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    How to Build a Relationship Between Your After School Program and Local Community

    May 03, 2018
    by Cecelia Schwartz |

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    Forming strong relationships between your organization and the community is a great way to boost engagement and raise awareness about your after school program. A presence in the community is a key way to build trust and a network among parents. Here are some helpful tips on ways to improve the relationship between your after school program and the community!

    Partner with like-minded organizations

    Reach out to organizations that have similar mission statements or values as your own. Perhaps a program has access to a facility that would be useful to you as well; consider forming a partnership that may include the organization in one of your newsletters or catalogs in exchange for use of their facilities. An easy, effective collaboration could be something as simple as creating social media posts or blog posts that incorporate each other’s programs. Partnerships are a great way to leverage audiences, networks and resources, which means potential new customers for you!

    Strengthen your relationship with local schools

    Consider hosting a fundraising event for a local school to develop your relationship with the community. Align your fundraising efforts with a mission or purpose that reflects your organization. For example, if you offer a STEM program, you could raise money to upgrade a school’s classroom technology. This is a great strategy to position your program as an involved, active part of your community, which is something that parents, especially, will appreciate.

    Another way to improve your relationship with local schools is to send out digital flyers. The approval and distribution process is quick and painless for both you and the school’s staff members, resulting in a more fruitful partnership. You could even include a special discount code or limited-time offer on your digital flyer so that parents at the schools get an exclusive offer that’s not available to the public. This can be a nice way to attract new customers and offer a token of appreciation for current ones.

    Organize special community events

    To publicize your after school program, get involved with your local community! Organize an event that supports your program’s goals. For example, sports programs could plan a day of fitness in a local park with fun activities to get everyone up and moving! For programs like theatre, consider holding a free intro to acting session at your local library or community center to pique interest around your program. This is a simple, low-cost way to show how much you care about the community and form relationships with your customer base.

    Work with local influencers

    Work with mom bloggers and other local influencers to reach more parents and build a presence in your community. Consider providing the audiences of those influencers with a discount code for your program or a free trial class! Parents love to save wherever they can, so discounts can be a great way to introduce them to your program. Mom bloggers, especially, are a great asset for your brand because they typically have a very loyal and engaged following of other parents. By featuring your program in a post, it acts as a powerful referral to draw in new customers.

    Dedicating time and effort toward building relationships between your organization and different groups in your community is time well spent! Through these relationships, you stand to gain not only new customers, but also a loyal network of supporters and partners that will boost engagement with your programs and provide invaluable resource to help pave the way for future success. What other ways does your organization connect with the community?