Palmetto Promise Named Finalist for National Award – Cast Your Vote!

July 1, 2024

Palmetto Promise Team

The Palmetto Promise team is pleased to announce that we have been named a finalist for a national Communications Excellence award for the work we did spreading the word about South Carolina’s Education Scholarship Accounts!

Out of 63 State Policy Network (SPN) affiliates, we were selected as one of three finalists for the Communications Excellence: Expanding Your Audience award. SPN’s Communications Excellence Awards recognize and encourage outstanding achievements in marketing, communications, and media across the state think tank Network.

Now, we need your vote to bring home the trophy! The voting deadline is July 9.

You can read about each of the finalists for the three Communications Excellence Awards here.

You need to vote for someone in each of the three award categories to cast your vote for us, so make sure you take a look at the great projects from our fellow SPN think tanks and vote for the Best Brand Boost and Powerful Storytelling Awards too!

Here is what SPN wrote about our ESA project:

Palmetto Promise Institute: Reaching New Audiences to Drive ESA Applications in South Carolina 

After seven years of hard legislative work, Palmetto Promise Institute led South Carolina’s first Education Savings Account program to the finish line. But Palmetto needed to get the word out about this program, which meant reaching South Carolinians outside their normal sphere of influence.

The intended beneficiaries of this program were among the most vulnerable in their state. These families are often those with the least access to information, knowledge and technology necessary to take advantage of this opportunity that they desperately need. So, the Institute undertook an extensive outreach campaign to expand their reach to South Carolina’s low-income families and encourage applications to the Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF) program. They built a one-stop-shop website for information about ESTF——where they answered FAQs and provided resources on ESAs.

Using a curated audience list targeted based on income level, having school-aged children, and proximity to private schools (roughly 100,000 households), Palmetto reached out through a variety of methods: digital ads, Facebook ads, mail pieces, emails, and text messages. Each household in that database received information from Palmetto through several different avenues. Palmetto targeted South Carolina’s African American community, Hispanic community, faith community, and single mothers.  

The final number of ESTF applications far exceeded their expectations. For only 5,000 scholarship spots, 7,907 applications were submitted within just 60 days. These applicants represented every county in the state, and a decisive majority self-identified as racial minorities, showing that their campaigns to racial minority groups in particular was successful. 

We are so honored to have our efforts recognized on this national stage. Thank you to the State Policy Network and all those donors and community partners who contributed to making our ESA outreach project a success!