Community outreach is a big part of the success of any business, whether it’s a large, mid-sized, or small organization. After all, it is members of the community that purchase products and services; spread messages about businesses through (good or bad) word of mouth; and in some instances, come to the defense of organizations when they face a crisis. That’s why one of the most important things that any business can do is look for opportunities to impact and connect with the local community.
Now, there are some companies that have expanded community outreach efforts that reach across the globe. Although sizeable efforts are good, you can still make an impact on the space that you’re in. Caleb Laieski share a few ideas to help you get started:
1. Partnerships are always beneficial to explore. Try partnering with an existing community organization that promotes a cause that you’re passionate about. This is a great way for you to lend a hand and connect with your customers by asking them to support your adopted cause, too.
2. Start your own community relations program if there is a particular area that you want to explore. Do you want to donate books to kids? Or, how about offering internship opportunities to local high school students at your business or starting a scholarship program? Think about cost-effective ways that you can help the community and build from here. Overall, keep your program manager. You don’t want to get so overwhelmed that you can’t benefit your cause.
3. Another outlet to try is volunteering as a speaker at local schools. Contact a few local schools in your area and let them know that you are available to speak during “career day” or other important events. You might also want to approach a few of your customers and ask them if they would be available to speak at school “career” functions as well. Before you know it, you will have created your own mini speakers bureau.
4. When all else fails, sponsorships are still a viable option. And, your support can extend beyond monetary donations. Can you serve as a guest speaker? Can you donate another skill set related to your expertise? There are countless ways that you can help and in-kind donations are always appreciated.