ISSUE NUMBER 4   |   APRIL 14, 2014 
The Power of a Communications Plan: Why You Need One Now, and How to Get It Rolling

One of the most important -- yet overlooked and underestimated -- actions foundations can take to ensure the success of their grantmaking initiatives is to develop and implement a comprehensive communications plan.

Believe me, I know that this is tough to do at the beginning of your grantmaking program, when you're in the middle of planning and launching. But I also guarantee you that if you don't prioritize communications planning now, you're going to pay the price later, when your grantees and partners aren't coordinated and stakeholders and other funders are confused by what you're trying to do.

The good news is that there are three simple things you can do immediately:

  1. Make communications a priority right now. This can't be on your "we'll get to it later" list. Even if your initiative is underway, it's not too late to begin. Don't know where to start? Keep reading.

  2. Identify your existing communications assets. Look to your existing marketing and communications staff, and those of your partners. Later you might want a communications consultant, but right now you need smart professionals who can help you identify your needs, key audiences, messages, and overall plan. Chances are, these people are already close at hand.

  3. Reach for the low-hanging-fruit. I'll bet there are five or ten things you can do now that could quickly address some of your communications needs -- from relatively simple fact sheets and PowerPoint decks to more complex meetings with key stakeholders to update them on progress.

I guarantee that by beginning to prioritize communications now -- regardless of where you are in your initiative -- you will reap benefits and avoid troubles in the future. These three easy communication tactics form a terrific launching point. To learn more about each of them, read the full article here.

© 2014 Kris Putnam-Walkerly. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.

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Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW, is the president of Putnam Consulting Group, Inc. and author of the Philanthropy411 blog.

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