrate your team in a way that I know leads to your success.

Nicole Enghdal: Thank you. That means a lot to me. And I feel like over the past two years, especially, that is something that I’ve really doubled down on. And I think it’s been tremendously successful, but also it made these past two years in all the tumult that was happening over these past two years, it made these past two years more meaningful.

Carrie Fox: Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole Enghdal: To have a team of people that you like to work with, to have a team that you’re in this together, boy, that gets you through those hard days.

Carrie Fox: So, let’s actually talk about that first, because we’re going to talk about how you talked about your fundraising strategy, but that strategy doesn’t work without people, without the team, as we just said. So we think about your team and you all heading home in March 2020, thinking about how are we going to continue to do this? How are we going to keep this team feeling connected? Bring me back to that time and how you, it sounds like, really double down on your internal communications.

Nicole Enghdal: We did. So I feel that I can’t tell this story without sharing a little bit of personal information. I got COVID very early on. So it’s been two years. So it’s like, I’m now living in a safe place where I can see how sick I was at that time. So we were making really serious decisions at a time where I was also having asthma attacks and having coughing attacks and not being able to sleep, or breathe very well and all kinds of things. And so again, I am so grateful for the team that I have, because sometimes I look back on that and it’s a little bit fuzzy and I don’t know if that’s a self-preservation or if that’s COVID brain, but good grief, we did some amazing things, even when we weren’t at our best, we weren’t at our most effective, but we were still making really, really good decisions and serious ones. So, when we first went home, we all thought it was going to be two weeks, and then we were back in the office. And I think it was April, if I remember correctly, that we realized this was going to be a lot longer. And so I remember this part very distinctively, some of those things are fuzzy, but I remember this part very distinctively. I got the whole team together. So we were all on a call together. And I said, look at everything we have in the hopper and ready to go out. And we’re going to look at every single thing, every single marketing piece we’re doing, every single fundraising, solicitation, cultivation, whatever. And we’re going to reread it with a magnifying glass to make sure that it’s appropriate for what’s going on right now. So this is, the master’s degree, crisis communications that we all joke about, we don’t use those degrees very much. And then strangely, they rear their heads in these times of prices. I remember all those basic things that I was taught 20, 30 years ago. And so I said, we’re going to reread everything. We’re going to pause, reread everything with a different lens. And if it’s not appropriate, you edit it. And if it’s completely not appropriate, we’re ditching it and starting from scratch. The vast majority of the things that we had in the hopper at that time could just be edited. But for example, planned giving, hypersensitive, you do not want to start asking people for estate gifts when people are dying left, right and center. And so what I remember is we actually scrapped a piece that we were doing completely. We stopped the presses and just recycled it. We were able to reuse the envelopes and things like that. But we decided, well, I decided not to go forward with that piece at all. And we thought it would be better for us to eat that cost and be more present and more thoughtful with our donors. And we didn’t want to make any huge mistakes. And sure enough, a few months later we all saw that there were some organizations out there that did not do this, and had huge optics problems with their donor base, because they just came across as tone death. And so we paused, we did all of that. And then as we were assessing things, then we would rerelease it, then you would unpause and send it back out. So the other thing I know, I laugh sometimes I was like, good grief, I’ve been doing this for more than 25 years. How is that possible? But we have been through some other crises in our lives. It hasn’t been the same, but one of the things I knew to be true is, you have to stay talking to your donors. You can’t just stop. Pause is fine. Stop is not fine. And so we were able to pause and then again, rerelease things as we felt like that it was okay and good to go back out there. And so we never were out of market for very long. I think we were only offline, not communicating to our donors for maybe a week or two, but then we just kept fundraising. And then what would happen, Carrie is, as this unfolded and as there was more and more things that we would learn about COVID, but then also all of the social issues and everything else that was happening, we just continued to do this. So for my team, I try to bring it down, whenever somebody is stressed out, you bring it down to the most basic, simple concept that you can. So, just put one foot in front of the other, because otherwise all of that noise becomes incredibly distracting. So the number one thing I kept saying to everybody is, it should all come down to mission. So why is our mission important? And then ask ourselves, why is our mission important, especially now, how are we relevant? So during COVID, as you said, depending on the state, some parks were open and some parks weren’t, some were stopped, some were not, there were a whole lot of different things that were happening. But as you said, the parks quickly became this safe outdoor space where people could go and meet up with friends safely, or family members, or a place where you could heal. And so that is what we really then started to dive into, is became this place of health and healing. And then as all the social issues started to come out, good grief, the park service and the parks themselves, have a long history that are involved in a lot of these issues, and we’re not going to solve those issues overnight. But what is the thing we can focus on? It’s a place of common ground. It doesn’t matter if you are on the left, or the right politically, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is. It doesn’t matter where you grew up. It doesn’t matter are you from this country or from some other country or whatever, the parks are a place where we can all come together. And so those were the messages that we really double down on. We try to keep it that simple. And we were incredibly successful. We actually hit new highs for fundraising than we’d ever had before. So in this, during this time where so many places were struggling, we actually were raising more money than we ever had before.

