As an Outreach coordinator, my job is to create and cultivate a space that's welcoming and overall funds receive real-time feedback from our target audiences. People often think that outreach is a one-way street, but I disagree with that concept. At its core, outreach is an exchange of knowledge, and it's vital to interact and inform people about new ideas.
We recognize that time as a gift; whenever someone takes a moment from their day to speak to us, it's unique to us. We enjoy those moments because we are there to listen and understand how to run the Outreach team effectively. The best place to start is to check the pulse of the neighborhood you're serving. Each neighborhood, especially in Chicago, has a different vibe and flavor. Some neighborhoods have a foreign language that's predominantly spoken. So, when you have an outreach team there, you want to ensure they can talk about the language that everyone is comfortable with.
When training your outreach team, it's also essential to first lead with the purpose and your core values. You can adapt once you have those core values and the objective; that depends on the outreach team and the community you want to serve. Whatever your team is out to fulfill, it's essential to ensure they know they're part of a bigger vision and not just there to talk to the community. They are the bridge that we need to make our work better.
Real-time information is gold. The insight from just one event can improve the entire project. You also never know that the impact of a five-minute conversation can lead to each conversation being unique and can lead to powerful moments. And it's a beautiful thing that the outreach team gets to do because they meet real people in their communities where they do life. Their challenges and struggles are real, and to have that knowledge provides us with a front-row seat to change.
Lastly, outreach allows you to humanize your brand as a service. It's no longer a product on a shelf or a video on a digital platform. We are here to better Humanity together.