A key element of any grassroots organization is actually getting out and speaking with people about your work. Ah yes, the ancient practice of community outreach and tabling.
Succinct, simple and straightforward. All the words mean basically the same thing, but you probably wouldn’t use the former to speak to a five-year old child. This is exactly what community outreach is all about. Telling you our story, in a way that you can understand. You know, getting to know the issue, person to person, mano-a-mano.
A couple of weeks ago I tabled at an event at Jericho Beach in Vancouver with several Dogwood volunteers. Each volunteer had their own connection to Dogwood’s No Tankers campaign; the proposed oil tanker route through Douglas Channel struck a chord with an avid kayaker, and several students were passionate about trying to slow oil sands development – each volunteer had their own personal connection to the campaign.
Throughout the day, each volunteer was able to tell the story of their involvement in the campaign to a variety of people.
From young children to elderly couples, community outreach brings Dogwood in contact with a diverse range of people who are quite often hearing about our organization and work for the first time.
And you could actually replace ‘outreach’ with engagement, sincewhat we’re really trying to do is not just have you sign a petition ortake a brochure, but actually connect with our campaigns in ameaningful way.
How did you find out about Dogwood Initiative? There’s a pretty good chance that you signed oneof our campaign petitions at a community event. Over 20,000 supportershave signed our No Tankers petition and a huge number of those did so at a Dogwood community outreach table.
This summer Dogwood Initiative staff and volunteers will be popping up all over BC. We want to talk to you (and everyone you know) about Dogwood’s mission to give communities a voice in how their lands and resources are used. Joining us will be the latest edition to the Dogwood team, Celine Trojand, our new Outreach Coordinator. Come say hi, ask us some questions and learn about our personal connections to Dogwood’s campaigns!