A Grant Writing Arm for Our Clients

Residents of California’s Coachella Valley who receive a cancer diagnosis rely on CancerPartners for counseling and support. Unfortunately, one of every three adults can now expect to be afflicted with cancer, so the need for Gilda’s Club Desert Cities has steadily grown.

Initially,CancerPartners contracted with Communication Mark to primarily strengthen its written case to foundations, and to send out compelling grant applications to assist with the expansion. Communication Mark has worked with input from CancerPartners staff to do that, writing about 20 applications so far, with two out of every three applications receiving funding to date. In this way, Communication Mark has acted as a grant writing department for CancerPartners. However, CancerPartners’s partnership with Communication Mark has extended far beyond just writing requests for grants.

Communication Mark has worked closely with CancerPartners staff to understand which types of funds are needed most, and to develop new cases for support. It has worked with CancerPartners’s database manager to improve tracking of client data and to develop more specific outcomes, which will help CancerPartners better evaluate its services, gauge client needs, and implement changes that make it even more effective (and even more grant-worthy!).

Communication Mark also helped CancerPartners create visual representations of how it differs from other cancer-related organizations, and how it collaborates with those organizations. Using these tools, CancerPartners has strengthened its partnerships, generating positive media attention and funding that promises to increase referrals from area schools and nonprofits. By analyzing data, Communication Mark helped CancerPartners document the increased need for local services, which led to funding from foundations to expand bilingual outreach to Hispanics and Latinos, who compose about half of the county’s population. That’s the power of communication — awareness of what neighbors need, teaming with similar organizations to help rather than just compete, measuring results and risking failure so that critical lessons are learned. It is what communities need and what funders most want to support.

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