Community Outreach Ideas

by Flora Richards-Gustafson
A non-profit community outreach serving local nature conservation.

A non-profit community outreach serving local nature conservation.

Community outreach serves two basic purposes: to provide information and provide services. Outreach comes in different forms to serve different purposes. Churches may do outreach to inform others about their ministries. Drop-in centers may provide outreach to homeless and at-risk communities to provide resources and hand out food. In addition, a nonprofit agency may conduct outreach to let community leaders know what they have to offer. Community outreach should reflect the needs of the population served to ensure success.

Talk to Key Figures

If your organization provides services to at-risk youth, meet with school principals, school counselors and other area youth-serving agencies to let them know how you can help them.

For community outreach to be successful, you must ensure that key figures in the community know what you offer. For example, if your organization provides services to at-risk youth, meet with school principals, school counselors and other area youth-serving agencies to let them know how you can help them. Do not hesitate to announce during a chamber of commerce or Kiwanis meeting how your organization will benefit the community and how others can help.

Send Postcards

Consider sending postcards to every address in your city or service area to get the word out about your organization.

Consider sending postcards to every address in your city or service area to get the word out about your organization. Hire a professional sales lead company in order to obtain mailing lists to “saturate” a neighborhood, target new area homeowners, or reach area apartment complexes, businesses and local property owners. Professional sales lead companies can even provide targeted lists to reach members of the community who have medical conditions, are recent high school or college graduates or meet other specific criteria. Churches often mail postcards to community members to invite them to Christmas or Easter services or to let them know about any special ministries offered.

Host a Fair

Sponsor and host a fair such as a music street fair, that helps the community and makes your organization better known.

Sponsor and host a fair that helps the community and makes your organization better known. Fair ideas include craft fairs, family fairs with games, cultural fairs that sell international foods or fairs that provide important information about community resources.

Movie Night

Host a free movie night in a large area where participants can comfortably sit, like in an auditorium.

Host a free movie night in a large area where participants can comfortably sit, like in an auditorium. Advertise the event to the community with posters hung in area business’ windows. Hand out informational cards to all those who participate as they enter or leave the movie. Also, show a commercial about your organization and outline how it can help the community before the movie starts. If budget allows, buy all the seats at a local theater and offer participants the chance to see a new movie free of charge, and ask the theater to show a video or slideshow about your organization before the movie starts.

About the Author

Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.

Photo Credits

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