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Are You Under-Sharing?: The Value of Communicating Successes

When was the last time you took the time to celebrate a funded application? Sure, most of us are thrilled to receive a notice of award and excitedly pass along the news to clients or supervisors. But, if you are anything like me, you quickly return to the next proposal and looming deadline.

There is always a next deadline.

And, even when we do have the time, for some of us the thought of promoting our successes can be uncomfortable. 
There are, however, several reasons it might be beneficial to your organization or clients to take the time to celebrate your successes publically:

Current funder relationships: If and when the conditions of your award allow, consider partnering with marketing personnel to create a press release or other media strategy. For those without access to a marketing department, use social media and other platforms to share news of your funded projects. This not only promotes the success of your program, but also gives you the opportunity to express your gratitude to those who funded your proposal and supported your work.

Future funder visibility: Often we have the opportunity to include organizational background language within a proposal. This content highlights our previous projects, the team's qualifications, and other relevant infrastructure at the organization. While not all agencies will review this additional information, some might look at your organization's website or social media accounts to learn more. By sharing grant-related information on your website, local newspaper, or social media pages, you can subtly demonstrate your capacity as well as give new funders an idea of your mission. And, as importantly, what it would look like to collaborate with you.

Lastly, don't forget to celebrate grant implementation successes, too. Depending on the structure of your organization, check in regularly with those who are completing grant funded work. They will likely have anecdotal information or outcomes data that's worth sharing. 

Remember that each funder and award terms are different. In some cases, information may be proprietary, and in others, the funding agency might have a press release they'd like to launch first or preapproved language. But, by taking the time to learn what you can share, you may find that communicating your successes will support the growth of both your grant-funded initiatives and your organization. Don't forget that grants represent an investment by the funder in your organization. They like to see a return on investment—and you can help.

What successes have you or your program staff recently had? And, if you haven't got the word out yet, what are you waiting for?
Kacie Fodness is a grant writer with the Avera Health system in Sioux Falls, SD. As a part of her role, she supports preaward activities and proposal development across a variety of topic areas that strengthen local and regional healthcare resources.

GPCI Competency: #8 (Knowledge of methods and strategies that cultivate and maintain relationships between fund-seeking and recipient organizations and funders)