Nonprofits and Strategic Rhetoric: Make It Your Own

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I want to suggest that you set the time aside for a really extraordinary webinar we have planned for the 27th of September. Julie Sweetland will be joining us from the FrameWorks Institute to help us all get our heads straight for the social change tasks we have ahead of us before and after the upcoming election. FrameWorks’ expertise is in communication, addressing the issues we care most about in productive ways. That’s one of the biggest core responsibilities we share.

Here is the description for the session, and I will tell you that even in prepping for this session with Julie, I had any number of “Aha!” moments.

American political rhetoric is defined by a small set of highly familiar “narratives” that define and confine what we can accomplish politically and socially. In an election season, these narratives are replayed constantly and often told in their most extreme forms. In turn, rhetoric shapes reality. In other words, campaign language and imagery shape the way the public thinks about the people and communities that nonprofits serve.

Understanding the underlying structure of political narratives—and how to work with them—is an essential capacity for every nonprofit leader. How can nonprofit leaders think strategically about the challenges and opportunities presented by a national election cycle? What are productive ways to respond to dominant frames about immigrants, low-wage workers, and the role of the public sector?

NPQ is thrilled to host Julie Sweetland of the FrameWorks Institute to unpack the language of the campaign season and to suggest ways that the nonprofit sector can reclaim the rhetorical high ground after the election. There will be plenty of time for questions and comments from participants.


  • You will learn to distinguish three “foundational narratives” that have been sustained over time in U.S. politics—with vivid examples of how these stories have been told in the current presidential campaign.
  • You will learn how the assumptions and effects of these narratives shape much of the work we all do.
  • You will be introduced to communications strategies (language, visuals, tactics) that let you use these discourses as tailwinds.

This is the kind of information you’ll carry with you into strategic conversations for decades to come! Sign up today to reserve your seat!