Founded in 2003 by Mimi Ghez, echo communications is a philanthropic advising service whose work is providing excellence in communications for grantors and grantees interested in gaining wider footing within grantor networks.
Our services are for grantors of all kind (foundations, corporations, corporate giving programs, trusts, individual donors) as well as for grant recipients fundraising and management consultants, and legal and philanthropic advisors to both grantors and grantees. They are designed to bring great visibility to select grantors and grantees whose work is worthy of attention and replication amongst donors.
echo's service will also help enliven the marketplace of ideas that now resides within organized grantor communities.
Hidden Opportunities is a new program of echo communications in development since 2008. The service was made public in July with two beta clients and is now being made available to a wide audience of grantors and grantees. Our work is based on several years of dedicated research and the input of leadership in social change and philanthropy across the country.
Explain grantor culture to me.
The set of services are based on a series of experiences gained by echo president Mimi Ghez during her years as senior grantmaker at Open Society Foundations. At that time, Ghez had leadership over a grantmaking budget that she was able to increase very significantly through donor networking and co-grantor development. Many ultimately successful and quite well-known donor initiatives emerged.
This work initiated a deep desire to share with the grantmaking community valuable lessons learned about how to gain additional dollars for donors' grantmaking portfolios. She was also inspired to give insight into how to initiate tremendously beneficial exchanges between non-profits and their grantor counter-parts.
echo communications has been an associate member of several grantor alliances, including: Council on Foundations, The Communications Network; Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families; Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers; Disability Funders Network; and Native Americans in Philanthropy.
We are also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Words about Hidden Opportunities
"Fascinating undertaking," Bruce Trachtenberg, Executive Director, The Communications Network.
"UNA-NCA is honored and pleased to be a pilot project for Hidden Opportunities. As evidenced by the initial research of potential corporate partners and the analysis of past and recent foundation and corporate associations, this innovative approach will allow UNA-NCA to engage current donors and friends in efforts to describe and build support for our Global Classrooms program to potential new donors," says Karen Mulhauser, President, United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, a Hidden Opportunities BETA project.
"Most development professionals are busy trying to make their numbers and writing reports for their superiors. They aren't necessarily thinking long-term in this way. Your approach is far reaching and will be helpful to many," says James Devitt, adjunct professor, Baruch College's School of Public Affairs.
"Why don't program officers educate non-profits more about the potential of donor networks? I've been on both sides of the grantee-grantmaker relationship; Mimi Ghez's approach to brokering that relationship feels like a really good idea; lots of groups can surely benefit from this approach," says David Devlin-Foltz, Director, Advocacy Planning and Evaluation Program, The Aspen Institute.
"Very interesting work..." says Joel Ryan, Executive Director, Washington State Association of Head Start & ECEAP.
"There's a lot to be excited about here..." says Stewart Moss, Executive Director, The Writer's Center (Bethesda, MD), a Hidden Opportunities BETA project.