Reframing newsletter

Initiative Partner Leverages Reframing into Policy Wins

October 18, 2018

Human Services Council (HSC), a National Reframing Initiative partner and early adopter, this year successfully reframed the signature campaign it co-leads to Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York. That change, accompanied by reframed messaging targeting media and policy influencers, yielded big results in the state’s fiscal year 2019 budget for human services.

Strong Nonprofits LogoStrong Nonprofits is a statewide coalition of more than 350 nonprofit human service providers that called for increased state investment in the sector’s workforce and infrastructure. HSC reports that Strong Nonprofits’ reframed asks, press conferences, visual representations and communications, based on its first-ever style guide shared with the coalition for campaign marketing materials, resulted in audiences having a better sense of the campaign’s significance. Indeed, Strong Nonprofits achieved results for two of three of its asks: an investment of $15 million to fund the minimum wage increase for government-contracted nonprofit human service organizations and expansion of state and local government funding to include nonprofits as also eligible for capital investments. Previously excluded from the program, nonprofits are now eligible for $385 (of $475) million of funding designed to finance facility and construction projects. The infrastructure goal was particularly well-suited to using framing’s construction metaphor!

Among Strong Nonprofits’ reframed communications are its tagline “Fund Human Services to Build Strong Communities” and Talking Points that effectively use the Building Well-Being Narrative to support investments in workforce wages and infrastructure.

Infographic: The human services workforce is 81% women, 46% people of colorWhen conveying the importance of human services in thriving New York communities, HSC credits reframing in playing a key role in relaying its messaging, tone, and branding strategy. “By integrating reframing tools like the Building Well-Being Narrative, the value of human potential, and the construction metaphor, our Strong Nonprofits campaign crystallized the necessity of human services for all communities; we were able to effectively communicate with our multifaceted audience of human services providers and coalitions, government partners, and media,” stated Michelle Jackson, HSC Deputy Executive Director.

HSC’s recognition of the wage increase and facilities funding expansion to nonprofits even included reframing language stating they “are significant steps in a positive direction, and we look forward to building upon these steps to ensure human services agencies and workers have the resources they need to provide the services and supports many New Yorkers need to survive and thrive.”

Congratulations to HSC on these big policy wins! Tell us how your organization’s reframed communications have made an impact in your policy and advocacy initiatives by emailing Bridget Gavaghan, Director of the National Reframing Initiative.

Allison from Strong Nonprofits


For the National Human Services Assembly’s second What the Hill podcast on October 9, 2018, sociolinguist Julie Sweetland, Vice President for Strategy and Innovation at the FrameWorks Institute, joined the National Assembly’s public policy team, Marie Camino and Brandon Toth. Sweetland offered tips on how human service advocates can apply FrameWorks’ research to timely federal policy issues such as immigration, the 2020 Census, and others. Listen to the half-hour podcast and the pilot 10-minute podcast that considered the Administration’s “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century” proposal to reorganize the federal government’s executive branch, in the context of reframing.