Have you ever been in one of those long meetings that wrangle endlessly over the final wording of an email, marketing campaign or a bylaw?
They can be painful. More to the point, they can hurt rather than help the cause of a community organization.
Your organization directors or committee members are passionate about your cause. But it’s the critical balance between internal development and public facing activities which drive success.
Can you look back six months and know the public has a better understanding of your organization? Is it obvious to members how you’ve served them well – or how you’ve improved your service?
If not, you risk losing the support you have – or at least confidence in your ability to make a difference.
it’s that desire to make a difference that drives the group onward.
Bylaws, tweaking mission statements and deciding whether something is blue or it’s green doesn’t make a difference in output.
Here are three ways to make a visible impact in your community.
1.) Hold an education session – Your cause is an important one – otherwise you wouldn’t be investing the time. Hold an event that lets the public know what it’s all about. Bring in an expert as a guest speaker. Entertain questions. Get all your members to publicize on social media and through their own channels. Grow knowledge of your organization and what it does through your collective personal channels and educate the public. These days it’s easy tor each an audience with online communication tools. People are familiar or at least interested in tools that allow you to host an online meeting.
What do you do if very few people show up? Well, you still can record the meeting and use that recording strategically in your future reach campaigns.
2.) Make sure your members meet – Networking is very important to any organization. It can bring people together with common business interest. It can bring patients together (voluntarily) to share experiences and support. It can help people find resources and resource holders to find individuals who need their help. Again, it’s easy these days to promote and hold an online forum. There is strength in numbers and the more your organization ahs striving for a common cause, the stronger you are and the more confidence members will be in your success.
3.) Connect people – There is so much value in connecting two people who can benefit from knowing each other. It’s memorable. It starts another discussion related to your interest. You never know what kind of alliance or partnership can evolve from bringing two people together. This may bring new fruit for a project. It may develop into a research opportunity. It could mean employment for someone. It could mean revenue for the parties – or your organization.
If you are a start-up organization, you can hold networking or educational events at any time to help gauge interest and find some other early passionate participants. If you are a well-established organization, it’s always good to hear from the public, or your membership, to make sure you are moving in the right direction or partaking in activities that motivate their interest and participation.
Bylaws and branding are important and essential.
But success and growth lie in a mixture of behind-the-scenes activities and measurable, visible contributions to public good. Look back six months. How visible have you been to your audience or public. Would they know what you do or how you contribute? If not, you might want to put more priority on visibility – if you don’t you risk losing profile and support.