To make community planning more accessible to grassroots movements and organizations with limited resources, New Sun Rising has developed an Outreach & Engagement Community Toolkit that helps kick-start important conversations with their communities.
Intended for non-profits, local governments, and community leaders looking to create an outreach and engagement strategy for their project, plan, or initiative, the toolkit is a comprehensive resource that breaks down the importance of each method and how to execute it.
“Over the past many years, local leaders have developed so much knowledge on how to create and implement community-engaged plans and projects,” said Sophie Smith, who authored and completed this research as former Sustainability VISTA with New Sun Rising. “Without proper outreach and engagement, any group that strives to lift up community and increase equity is missing a huge part of the equation. We hope that this toolkit will make the ‘how-to’ more accessible to local leaders.”
Included in the toolkit are sections on how to build connections and target your audience, different types of engagement like creative advocacy, participatory asset mapping, and more.
Dorrian Glenn, program manager for Grow Sto-Rox, is using the toolkit to create a plan for his community and has found it easy to implement because of “how detailed the different steps are explained.”
“This has compressed all of the important things necessary for me to be successful out of the gate in having an effective community engagement strategy,” Glenn said. “Working by myself, I sometimes become disorganized in trying to figure out how to gather information and implement a plan. [The toolkit] focuses my intention and gives me a playbook to take it one step at a time.”
The toolkit is interactive, allowing users to input notes directly into the PDF and be saved to come back to at a later time as they work through the document. A full description of how to use and share the toolkit with partners and participants in your organization can be found below the ‘download’ buttons on the webpage.
“When designing the toolkit, it became very clear that the interactivity and accessibility of the documents were of utmost importance,” said Hunter Smith, lead data analyst + designer at New Sun Rising. “Throughout the design, I made sure to include elements that allowed users to keep record of what they learned and how they wanted to use these strategies with their communities.”
To learn more and utilize the Outreach & Engagement Toolkit, click here.
Thank you to Scott Wolovich, Brittany Reno, Megan Tuñón, Zaheen Hussain, Brian Wolovich, Dorrian Glenn, Alyse Horn, Jamie Johnson, Dan Stiker, Ashley Johnson, Judi Costanza, and Ruby Velasco for their time and insight in creating the content for and reviewing this toolkit.