Engaging your community
Community engagement is important to all local organizations and takes many forms. Failure to effectively engage the community that your organization represents can cause challenges with trust, reputation, and impact that are difficult to overcome. Develop a community engagement strategy, and keep the following things in mind when doing so:
Create a culture and structure that effectively manages and engages volunteers. Having a volunteer management program that recruits, trains, tracks and acknowledges volunteers results in a steady stream of satisfied unpaid staff (volunteers) and provides a process for growing future leaders for the organization.
- Practice inclusive conservation. The community that an organization serves usually has varied demographics (age, neighborhood, working/retired, gender, race, etc) and should plan how it will reach all populations in the community in which it serves.
- Develop an effective outreach and education program that reaches all populations. Educating the community about current issues related to the organization’s mission will grow advocates who may influence decision makers in the community.
- Create an effective communications plan that not only informs your community but allows the development of a productive relationship between your organization and the community which you serve.
- River Voices: Diversity & Inclusiveness by River Network
- Engaging Minority Audiences (a webinar) by River Network
- Volunteering in America by Corporation for National and Community Service
- The State of Diversity in Environmental Organizations, by Green 2.0
- Equipping Nonprofits to Advance Social Change by Building Movement Project
- Professional Outreach and Communication by Water Words That Work