|Communicating what you do and how you do it are important elements for successful grantmaking. The Internet has made it easy for grantseekers to learn more about you by providing easy access to your tax return via such tools as The Foundation Center's Foundation Finder, GlassPockets.org and Guidestar.
Forward-thinking foundations are using the 990 and other communications tools to help them speak clearly about what they are interested in and how they do their work. Strategic communications can help you:
- Communicate your philanthropic mission to nonprofits and others interested in your work
- Advance the issues about which you care
- Increase your transparency and become more accountable and
- Strengthen your relationships with grantees, other funders and community leaders.
Using Your 990-PF to Communicate EffectivelyTake steps to ensure that the messages you communicate in your 990-PF or 990 are consistent with the messages in all of your foundation's communications.
Supporting the Messengers of Change
In 2013, the Babcock Foundation chose to examine the strategic communications capacity of its policy grantees, with an understanding that this capacity is closely tied to their effectiveness as advocates for policies that move people and places out of poverty. The following report released publicly in March of 2014 details MRBF's findings and contains a set of recommendations for supporting grantee communications capacity.
The mission of the Communications Network is to improve the effectiveness and accountability of foundations by promoting and strengthening the strategic practice of communications in philanthropy.
Wilmer Shields Rich Awards for Excellence in Communications
The Council on Foundations' awards showcase the ways grantmakers use communications strategies and techniques to advance their philanthropic goals.
Philanthropy Awareness Institute
A project to engage influential Americans in the work of philanthropy.
Web 2.0 for GrantmakersCreated by Blueprint Research and Design for Northern California Grantmakers, this site is designed as a simple and quick introduction for grantmakers interested in using new technologies (and some older ones, too) in creative ways.