CLEVELAND, June 23 Websites, social media, market research and brand development are prominently featured in the recently awarded "Make it Stick" grant pool announced by The Saint Luke's Foundation (www.saintlukesfoundation.org). The Foundation awarded $513,000 to 10 nonprofits through a unique new grant program aimed at enhancing nonprofits' capacity to tell their stories. Whether they are preventing youth violence, promoting literacy or providing food and housing, the ability of these nonprofits to better sustain their work is directly tied to strong communications.
The 10 grant recipients were selected from a pool of 161 requests totaling $7 million.
As evidenced by the strong response to the "Make it Stick" application process, "Nonprofits need help telling their stories," said Denise San Antonio Zeman, President and CEO of the Saint Luke's Foundation. "Reaching the right audiences with messages that 'stick' in peoples' minds is critical to the effectiveness of any program or service," Zeman explained. "We believe in building communications capacity so strongly that we dedicated the entire second quarter grant cycle to funding communications projects that will have measurable communications impact."
"Make it Stick" applicants had to demonstrate that their proposed communications initiatives--such as brand strategy, website development, media relations, advertising, and grassroots outreach--will help them better serve vulnerable populations and sustain themselves and their missions. The programs also had to align with the Foundation's mission to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities in Greater Cleveland.
The "Make it Stick" grants awarded are:
Project:LEARN: Creative Storytelling/Brand Awareness - $58,000
In a creative approach to re-branding, Cleveland's oldest adult education program for basic literacy and job placement will tell its story through the voices of students, volunteers and teachers and a partnership with National Public Radio's StoryCorps. The initiative, which launches in September in conjunction with International Literacy Day, will reinvigorate awareness of the relevance adult literacy programs today.
Berea Children's Home and Family Services (BCHFS): Organizational/Branding Awareness- $100,000
Serving more than 11,000 abused and neglected children from families that fall below the federal poverty level, 70 percent of which are in the city of Cleveland, BCHFS is regarded as one of the most effective organizations in the area focused on the emotional and behavioral well-being of families. As its programs and service areas expand, the grant will allow BCHFS to research its current brand position and readjust based on findings to ensure it reflects who they are and where they serve.
Partnership for a Safer Cleveland: Community Outreach and Mobilization - $50,000
This 29-year-old organization provides safety and youth development opportunities to prevent violence. Communications support for its STANCE program (Stand Together Against Neighborhood Crime Everyday) will help the group to connect with students, teachers, outreach workers, the community and the media to prevent gang violence and build self-esteem.
Senior Outreach Services, Inc. (SOS): "Leveraging Langston" Branding Project - $53,850
As SOS helps older adults and families improve their health, independence and quality of life, a new brand strategy and communications pieces will better position the organization to promote the Langston Hughes Center and the many programs and services that take place at the facility.
Habitat for Humanity: ReStore Promotion Campaign - $30,000
Habitat for Humanity eliminates substandard housing and strengthens families and communities. ReStore is the recycled home materials store that generates profit for the organization. The grant will fund print, radio, and television advertising buys to educate the public about ReStore and its benefits for the nonprofit and the environment.
Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland: Website Development - $14,466
This long-standing organization inspires young people to become productive, responsible, caring citizens. Its BE GREAT campaign will be supported with a new, interactive website made possible by the grant.
United Way of Greater Cleveland: Donor/Non-Donor Analysis: $35,800
Although the United Way name is highly recognizable, the organization's impact in Greater Cleveland is not as well-known. Traditionally, 80 percent of donations have come from corporations, yet the area's corporate base is shrinking. Using the results of market research, United Way of Greater Cleveland will develop a messaging strategy that will resonate with potential new and past donors to build loyalty.
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center: "The Time is Now: Connecting Survivors" - $50,000
As the sole provider of comprehensive sexual assault services in Northeast Ohio, this nonprofit offers free healing and advocacy services and creates social change through education and activism. Now with a greater capacity to answer more hotline calls thanks to a one-time federal grant, the "Make it Stick" money will fund the strategy development and implementation of a marketing plan to direct more survivors to the organization's survivor/crisis hotline.
Friendly Inn Settlement, Inc: Brand Development/Marketing Plan - $51,600
Founded in 1874, Friendly Inn provides human services beginning with women in their first trimester of pregnancy through the life cycle. To better tell their story and thus garner more support from the community, the grant will support creating a new brand identity, designing and creating a website and annual report, and a public art/community engagement process done in partnership with Cleveland Public Art to increase visibility and awareness of this community resource.
Cleveland Housing Network: Branding and Communications Project - $69,800
With a mission to develop affordable housing for low and moderate-income Clevelanders and generating pathways out of poverty, Cleveland Housing Network will utilize the "Make it Stick" grant to define a new brand position and launch a new logo, website, collateral and multi-media tools to move it beyond one of Cleveland's "best kept secrets."
The "Make it Stick" theme was inspired by authors Chip and Dan Heath, whose messages in their book, MADE to STICK (www.madetostick.com), aligned with the Saint Luke's Foundation's belief that communicating effectively is imperative to the success and sustainability of nonprofit organizations.
About Saint Luke's Foundation of Cleveland, Ohio
With more than 13 years of grantmaking in the community, Saint Luke's Foundation of Cleveland is a community-based private foundation that collaborates with nonprofit organizations and community leaders to address relevant issues and offer sustainable solutions in Greater Cleveland. The organization's mission is focused on improving the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Since 1997, when it was established with the assets from the sale of the Saint Luke's Medical Center, the Foundation has awarded more than $70 million in grants. Additional information on the work of Saint Luke's Foundation is available on the Foundation's Web site: www.saintlukesfoundation.org.
SOURCE Saint Luke's Foundation of Cleveland