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IABC London Member Spotlight: Vanessa Dolishny

Categories: News

Vanessa Dolishny,
Director of Communications
London Community Foundation

Where do you work? What is your role, including responsibilities and projects?

I am the Director of Communications at London Community Foundation. One of my favourite parts about this role is that every day is different and I have the opportunity to engage in such a wide variety of communications activities. We are a small and mighty team of 12 so our communications team works almost like its own little agency providing communications support to the various departments at the Foundation including Philanthropy, Grants and Social Finance in addition to communications for LCF’s external leadership initiatives. My role involves overseeing the day-to-day communications including social media, eNewsletters, the LCF website, storytelling, the LCF podcast, as well as online and print publications, media relations, event planning, donor communications, and communications support for special projects and initiatives.

How long have you been an IABC member?

I have been an IABC member since I joined as a student in 2011.

In your opinion, what are the benefits of being an IABC member? What resources or programs offered by IABC have you engaged in?

For me, having the chance to connect and network with a like-minded group of communicators is important. I also find the professional development opportunities and resources valuable. I attend the monthly professional development events and try to submit projects to the Virtuoso Awards program each year. I think Virtuoso is a great opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments, receive feedback on your work and of course, celebrate with your communications peers! That said, you may not be surprised to learn that in the past I served as a volunteer on the IABC London Board as the Virtuoso Awards Chair. This was an excellent learning experience for me earlier on in my career as it gave me an opportunity to manage a volunteer team, gain valuable experience taking the lead on planning a major event, and connect with so many communicators in the community that I’ve built lasting relationships with.

What area(s) of communications are you passionate about?

I am especially passionate about non-profit communications as I love being able to use my creativity to have a positive impact on the community. I always say I have the best job at LCF because I get to tell the stories of people in our community who are doing incredible work! Aside from that, I also have an interest in media relations, public affairs and crisis/issues management.

Tell us about an important project or achievement from your career.

A project that has been personally very meaningful to me is LCF’s Vital Signs report. Throughout the past several years my team has elevated the report from a simple biennial community report card to an ongoing initiative that is taking a bold stance on the London region’s most pressing issues. This report has been the catalyst of many changemaking efforts internally at LCF as well as in the broader community, becoming a key resource for individuals and groups advocating for social change. For the past two years the report has been framed through the lens of the pandemic using it as an opportunity to highlight how COVID-19 brought many structural inequities into sharp focus. Our 2021 report Be the Change took a strong activist tone and is not only a community call to action but a resource and guide to changemaking that individuals can use to start taking action on issues they care about.

Vital Signs was also the inspiration behind LCF’s new podcast – What London Can Be. This has been an exciting project to be part of as we’ve had the opportunity to dive into some bold and disruptive conversations about critical challenges facing our community. I may be biased, but I encourage you to check it out!

These projects inspire me every day and make me grateful to be part of the amazing work we do at LCF.

Do you have any advice for those starting out in this field?

Stay true to yourself. Build genuine relationships built on integrity. Always be open to taking on new learning opportunities and challenges. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.

If you had to describe the communications profession in one word, what word would you choose?

Dynamic!

How can members connect with you?

Twitter (@VanessaDolishny)
LinkedIn (Vanessa Dolishny)