As more foundations work toward greater transparency, these organizations are integrating digital communication tools, including social media and e-newsletters. While grant-seekers are required to report the success of their projects and maintain open communications with grantmakers, foundations were not held to the same standard up until recently. Now there is a greater movement for foundations to open up about decision-making processes, successes, and failures in funding. In addition to putting more effort into communication, implementing grant management software can enable these organizations to more effectively maintain the data they need for reporting. Nonprofits going digital to communicate.

Social Media Tools are a great way to facilitate communication with an organization and without. This could be why more foundations are beginning to adopt better grant management platforms and are going online to communicate with constituents.

Foundations are using social media tools

Currently, about 45 percent of foundations are using social media tools, according to an infographic from Glass Pockets. However, certain types of foundations are more likely than others to be online. Close to 90 percent of community foundations surveyed are using social media, and 55 percent of corporate foundations and 34 percent of family and independent foundations are on social platforms. Organizations that are using social media tend to gravitate toward Facebook (65 percent), Twitter (40 percent), and YouTube (32 percent).

The majority of philanthropic organizations on social media use these platforms to promote the work of their foundation. However, there are other good reasons to be on social media. Some foundations are also promoting the work of the grantees they have funded, while others use the networks to keep up on industry news and trends. A small percentage also solicit proposals through social media.

Other digital channels

For the purposes of spreading awareness about your foundation’s activities, blogging is a great complement to posting on social media. According to a report from the Foundation Center, roughly 30 percent of foundations leaders read blogs regularly. The report mentioned a handful of popular philanthropy blogs, and 35 percent of respondents indicated they had looked at three or more in the past six months. Some of the top blogs were The Huffington Post, the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s blog, and Philanthropy 2173.

In addition to blogging, e-newsletters are another popular option, with more than 60 percent indicating they were used regularly within the organization.

Communication in the grant management process

Grant management platforms shouldn’t be overlooked as a digital communication tool either. It’s hard to improve communications externally if you’re still struggling to achieve efficiency with internal processes. Grant management platforms enable all staff members to keep in touch using a cloud-based platform, which provides visibility into the proposal review process. While these systems allow for easier proposal reviews, they also facilitate contact with grant seekers through a user-friendly digital portal. Rather than dealing with mail or email attachments, grant-seekers can transmit proposals immediately. To improve grant management processes, transitioning to better software could be the first step in reaching a more transparent relationship with grantees.