In a democracy, as well as in all other kinds of governments in one way or another, public and nonprofit organizations can accomplish little without some degree – and often a substantial degree – of support – or at least consent -- from the public. This course will examine what “public opinion” is, how it is formed, and what executives and leaders of government and nonprofit agencies do to communicate with the public, especially in an era of great change in the mass media, and the place of “noble lies” in public discourse. It will draw on a variety of perspectives from the social sciences and journalism, as well as utilize case studies of successful (and not-so-successful) efforts at communication. Although most of this material will be based on experience in the United States, examples from other countries will be included.
A new report applies a theory of time and value in philanthropy to three real cases, to see how a foundation could decide whether to operate with a limited life, based on the amount and kind of value it hopes to create.