Grant reporting and story-telling: How to plan ahead for the best result

February 6, 2012 by kksparks under American Graduate, Public Media System, Public Radio

Jess Main, operations manager

We recently wrapped up the grant period for our 41 American Graduate grantee stations. Reviewing their work was inspiring, and it also gave us ideas about how stations can share their stories with the community.

Here are specific ways you can plan ahead to tell your story, so that when the time comes, you have all the pieces you need.

Design your work from the start to tell a story at the end
If you’re planning an event in your community, think about what you might want to later report to your stakeholders (colleagues, board, community) about that event. Where will you need to share that story? Here are few ways you can capture the needed information:

  • Would pictures help to tell the story effectively? If so, designate someone to take photos during the event.
  • Would a quote from a community member add color to your report? Distribute pre-printed cards that either ask attendees to share their thoughts about the event or ask them to provide you with their contact information for a follow-up email or phone call.
  • Doing a survey? Design the questions to help you tell a story about the event later.

Get (and give!) Letters of Support from partners
Our American Graduate stations did a great job of gathering letters of support about their work from community partners. Having this letter can later help stations tell their story of impact locally. For example, you might use quotes from a support letter to share your collaboration initiative with your key stakeholders, or for a news release to the local paper. You could also repurpose the letter for future grant opportunities that require a letter of support. Offer to return the favor for partners to continue to build that relationship.

Know (and USE) your resources! Here are a few for you related to telling your story:

We hope these resources are a starting point for you. What are you biggest challenges when it comes to telling your story? Share what helps you or what holds you back in the comments. 

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