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MASTER CLASS - Autumn Session
Communications Planning for Social Impact

October 10 - 31, 2023 | One class per week x4 weeks


Individuals familiar with communication planning for social impact who wish to learn the methodology of a master planner and boost their communication leadership, assessment, design, and measurement skills. 

Are you a public interest communicator who struggles with strategic planning? Do you ever feel stuck performing endless tactics assigned to you by others without an overarching strategy? Would you like to excel at designing communications initiatives that engage and drive more people to action? 


If you answered "yes" then this master planning class is just what you're looking for—an interactive learning experience led by a 25-year veteran of social impact communications.


DATES:  Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2023

LOCATION: Online via Zoom

SCHEDULE:  4 weeks, one 90-minute class per week. 

COST:  US$ 500

Ryanne Waters, World Wildlife Fund

Gisele is a pleasure to work with - she doesn't just tell, but brings you along the strategic planning process and is a true partner. She enabled me not only to gain the specific skills and knowledge needed to develop and implement a strategic communications plan, but also gave me the confidence to lead and influence. She truly tailors her approach to her clients' needs and delivers results.

Bigger Impact President Gisele McAuliffe is the instructor. She has decades of experience designing and implementing communication plans in the U.S. and overseas for mission-driven organizations. They include the World Wildlife Fund,Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wilderness Society, American Red Cross and many more. 


  • CLASS STRUCTURE: Each 1.5-hour weekly class will include instruction, a review of short assignments and a discussion.


  • RESULTS DRIVEN APPROACH: McAuliffe's technique for designing and executing communications plans that drive people to action and achieve program goals.

  • ASSESSMENTS: McAuliffe’s method for determining if a program has the resources and structure to benefit from communications activities.

  • LEADERSHIP: Participants will gain a new perspective on the vital leadership role communications serves within public interest organizations.


  • HANDS ON: This interactive training is experiential, a learn-by-doing approach that accelerates acquiring new skills. By the end of the course, each participant will have drafted a public interest communications plan of their choice.

  • CUSTOMIZED: The course will be tailored to support individual needs. Participants may schedule one-on-one online meetings with McAuliffe to discuss the class materials and any questions.

  • PEER LEARNING: Everyone who completes the course is eligible to join the Good Communicators Exchange, a robust online networking and support group of social impact communicators.

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Upcoming Classes


Understand Yesterday to

Plan for Tomorrow

Before you can improve a communications program, you need to know what currently works and what doesn’t. Assessments pull back the curtain.

This master class presents a variety of methods and cost ranges for determining if external outreach is effective and how it might be improved.

  • Do you know how stakeholders perceive your organization? 

  • What are the most important communications activities to assess?


Learn how to calculate the social impact and financial return-on-investment (ROI) of audience engagement. Examine different types of assessments and the valuable insights they provide. 


Give Voice to Your Stakeholders

Storytelling for social impact involves much more than gathering and packaging the experiences of individuals that relate to your mission. This master class delves into a range of issues vital to a successful storytelling program.

  • Best practices for building and managing a story bank.

  • Storytelling formats and dissemination methods that succeed for a range of nonprofit agencies and budgets. 

  • Analysis of social impact storytelling ethics and partnerships.


Equity, inclusion and participatory storytelling also will be studied. These approaches facilitate communities controlling the narrative, for example, through the provision of training and resources that enable community members to produce their own stories. 


Claim your seat at the

leadership table

Studies show that managers spend about 80% of their work days communicating with teams and colleagues at work. Effective leadership is all about effective communications.

  • Are you concerned your limited communications capabilities may be hindering your career advancement?

  • Do you wish you were more adept at sharing your ideas and winning the support of others?

  • Would you welcome tips for managing difficult conversations, cultivating active listening and improving emotional intelligence?


This master class evaluates each participant's communications strengths and weaknesses, addresses common challenges and explains the core communications skills of an effective leader.

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