Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Outreach Coordinators of Nonprofit Organizations: 3 Recommendations for Outreach

          Within the last decade or so, the idea of corporate responsibility and social good has become highly discussed among the corporate world and even within the general public. As a result, non-profits are growing larger and more impactful in the communities that they help. At the same time that people in need are becoming more likely to receive services from non-profits, people and especially big donors are becoming more willing to give their money to good causes. Thus, as an outreach coordinator of a nonprofit, your job is two-fold: you need to be able to reach people who use your services and you need to be able to gain recognition and legitimacy in order to get funding. Both of these ultimately allow you to maximize the social impact that a non-profit can have. Much of this outreach will be done through social.
As a student at Northwestern interested in the outreach of nonprofit organizations, here are two articles that give interesting recommendations. “Twitter at Age 10: Why ItStill Matters in Nonprofit Communications” published by Prichard communications speaks to the importance of Twitter specifically for non-profits. On the services side of things, Twitter has become a first resort for many to get their news and learn about new trends. Tweets are closely linked to Google and will often show up in a Google search. Because of this, non-profits should use Twitter in order to gather the attention of those who they provided services for, publicizing their mission so people will see it when a trigger event occurs. Twitter has also become a great tool for activists and other revolutionaries in the world, making it a great tool for those who are looking to donate their time and money to a good cause. By “Following” the people who speak out about issues in the world, you will be able to publicize what your non-profit does to those who are passionate about looking for solutions.

            Another article, “Social Media Matters: Smart Strategies for Nonprofits”, published in Biz Journal, pushes the idea of “social messaging” to create a dialogue between patrons, advocates, and donors. This way, both people accessing services and donors will get a better understanding of the organization and feel more personally attached to it. This increases their likelihood of using the services or donating their money because they know that the organization is creating good change. This article also highlights using social media tools to increase visibility of an organization. Because there are so many non-profits in the world, people may have to sift the missions of hundreds of organizations before they get to yours. Increasing visibility can be done through increasing the Google search function, using Youtube’s nonprofit program, creating a function to donate on social media, or maximizing your posts on social media platforms. This will ensure that the mission of your organization as well as the impact that it has had will be easily accessible to those looking for it.

Based on these articles and the changing landscape of social media, the three suggestions I have for you are:
1. Increase visibility across all Social Media platforms
2. Keep up-to-date on your Social Media posting
3. Increase your Google search using keywords

By using social media in a strategic way, you will maximize your reach and ultimately elevate the mission and impact of your nonprofit.

Vicky Ho is a senior at Northwestern studying Psychology, Science in Human Culture, and Integrated Marketing & Communications. She is interested in non-profit and social sector work and wants to combine that with her interest in and knowledge of marketing and communications. She has had experience doing outreach work for student organizations at Northwestern through her involvement with the Academy of Music and Arts for Special Education and Sustained Dialogue. Connect with her on LinkedIn here

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