4 tips on how to network outside of events

The past few years have transformed the way we work – and the way we network. With in-person events fewer and farther in between and more people working remotely, it’s become more challenging to meet and network with new people.

But networking is an important tool in both your professional career and for your organization. As a non-profit, connecting with government contacts and potential funders and sponsors is crucial. Furthermore, networking can help attract new learners to your programs.

To learn how to network outside of events at your non-profit, follow our four tips below.

Leverage mutual friends or family members

Your personal connections are likely eager to help you and your organization succeed. Ask your friends and family if they have anyone in mind who would be interested in partnering with your non-profit, volunteering at your non-profit, or helping to achieve another particular goal for your non-profit. No matter who you’re introduced to, be considerate of their time and keep your meeting short.

Asking for introductions to particular people in your community is one of the oldest ways to network. Having a personal introduction becomes an instant icebreaker when meeting someone new and offers a built-in reason to follow up.

Be sure to show appreciation to anyone who does take the time to help you form a new connection.

Use social media

Besides being free, social media has no geographical boundaries. You have the ability to reach individuals worldwide who may be interested in learning more about your organization or contributing to its growth.

A professional social network like LinkedIn is one of the best ways to make productive new relationships. With a screen between you and your audience, you may feel more comfortable sharing your program’s successes and raising awareness about your non-profit.

Volunteer in your community

If you have volunteers working at your non-profit, you already know firsthand the benefits they provide. Volunteers bring specialized skillsets and reduce operating costs while increasing programming quality.

Why not return the favour and become a volunteer yourself for an organization that you admire? Not only will you make a difference in your community, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet new people and educate others about your literacy programs.

Complete a timely follow-up

No matter how you meet a potential new connection, it will take time to build a successful relationship. Connect with the person online and keep in touch by following up a couple of weeks after your initial meeting. Stay up-to-date on their journey, share their successes and offer your help and advice whenever applicable.

The bottom line

Networking outside of events at your non-profit can provide a whole new way to create meaningful connections and build your literacy programs. And by following our four tips above, it’s not as difficult as you may think.

If you’re looking to expand the literacy programs you offer at your non-profit, check out our complete listing of free resources.