A common way to promote a disaster relief fund is by using testimonials from satisfied employees who received grants. The testimonial is a very powerful promotional tool, since it illustrates the real impact that your relief fund can have. These voluntary, opt-in features are an effective way to communicate the advantages and operation of the program to employees.
Another advantage of the testimonial is how simple it is to implement in your hardship and disaster relief program. Including a simple yes/no checkbox to “share your story” is an easy addition to any application form. One important caveat is that you should make it clear that the response has no impact on the applicant’s eligibility for a grant.
Another advantage of the “share your story” feature is tailoring it to clear up misconceptions about the fund. This is an effective way to reduce grant denials. Think of this feature as not only a promotion for your fund, but as an example of what makes a successful grant application. Frame the employee testimonials so that they clearly state the following:
1) What qualifying event the employee experienced
2) What qualifying expenses the employee had
3) What expenses were not qualified (whether or not the employee tried to get aid for them)
The “share your story” should explain what events and expenses are qualified, but should also explain why. In any instance, the language you use should be simple and easy to understand – remember that these are aimed at employees that likely have other concerns. The idea is to tailor this employee-to-employee communication so that it does not only tell the “success stories.” It should also describe what makes a grant application successful. Direct communication can be an effective way to reduce grant denials, if framed properly.
Director of Corporate Operations