A community outreach coordinator uses public relations skills to raise awareness, recruit volunteers, and plan events that benefit a nonprofit organization. He or she works directly with community members to educate and explain the significance of a particular cause. The majority of coordinators work for nonprofit organizations that rely on public support to achieve their objectives. A health-care agency, a hospital, or a private company involved in community affairs may hire a professional.
A community outreach coordinator may specialize in one activity or provide a wide range of services, depending on the nature of the organization. For example, a coordinator for an environmental protection group might create educational pamphlets and articles explaining the state of a polluted river in the neighborhood. He or she can respond to questions from the public about the problem and what can be done to solve it. The coordinator could plan a community-wide cleanup and publicize it through newspaper ads, social media sites, and door-to-door campaigns.
A community outreach coordinator may also organize fundraisers to encourage people to donate to a cause. He or she may organize a raffle drawing, golf tournament, family picnic, or other activity in which people can have fun while contributing to a worthwhile cause. When setting up fundraisers, it is critical for a coordinator to be creative and determined in order for them to be successful.
In general, coordinators are outgoing, friendly, and at ease speaking in front of large groups. They may be asked to host community events, appear on television or radio, or lead internal meetings at the headquarters of their organization. Because most coordinators create materials and schedule events using computer programs, computer literacy is essential. Coordinators must also be extremely organized and detail-oriented in order to keep volunteer schedules, employee payroll information, and company funds up to date and accurate.
To work as a community outreach coordinator, you must meet a variety of requirements. Many small businesses will hire dedicated high school graduates who are willing to work their way up to coordinator positions over a period of months or years. Some employers require a bachelor’s degree in public relations, social services, or a related field. A community outreach coordinator may be able to advance within his or her organization to another administrative position or even an executive director position after gaining experience and succeeding in the job.