After all that preparation your community involvement activity is over!
Whether it met your initial expectations or not, any effort you made should be classified a success because it is more than was done before! And your first step should be to congratulate YOURSELF on a job well done!
But some top level evaluation can help make subsequent efforts even more successful — no matter where you are starting.
Here are some tips to help you finish strong… and lay the foundation for a great effort next year!
Collect Relevant Metrics
As soon as you can, collect the hard figures that your committee and workplace will be clamoring for. Who won?! How much was raised or collected? How many people participated? For a larger event, such as a charity walk, you might need to wait until the organization has its numbers but as much preliminary information as you can release is vital to applaud your colleagues’ efforts.
Debrief With Your Committee
Meet with your committee to figure out what went well and what you think could be improved on. Did there need to be more communication, or were people sick of hearing from you? Did the cause resonate with the workplace, in your eyes? Be brutally honest about the pros and cons of the effort… just among yourselves. This will help you position it to your workplace and management going forward.
Survey Your Workplace
Find out how many people participated and what they thought. Was it well organized? Was communication adequate? Did they think they made a difference to the cause? What would they suggest be improved or changed? Would they participate again? Would they like to see it enlarged? Encourage anonymous feedback which can help you plan future events. And of course, solicit names for the future planning committee!
Check in With the Nonprofit
Talk to them about how your team performed, how the event went, or any feedback they received from clients. The kudos you get from them will help in the next step.
Meet With Management
Find out how they thought the event went. Are they willing to support it again? Would they be willing to enlarge it? Share any anecdotal or survey findings.
Promote the Results Internally
Once you have numbers, even if they are preliminary, report them through the same channels you used to promote the effort internally. Recognize those who made a large contribution — whether they were major helpers in planning or brought in the most money.
Promote Your Efforts Externally
Again, using the vehicles described in the previous post, let your good work shine! Make sure your clients and community know what you did, with a news release and some fun photos post-event. If you aligned with a charity, see if you can submit an article and photo to the organization’s newsletter to spread the word even farther.
Thank All Those Who Participated
A little thanks goes a long way and can set the stage for next year. Find a creative and easy way to express your thanks, whether it’s a granola bar to the runners; or a small paintbrush or mini flower pot to those who helped with your day of service. Add a short “thank you for participating” note and drop it by their desk.
Determine How the Next Event Will Go
Was the event so successful that you can’t wait for next year? This is the perfect time to reflect and build a general outline and plan for next year.
Set new goals: Do you want to have more teams? Raise more money? Have a weekend of service instead of just an afternoon? Team up with another company to make the effort bigger? Figure out what metrics make sense and set some concrete goals.
Perhaps you started slowly and are ready to take the next step. Maybe while donating suits for Dress for Success, colleagues decided they want to start a program to mentor local women.
Maybe someone from your company wants to join the charity’s race organizing committee for the next year and get even more involved.
Or, maybe things didn’t go how you’d like. That’s ok! Hopefully your surveys will point to some answers, whether it was a busy time in your fiscal quarter and people were overbooked; they didn’t know about it; they feel overloaded with other causes or whatever it may be.
Compile a report featuring current results and future plans, and meet with management again to get buy in for future budgets and resources.
The opportunity to make a difference in your community starts with one person, and one idea. Why not you?
Series on How to Start a Community Outreach Program at Work
- Part 1: Tips on How to Start a Community Outreach Program at Work
- Part 2: How to Increase Awareness of and Participation in Your Community Outreach Program
- Part 3: Community Outreach Program Post-Mortem
by Cathie Ericson