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Community Engagement Toolkit

What is community engagement and why should you care?

Communication & Outreach Guide 

When you see another state’s humanities council produce a share-worthy piece, you want to share it.  This Communication & Outreach Guide was produced by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.  The credit goes to them.   Well Done NJCH.


NJCH Communications Guide

In the process of digitizing the NEH’s files from years gone by, Meg McReynolds had come across a similar product from 1980, produced by The Committee for the Humanities in Alabama (now Alabama Humanities). 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Yes, the Alabama manual wears its age on its sleeve: in ‘The Mechanics of Writing a Press Release,’ you are instructed in how many carbon copies to turn into the local newspaper (just one). Yet ‘Newsletters: How to Find and Use Them’ ends with a quip still sterling: ‘Brevity usually helps your chances.’   

View How to Attract a Crowd for a trick down memory lane…. and maybe you will get some ideas that can even work today.


Outside Resources


Community Engagement Resources

Videos by Pennsylvania Humanities

Videos by Pennsylvania Humanities

Videos by Pennsylvania Humanities

Nine Ways Nonprofits Can Increase Community Engagement

As a nonprofit organization, it is important to be engaged and relevant to the community that you are located in. By becoming an active member in the local area, not only can you increase the recognition of your organization, but you can also meet the people that make up the very community you operate in. These people are your very direct base of volunteers and donors, and your nonprofit needs to recognize them and appreciate their efforts in supporting your cause.

To stay true to your local roots, nine members of Forbes Nonprofit Council recommend ways you can better engage with your community and get the volunteers and donations your nonprofit needs.

Here is what they shared:

  • Encourage Discussion To Forge Relationships
  • Participate In Local Events
  • Be A Partner For Your Community
  • Target The Leaders On The Ground
  • Use Your Space To Inform Your Neighbors
  • Leverage The Community For Knowledge
  • Let Ambassadors Lead The Way
  • Be Consistent And Get Involved
  • Create Mutually Beneficial Opportunities

Read the full article about community engagement by Forbes Nonprofit Council on Forbes. 


Community Engagement Strategies for Nonprofits

As anyone who has been involved in a nonprofit alliance or coalition can attest, community engagement is critical to the success and continued operation of such an organization. 

  • What is Community Engagement?
  • Show the Issues That Your Nonprofit is Tackling in Your Community Using Data
  • Explain How Your Organization is Working in the Community
  • Demonstrate How Community Involvement in Your Nonprofit Benefits Everyone
  • Connecting with Your Community: Where to Start


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