Messaging Strategy

For The Winston-Salem Foundation


– Roll out reflections and new priorities within the Foundation’s focus areas. 
– Create messaging to get people’s attention and be moved to action, then communicate with announcement to audiences


– Communications groundwork – clarifying tone/style/overall messaging for organization
– Messaging strategy and announcement language for microsite and other mediums
– Board and staff training to instill excitement and confidence in being messengers

Evolving to Meet Community Needs

Since its inception a century ago, The Winston-Salem Foundation has partnered with people and organizations to improve the quality of life in Forsyth County. It has established a long legacy of local impact and has contributed to its community through leadership, grants, philanthropic services, and student aid.
As the Foundation approached its centennial year in Fall of 2018, it stood back and recognized how much its community had changed. To keep pace with these changes and to meet the current and most pressing needs facing Forsyth County, the organization announced new focus areas and priorities, showing those it serves how this community foundation is adapting and growing.

Our Work

The Winston-Salem Foundation needed guidance and support with public communication to share with its community the reflections and learning from in-depth listening sessions and to announce its six new priorities, along with other changes it will be making. 

Nectar joined the team as a partner after Foundation staff had engaged in an extensive process to listen and learn from the community it serves. They surveyed partners, sorted through data, held listening sessions with hundreds of people, and worked together to explore what common themes had emerged. They were ready to share this information, but needed someone to get them to the finish line and create messaging that captured their work in an engaging way. 

The Foundation recognized that strategic external engagement and communications is vital to the success of its grantmaking and community investment. It also recognized its important role in leading difficult conversations and knew that it would be venturing into new territory by not only announcing its new funding areas, but sharing its commitment to racial equity for the first time. They selected Nectar to support this work because of our intersections in philanthropy and racial justice movement support. 

Our team worked with a longstanding creative partner of the Foundation, M Creative, to create a microsite as a guide for their audiences to learn about the new priorities and commitments, and more deeply understand all of the work that has been done and is yet to come. We created all of the announcement language on the site, including supplementary storytelling around community reflections. 


We feel very fortunate that we were led to Nectar Strategies for this work. Shannon has a true gift. We are thankful for her work, support and partnership over the past months, including excellent staff and board training which proved to be vital components of this project. We pushed Shannon hard, and she rose to the challenge every time.

Brittney Gaspari

Vice President, Community Investment, The Winston-Salem Foundation

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Interested in Messaging Strategy?