Leading up to receiving your EHS-CCP round 2 award we strongly recommend defining a clear internal and external communications strategy. In order to get ahead of messaging and be in control about what is being said about your new grant, you’ll want to define the messages clearly and should ask yourself a few key questions.
Who needs information? Make lists! You will have both internal and external stakeholders with whom you will need to communicate. Internally, Board, Policy Council, Parent Committees, and staff should be at the top of your list. Your message to each might be a bit different. Certainly this will be a time to celebrate the successful grant application. It may also bring some uncertainty for staff, for example, who might have questions about how their role will need to change or if they will be taking on new responsibilities. Anticipate the questions that may come forward so that you have a plan to address them.
Your external stakeholders could be a range of individuals or organizations. Consider everyone who supported your application. For example, those who wrote letters of support, provided data, offered input, or helped convene potential partners. Also consider external stakeholders who will be impacted by the new grant or may need or want to know about the grant for purposes of collaboration.
What information needs to be shared? The content of your messages will vary depending on internal or external stakeholders and what their particular role was or will be with the EHS-CCP grant. As a first step you will want to announce the exciting news that your organization received an award. In that first week after Notice of Award we also recommend thank you notes and phone calls to individuals and organizations that played a key role in your successful application. Let people know you’ll be in touch with additional, more detailed information. Then, consider sharing updates about the status of planning or implementation, and to let people know when you are seeking input or services. Err on the side of no surprises – craft messages that let those affected by the grant know what to anticipate as the grant rolls out.
When does information need to be shared? As noted above, you will want to announce fairly quickly – within the first week – that you received an award. During this time you should also take care of your “thank yous.” We also recommend communicating early with internal stakeholders about next steps. Let all internal and external stakeholders know when you will communicate with them again. Consider a weekly email update to staff, for example, or a monthly or quarterly email update to external stakeholders. Build communications into your action plan for reminders about the importance of sharing information and receiving input.
Next month we’ll take a closer look at your collaboration with partners. If there are certain topics you’re curious about as you plan for EHS-CCP round 2, please be in touch. We’d love to hear from you!
Foundations for Families offers EHS-CCP grantees targeted technical assistance and strength-based coaching of key start-up staff. We have helped multiple organizations design, plan for, and draft successful proposals for EHS-CCP. Please be in touch with Amy Augenblick, Executive Director, at 703-599-4329 or Augenblick@foundationsforfamilies.com to learn about how we can support you and your program.