Thursday, July 3, 2014

Incorporating Your Community into Activity Planning: A Guide for Nonprofits

Whether you are a mentor to one person or running a group program, thinking up new and engaging activities can be tiresome. It’s also easy to find yourself in a rut, planning the same activities over and over if you’ve already had success with them. A great way to find new activities is to immerse yourself in your community. Instead of waiting for community events to find you or your nonprofit, make the initiative to look for them yourself! By using the following three ideas, you are sure to find new activities to enjoy.

Find new establishments in your area

By looking up recently-opened establishments such as restaurants or entertainment venues, you can find new places to frequent. The best way to find out to new places is through word of mouth, so ask around! Chances are someone you know can refer you to their new favorite place or warn you about any poor experiences they’ve had. If you’re not finding much from those around you, head to the Internet. Google can be your best friend when trying to find new places in your community, but also check out city websites and platforms like UrbanSpoon for restaurants. Make sure to check out the company website and reviews first if you’re headed somewhere with children to make sure it will be age appropriate.

Find upcoming events

Through finding new establishments, you may come across events they sponsor or are hosting. These are usually free or low-cost events that you can take your group or mentee to. These are great ways to support any organizations you find that you have an interest in or are relevant to what you do. These events are also a good way for you to learn more about what the company has to offer. If you are having trouble finding events through your new favorite establishments, look up event calendars through your city, local news outlets, libraries, museums, and sports teams.

Odd national holidays

Google “odd national holidays,” and you will be surprised at the amount of holidays that come up. When you find days that appeal to you and your group, use them for your outings. It’s even better if you can incorporate these quirky days into one of the other activities you found. For example, one of our HuTerrians Monica took her Little Sister, matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin, to a local ice cream shop that opened last month to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month.

Do you have any good ideas for planning activities for your nonprofit? Share your experiences below in the comments!

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