Communicating about a Grant
We support organizations that are improving the health of Coloradans. Sharing information about a new grant with key audiences and the media can maximize the impact of an organization’s work and mission. The following guidelines are meant to support effective communications that you may engage in after a grant agreement is completed to generate interest in your organization’s work.
Getting the Word Out
Once a grant agreement is finalized, let people know about the new grant through communications such as a news release to your local media, an email to your key stakeholders or social media outreach.
We require that any content referencing a grant, the Foundation or staff is reviewed prior to release or sharing. Send any content requiring review to firstname.lastname@example.org. Communications staff will fact-check to ensure that information related to the grant is represented accurately. We strive for prompt review and turnaround.
Referencing the Foundation in Text
Following are guidelines for referencing the Foundation in text:
- Please refer to us as “the Colorado Health Foundation,” with a lowercase “the” unless the name begins a sentence or stands alone. Please do not use an acronym in a second reference; instead, refer to us as “the Foundation.”
- An official standard descriptive paragraph for the Foundation is below.
- Please contact us if you would like to request a copy of our logo. In your email, please let us know how you plan to use the logo – in print, broadcast or electronic form – so we can send the correct format.
How to Write a Press Release
- The lead, or opening sentence, should directly state the news you are sharing in a nutshell. Focus on the grant’s overall purpose, not your mission statement.
- In the second paragraph (most paragraphs will only be one or two sentences) you should add context. What is the larger problem being addressed/solved? This is also a good place to list source(s), the dollar amount(s) and the duration of funding.
- The quote: Think of a few lead people from your agency who can best explain why people should care. You can ask one or two people for quotes and then choose the one who answers using clear, everyday language.
- Successive paragraphs should include additional detail and background, such as the project’s impact or objectives. It is appropriate to use the official background or project language, if it is clear. Keep it simple.
- Please include the standard paragraph on the Foundation: The Colorado Health Foundation is bringing health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging closely with communities across the state through investing, policy and advocacy, learning and capacity building. For more information, please visit www.coloradohealth.org.
- The final paragraph should be your organization’s standard language.
- Revise, spell check and revise again.
- Last, write a clear headline that summarizes the main point of the article. It goes above the article, but it is easier to summarize once everything else is written.
Before you submit to your local paper, look up their submission deadlines and determine which editor or author focuses on issues that your organization’s project will address.
Using Social Media
We are actively engaged in using social media. We traditionally follow any grantees who are active on social media, as well, to promote your work. If your organization actively uses social media, take a few minutes to follow or like us: Our Twitter handle is @COHealthFDN, Instagram handle is @COHealthFDN and Facebook address is www.facebook.com/coloradohealth.
- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation developed an online resource to help communication specialists write effective and impactful news releases.
- The Communications Network offers a free, online service to help nonprofits avoid jargon in their written materials.
- ComNetDenver is a regional group of The Communications Network that is comprised of individuals working in the social sector at foundations, nonprofits, and as consultants in the Denver area.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Marketing offers myriad tools and resources for health communicators. The Resources and Tools page provides campaign creation tools, media resources, templates and much more.
- The Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) offers many resources for social media and fundraiser planning, strategy and implementation, including training webinars, case studies, benchmark reports and an annual conference.
- Beth Kanter is a globally known nonprofit communications expert and social media strategist.
- Kivi Leroux Miller is the author of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.