Carrie Fox: And so I’m curious too, with that, the people were turning to parks, they were looking to them as a place of rest and a place together. Did you find that there was influx then of new donors, or was it the same donors who were doubling down on National Park Foundation?

Nicole Enghdal: It was both. It was a healthy combination of both. So oftentimes, also in times of crisis, if donors aren’t sure what their economic situation is going to be, they will cut down on a number of places that they give to. But then the places that are in their top three they’ll focus on three instead of five, if it’s 10, they’ll go down to three or something along those lines. What we really discovered is we did have some new donors, and especially we noticed that really in planned giving we started getting more people who said, you know what? Because of some of these life events that are happening to me, I am looking at my estate plans. And I’d never thought about the parks, but now I am. So, that was where a lot of our new folks were coming in from. And then mid-level and direct response, it was like we had that backbone of consistent, steady donors who continued to give, because we still stayed top of mind and we kept reminding them why our mission is important, especially now. I think folks felt very compelled to continue to support the parks.

Carrie Fox: So what you raise is a really important point, and a good reminder for folks who are listening that coming back to who you are and why you exist always matters. But that there’s something else that you’re saying if maybe in between your words, which is your mission will evolve over time, your purpose will evolve over time, based on how people need you and how people are leaning on you, and how people feel connected to you, or the parks specifically. So I think what you all did so well is say our mission is this. And our mission has always been this, but the way people are connected to us now, that gives us an opportunity to double down on that mission, but to make it relevant. And that’s really what you did. You’ve really thought about how to connect a moment in time to your mission, or the other way around.

Nicole Enghdal: That is such an excellent way of putting it, Carrie, because that was the thing that we really did, as a team, we worked on that together. So it was one of those things of. The team themselves were thinking about this, and then we were actively talking to our donors to make sure we were right.

Carrie Fox: Yeah.

Nicole Enghdal: Do you know what I mean? Sometimes people make these decisions and they’re off.

Carrie Fox: Yeah.

Nicole Enghdal: So we have to make sure that we are being authentic, that we are really listening. So that was the thing I also asked my, not everyone on my team is donor facing. So it was the folks who were donor facing, I said, I want you to just ask a few questions and then I want you to take as many notes as you possibly can and really listen. And that’s where we got the confirmation that what we thought was accurate was. So we were really listening to our donor base [crosstalk 00:16:21].

Carrie Fox: Right, right. So there’s a difference between the literal reading of your mission statement and the application of your mission in any given moment. Right?

Nicole Enghdal: Absolutely. And that’s why it’s so important to pivot. You do have to understand that this is almost a living, breathing organism. That’s the way we talk about the redwoods. Why wouldn’t we talk about our actual organizations this way? It’s not going to stay static. And if your mission is a solid one, it should stand the test of time. But it also will be applied differently.

Carrie Fox: Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole Enghdal: That’s a strong mission.

