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Communications Strategy

Goals

In keeping with the mission and values of the Weingart Foundation, the overarching goal of the Foundation’s communications is to provide information and transparency regarding our grantmaking to the nonprofit community. The Foundation’s primary objective is to enable our grantee community (current and potential grantees) to become more knowledgeable about the work and guidelines of the Foundation, as well as to improve their overall effectiveness. In all cases, the primary focus of our communications is on the needs and programs of our grantees.

Secondarily, the Foundation’s goal is to communicate with the greater philanthropic community and other interested parties regarding lessons learned in our grantmaking practices. As a learning organization, the Foundation seeks to share information and promote collaboration with funding colleagues including other foundations, individual philanthropists and public funding sources, especially as it relates to advancing equity.

Strategy

The Foundation believes that funders are most effective when they solicit and incorporate feedback from their grantees and applicants into their grantmaking. For this reason, we are committed to thoughtful and transparent communications with grantees.

The Foundation’s website serves as a critical resource for individuals to learn about the Weingart Foundation, including who we are and what we do. As such, the website is the cornerstone of our communications efforts. We strive to maintain clear and easily accessible information regarding: the Foundation’s mission, goals, and values; our grantmaking practice, priorities and guidelines; the process for applying and how to contact us. The website is also growing as a venue for grantees and the philanthropic community to access information on the field. Additionally, the website is a vehicle for ongoing two-way communications providing individuals with the ability to provide anonymous feedback through a link on our homepage.

In addition to the website and the grantmaking process, the Foundation proactively engages grantees and the larger nonprofit and philanthropic communities in direct communication. We conduct regular “listening tours” in the grantee community, sponsor, attend or present at special funder and nonprofit convenings, and communicate with key philanthropic and civic thought leaders. The Foundation also sponsors or presents research on the critical issues facing the nonprofit sector and disseminates this information to both our grantee and funder audiences.

In all of our communications, we are committed to maintaining high-quality interactions, clarity of messages and a strong commitment to responsiveness.


FY 2017 Areas of Focus

In alignment with the FY 2017 Program Plan, the Foundation’s FY 2017 Communications Strategy will prioritize:

  • Announcing and soliciting feedback on our full commitment to equity. 
  • Targeted outreach to nonprofits in specific geographic or issue-focused areas of interest.
  • Advocating for grantmaking policies and practices that support and strengthen the nonprofit sector, especially in communities that are under-resourced..
  • Advocating for policies and practices that will result in meaningful policy and systems change to advance equity and increase services to those who are currently underserved.
  • The importance of Unrestricted Operating Support in strengthening organizational capacity and effectiveness.
  • The need for public and private funders to support full cost funding for program grants and contracts.
  • The need to increase support for nonprofit capacity building activities.
  • Continuing to solicit feedback related to the Foundation’s Learning and Assessment Framework.
  • Sharing information and results on the Foundation’s Initiatives.
  • Sharing resources that support nonprofits’ efforts to increase the capacity and effectiveness of their organizations.
  • Continued engagement and feedback from applicants and grantees to continuously learn, refine and improve our grantmaking practice and refine our grantmaking strategies.

The Foundation may explore opportunities to place articles in the nonprofit and philanthropic trade press on issues of importance to the Weingart Foundation and the local nonprofit/philanthropic sector. Whenever possible, the Foundation will use stories and examples from our grantees to illustrate our work.