As the hardreading staff noted the other day, the Boston Globe’s GRANT program, which is headed by Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry’s wife Linda Pizzuti and which “enables readers to support New England’s non-profits by choosing which ones are given free advertising space in The Boston Globe,” has always struck us as more sizzle than steak.
After its launch two years ago, the program pretty much dropped off our radar screen – until last week, when Thursday’s edition of the Globe featured this ad for Boston Catholic Appeal (which ranks #160 on the GRANT Nonprofit Leaderboard with a whopping $255 in GRANT Vouchers – hardly enough to pay for the two column (3.79″) x 3″ ad).
It struck us that we hadn’t really seen many GRANT ads over the past two years, so we wrote to the GRANT folks and asked if there might be a list of groups who received free Globe advertising in exchange for their vouchers.
Today we received this reply from a marketing coordinator in the Globe’s Circulation department:
Thanks for reaching out to us here at GRANT! If you would like information about a certain non-profit, then please let me know. I am not at liberty to send a list of all the organizations, dates and examples. Thanks.
Always loved that “not at liberty” formulation; we’ve used it ourselves on more than one occasion.
Regardless, in this case it means mind your own business.
In our research travels checking the GRANT program out, we did notice a couple of non-profits – the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and Project Bread – that had issued pleas to their members to participate in the voucher system. (No doubt there are others who did the same – those are just the two we saw.)
They’re our next stop on this madcap adventure. As always, we’ll keep you posted.