The Nonprofit Communications Institute

We’re expanding our popular Nonprofit Communications Institute, hosted in partnership with LightBox Collaborative, to bring you even more communications skills, resources and support.

The Nonprofit Communications Institute is intended to provide participants with a solid grounding in the most important aspects of nonprofit communications: strategy development, branding, and messaging, and to offer innovative, inspiring case studies of cutting edge communications strategies in action.  Day 1 of the Institute is designed to ground your communications work in a strong foundation, and Day 2 helps you build toward savvy, smart communications tactics to engage your audiences to action toward your mission. The special interactive and informative program will give you the practical tools you need to advance your work.  

Intensify the impact of the institute by bringing a team of people from your organization - check out our team-based pricing below. 

  • Nonprofit Team (up to 3 people) $595 (each additional $100)
  • Nonprofit/Student Individual $350
  • For-Profit Team (up to 3 people) $900 (each additional $125)
  • For-Profit Individual $475

*If you choose the Team Rate, please register your lead/contact person only. We will contact you to confirm who will be attending at least a week before the institute date. 


About the Program

The Nonprofit Communications Institute places a heavy emphasis on Peer Learning, offering you the opportunity to network and learn from your peers across the sector, each generating unique solutions to common nonprofit communications challenges.

By the end of the Communications Institute, you will:

  • Have an understanding of the importance of strategic clarity in your communications work, and a working GAME (Goals, Audience, Message, Engagement) Plan to bring back to your organization.

  • Have a firm grasp of how to create meaningful messaging for your organization.

  • Be exposed to tools and ideas that will further strengthen the communications efforts of your organization.

Who Should Attend

The Communications Institute is intended for nonprofit leaders interested in adopting a strategic, integrated approach to your communications work. It is appropriate for nonprofit staff with responsibility for the communications work of their organization and executives that want to further inform their strategic use of communications.  We strongly suggest bringing a team to maximize the application of the skills and knowledge presented!


Day 1: (9:30am - 4:30pm)

Branding is Bonding

The most effective organizations know how to forge authentic connections with their donors and stakeholders. Does yours? This workshop will help you position your organization as the brand that inspires an emotional connection to trigger loyalty and long-lasting relationships with donors, volunteers and others. You’ll leave this session with the building blocks for a brand that inspires, motivates and captivates your most important audiences.

The Communications GAME Plan

Strategic clarity is the first step in developing an effective communications plan for your organization.  This session, rich in case studies, will help you hone in on communications goals, identify key audiences, and align your communications approaches to achieve those goals.

Messaging What Matters: Making Meaning to Make a Difference

You’ll gain tools for brand-level and program-level message development to guide your communications efforts, from the vision statement down to the day-to-day messages you can share to motivate supporters and engage your community in solutions. [If desired, this session could include a breakout, in which one trainer takes a group to work on Program-level message tools, and another takes a group to work on Brand-level elevator statements.]


Day 2: (9:30am - 12:30pm)

Engagement Labs, Round 1

Choose from one of the break out sessions below to dig deeper into the engagement approaches most relevant to your organization:


Creating Your Editorial Calendar

These days, nonprofit organizations are their own publishing platforms. We’ll share ideas on how to repurpose and re-imagine content across channels including email, social sites, mobile, web site, print, and mainstream media. We’ll share techniques and tools to help create the most efficient processes across your team.

Reaching Out to Reporters

Using straightforward tools, you’ll get skills and tips to help you package and pitch your story to traditional media, to score third-party validated coverage of your work that can make donors sit up and take notice.


Engagement Labs, Round 2

Choose from one of the breakout sessions below to dig deeper into the engagement approaches most relevant to your organization:

Hands-on Strategy Lab

This participant driven session provides an opportunity for deeper communications coaching and counsel from our training team and your peers. Bring your toughest communications challenges and together we’ll workshop solutions.


Strategic Storytelling

Learn how to leverage the power of stories to inform, persuade, inspire, and engage. Get insight on how to use stories as a management tool inside your organization, and how to tell stories that inspire deep connections among your donors, volunteers, and others. What’s your story?



About Lightbox Collaborative

The LightBox Collaborative is a versatile, dynamic group of talented consultants making the world a better place, one project at a time. We work with nonprofits, philanthropies, social entrepreneurs, and other do-gooders to jump start thinking, create strategic clarity in real time, and spark action in order to increase the impact of causes that matter.

Our methods are driven by a creative logic. We believe there are four currents that surge through groundbreaking causes:

Illumination – The information and perspective to inform action.
Intention – Clarity of goals and the means to track progress toward them.
Inspiration – Passion and purpose working together to create momentum.
Insight – The alignment of people, and action, to prepare you to meet your challenge in a new way.

Impact is the sum of illuminated knowledge, intentional goals, and inspiring passion turned to action, all together multiplied by the fresh insight that leads to effective approaches. Simply put, we believe 


Nonprofit/Student Individual - $350
Nonprofit Team - $595
(up to 3 people) Register your team contact and we will contact you to confirm the rest of your team who will attend.
For-Profit Team - $900
(up to 3 people)
For-Profit Individual - $475

Available Classes

MARCH 20: 9:30am-4:30pm
MARCH 27: 9:30am -12:30pm

Note different times




Nonprofit/Student Individual - $350
Nonprofit Team - $595
(up to 3 people) Register your team contact and we will contact you to confirm the rest of your team who will attend.
For-Profit Team - $900
(up to 3 people)
For-Profit Individual - $475