Carrie Fox: Right. Something else I thought you did really well as a team that I think is, again, a reminder for folks, especially folks who have, or who work in organizations that have a long history and a storied past, that you may not be ultimately really proud of everything that has happened over time. If you think about the history of the American story and how your organization played along with that, you all have had some really interesting conversations. And I know some of this is still in play, so don’t feel like you need to go down this path, but I’m going to raise it, because I think it’s a reminder for other folks that you saw some things that said, there’s a status quo there, there’s a norm in how we tell our story that we actually have an opportunity to acknowledge and update and change the future of that story. And that I think was a really valuable lesson to all of your team, but also to the folks who were working with your team at that time to remember that just because it is a certain way doesn’t mean it needs to stay a certain way when you’re communicating about a story.

Nicole Enghdal: What you just said is something that I was trying to teach my team over and over and over again, is just because it has been this way, doesn’t mean it has to stay this way in the sense of, there’s inevitably some fear of change. And I kept trying to say to them, you should not be afraid to change. It is okay to think of something a certain way and realize that, that was either wrong, or not fully appreciating all of the other factors, or whatever. We should always be continuing to grow and understand and learn. And I tried to set that even for myself, we had really intimate and honest conversations just on our team about the things we were learning as individuals. And it became a safe space for us to say, oh my gosh, I never even thought of it that way, because I was looking at it through my own lens. And then once you broaden your scope, all of a sudden you want to broaden it more, you want to broaden it more. And so we were actively trying to create a safe space for us all to say, it’s okay to say that I have changed my mind on this, or that I have opened my mind on this, or I have allowed more things in. We try to say that it’s the concept of, we want more people to sit at the table, but we also want a bigger table. So it’s being welcoming to those new ideas, new people, new thoughts, just being open to that and making sure that you’re not staying shut off from learning something new, or changing the way you see something that, just because you always thought of it this way is not necessarily the way you’re going to continue to think of it going forward. And that’s just normal human growth. There’s nothing wrong with that. And so for example, you started this off by saying your love for the parks is because that’s where your family goes on vacation. So one of the stories that is a quintessential park story is vast majority of our donors are over educated, and why did I say that with a tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course, I love my donors to pieces, but they tell a story of we all got into the station wagon, we all went to the parks. That’s not everybody’s story though. That is a very specific group of people who had the ability to do that. Who who felt safe doing that. And so we stopped saying that is the normal story, because it isn’t the normal story. It’s the normal story for a very specific group of people. And then we started to listen to these other stories and it’s like, we’re not taking anything away from that story. We’re adding to that story. That is one story. That doesn’t mean your story isn’t valid. It doesn’t mean that your story isn’t true. It just means that, that is one perspective. They’re other stories out there that are also valid, that are also true. And we try to really open our minds to embrace all of those stories and to do a better job of telling all of those stories, and to not get into that trope of just telling the same story over and over.

Carrie Fox: Yeah. Did you find that you started listening differently to start to uncover those stories, and how are you doing that?

Nicole Enghdal: Again, if you’re donor facing, that is a great way of, I love hearing directly from donors, but we also started asking them different kinds questions. We really did start sending out surveys. We really did start asking them to tell us, what is your favorite park experience and why is that important to you? And even just asking an open ended question like that, the responses you get are very different. You have to be careful what question you ask, because you actually can be leading people down a path just in the way you frame a question. So we tried to ask it much more broadly, much more openly and ask it just across all of our different kinds of donors. And we got great quotes back, your donors will tell you what they love about you. You just have to make sure that you’re asking and you have to make sure you’re listening.

Carrie Fox: So here’s my next question for you is around meeting people where they are, knowing that during the last few years, folks certainly have moved to different places physically, but we’re also showing up on a lot of different platforms, how we engage with one another, how we engage on social media, how we use the phone, how we meet in person obviously has changed. So meeting your donors where they are, I’m assuming has changed too. So how do you think about the communications tools that you use now versus maybe what you used a few years ago?

