With support from the Care for All with Respect and Equity (CARE) Fund, a group of six philanthropy support organizations (PSOs) – Asset Funders Network, Economic Opportunity Funders, Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Grantmakers In Aging, Grantmakers In Health, and Disability & Philanthropy Forum – have agreed to collaborate to develop a national landscape analysis of narrative change and strategic communications efforts across the care economy, including child care and early learning, paid family and medical leave, and long- term services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities, with a focus on users of care, paid care workers, and unpaid family and friend caregivers.
Care Economy Narrative Change Landscape Analysis
In June 2021, Asset Funders Network (AFN) and Economic Opportunity Funders (EOF) worked together to release a brief, webinar, and video to deepen funders’ understanding of the intersectional and intergenerational issues related to the care economy and building a robust care infrastructure – a publicly funded system that recognizes care as both an individual and social responsibility, values care workers, and supports family members to both care and provide financially for each other.
The project highlighted key policies and programs that address the economic inequities arising from these issues and proposed a diverse set of impactful investment strategies, including progressive policy and programmatic solutions.
To build on this effort, with input from members and field partners, AFN, EOF, Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Grantmakers In Aging, Grantmakers In Health, and Disability & Philanthropy Forum will collaborate to develop a national landscape analysis of narrative change efforts across the care economy.
The PSO collaborative has hired consultants Padmini Parthasarathy, Sāmya Strategies, and Julie Kashen, Kashen Consulting to conduct the care economy narrative change landscape analysis.
Online research, field interviews, a funder survey, and funder focus group were conducted in January-June 2023 to inform the development of a table of organizations and projects and summary of findings.
Final products are expected to be completed in October 2023 and will be shared via a national webinar.
Landscape Analysis Framework
Narrative change is an emerging field, with funders and practitioners actively shaping the field as they go. As such, we think the most effective approach to determining a guiding framework for the project at hand is to build on the latest research on narrative change in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector. To determine the scope for this project, we leveraged existing best practices, research, and resources from Convergence Partnership and Pop Culture Collaborative.
For the purposes of this project, we define narrative change efforts as those that:
- Have a long-term timeline
- Focus on creating a new environment that supports making ambitious changes
- Are led by every day narrators, long-term strategists, and organizers
- Elevate, establish, and share new values
- Help shape storytelling across all social change strategies, including building on strategic communications efforts tied to specific care policies
- Shift narratives in the three segments of the narrative power building ecosystem: mass media, mass culture and mass movements
We will also examine strategic communications efforts that support longer term narrative change. For the purposes of this project, we define strategic communications efforts as those that:
- Have a short-term timeline of six months to three years
- Connect to public policy fights
- Are led by communications experts, content creators, and message researchers
- Ground their work in currently shared values
- Embody one social change strategy among several others