1. Analyse how you’ll go virtual
Imagine how your service can translate to a virtual space, and what it could look like with the software or tools available to you.
What do you feel resonates best with the audience you want to engage and what would work best online?
Have conversations with your service users and produce ideas for virtual work from these conversations. Don’t use software just for the sake of it, but keep a purpose in mind when deciding what software and tools you’ll use.
Consider allocating tasks to different teams to spread the workload across your entire organisation.
2. Continue your outreach
Using Instagram for outreach work can be effective for youth centres. Youth centres can onboard more young people to engage in their activities because many young people use Instagram.
The joy of this process being virtual is that you’re able to find people who wouldn’t normally come to the centre.
3. Identify your niche
Many youth centres have social media accounts because this is where young people tend to gather online.
Furthermore, as a charity, you can’t always compete with the bigger companies in the virtual world.
Make sure that you are distinguishing yourself and that you demonstrate what you are in a unique position to offer.
4. Develop your accounts
Identify the differences between social platforms and tailor the content you want to produce to the software you are using.
Be specific about the content you want to produce and the channels you want to use to host it.
Don’t try and do everything you do on all your accounts. Decide which platform a particular piece of content is best suited to and promote it there.
5. Challenge your ideas
Don’t assume that your own ideas are the best way of doing things. Look at platforms that you aren’t using and always consider how you could update your work.
Get inspired by looking at what other similar charities are doing.
Think outside the box when trying to use new software.
6. Look into who you can work with
Expand and utilise your network. Don’t think that you have to do this all yourself; it’s OK if you don’t have all these skills. There are digital agencies, young people who want experience, professionals who want to do pro-bono work, and university students looking for placements. You can call upon these people to help your project.
7. Ensure safeguarding
Create a risk assessment as a live working document subject to continual review. Look at the specifics of each of the platforms that you use and the individual constraints and challenges. Have dedicated team members to manage the risks and mediate the platforms you’re working on. Understand what boundaries to have for each of the virtual spaces you offer to users. Think about which platforms may cause issues.
8. Impact measurement
Do some impact reporting to measure whether you’re reaching your desired outcomes. It can be tricky to do impact reporting for some of these platforms. Utilise your network for advice.
Many thanks to SoapBox for contributing this recipe.
This recipe is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.
That means you are free to copy, redistribute, and build on the text of this recipe, but only for non-commercial purposes (if you want to use it for commercial purposes, get in touch with us at [email protected]). You must give credit to both Catalyst and SoapBox and link back to this page. If you build on this recipe then you must share your version under this same licence.
Do you have thoughts on this recipe? We would love to hear from you.