Nicole Enghdal: I’ll be honest with you, I have joked with people. We really aren’t doing anything innovative. We’re actually just using everything that is available to us. So it’s not like we came up with some new way of communicating that nobody’s ever thought of before. We actually just started offering every possible thing that we have. So when I work with donors, the number one way that I love to work with donors is going and visiting with them. And, of course, that was completely off the table, especially if I’m working with older donors. And so I tried to not make assumptions, because at first it was like, well, my older donors don’t know how to use Zoom. And it was like, well, let’s just ask them. And sure enough, they did. And it was so cute, those first few Zoom meetings that I had. If we set up an appointment and our meeting is up at 10 o’clock in the morning, at 9:45 they would start that call. And so you could just feel that they were showing up 15 minutes early to make sure that they did it correctly, and make sure that they were in there. And people pivot. It’s not just us, to your point of meeting people where they are, give them all the options and then let them choose. It really is up to what is their comfort zone? And again, I work mostly one on one with older donors. They do love the phone. That’s still a very safe place for them to talk to you. And, of course, the young people on my team were like, I haven’t gotten a phone call in years.

Carrie Fox: Haven’t checked that voicemail in months.

Nicole Enghdal: Answer my phone. It’s texting or nothing. And so really meeting people where they were. But then also making sure that you were letting people know that you were there. So using social, using Twitter. We started to double down on some of our Instagram accounts. And I don’t know how many of you follow the National Park Service on Instagram, but the gentleman who runs that account is very, very funny. And so we tried to also meet people where they were that way. So you think of some, a huge federal entity like the National Park Service, you don’t think of it as necessarily being comical. And they took a really wonderful comical approach to making the parks seem relevant and a fun place to be. And then I think we as a foundation, because we’re raising the private dollars for them, we did that in kind, and we made sure that we were meeting them where they are. It is something that makes our organizations a little bit different, is that it’s not just about us. We also have this huge federal entity that we are closely tied to. So to your point of, where do we meet people? There are things that we can control and that we can do, but then there’s this whole other entity that we can’t control, we might be able to influence, but we always have to make sure that we’re working very closely with them. And so we can’t get out too far ahead of them, or we can’t lag too far behind them, depending on how you look at it. And so there is that push and pull too, of making sure that we’re all, all of our communication isn’t in sync with each other.

Carrie Fox: Yeah. That push and pull, as you’re talking about, is also reminding me of the yin and the yang of the story, which is in the last few years, we’ve been in such a heavy time, such a hurtful time and heartbreaking time. And yet what the parks gave us and what, as you were just talking about, some of that social content gave us, was something that was light and something that was a nice escape, an alternate to the reality of what every day felt like. And there is so much value in that, that sometimes it’s important too, to think about what are folks going through and experiencing, and what do they need? Meeting folks where they are sometimes is giving them that light content too.

Nicole Enghdal: That’s exactly right. And I think we all needed that.

Carrie Fox: Yeah.

Nicole Enghdal: And the great thing about the parks is we actually there are physical health benefits to being in nature. Hearing birds sing actually helps reduce your heart rate. And so as crazy as that sounds, that’s a real thing that happens. So there is a lightness that our bodies have to go through this, otherwise we’re in this fight or flight all the time. There has to be some of me, because we cannot function in that zone every minute of every day, for years and years and years. There has to be some release. And so we were able to do that in a really wonderful way, because I think a lot of organizations, some of our grants weren’t able to go out, because if you need people to do things in the parks and you can’t have people be together, or you can’t have school groups going to the parks, or you can’t do… There’s that aspect of grants that we are funding. So we just held onto that money. And then we are now starting to release all of it now, to make sure that it’s getting done. So you’re not talking about the grants in action for a while, you have to focus on something else that you can do that says we’re still relevant. Some of the active work that we were doing, wasn’t able to be done. So we just paused that as well, if that makes sense.

Carrie Fox: Yeah, it does.

Nicole Enghdal: If we’re not doing this, then we’re doing that.

Carrie Fox: Yeah.

Nicole Enghdal: Do you know what I mean? So, you do still have to pivot. So even if your grants are not going out the door as quickly, or as much as they were before, you can still hold onto that, you can still pause that, and then that money can be released like it is now. Now it is going out the door. Now we are getting back out there, which is wonderful that we’re able to do that, but you can still talk about the benefits of the impact of your mission.

