Outreach, Communication, and Engagement of Donors
CSML’s marketing efforts in traditional and social media reached volunteers and donors alike by making the mission of the program known to the greater community. Though results from cold calls and emails were negligible, local media coverage about the program garnered very strong results.
Distributing informational brochures to farms during harvest season informs producers that there is a group willing and available to help collect any excess, and gives donors more ownership of the idea and project.
Many new donors heard of our program via the newspaper, Saturday radio programs, or Facebook groups and subsequently became involved in gleaning and donations.
Gauging the amount of produce versus the time to effectively recruit and harvest is important to maintaining both volunteer and producer relationships. Scouting a property and meeting with the grower allows a chance to ensure that you are not promising more than your organization is capable of. Providing a copy of the Bill Emmerson Good Samaritan Act was often addressed any hesitance farmers had regarding gleans on their property.
Appreciation of Donors
Thank you cards were mailed after every donation to show appreciation. The cards included a sheet signed by volunteers or food bank clients to show that this was a community supported effort. A tax-deductible receipt was also included to demonstrate benefits of donating in lieu of financial gains. Inviting donors to participate in a joint appreciation events with volunteers allows each group to engage together and continues to remind everyone that this is a community effort that no one person or group can do alone!