Planning ahead is a key factor to increasing the size and scope of your program. Many community outreach events have strict application deadlines. Keeping track of dates and deadlines is critical, as such events are great opportunities to spread the word and increase your organization’s visibility.
Network with diverse organizations in your area. In Seattle, City Fruit’s home, there are many food-related organizations and events like National Public Lands Day and Food Day at local universities that are great for marketing your organization. Using social media hashtags and memes is also a complementary activity for making your organization more visible. In 2015 City Fruit developed a partnership with UW undergraduate students and community members looking to increase their volunteering and engagement with local food for the 2016 harvest year.
– In 2015 City Fruit worked to push out regular press releases to local blogs in neighborhoods where community engagement and volunteer recruitment was low. This included Mt. Baker and West Seattle for City Fruit’s Save Seattle’s Apples campaign in spring.
– When out at community events, wear your organization’s t-shirts to help increase brand recognition. Print out a list of upcoming events for volunteers or community members to sign-up for as well as a general newsletter sign-up sheet.
– Be sure to engage people on whichever social media outlets you use, whether Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, responding to their comments where applicable or tagging partners in any posts. This also increases visibility.
– Some key pieces of marketing materials for City Fruit includes a door hanger to inform donors that we have visited and harvested from their properties, including pounds harvested and a donation site where applicable.
– In addition, we have small handouts for people to give to neighbors or friends who have fruit trees. It informs people of City Fruit’s work and gives them instructions to reach out to City Fruit, register their tree, and donate fruit to the annual harvest. These are particularly popular at outreach events – it is a small way for people to spread the word about the work.