Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Publicizing Grants Policy

Grants to Franklin & Marshall College reflect both confidence in the College and a commitment to its future. It is important that they be appropriately recognized.

The Office of College Communications supports the College's grant‐winning efforts in ways that are consistent with journalistic practices and sound news judgment. In doing so, the office considers the needs of the College, the wishes of the foundation, corporation or governmental agency, and the standards and practices of the news media.

Successful grant announcements publicize an important College activity and communicate directly to key constituencies while respecting a funder’s desire for recognition. Institutional credibility is undermined when official Franklin & Marshall sources present information unlikely to interest non‐F&M audiences.

Good corporate, foundation and government relations, essential to the College’s success, must be accompanied by effective communications and professional media relations. It is counterproductive to sacrifice one for the other, even in the short term.

Publicizing a grant that has not been properly documented and recorded or without fully understanding possible complexities regarding the grant agreement can adversely impact the funding organization and the College. 

To support the College’s grant‐winning objectives, College Communications will write and release news of grants in accordance with the following guidelines, which have been approved by the president of the College. These guidelines also apply to content that appears on College websites and in print publications, e‐mail messages and newsletters, speeches, presentations and other communication vehicles employed by F&M programs, departments and offices.

Guidelines

  1. Public announcement of a grant must be approved in principle by the associate provost or the director of corporate and foundation relations. No announcement will be made without the consent of the aforementioned.
  2. College Communications will consider interesting the news media in any grant that might be viewed by media outlets as newsworthy. Grants are most likely to attract media interest if they are large in size (generally $75,000 or more) or if they are associated with new or innovative programs or facilities. These announcements will generally be made by the president of the College, but other officers may be asked to serve as spokesperson when appropriate. Faculty members, students and/or the grantor may be asked to comment.
  3. Announcements may be made of grants of less than $75,000 at the request of the president, or if the vice president for college communications believes the grant is likely to attract media interest because of its unusual or local source, nature or circumstances or because it funds innovative programs or facilities that may in themselves be newsworthy.
  4. Announcement of a grant must include the amount of money involved.
  5. A large grant may be newsworthy even if the foundation prefers to remain anonymous, but no grant of unspecified amount is newsworthy, no matter who the grantor is.
  6. Announcing a grant that does not contain this basic fact damages the credibility of both the institution and the donor.
  7. Before any grant is announced, the College must have in hand one of the following:
  • a check for the full amount or the first grant installment
  • a formal letter of commitment or notification from the funder
  • a fully executed grant agreement

Procedures

  1. The director of media relations will prepare a grant announcement in consultation with the associate provost or the director of corporate and foundation relations, who will confirm as appropriate that the grant has been properly documented and will discuss any complications in the grant agreement or in F&M’s ability to announce the grant.
  2. Once the associate provost or the director of corporate and foundation relations has notified the foundation or government agency of the College's desire to publicize the grant, and the grantor has consented to that publicity, the director of media relations will ask the grantor for a quote or comment to be included in the announcement. A quote from the grantor is optional, and an announcement may be issued without one if the grantor has no objections to the release of other information about the gift.
  3. The director of media relations is responsible for determining what internal approvals of the announcement draft and quotations are necessary, as well as for suggesting the timing of the announcement. The director will obtain said approvals, and oversee final editing, scheduling, and distribution plans for all announcements. If substantive changes are made, the appropriate parties will be asked to provide additional review. No draft shall be sent to the foundation or government agency for review until it has been reviewed and approved by all of the F&M parties involved in this process.
  4. After the draft has received approval within the campus, the director will send the draft to the foundation or government agency for approval. If any significant changes are proposed by the grantor, final decisions about the content and timing of the announcement will be made by the vice president for college communications. F&M will respect the wishes of a grantor who asks to remain anonymous or who prefers not to be quoted, but who has no objections to the release of other information about the grant.
  5. No announcement of a grant will occur until the steps outlined above have been completed. Generally, the announcement will be made first to the campus community by e‐mail, although College Communications may allow a single news outlet, generally the Lancaster newspaper, to break the news a few hours earlier. Following the campus announcement, the College will announce the grant in selected news media and in official Franklin & Marshall media (The Diplomat, Franklin & Marshall Magazine, F&M Headlines, etc.), and F&M students will run a story on the grant in the College Reporter.
  6. Announcements may not be made on F&M departmental websites, newsletters, e‐mail, social networks or microblogs, or by outside sites and newsletters, until the College itself has announced the news. The president of the College has final authority and responsibility for determining the official dissemination of all news from Franklin & Marshall College. The president has delegated responsibility for content, accuracy, timeliness, completeness and professionalism of communications with the news media to the vice president for college communications, who in turn has delegated that day‐to-day responsibility to the director of media relations.

Last Update: 9 May 2013