For a nonprofit organization, establishing a network of community relations is critical to promote their goals and spread awareness. From continued operations, name recognition to community partnerships, each one requires great engagement and support to be done. However, it is imperative to take note that forging community engagement does not happen overnight. It requires a lot of devoted time and continued effort.
But what exactly is community engagement? This is an approach to forge relations with the members of a certain community, either to build support for your mission and goals or work side-by-side to help the local area itself to thrive.
If your nonprofit is currently looking to boost local community engagement, you’ll definitely find the items below useful. Listed here are some simple yet effective strategies to help you out.
Take advantage of local events.
One of the best ways to introduce yourself to the community is by participating in events of your local community. Local events and festivals may vary, but the most common ones are quiz nights, marathons, cook-offs, street parties, swap shops, film screenings, and treasure hunts. You can have your booth out there and interact with community members. This is an excellent and easy way to establish a face for your nonprofit and raise awareness at the same time.
Aside from participating, you can also opt to host a community-oriented event. This also a great way to thank your existing donors and educate others about your organization’s cause. When organizing or hosting an event, keep it personal, informative, informal, fun, and focused on the community. Maximize your event and impress everyone.
As a nonprofit organization, having a passion for discussion is the key to creating genuine and deep relationships with the community. By encouraging real discussions, you can answer all the questions that the community members may have for your nonprofit. Some topics you might tackle include how your nonprofit can benefit the community, why people should trust you, and what kind of support you are looking to get.
You could discuss other interesting topics, including ambassadorship and advocacy, culture and dynamics, strategy and planning, board composition and recruitment, and fundraising. In case you have big recruitment plans, ensure to let your current members know. Discuss and assess if you’ll need to use an automated job posting software to speed up the process so you can proceed with operations without delays.
Communicate to donors.
This is necessary for you to host fundraising campaigns for your nonprofit. To have the capacity to engage with your community, you’ll first need the help of donors. Show them that you care about them and the entire community. Recognize their differences, acknowledge them in your appeals, and focus on their interests.
Emphasize their importance for your nonprofit and always personalize messages to your donors. All these efforts can eventually be a useful tool for encouraging more people to support your organization. Happy donors will absolutely promote your nonprofit and be your loyal ambassadors as well.
Be open to volunteers.
This community engagement method will not just be beneficial for you but also to other local workers that their companies require to do volunteer work. For instance, some school systems require their students’ civic hours. By helping them fill those hours, your nonprofit can build relationships with an already established system or company in the community and increase your credibility.
For a mutually beneficial relationship with your community, you can provide exclusive learning seminars, workshops, or skill-development training to your volunteers too. This is also an excellent way to let more people know about your organization’s advocacy and purpose.
Develop a social media plan.
Last but not least, consider using social media to raise awareness and gain new supporters for your nonprofit. When developing a social media engagement plan, you should first determine the types of content that suit your local community and the most appropriate social media channels to use. Make sure you are also actively participating in two-way conversations and responding to comments and messages. By exchanging ideas and sharing your knowledge, you can effectively show your organization’s commitment to helping or supporting the community as well.
Increasing community engagement does require different levels of effort and strategies, depending on your nonprofit’s overall goal. Nevertheless, following the recommendations discussions above, your organization can successfully seek out your needed resources from the community and slowly break down the barriers to your success. Who knows, you might be able to find reputable partners for your long-term investments, right?