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This post is one of a series about what goes into proposals that win grants. Its topic is dissemination plans. Its context is the United States of America.


Getting the word out plays a big part in the ultimate success of grant-funded projects. Marketing (or dissemination) is a deliberate process of making and keeping selected key external and internal audiences aware of a project’s existence, progress, products, and results. Effective plans select from among the available options for marketing (or dissemination) rather than attempt to use all of them.




Target audiences for marketing (or dissemination) activities vary widely among applicants and grant programs. Among such audiences are:

  1. Present funder or funders
  2. Potential future funders
  3. Partnering organizations and individuals
  4. Professional organizations and professional peers
  5. Information clearinghouses
  6. Local program advocates, activists, and proponents
  7. Internal staff
  8. Community stakeholders (parents, voters, elected officials)


Marketing (or dissemination) can occur in many settings, such as:

  1. Local – at community events, community facilities, partners’ facilities and events
  2. State – at conferences, conventions, meetings, and other events
  3. National – at conferences, conventions, meetings, and other events
  4. Libraries/clearinghouses – searchable physical and online depositories


Among the media that applicants may use effectively in marketing (or dissemination) are:

  1. Local print publications – newspapers, newsletters, bulletins, annual reports
  2. Statewide and national print publications – journals, magazines, bulletins
  3. Television – local community cable channels, interviews, site tours
  4. Radio – local public radio stations, interviews
  5. Video products – disc formats, online video formats
  6. Informational literature – brochures, flyers, posters
  7. Stationery – business cards, letterhead
  8. Internet – websites, web pages, blogs, social media outlets


A strong marketing (or dissemination) plan identifies who is an applicant’s target audience, where and when the applicant will reach each identified audience, how the applicant will reach each identified audience, and who will create and distribute the applicant’s marketing or dissemination media. Applicants need to be sure that their marketing (or dissemination) plan proposes to use efficient and cost-effective means to accomplish its purposes and yield high-quality results.


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