Small businesses, corporations, universities and organizations make an effort to give back to their clients, students and neighbors by participating in community outreach activities. These efforts are developed with respect to a company's or organization's mission, goals, values and target market. Though community outreach activities are designed to help the community—not promote a service or product—community outreach efforts often improve an organization's reputation and increase its visibility among potential consumers.
When residents and businesses move into a community, it's not uncommon that they receive a welcome mailing congratulating them on their move and providing them with information about their new neighborhood. By buying a direct mail list through a list broker, businesses and organizations can get names and addresses of individuals and businesses who have just moved into an area. They can use this information to send welcome cards, promotions and other information that might be helpful to a new resident or business.
Lunch and Learn Sessions
Lunch and learn sessions are similar to seminars, as they provide attendees with topical information. Organizations run these sessions to provide free information to community members—who may also be potential clients. A fitness club might invite community members to attend lunch and learn sessions about healthy eating, creative ways to get children to eat vegetables and quick morning-workout routines. An accountant might host a session for small business owners to provide tips about tax deductions.
Sports Team Sponsorship
Many organizations support local youth sports teams by providing uniforms, snacks and beverages at games and assisting with the cost of equipment. This type of community outreach focuses on keeping children active during non-school hours. Organizations can include their names on the back of the children's uniforms, which promotes their businesses.
From community art festivals to local fundraisers, organizations provide sponsorship to defray costs for the hosting organization. A restaurant might act as a sponsor by providing food, while a lawn-care service might sponsor by buying advertising space in the event program or directory.
Holiday Food and Toy Drives
During the holiday season, local businesses and organizations often arrange donation drives to collect food, toys and clothing for families in need. The organizations collect everything from canned goods and books to winter coats and diapers.
Internship opportunities give businesses and organizations an opportunity to recruit high school and college students to be a part of their companies. These students learn how a business is run and participate in business activities that match their interests. A student interested in advertising might work with a local agency to prepare an advertising campaign for a local non-profit, while college students interested in teaching might be placed in an area school to work with an experienced teacher.
Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore.