Conducting outreach programs are hard work. Every organization has to make sure to impact the lives of the people of the community through the implementation of projects. Great outreach programs are not obtained in a snap of your fingers. It needs a combination of dedication, patience, research, and social skills. Below are several of the do’s and don’ts when conducting outreach activities.
Before The Outreach
The first step in creating an effective outreach is by studying your chosen community well. Conduct a series of market research and field studies to be able to understand your beneficiaries fully.
These kinds of approaches can guide you in determining the problems experienced by the community. This way, you will be able to come up with the best strategies easily to answer these issues. Do not assume that they need your project. Instead, study the community.
The next step is to look for individual or company partners. Do not feel confident that you can do it all by yourself. Ask for them to help you in any way they can – may it be in the logistical, finance, or knowledge transfer side. Do not forget to tap influencers as well. Establishing relationships with your partners can also help you publicize your outreach more. This way, potential funders will be more attracted.
Before conducting your activity, make sure to orient the heads of the community with what you are planning. Create visuals which will simplify your presentation. Listen to them and speak their language. Make them understand what social problems you are addressing and break down the details of your project. It will enable them to state their opinions for the further improvement of your project.
During The Outreach
Before implementing your project, make sure that all your plans have been smoothened out. Do not pursue the outreach if you think it will only do more bad than good.
On the day of the outreach, start by creating a list of the logistical needs and reminders you need. This practice may lessen your stress as well as your team’s. You should also come up with a series of plans just in case Plan A doesn’t work out.
Do not forget to engage appropriately with your community. You might have different lifestyle approaches, culture, and values from your beneficiary. However, do not let this encourage you to show discrimination among yourselves. The outreach is made for us to understand one another, not to tear us apart.
Always remember to respect their place as well. Even if you are conducting an outreach which needs a lot of materials, do not forget to clean up the venue after. This way, your community will not be disappointed with you.
After The Outreach
Do not make it a habit that once you implement an outreach, you can leave them hanging. One-time big-time outreaches do not result in significant impacts. It is advised for organizations to conduct followup activities in the community to be able to achieve sustainability in their respective projects.
Also, do not forget to assess all aspects of the project once you accomplish them. This practice can help you better your outreach programs in the next sessions. Lastly, always inform your partners with the updates on the outreach and discuss with them their plans with the community. These actions can help you strengthen your relationship with both the beneficiary and your fellow change makers.
According to many, conducting outreaches should not circle the idea of following up. An effective program should instead follow the mantra of “Repeat, repeat, repeat!” Let this be your guide and rest assured that you will leave a mark in this world.