Lessons Learned – March Meeting


Jayne Evans, Communications Coordinator for the Nonprofit Center, joined us in a discussion of “How to increase public awareness of our nonprofit community?”  While most of our organizations have a website or FaceBook page, the people who need us most – whether client, donor, or volunteer – often have trouble finding us.  Why is that and how can we change it? How can we keep the nonprofit community at the top of everyone’s minds? Whether you’re an Executive Director, a volunteer, or a resident of Clay County, awareness of, and access to, services is a vital issue.

Lessons Learned:

  • Members of Shaping Clay believe the public would benefit from one site that could guide local residents to whatever help they need (as client, donor, and/or volunteer).
  • Jayne stated that effective communication requires a multi-pronged approach
    • Individual nonprofits should build a vision and strategic plan, to include marketing and communication
    • All nonprofits should leverage collaboration to communicate scale and impact:
      • The Northeast Florida Nonprofit Center (NPC) conducted a Public Attitudes Survey revealing:
          • People trust nonprofits to take action on issues more than any other organization, including government, law enforcement, and 8 others! (84%)
          • They believe local nonprofits are uniquely qualified to address local problems because of their ties to the community (63%)
          • Nonprofit would get more support from the public if they could show how effective they are (85%)
          • People would be more likely to support a nonprofit organization that could show the return on their investment (64%)
          • When asked to name their favorite nonprofit, most people could only name national organizations, like St. Judes, which are wonderful, but not local
        • To help increase awareness of the overall nonprofit sector, and to help us speak with one voice, the NPC created the “Local-Focus, Lasting-Impact campaign.”
        • See attached notes for details
  • Next steps for Shaping Clay:
    • Catrine suggested we find one or several volunteers/interns who could write stories about local nonprofit heroes in action (and their impact) for placement in the local news, on nonprofit websites, and other venues
      • Beth volunteered to draft a job description and ask whether Maureen Jung and her writers’ group would be interested
      • Doug Greenberg of the Clay County Literacy Coalition volunteered to edit the draft
      • Karen Wintress, with Utility Bill Checkup volunteered to help
      • We are seeking a couple more people who would like to part of this effort and possibly form a “Communications Committee”
        • This is vital to our collective growth and impact
        • Please let me know if you’re interested.
        • I promise we will make the time commitment manageable for everyone

For a detailed copy of the March Meeting notes click here.