How to bring organisations closer to the community: Promote your services and raise awareness
Staying close to the community can be a challenge even for the grassroots non-profits, social services and so on, especially in the COVID-19 context. With restrictions and safety measures, over the last few years, it’s become harder to directly interact with your target groups. It may be a challenge to find the best ways to get closer to your community and increase awareness of the services you provide. However, there are always ways to overcome a tricky situation. As such, in this article, the Next Door team proposes some ideas on how to bring organisations closer to the community and how to better promote your services in order to become more available for your target groups.
1. Know your audience. Who is your target group?
Before launching any event or campaign, the first step is to accurately define your target group. You may work with older people, but it is important to set the age range, their needs, location, special needs, and any other aspect that can influence your dissemination strategy. If your organisation provides psychological counselling for older people, you might want to look at older persons facing loneliness, for example. After you have established the profile of the target group, you can start preparing strategies to connect with those people. This can happen with the help of a seniors’ club, or by sharing flyers in the targeted area for your services.
2. Choose your communication channels
The more present your organisation is, the better! As such, you should take advantage of both online and offline environments, keeping in mind that your aim is to connect locally. You can set up online promotional campaigns for your latest events addressed to older people (such as, socialising events or volunteering days) and share them via Facebook groups, for example. Another useful idea, if you have the financial resources, would be to invest in some paid ads on social media in order to reach a wider and more specific audience. For instance, you could create an ad promoting a visit to a museum organised within your seniors’ club and set the audience criteria for people aged over 65 years old, from what neighbourhood, with interests in culture, music, arts, etc. In this way, you combine both online and offline dissemination activities. However, you should be mindful that the offline approach could be more beneficial for certain older people. You could use flyers, posters, banners and place them in your neighbourhood, with the consent of the local authorities.
3. Partner up with other local organisations
Do your research and you may find local organisations that can help you with the dissemination of your services. You could agree with a local pharmacy or store to display some of your flyers, and they could encourage older customers to look up your organisation.
4. Call for volunteers!
Bringing organisations closer to the community means connecting with the locals. You can make a call for volunteers and organise a charity event in your neighbourhood. People are willing to help others, but they need information on how and when they could do that. In this way, not only you will promote your organisation, but you will bring people closer together. You could organise a free local event, such as a small festival, block party, or an NGO fair.