Goals for Communicating in the Context of Grantmaking

The most important element of communicating in the context of grantmaking is to understand the goal for each particular communication and to tailor it accordingly. In other words, the starting point is to ask, “What are we trying to achieve?” Then social investors can ask, “Who do we need to communicate with to realise this goal?” and then, “How can we do that in a way that makes the most impact?” These questions apply to everything from large-scale public campaigns to small, one-on-one dialogues.

Different goals for communicating in the grantmaking sector include, among others:

  • Collaboration and encouraging partnerships: Communication is integral to success when different organisations work together. It also assists in forming and building effective new partnerships.
  • Grantee relationship building: Communicating with beneficiaries fosters a dialogue that is as much about listening as disseminating information or aid. Effective beneficiary communication helps to reduce tension and frustrations, enhances understanding and action between programme managers and beneficiaries, and facilitates greater quality and accountability of programmes.
  • Public relations or brand enhancement: Organisations can use communications to build and enhance their credibility and their profile, which can assist them in attracting new audiences, boosting their visibility, and creating new opportunities.
  • Investor relations: Organisations, particularly corporate businesses, can use communications to connect with investors, demonstrating their vision, activities, accomplishments, and results. This can assist in getting investors to buy into projects and programmes, boosting support and possibly funding.
  • Knowledge sharing: Communication is critical in sharing research and knowledge, both internally to promote efficiency and knowledge transfer, and externally—crossorganisational knowledge sharing aids in the development of best practice, provides a catalyst for collaboration, boosts innovation, and shortens learning cycles.
  • Internal connection: Communicating internally is vital for ensuring each person in an organisation (including staff and volunteers) is working towards a shared goal. It also ensures that employees understand the social investment activities being undertaken by the organisation, and have an opportunity to get involved. This contributes to a sense of fulfilment and purpose. Effective internal communication also boosts efficiency and makes for a better working environment. Why Communicate? Communication is central to the successful operation of social investment. From sharing knowledge to advocating or lobbying for a cause, educating people, raising funds, or engaging donors, communication is a vital tool in helping grantmakers achieve their goals.
  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and reporting: Communicating M&E findings is vital in demonstrating that a project is achieving its targets, in picking up any changes that should be made, and in proving to funders that a grantmaker is a reliable partner worth supporting. It’s also important in reporting back to key stakeholders to ensure accountability and to build trust in relationships.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by GrantCraft using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Communication That Counts.