Visualizing experiences around collaboration

Traditionally GrantCraft guides have been documents with 24 - 32 pages telling in words the stories of practitioners. When I first heard about GrantCraft, my colleagues said that reading a guide was like overhearing a meeting, a conversation among colleagues or peers. And indeed, normally you would read a GrantCraft guide, but we thought we should try to combine words more often with pictures.

Pictures can be as expressive as words. In the guide on collaboration among funders in Europe, Foundation in Europe Working Together, published last month,  we used cartoons to illustrate some of the awkward issues that people find it hard to talk about. Besides being a visual expression of an idea, cartoons also have a "tongue in cheek" element that helps in getting a message across or encouraging reflection. But even without that wink, visual representations can be very helpful to trigger discussion or reinforce stories and arguments. After all, some things are more easily shown than told.

Following that line of thinking, Zsofi Lang, our intern at Grantcraft in Brussels, applied a different, visual approach when summarizing the latest GrantCraft guide. Her "summary" allows you to scroll through the main messages of the guide from top to bottom in seconds. We hope it inspires you to read a guide that includes a wealth of thought-provoking quotes and reflections of practitioners, and heaps of resources and - clickable - links. And if you are currently involved in a collaborative, there is a do-it-yourself collaborative health check included in the guide! Follow these links to access a pdf-version the visual summary, or download the complete guide European Foundations Working Together.