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Community-made content which you can improve Case study from our community

How to market a local grants programme

It can be difficult ensuring all your stakeholders are well-informed and enthused about a local grants programme. Nearly eight years into the Fair Share Trust programme, it is crucial that local communities ensure that all money is spent where it is most needed and to maintain a high level of value and participation.

Fair Share Trust Local Agents have experience of marketing the programme to a wide range of stakeholders, from local contacts, press and media, to local residents and beneficiaries, Local Authorities, and the local Panel. The examples below show where the extra effort has reaped great rewards.

1

Make the most of your contacts

The Community Development Worker in Peterborough is employed by a local housing association, through a Fair Share Trust grant. At first, the Community Development Worker’s email presence, communications and press releases referred only to the housing association, implying that they were funding the work. A careful redesign of press release, marketing templates, and a new email address has helped to shift the focus and ensure that Fair Share Trust is given the recognition it deserves.

2

Involve the whole neighbourhood

In North East Lincolnshire, funding for a community newsletter had ended, but residents complained that they missed the publication. The Fair Share Trust Panel decided to commission a quarterly newsletter to be delivered to households and community groups in the Fair Share Trust area. While the local Panel was keen to demonstrate what Fair Share Trust had funded, they also agreed that other community groups - not funded by Fair Share Trust - should be given the opportunity to showcase their work. This offer and the resulting newsletter have been well received, particularly the page of local contacts, which has found its way onto many kitchen notice boards! Partnering with other community stakeholders should lead to a wider circulation for your own correspondence.

3

Positive news flow

In the early days of Fair Share Trust in Cambridgeshire, it was felt that there was no coordinated approach over what went to press and the information flow around Parnwell. Cambridgeshire. Community Foundation used Fair Share Trust money to fund a targeted and strategic programme of communication work by a PR company, with the aim of creating a positive news flow about Parnwell and Fair Share Trust. The project has brought a professional, coordinated approach to media in the area, leading to a far higher understanding and recognition of the work done in this neighbourhood, and a more positive profile of the neighbourhood itself.

4

Make the most of skills already developed

Another  example of newsletters in action comes from the Penilee area of Glasgow. With a small amount of exit strategy funding, the local Panel agreed to commission a legacy project promoting the fund and informing the community about projects supported by Fair Share Trust. Penilee is a small peripheral housing estate and does not have a high number of local agencies that would be able to deliver this project. The Penilee Public Art Group (PPAG) is a community based art group in the neighbourhood who were awarded a Fair Share Trust grant to commission a piece of public art and deliver a programme of outreach activities in the local community. Their winning proposal was to gather information from the organisations that have received funding from Fair Share Trust, interview local people who have been beneficiaries or participants, produce a DVD and newsletter to highlight local achievements, and organise a volunteer recognition event as part of the legacy celebrations. PPAG have built up a good reputation and high profile in the community through their initial Fair Share Trust funded work, and this legacy project enabled the group’s members to build on this experience and further develop their skills.

5

Don't forget your panel!

External media and communications are hugely important. But take care not to forget the crucial role played by local Panels and stakeholders. Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation have decided to present a regular report on the Fair Share Trust programme to trustees, Panel members and other stakeholders (such as the Local Strategic Partnership and Primary Care Trust). This demonstrates a greater transparency of operation, and should secure greater commitment and buy-in from your Panel and key stakeholders.

6

Its good to talk

A Fair Share Trust grant was awarded to a group in Stockton, who provide information, support, activities and participation opportunities for disabled children and their families. The group has struggled to successfully promote activities through surgeries and community centres. However, by making good links within schools and ensuring that parents are equipped to talk about the project, more beneficiaries have been attracted to the activities, and friendships formed which will continue beyond the life of the project.

7

Connect with other areas

The local Panel in Renfrewshire (Scotland) has been working on a programme-wide exit strategy involving meetings with the Panel and individual projects. One gap that emerged is the need for more proactive communication and links between groups and organisations in Linwood, which tend to operate quite independently. The strategy aims to respond by ensuring that a sense of inter-dependence exists between projects that have been secondary beneficiaries of Fair Share Trust awards. This relationship between community groups can lead to knowledge exchange, peer capacity building and useful sharing of experiences.

8

Anticipation

Don’t forget to take every opportunity to gather photos, news stories and quotes (with permission!) ready to use when the time is right, and build Fair Share Trust recognition into any projects that are working with film or media to ensure the programme is as well-publicised as possible. Remember, you can share photos, videos and case studies via the Fair Share Trust website. Contact CFN to find out how.

9

Summary of key points

  • Make the most of every opportunity and don’t underestimate word-of-mouth
  • Publicise Fair Share Trust as part of the wider community story
  • Consider involving a PR company or enlist other professional help
  • Make the most of skills developed through the programme
  • Keep key stakeholders regularly updated
  • Build in good connections between funded projects and beneficiary groups
  • Consider all your stakeholders:
  1. Local Panel
  2. contacts
  3. press
  4. residents
  5. beneficiaries
  6. wider community
  7.  Local Authority
  8.  interest groups
  •  Gather photos, good news and quotes as you go.

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Page last edited Jun 23, 2017 History

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