Washington Area Women's Foundation

The Art League: One hour of media assistance has had a long-term impact on our work.

This spring, The Art League was fortunate enough to receive media assistance from The Hatcher Group thanks to The Women’s Foundation’s commitment to technical assistance and "beyond the check" support to its Grantee Partners.  Though our session with The Hatcher Group only lasted one hour, the impact has been far longer reaching.

The media assistance they provided and the hard work The Hatcher Group did on follow-up led to a story in The Washington Post on May 31st on our Space of Her Own girls’ mentoring program

But that wasn’t just an article–it’s had a direct impact on our mentor recruitment and fundraising efforts. 

We have been actively recruiting mentors across the past few months, and we recently held our first mentor recruitment meeting. Of the 22 potential mentors who attended, four said they first learned of the program through the Post article, and another three said that reading the article added to their interest in serving as a mentor.

We shared the article with The Art League’s constituents by putting a link to it on our blog and Facebook page, where it received many hits.  Mentors also posted the article on their personal Facebook profiles and e-mailed it to family and friends. While we could not quantify this, we know that there was a huge distribution of the article link online.

Additionally, I am using the article in upcoming grant applications.

Finally, we were very excited to be contacted by the Scripps Networks, the media company comprising several lifestyle TV networks, including HGTV (The article subtitle, "HGTV-Style Surprise Caps Girls’ Year With Alexandria Program" was quite an attention grabber!).  Thanks to the Post article, Scripps Networks learned of SOHO and approached co-manager Linda Odell about funding opportunities.  We have now submitted a proposal for funding for the Old Town Alexandria program, and Scripps is also interested in opportunities to fund new arms of the program, including one on the West End of Alexandria. 

Needless to say, we were just thrilled to be contacted by Scripps! 

As you can see, the article–and being part of The Women’s Foundation’s community–has certainly had an impact! 

And we have plans to continue using it as well. We are incorporating it into our updated SOHO display in the Torpedo Factory Art Center. 

We are also redesigning The Art League’s Web site, and the link to the article will be included on the new SOHO page there.

The Washington Post article has been a phenomenal tool to help spread awareness of the SOHO program and bring in financial and volunteer support for this program.  We believe it will also help to spread awareness to help start other SOHO programs in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond, enabling us to extend our reach and impact even further.

We are so grateful to Washington Area Women’s Foundation for providing us the opportunity to work with The Hatcher Group and make this happen.  The assistance we recieved, and the article that ensured, will have an impact on our SOHO girls, mentors, volunteers, and The Art League’s work for a long time to come!

Kate Gelatt is The Art League’s Director of DevelopmentThe Art League is a Grantee Partner of The Women’s Foundation as of 2008, when they received a grant from the Rainmakers Giving Circle for their Space of Her Own program.