How Do Web-based Tools Fit in Your Communications Strategy?

Online media tools are changing foundation and nonprofit communications. But how widely are those tools being used, and for what? As we developed our guide Communicating for Impact: Strategies for Grantmakers, we pitched the question to subscribers. Well over 1,500 responses came in, split evenly between grantmakers and non-grantmakers (including grantees, consultants, academics, and others).

Here’s some of what they said:

The right tools add credibility, immediacy, personality

  • One of our grantees used her blog to report experiences
  • Videos are a great way to bring humanity to our work
  • An online survey helped us collect information
  • Facebook has been useful for keeping in touch 
  • Online surveys let us report the views of conference attendees 
  • We're trying to use SMS, via mobile phones

People are figuring out where to look for measures of impact

  • Through social networking, we organized a letter-writing campaign to Congress that resulted in 6,000 letters in 10 days
  • These tools have changed public discourse on issues we've worked on
  • We have more than a 60% response rate on all our online surveys, which assess our programs and workshops
  • We grew our online network to over 17,000 using a social networking tool
  • Facebook has helped us attract a younger demographic to our campaigns
  • Many people who view the main video on our website watch virtually the entire five minutes, letting us know that there's a certain "hunger" for information about our organization

Who's Using What Tools?

We asked grantmakers to scan a list of web-based tools and check the ones they're using or that are being used by their foundations or grantees. Most surprising finding: 14% weren't sure which tools their grantees are using - "but now I'll ask!" said one.  
 

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 Communicating For Impact.

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