If you run or work for a nonprofit in Howard County, this page is for you. There are many free, (relatively) easy and common-sense things you can do to help your organization reach a wider local audience, engage local residents (volunteers, donors and service recipients) and become more hip and tech-savvy, which will help recruit board member, solicit donations and raise community awareness.
Get your blog listed on HoCoBlogs
It’s free to be listed on HoCoBlogs.com and takes but a few minutes to do. You can learn more about which blogs we list and why by reading here. (We do need a blog with a feed/updates rather than a static website). Also, do you know any colleagues working in other Howard County orgs and agencies? Please ask them to list their blog too.
Get to know the local bloggers
Understand how to prepare your content (news, events, announcements, video and more) so that bloggers can blog more easily and readily about your organization. Read this and this to cover your bases. Attend our local parties if you have a chance. And take note of the master np blogger in Howard County, Mickey Gomez of Volunteer Howard.
Use Twitter and hashtags with intent
- Follow this list of HoCoNonProfit-related Twitter accounts (and make sure your organization is listed on it, too) to stay up to date with the local scene and to see how other organizations are managing their Twitter presences. Also follow this list of Howard County orgs.
- Get to know your HoCo hashtags. Here’s a robust list. And follow@HoCoBlogs to see an active use of local hashtags.
- Use local hashtags in your tweets. Hashtags can be used in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and more. In particular use –
- #HoCoEvents (for any and all events in Howard County),
- #HoCoGives (charity events, donation nights, fundraisers),
- #HoCoNonprofits, #HoCoNP and #HoCoVolunteer,
- #HoCoMd, #ColumbiaMd, #EllicottCity, #OaklandMills, etc. (to indicate place in your tweets)
- #HoCoKids, #HoCoParents, #HoCoTeens and other demographic-focused tags, and
- #HoCoPeople, #HoCoAwards for awards received and given.
Recruiting volunteers and board members
Of course you know about the Volunteer Center’s site for announcing volunteer positions and finding them. You probably also know about Board Connection, a partnership of the Association of Community Services of Howard County; Leadership Howard County, and the Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, which provides an opportunity to post local board positions and find them. But you probably don’t yet know about LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace for Nonprofits.
Take a page from what others are doing
Need a URL to share your information?
Perhaps you have news to share, but your organization doesn’t have a blog, or your website doesn’t allow easy updates. Try using the Patch.com sites to create an event. Make a flier using Smore.com. Or upload a PDF to a Google Doc and set the permissions to “anyone can view.” All these things are free and they give you a URL that you can share on Facebook, Twitter and in an email.
Share your news!
Read this page for more tips and help on how to share your news with Howard County bloggers and social media activists and enthusiasts.