Promoting Your Grant Successes Online
There are fairly standard responses that many grant-seeking organizations use when responding to a grant-maker’s questions about how they will recognize a grant if awarded. Yes, recognition in the annual report and in the organization’s newsletter are important. Yes, recognition on printed materials and flyers for the funded program or project are basic mechanisms used to thank and recognize grant-makers. Yes, recognition of grant-makers as an organization’s supporter at special events or as a highlighted partner on the organization’s website is great for additional recognition. These are the types of recognition that most organizations can consistently implement.
What has become a more common additional response in submitted applications is that grant-makers will be recognized via an organization’s social media networks. That statement is then typically followed by a list of the organization’s social networks, and the number of followers for each account is then listed to show the reach of the organization’s networks.
Grant-makers appreciate the opportunity to have their mission and their successful grant-funded projects highlighted online and shared in a way that they can also share with their stakeholders. When reviewing the application, if social media is offered as a method of recognition of grants, savvy grant-makers will look at how active the social media networks are and also if or how they are currently recognizing funders or partners.
The successful recognition of a grant-maker’s support or of a grant-funded program can be done in such a way that it not only individually recognizes the grant maker’s support, but also engages a nonprofit’s stakeholders.
The work being done can be created in one space and then repurposed for other social media networks to ensure that all stakeholders are reached.
A small, yet mighty, nonprofit organization, Save The River, has a great example of how a small staff can accomplish this task. They always take photos of the field trips for the “In the Schools” program, but on one trip, they took one extra photo to add a “thank you” sign to a grant-maker being held by the students supported by the grant funding. They then created a great recognition and success story post for their blog to highlight the success of meeting a matching grant, as shown in the screen shot below.
The blog post was repurposed to be appropriate for Facebook as shown in the screen shot below.
Next, they took the same post and images and turned it into an Instagram post.
Finally, they tweeted about the success.
The repurposed content across their networks served as a way to thank the foundation that had supported their “In the Schools” program, thanked the individual donors who had supported the matching grant, and most importantly, followed through on the promise in the original application to recognize the funding on social media.
Was the funding foundation on all of the social networks they posted to? No, but their individual donors who supported the matching grant were. The widespread sharing of the campaign helped to spread their grant-funded success story to all of their stakeholders.
How can you use your social media networks to not only engage your individual stakeholders, but also to recognize and promote your grant-funded success stories?
Diane H. Leonard, GPC, provides support to grant-seeking organizations throughout the country with her team at DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC. She has personally secured more than $34 million to date in competitive grant funds for clients. She founded the firm in order to focus on increasing nonprofit capacity related to grant seeking and grant management. She is an active member of the Grant Professionals Association serving on both their Social Media Committee and Grant News Committee. She is an “approved trainer” through the Grant Professionals Association and Grant Professional Certified (GPC) through the Grant Professionals Certification Institute.