Branding and name recognition are very important to the success of any nonprofit venture
In rural areas, radio is an effective medium for public campaign announcements
In rural areas, maintaining a social media page outside of Facebook is most likely a waste of time
Posting to local group forums on Facebook can be a very cost-effective and productive means of advertising your events
Keeping your website up to date will make your volunteers and your donors more confident in supporting your cause
A standard template for flyers and other marketing material helps to cultivate branding and recognition.
Over the past two years of the Harvest VISTA project in Colville, there have been numerous attempts to reach out to supporters and clients alike. This has involved websites, social media, radio, newspapers, and flyers.
A number of marketing projects were carried out this year, with media as a focal point. These included maintaining and updating the website with pictures and pounds of produce recovered, writing articles for the local papers with pictures of volunteers from gleans, and keeping the coalition and volunteers engaged by reaching out through newsletters.
In October, the Hunger Coalition tried a new donation/marketing campaign and circulated a “Hunger Action Month” calendar. This calendar had a daily suggestion for what people could do to help end hunger in their community, including joining the harvest club and learning about gleaning. The Hunger Coalition and six participating food banks had an “open house” day where they all opened on the same day, offered coffee and cookies to visitors, and educated people about food banks and opportunities to volunteer.
Additionally, the Harvest VISTA attended local Slow Food meetings to update the community on the efforts of the Hunger Coalition and Harvest VISTA program to increase the accessibility of local food to those in need. The North East Washington Fair is a renowned event for Stevens County, and this year the Hunger Coalition’s booth received 1st place. Volunteers manned the booth and passed out free bags of apples to children while engaging potential volunteers or donors. The Hunger Coalition joined the Chamber of Commerce over the summer to expand the visibility of the program.
This year the Harvest VISTA continued the efforts of the previous year by assisting with the Northeast Washington Fair booth for the Hunger Coalition. This included creating materials to advertise the gleaning program and recruit volunteers, encouraging individuals to participate in Plant a Row, and providing more information on the Hunger Coalition in general.
The Harvest VISTA also carried on with the website and Facebook updates and recruitment efforts regarding the gleaning and Plant a Row programs. Blog posts to the Harvest Against Hunger website served double-duty on the Hunger Coalition’s Facebook page as well.
Learning from last year, Hunger Action Month was scaled back to a one-day event that encouraged everyone in the region to visit the Hunger Coalition food pantries, support them, and learn more about the work they do for the community. The Harvest VISTA assisted with this effort by creating web pages and Facebook posts for the occasion.