At Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) we like to say that we embrace the blur. That’s our way of acknowledging the level of effort it takes to create measurable–and sustaining–social impact. The problems we seek to solve are too complex for one sector to tackle, or one functional area to own.
Together, we can embrace the blur for good, and leverage our collective power.
Moving towards this end goal of effective social impact requires an adaptable mindset, as well as new skills to support the process. It’s not enough to be the best in your profession, you must also possess the self-awareness that you and your organization can’t do it alone. Shared purpose is the fuel that propels us towards positive change.
The Purpose Revolution
To say that the social impact sector is rapidly evolving is putting it mildly. Despite–or perhaps because of–the large intractable issues our society faces, from global warming to hunger and more, we’re living in a time with an increasing moral conscience. The purpose revolution is here and it’s growing.
We’re under no illusions that the world is perfect. Far from it. But there are tremendous hope spots where individuals and the organizations they represent are creating sustainable social impact.
People are leading their lives differently with alternative definitions of traditional success. For many of us, money is not a chief motivator nor a creator of fulfillment. We desire to create lives with deeper meaning and purpose, at home and work.
It’s no surprise that organizations of every type–not only nonprofits and foundations, but also businesses, social enterprises, associations and governments–are reflecting this same trend. After all, organizations are simply groups of people working together toward shared goals.
Our Philosophy of Social Impact Creation
Embracing the blur for good encapsulates our philosophy of social impact and serves as the underpinning of our work. We believe that sustainable social impact is created when organizations work effectively across sectors, functions, departments and human strengths. We also believe that marketing, communication, fundraising and journalism are key ways through which social impact is created.
Embracing the blur means recognizing that nonprofits, foundations, social enterprises, associations, the private sector and government are all viable engines for social change and are often most effective when they work together.
Embracing the blur means working to break down silos in your own organization – especially those artificial barriers erected between the so-called separate “departments” of marketing, communication, fundraising and journalism. Aren’t the goals of social impact jointly held by all?
Embracing the blur means uncovering your own unique strengths and recognizing how they can work synergistically with those of your collaborators to ultimately create impact.
Embracing the blur in your life, within your organization and across our sector as a whole is not easy. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. We need only look to history to remember that other forms of integration within society are often met with resistance and challenge.
But integration in its many forms is crucial to pursue if we are to create sustainable social impact, but also accelerate it.
What We Do
We educate and inspire socially responsible marketers, communicators, fundraisers and journalists who are dedicated to creating social impact as individuals and within organizations, by working across functional areas, as well as sectors. As part of the University’s School of Continuing Studies, the Center accomplishes its mission through applied research, graduate courses, community collaborations and thought leadership. Our work is proudly applied in nature, meaning we create research and educational offerings that are actionable for practitioners and useful to their daily work.
Founded in 2008 and relaunched in 2017 with an evolved mission, the Center has a long history of bringing Georgetown University’s values to life at the University and beyond. Our academic home base is the Division of Professional Communications within the School of Continuing Studies.