After your department has completed a grant-funded project, what are your next steps to show off your success?
During last week's eCivis-ICMA webinar, "Managing a Grant Without a Dedicated Team," a slew of important topics related to grants management were covered, including bringing publicity to your local government grant-funded project. Two of the presenters—Austin Bleess, city manager for the City of Caribou (population 8,189), Maine; and Mary Modelski, division chief, auditor, for Alameda County (population 1,510,271), California—discussed ways that they have publicized projects. Here are some tips from them.
Upon project completion:
- Say Thank You: "Be sure to send a thank you note to the grantor," said Bleess. "If there's a local point of contact, be sure to send them a thank you note as well.... If you ever apply to that grantor again, it certainly helps out ... and gives you a leg up."
- Publicly Recognize the Grantor: "If you're having an event such as a ribbon-cutting ceremony, be sure to recognize the grantors," added Bleess. "Invite them to attend with you at the end, and if they cannot attend, be sure to send a picture with a thank you note." Let them know the fruits of your labor, and theirs.
- Get Good Press: If the grantor allows you to recognize them in the press, be sure to do that. When you can publicly highlight the grantor, the grant money you receive, and the grant-funded project, it helps everyone “feel better about what’s going on,” said Bleess.
Modelski noted that after Alameda County completed its Bay Area Air Quality Management Project, which provided matching funds for the acquisition of 40 electric vehicle charging stations, the county hosted an event to demonstrate the vehicles and new charging stations. They also pushed for substantial press by inviting "television crews, advertising on our website, [and adverising] in the local newspaper to show off the vehicles and charging stations that were available," said Modelski. In addition, the county brought its board of supervisors to the event. "It was also important that the board of supervisors was also present [so that constituents could] see that the board is actively engaged in participating within this particular program."
Are you a local government that has a grant success story to share, particularly one involving publicizing your grant-funded project? Feel free to share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comment section below. You can also subscribe to our blog to receive instant, daily, weekly, or monthly notifications on "all things grants-related":