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Communications Strategy

Goals

The overarching goal of the Foundation’s communications is to provide information and transparency regarding our grantmaking to the nonprofit community to enable current and potential grantees to become more knowledgeable about the work and guidelines of the Foundation, as well as to improve their overall effectiveness.

Secondarily, our goal is to communicate with the greater philanthropic community and other interested parties regarding lessons learned in our grantmaking practices and in our work to advance social and economic equity. 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.

Strategy

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

The Foundation’s website serves as the primary 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 increasingly becoming a resource for nonprofits 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.

Beyond 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” and focus groups in the nonprofit community, sponsor, attend or present at special funder and nonprofit convenings, and communicate with key philanthropic and civic thought leaders. Periodically, we organize grantee conference calls and webinars on areas and issues that are of importance to the grantee community. The Foundation also sponsors or presents research on the critical issues facing the social sector and disseminates this information to both our nonprofit 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.


Current Areas of Focus

In alignment with the FY 2018 Program Plan, the Foundation’s communications strategy prioritizes:

  • Announcing and soliciting feedback on our strategies to advance social and economic equity. 
  • Timely dialogue with nonprofits about the impact of various changes enacted by the federal administration. Where appropriate, sharing information and connecting or convening organizations and other cross-sector stakeholders in response to federal policies.
  • Targeted outreach to nonprofits in specific geographic or issue-focused areas of interest.
  • Advocating for grantmaking policy and practice that supports and strengthens the nonprofit sector, especially in high-need, historically under-resourced communities.
  • Advocating for policies and practices that will result in meaningful policy and systems change to advance fairness, inclusion and opportunity, and to expand support to communities that have traditionally been excluded.
  • Highlighting the importance of Unrestricted Operating Support in strengthening organizational capacity and effectiveness.
  • Emphasizing the need for public and private funders to support full cost funding for program grants and contracts.
  • Sharing information, progress and learnings based on the Foundation’s work.
  • 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 communities on the ground to illustrate our work.