Spitfire Strategies

The Smart Chart® is one of the most widely used, in-demand and effective tools we’ve got. We call it “Smart” because it helps you make smart decisions for high-impact results—every step of the way. 

Designed specifically for foundations and nonprofits, the Smart Chart walks you through six logical steps to a truly strategic communications plan. If you have a goal, the Smart Chart can help you build a smart strategy to reach it. And if you don’t have a goal, the Smart Chart will help you get one—no, seriously, it really will. It’s been so widely received and successful, we even had it translated intoSpanish.

Smart Chart 3.0 is also available online, so that you can craft winning communications plans right away.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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Discovering the Activation Point™ is a series of peer-reviewed, field-tested best practices designed to turn passive supporters into active champions.

If knowledge alone was enough to inspire action, the world would already be a better place. Real change requires action, and the key to moving people from knowledge to action is persuasion.

Welcome to the Activation Point™, where you will find best practices for planning for persuasion, tailored to the unique needs of social change organizations. The Activation Point is a publication of the Communications Leadership Institute™ and Spitfire Strategies™.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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Planning to Win™ offers a simple, six-step process to create winning issue campaigns, corporate campaigns or policy campaigns.

Cutting through the noise to develop a smart campaign strategy can be the hardest part – but it’s also the most important. So, where to start?

With the partnership and support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, we gathered input from dozens of campaign experts to create Planning to Win: The Just Enough Guide for Campaigners™ – an updated version of our popular Just Enough Planning Guide®.

The new tool uses a streamlined, six-step process to help organizations and coalitions build effective plans that lead to winning campaigns. It also includes special sections on opposition management and building or managing winning coalitions, and infuses smart digital strategies along the way.

The interactive, mobile-friendly tool allows you to coordinate with others using the share function, or – if logged in with a Google account – gives you the ability to export your plan directly to your Google Drive.

Once finished, you can export one of three different options – a short overview to share with board members or funders, a full, customizable plan, or a management chart that tracks tactics, assignments and deadlines.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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The SmartScan™ features four modules: Identity, Planning, Best Practices, and Rules and Results. An organization can take them all at once to get an overarching assessment of its communication assets and needs, or just focus on one area at a time.

To succeed, organizations must be strategic about how they communicate. They need to have a clear sense of who they are, why their mission matters and how to convey that to their target audiences. They need to embed effective communication throughout the organization and have the systems and discipline to measure the results.

That is why Spitfire created the SmartScan, a free online tool that will help organizations know where they are and where they need to go. With generous support from the Ford Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the SmartScan helps assess where an organization is poised to be a communication powerhouse and where it has room to improve. Users answer a series of questions about their organization’s current practices and receive a tailored report detailing where they can focus attention to improve their communication.

This tool will give you a clear view of your organization’s materials and systems, and a way to engage your colleagues in the process. The payoff is a clear understanding of what you are doing well and should keep doing – and where more communication capacity or resources will enable you to create a bigger impact.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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Digital S.M.A.R.T.S.: A Guide for Nonprofits is a free resource for any organization looking to strengthen its digital strategy.

Whether you’re building from the ground up or just searching for tips on taking your digital outreach to the next level, this collection of handouts will help you effectively divide your time across the most important digital platforms and create a comprehensive and integrated digital strategy. Digital S.M.A.R.T.S. gives you the tips and tricks you need to expand your reach and engage with your target audiences online using Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound and Strategic objectives.

Spitfire offers digital trainings for all levels of experience. A list of our trainings is available here.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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From Big Ideas to Big Change examines how foundations communicate about their change strategies and offers advice for effectively engaging foundation staff, grantees and other audiences in communications efforts that succeed in turning a vision of change into reality.

Foundations are committing more resources than ever before to communicating about their work and missions — yet grantees continue to give funders low marks when it comes to fostering a clear understanding of what the foundation is trying to accomplish and where they fit in. To address this gap, Spitfire Strategies developed From Big Ideas to Big Change.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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The Smart Plan offers simple steps for getting a crisis response plan in place now so it’s there when you need it.

Having a plan in place will allow you to spend precious moments and resources handling the situation rather than scrambling to figure out what to do. The Smart Plan helps you anticipate crises, prevent them when possible and prepare to respond if one strikes.

Four simple steps help nonprofits and foundations assess their risks, identify potential sources of attack, minimize risks and leverage strengths. Shore up vulnerabilities today and rest easy knowing that no matter what comes next, you’re ready for it.

Easy. Straightforward. Effective. And Free.

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“This is a truly transformative program and there is no question that it is preparing leaders to be courageous communicators.”

- Colleen Bailey, Executive Director, The National Steinbeck Center

Spitfire Spotlight: Sherice Perry

Kristen Grimm

By Kristen Grimm
President

  The opportunity to engage in youth sports shaped Sherice Perry’s entire life. She didn’t receive formal training in the sports she loved until she went to middle school, where the combination of sports and education showed her that when people are given an opportunity, their potential is limitless. “I love that… (read more)

Challenge stereotypes…and other lessons from the immigration fight

By Lauryn Fanguen, Frank Karel Fellow Lauryn Fanguen is one of eight scholars chosen for this year’s Frank Karel Fellowship, which encourages first-generation and minority students to consider professional opportunities in the field of public interest communications. Read more about Lauryn here. The Trump administration’s rhetoric and policies around immigration, including the… (read more)

Shaping the Next Generation of Social Impact Communicators

Kristen Grimm

By Kristen Grimm
President

  When people ask Lauryn Fanguen what she did with her summer vacation, she’s going to have a lot to talk about. Lauryn is one of eight scholars chosen for this year’s Frank Karel Fellowship, which encourages first-generation and minority students to consider professional opportunities in the field of public… (read more)

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