I am completely committed to living more intentionally. With that, I have realized something unsettling for me about blogging. My entries, and the entries of a million other bloggers, with great things to say, have not yet reached the homes of those that lack internet. I struggle with this, not because I think everyone should read MY blog, but because I believe that true outreach is about reaching those that are OUT of the realm that you are already in.
I think the internet is one of the greatest inventions EVER, and unfortunately, those that need resources most, (self- development literature, quick tips on how to improve your diet, lay summaries on what’s going on in the world) sometimes don’t know where and how to begin their improvement, even if they have the internet at home.
The concept of outreach has helped me to understand why religious organizers, community organizations, and people that want to share what they consider pertinent information, make it a priority to go door- to- door.
One summer, my colleague and I were working on recruitment efforts for our educational summer program. Enrollment numbers were low and we were quickly approaching our registration deadline. We rounded up 5 college volunteers and printed 300 fliers. We created a route for our college volunteers to do mailbox drops, and encouraged our them to talk to any parents/ guardians that they ran into during their outreach.
The volunteers completed their door-to-door mailbox drops on a Friday night at 7pm. By Tuesday of the next week, there were 30 additional parents interested in enrolling their children in the summer program.
Although there has been an increase in the funding and creation of major green initiatives that give printed publications a run for their money, it is becoming more and more evident that internet only access to resources removes opportunities for low-income and economically disadvantaged families.
My S.M.A.R.T. solution and counteraction to this phenomenon: By January 2012 I will have a 4-page printed newsletter of major blog entries from Ashley S.C. Walls hand delivered to atleast 300 households in the Chicagoland area.
How do you balance community outreach and the internet?
Dont forget about the JUNE OPPORTUNITY
During the month of June I will offer one complimentary consultation for the top 3 individuals with the highest levels of engagement on my blog. (Winners can defer their consultation to a friend or family member of their choice). My complimentary consultation will focus on business and marketing development, grant writing services, and strategic development for a topic of your choice.
I am defining engagement as:
- commenting on various entries
- sharing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Digg, and/or twitter and tagging me or notifying me of the share
- emailing posts to your friends or networks (bcc me on the firstname.lastname@example.org)
- And any other creative ways of engagement you can think of!