Whether you call it networking, community engagement, or relationship building, getting out into the community is the key to success for your nonprofit. One of our colleagues once said, "Networking is an investment in your nonprofit." The more ways you spread the great work you are doing for your community, the more dedicated volunteers and loyal donors you will attract. Take a look at four reasons community engagement will ensure your nonprofit's success.
Community Engagement Generates Awareness
Nonprofit organizations have a story to tell about the people they are helping, the impact they are making, and what they are changing to make everyone's lives better. Make it a priority to get out into the community and spread the word! Join the Chamber of Commerce and other associations and groups that host events and membership activities. Plan to meet five new people and reconnect with five you already know. Prepare and practice an elevator pitch that includes your mission and an invitation for them to volunteer. Listen carefully during the conversation to learn what matters to them. Follow up after the event for additional engagement.
Community Engagement Builds Relationships
People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust. Consistently getting out into the community, being visible, and taking action is the perfect way to start and build lasting relationships. Volunteer for other nonprofit events, donate your time invest financially and others will reciprocate. When people get to know you and continually see you giving back in different ways, you are recognized as an important partner in the community.
Community Engagement Educates, Informs, and Entertains
Hosting or sponsoring events, speaking engagements, educational programs, and other fundraising events not only raise money for your nonprofit but will also connect like-minded people together. This is a highly effective networking strategy. For example, a luncheon featuring a speaker on social media strategies will interest business and nonprofit professionals who need this information. They will gain valuable knowledge to help them do their job better and remember your nonprofit for providing the event. Another example is hosting a golf outing or after-work mixer. Fun, entertaining fundraising events bring people together in a social gathering while supporting a good community cause. Usually, the same people will attend events that interest them, one more opportunity to build and strengthen deeper relationships.
Community Engagement Positions You as A Leader
The more you attend events, volunteer for other nonprofits, and other social activities, you will be viewed as a leader, a respected influencer in your community. This will result in your nonprofit growing and being viewed as a successful organization by other leaders, community members, and businesses. Plus, you will be exposed to new ideas, valuable resources, and unlimited opportunities to enhance your professional skills and add new and innovative ways to grow your nonprofit.
Now is the perfect time to prioritize your community engagement efforts. Contact us today and let's discuss strategies that will work for you!