Tips to Grow Community Support

Bottom line: Relationships, relationships, relationships!

Run a political campaign.

  • The “candidate” is your organization.
  • Create a volunteer group to organize receptions in homes and other “friend-raising” events.
  • Continually present your case before civic and community organizations.
  • Don’t ask for money (initially); encourage joining membership or a mailing list.

Meet one-on-one with key civic leaders and potential donors.

  • Don’t ask for money (initially); ask for “counsel.”
  • Keep them informed about your progress with personalized updates.
  • Some may become willing to serve on your board or advisory group; if not, consider family members.

Get to know your community leaders and elected officials.

  • Don’t ask for money (initially); ask how you can support their community efforts.
  • Establish synergies with civic goals and initiatives.

Partner with and support community-based organizations.

  • Develop free/low-cost programs with partner organizations in communities where need is greatest.
  • Make your board, advisors, and staff inclusive and reflect your community.


  • Join local professional organizations and civic groups.
  • Use board and advisor relationships to increase your circle of contacts.
  • Participate in and attend local civic and cultural events.

Build credibility through successes of increasing magnitude.

  • Publicize them through traditional and social media.
  • Produce annual reports highlighting progress and finances.
  • Recruit an ad agency pro-bono to raise your organization’s exposure and image.

At the same time, continue to:

  • Enhance your organization’s programs and impact
  • Build staff and volunteer morale and support
  • Strengthen and diversify your board
  • Balance the budget.

Over time, support (financial, political, community) will follow!

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.”

Calvin Coolidge