Marketing and Visibility

  • Planning ahead is a key factor to increasing the size and scope of your program. For many community outreach events, there are often strict deadlines for when to submit an application. Plan ahead by viewing documents with dates and important festival cutoffs as such events are great for spreading the word.
  • Work with diverse organizations in your area. In Seattle, where City Fruit is located, there are many food-related organizations and events. Celebrate events like National Public Lands Day and Food Day at various Seattle universities to market your organization. Using social media hashtags and memes is also a complementary activity for making your organization more visible. In 2015 City Fruit developed a partnership with UW Hillel undergraduate students and community members looking to increase their volunteering and engagement with local food for the 2016 harvest year.
  • In 2015 City Fruit worked to push out regular press releases to local blogs in neighborhoods where community engagement and volunteer recruitment was low. This included Mt. Baker and West Seattle for City Fruit’s Save Seattle’s Apples campaign in spring.
  • When out at community events, wear your organization’s t-shirts to help increase brand recognition. Print out a list of upcoming events for volunteers or community members to sign-up for as well as a general newsletter sign-up sheet.
  • Be sure to engage people on whichever social media outlets you use, whether Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, responding to their comments where applicable or tagging partners in any posts. This also increases visibility.
  • Some key pieces of marketing materials for City Fruit includes a door hanger to inform donors that we have visited and harvested from their properties, including pounds harvested and a donation site where applicable. In addition, we have small handouts for people to put in their neighbors’ or friends’ mailboxes if they see they have a fruit tree. It informs people of City Fruit’s work and gives them instructions to reach out to City Fruit and register their tree if they would like to donate fruit to the annual harvest. These are particularly popular at outreach events - it is a small way for people to spread the word about the work. 

 

City Fruit promotes the cultivation of urban fruit in order to nourish people, build community and protect the climate. We help tree owners grow healthy fruit, provide assistance in harvesting and preserving fruit, promote the sharing of extra fruit, and work to protect urban fruit trees. Our programs include harvesting unwanted fruit from private properties, stewarding and harvesting public orchards, training orchard stewards, and delivering the thousands of pounds of gleaned fruit to organizations who can distribute it to people who need it most: food banks, senior centers, homeless shelters, low-income housing programs, lunch programs, daycares and more.

In late 2013, City Fruit was chosen to take part in Rotary First Harvest’s AmeriCorps VISTA program, Harvest Against Hunger (HAH). This allowed the small team at City Fruit to start building capacity in ways it could never before with a new full-time VISTA member. This VISTA position deviates from the traditional Harvest Against Hunger VISTA because it does not include working directly with farms or meal program recipients in any way. Rather, City Fruit’s VISTA is a Community Outreach Coordinator whose tasks include building new relationships within the community to care for public orchards year-round, speaking with people about City Fruit’s mission and work about City Fruit at community festivals and events, and building the volunteer base through various volunteer programs including the Ambassador Program. The VISTA alsocontributes to blogs, social media outlets, and uses MailChimp to create volunteer newsletters, They also use Salesforce and the Volunteers for Salesforce plugin to create volunteer opportunities, record hours and keep in contact with all volunteers. 

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