The Role and Value of the Packard Foundation’s Communications: Key Insights from Grantees

September 6, 2016  • David Devlin-Foltz

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Communications can support grantmaking in many different ways, and foundations vary widely in how they use communications to advance their work. How loud a voice should foundations have? How should they use it? The David and Lucile Packard Foundation wanted to know what its grantees had to say about this, and partnered with the Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program to help answer these questions. The results of this study, grounded in a survey and interviews with Packard Foundation grantees, provide lessons about where the Foundation’s distinctive voice may make the most valuable contribution, and what kinds of challenges to be mindful of. The findings are informing how the Foundation integrates communications into grantmaking strategies. This report, along with the accompanying technical appendix, may be a useful resource for grantees, foundations, and other stakeholders interested in exploring the role of funder communications.