Planning a community project in your local area is a great way to connect with members of your city or region while also giving back to those in need. With recent events, we have often seen how connected we are and how important it is to help each other through difficulty. If you want to directly help those around you, it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you intend to build a community garden or if you are thinking of hosting a fundraiser, there are a few tips to keep in mind to streamline the process and to ensure it runs smoothly at all times.
Consider the Needs of Your Community
Before choosing a community project to launch or get involved in, consider the needs in your community or local area. Is there a shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables, or are you looking to offer free coats, jackets, and mittens for the colder temperatures throughout the year? Are you looking to raise money for a local library, or start a food drive? Consider what the members of your community need most to find a plan that is right for you. The best way to do this is to consult directly with marginalized people in your community. If you want to help the homeless, talk with homeless people about what they need. If you want to help service workers, who might be going through a tough time right now, talk to them about what they need. Trust the members of the community and build a network of helping hands.
Create a Plan
Create a working plan of action before you begin seeking out help from volunteers. Will you require start-up funds, or are you relying strictly on donations? Who do you intend to help, and why? What is your mission statement, and how can you get others excited to volunteer and participate?
Create an Online Presence
Having an interactive web platform can drastically increase your online reach and your ability to spread the word of the community project you are hosting or trying to promote. Launch an official website, blog, and even a presence on social media to utilize relevant hashtags and keywords to connect with other locals and volunteers near you. Obviously, this does not take the place of contacting and working with local people in your community. However, increasing your reach can help you find funding and new help.
Craft a Marketing Plan
Create a marketing plan with the use of social media, local newspapers, and even local radio stations in your area. Consider donations and how you will raise funds to sustain the marketing campaigns you intend to launch to spread the word of your project. Being forthright about how much money you are using for marketing is also important. Anyone who wants to donate time and effort to your project will want to know how the money is being spent.
Garner Help and Volunteers
Use online communities, blogs, and even local town meetings to help attract volunteers to participate in your online project once you have a completed plan in place. If the group is small enough, you can create a group text. If it is larger you should make an online group and/or have a regular meeting time and place.
Taking the time to prepare and plan for a community project you have in mind is a way to feel confident in your decisions and ready to take on the challenge. Once you have a plan in place and you feel prepared with the help you have garnered, you can launch your project to begin giving back to those in your area who need help the most.
By Lizzie Weakley
who is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In free time, she likes outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball. She recommends Stepherson & Associates Communications – InfoCommunity for planning.
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