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OVERVIEW: Promoting your program

The success of your grants program depends on encouraging the right grantseekers to apply.

Dealing with applications from people, groups or projects that are in fact ineligible for your program is a waste of time - your own time and the applicants' time.

Promotion is not only about reaching your target group. You may also wish to reach other stakeholders. For example, you might be seeking public recognition, advising the wider community about how public money is being spent, or informing the broader community about the types of groups that can receive assistance from your program.

In promoting your program, you'll need to consider:

  • Who's responsible for promotions?
  • Who do you want to reach?
  • Why do they need to be reached?
  • How will you reach them? Print, broadcast or online advertising, community information sessions, email alerts, social media, face-to-face briefings, websites, flyers, newsletters or other means? Will you be passive (paid advertising) or active (door-knocking, approaching prospective applicants directly)?
  • How long will your promotional campaign run for?
  • What's your budget?
  • What messages and information are you going to send to different audiences? You might include, for example, your goals; the types of projects to be funded; the amount of funding available; the program timeline; the application and assessment process; contracting and probity arrangements; and how to get more information. Most importantly, your promotions should reflect your assessment criteria.
  • How are going to reach specific groups such as homeless men and women; rural and remote applicants; people of particular ethnic, educational or economic backgrounds; and so on?
  • Will you produce promotional material in languages other than English?
  • What arrangements need to be in place to deal with inquiries once your promotions are underway?

Along the way, you'll need to decide what information to keep in-house and what to communicate to applicants. Being transparent and accountable doesn't mean you need to put all the details of your administration and operations on public display. It's important to find the balance between confidentiality and accountability.

Related templates


Promotions need to be backed up by good processes. It's vital to have appropriate administrative systems in place before you start promoting anything. It's common for organisations to launch and publicise their grants programs to great fanfare without having lined anyone up to answer the inevitable queries. Be prepared.

SmartyGrants TipSmartyGrants users: Organisations running a grants program through SmartyGrants are given their own applicant website hosted by SmartyGrants. Applicants can begin, manage and submit their applications through the site. Learn more about the SmartyGrants applicant site