Put Your Coalition’s Website to Work
“Your website is your storefront,” is what Helen Ying, Chair of the Big Village Community Coalition in Portland, OR, says. Your coalition should have a website that lets everyone in the community know who you are and all the great work you do. Does your website help recruit new members and supporters? Does it deliver toolkits and information to parents and other stakeholders? Is it helping you organize meetings and help raise money for your coalition? If your website currently does not do all of these things, we’re here to help. Our blog will give you a better understanding of how to put your website to work for your coalition.
Along with a good coordinator, your community coalition’s website is one of its greatest assets. This is especially true considering most coalitions don’t have a physical location (or storefront) that people in the community associate with the coalition. Your website should be working for your coalition 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
That’s why we’re sharing our tried and true, three step process that will accomplish exactly what we’ve described by turning your website into an online powerhouse.
Step 1 – Make Your Website the Hub
Make your website the hub of your communication strategy. All of your coalition’s communication should be directed through your website. Let’s use two of the most common ways coalitions communicate as examples: email and social media. Let’s say you’re sending out an email with a meeting reminder. In the email, there should be a link to your website calendar with all the event information. The same is true when you are providing information to stakeholders. If you have a toolkit you want to get to parents, that toolkit should be on your website and when you promote it on social media, you provide a link to your website. Aside from getting supporters in the habit of checking your website regularly, directing all traffic through your website makes Step 3 that much easier.
Step 2 – Provide Relevant Content
How would you feel if you visited your favorite news website, and all that was listed was various recipes? It’d be pretty frustrating, right? That’s why it’s important to provide relevant content that your target audience is interested in and helps your coalition accomplish its goals. For example, let’s take a look at engaging parents. If your coalition wants to get parents more involved in its work, you need to create content they’ll find interesting and valuable. Easy to use, informational toolkits are great for parents. They appreciate the resource and there are dozens of great prevention toolkits already created by other groups. Find a toolkit that supports one of your coalition’s activities and add it to your website. Promote the toolkit on your website through e-mail and social media. Once users are on your site, people will become more familiar with your group and your work.
Step 3 – Promote
Use social media and your email database to promote your work, events, and content through your website. When it comes to distributing information, you’ll want to leave no stone unturned. Once you get them to your website, they will see who you are and the other activities your coalition is involved in. Community members will not just be aware of your work but will also become familiar with your coalition. As your website traffic grows, you’ll not only have a dedicated audience that appreciates all the hard work you do in your community, but you’ll also be able to better understand who is seeking out your coalition and how you can better help them.
For great content your coalition can use, check out these resources.
Do you have a great resource for content you can share with our group? Please post a link in our comment section.