Essential Ways to Have an Effective Outreach Program

According to Wiki, outreach is an activity of providing services to people who doesn’t have access to those services. The basic element of outreach is that the groups providing it are mobile—they are meeting those in need of outreach services at the places where those in need are.

Reasons to Outreach
Besides increasing the teamwork and communication of community members, key partners, and stakeholders, an outreach program also develops a link between the agency and the community and allows people to exchanges ideas and share resources. Likewise, it improves community awareness, trust, and right understanding of the organization’s mission, program, and successes.

Effective Outreach Program
Regardless of the message you’re trying to convey, there are four critical steps to make your outreach program effective. This includes the following:
1) Gather background information about the community you want to serve;
2) Evaluate your own group;
3) Create contacts and develop relationships with community members and organizations; and
4) Plan and start your outreach program.

The Community and You
Here are ways to learn about communities unfamiliar to you:
– Pick up cultural community newspapers;
– Attend community events and celebrations to chat casually with people, and to learn about the community’s geography and key institutes;
– Consult with local academics, health and social service experts, and influential figures within the community; and
– Check the public library, the Internet, and medical/academic journals.

Likewise, don’t forget to look at your own work area. Are any members of the target group on your staff? Are your colleagues eager to take on an outreach effort? If not, your claim that you’re concerned with the community might be taken with a large dose of sale.

Building Relationships
Before you print your first leaflet or host your first event, develop first firm connections with key leaders to learn about their outlooks. You should also develop a web of professionals who offer similar services to the community.

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