Marketing

 
  • Contact the local paper/news station to do an article about the gleaning program
  • Partner with other non-profits in your community on a project, e.g. Community Food Forums in community room of low-income housing complex
  • Join coalitions and groups in town that work with similar populations and issues and educate members about your program
  • Plan informative events in the off season, e.g. film screening, community discussion, potluck
  • Look into finding business sponsorship for an large event
  • Pass out packets of seeds with contact information to people
  • Set-up meetings with agricultural business and distribute brochures to hand out to farmers
  • Post fliers or brochures downtown, at nurseries, and at home improvement stores
  • Ask businesses to put your logo on their website for marketing a community program
  • Introduce yourself and program to food banks/agencies where the produce will be going.
  • Partner agencies are a great place to post volunteer opportunities or information about the program

The community in Walla Walla is a very tight-knit and thus word of mouth and general visibility worked best as a marketing tool.  WWCH was most successful at conducting outreach at the farmers market.  Make it a priority to have a booth at the market every weekend; it’s amazing how many people walk by and stop to ask about the program. 

Talking with local media generates a wealth of visibility for your program. In the small town of Walla Walla, a large percentage of folks read the local newspaper and monthly magazine to keep up with their community’s happenings.   In August 2013, Walla Walla Lifestyles Magazine wrote a piece that highlighted gleaning.  After the story came out in Lifestyles, the Harvest VISTA received emails, phone calls and inquiries about the program. 

Be outgoing, engage folks about your program and how you can potentially collaborate or support one another.  If your model and mission are good ones, the community will naturally gain interest.  Word of mouth travels exponentially - the more people who know about the program, the more people who will know about the program!