Boston Globe Won’t Reveal Groups That Got Free Ads

March 8, 2016

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).

 

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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.


The Boston Globe’s Come-to-Jesus GRANT Grant

March 6, 2016

As the hardreading staff has previously noted, there’s something hinkey about the Boston Globe’s GRANT program.

GRANT – which stands for Globe Readers And Non-profits Together – “enables readers to support New England’s non-profits by choosing which ones are given free advertising space in The Boston Globe.”

The initiative debuted two years ago with this full-page ad in the stately local broadsheet.

 

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That would be Linda Pizzuti Henry, wife of Boston GlobeSox owner John Henry.

Whatever.

From FAQs:

How does it work?
1. If you are a Globe subscriber, you will receive a GRANT voucher via mail or email.
2. Select a New-England-based 501(c)(3) you are passionate about. Click here to view last year’s selected charities.
3. Go to BostonGlobe.com/GRANT by April 30, 2016 to submit your voucher on behalf of your favorite non-profit organization. (You will need your Subscriber Number.)
If you received a mailed voucher: Write the name and address of your charity on your voucher and mail it to The Boston Globe using the envelope provided by April 30, 2016
4. Stay up-to-date on all non-profits that were selected by visiting our 2016 Leaderboard

 

The GRANT grants resurfaced a few days ago with this pitseleh ad in the Globe’s Thursday edition (see middle left).

 

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For the pitseleh-impaired:

 

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Interesting, since Boston Catholic Appeal comes in at #160 on the GRANT Nonprofit Leaderboard with a whopping $255 in GRANT Vouchers.

 

 

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By the way, 2 Corinthians 9:7 says this:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

 

Clearly, the Boston Globe loves a cheerful giver as well.

At least one of them.

There are hundreds of non-profits listed on the 2016 Leaderboard with “GRANT Vouchers Redeemed” amounts ranging from $8,595 to $25. The rules for redeeming vouchers are these:

What are the redemption rules and restrictions?
• All awarded ads must include a GRANT header/footer (this will be provided).
• Non-profits will be asked to report the impact of their GRANT ads.
• Organizations will have until April 2017 to use awarded ad space.
• GRANT ads may not run with a paid campaign.
• Organizations with smaller redemption amounts will have a dedicated contact who will help them order and (if necessary) write their ad.
• Existing advertisers may not use earned ad space in place of previously scheduled campaigns.
• Paid ads will run first.
• GRANT ads may not appear on the front page, on inserts, or in the Globe Magazine.

 

And this: “Non-profits who have been selected by a minimum of seven subscribers but who have not earned enough to receive a stand-alone ad will appear in a full-page non-profit directory ad.”

Here’s the thing: The hardreading staff gets the Globe every day, and we can’t recall ever seeing a GRANT ad before. Which doesn’t mean none have run. But which does mean we’re gonna ask.

Keep you posted as always.