Carrie Fox: Yeah. Yeah. They will be ebbs and flows to the work all the time, and making sure that you’re ready to pick back up when the time is right. Well, somehow we’re already at the end, these, or does the time always go very fast? But my final observation and challenge to people who are listening is, go take a walk, go find a national park in your area, go listen to the birds today, go sit down on a bench someplace and just reflect. And maybe when you’re done with that, you’ll pick your phone back up and make a donation to the National Park Foundation, because we love the work that they do and we know how valuable they are. Nicole, thank you so much for joining us today.

Nicole Enghdal: Thank you, Carrie. This has been such a treat. I really appreciate it.

Carrie Fox: All right. We’ll see you soon. Mission Forward is produced with the support of Sadie Lockhart and the Mission Partners team in association with TruStory FM, engineering by Pete Wright. Music this week is by Milano and Josh Lee. If your podcast app allows ratings and reviews, we hope you’ll consider doing just that for our show. But the best thing you can do to support Mission Forward is simply to share the show with a friend or colleague. Thanks to your support. See you next time. The space between. Years ago, my dear friend and mentor, Don Foley, shared a story about Itzhak Stern that I’ve never let go. The great violinist who passed away in 2001 was often asked why the music sounded so different when Itzhak played it on his violin, versus when the same song sheet was followed by others. "Anyone can play the notes," he would tell students. "Music is what goes on between the notes." As I’ve since learned, Stern wasn’t alone in believing this concept. Composers and musicians throughout time from Mozart to Claude Debussy and Miles Davis have all shared similar sentiments, if not always with the same words. "The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between," Mozart said. "In music, silence is more important than sound," said Davis. I often consider this space between concept when I’m working on a piece of persuasive writing or a collaborating with my colleagues on a design project. Just as many composers of music has found, it’s not the complexity of the words or design that make a message come to life, but just the opposite. The strategic simplicity of a message can give deeper meaning to the words. Today’s finding the words is literally about finding your words in between the pros. To help us get there, I’ll share another story about a writer who lives this concept well. Andy Miller is the best editor I’ve ever known, a newspaper guy at heart. He served for two decades as Washington correspondent for the Kansas City Star before moving into public affairs where my path luckily crossed his in early 2002 at Prism Public Affairs. Andy wrote the most incredible op-eds and speeches, and he’d do it in a matter of hours. I remember Andy stealing away to his office mid-morning and by lunch he’d have a solid draft ready for client review, but it wasn’t the speed that impressed me. It was the way he made the most of his words. Andy thought about the space between too, but from a different perspective. As he’d say, "It’s far easier to write a long form essay than a 600 word op-ed, because when we have space, we’ll always find ways to fill it. But if you can deliver a short form, get to the point message without any filler copy, you’ve made your words work for you." Isn’t that the truth? Whether composing music or messages, or the structure of our days, the space and how we choose to use it matters. Rather than finding ways to fill it, consider what might happen if you pulled back to only the essentials.Let most of your message fall to the editing room floor, and you’ll see that what remains is not so different from what Stern and many others loved about the space between the notes. It’s here, that you find the heart of what matters most. So we’re coming to the end of this season of Mission Forward, and we need to know if this show is resonating with you. As you probably imagine, we put a ton of our hearts and our minds and our energy into producing the show and we want it to be the best it can. So if you can take two minutes and head over to missionforward.us, you’ll see a link right at the top to take our survey. I would so appreciate it. Thanks so much.

This season, we are taking you on a journey to meet ten people influencing and shaping how we communicate at scale for social change. From advertising executives to coalition directors, news editors, campaign managers, and authors, they're all people who are shaping and challenging the deep power of communication. If you’re working to become a more inclusive and thoughtful communicator, there’s nothing holding you back—except you.

Carrie Fox

Carrie Fox is the founder and CEO of Mission Partners, a woman-owned strategic communications firm and Certified B Corporation that guides high-potential nonprofits, foundations, and socially responsible corporations in realizing their greatest social impact. Since launching her first firm in 2004, she has guided hundreds of organizations around the world to lead with purpose, fueling organizations and their missions forward in new and more impactful ways.