Community Projects

Build Your Local Business in 3 Easy Steps

LOCAL BUSINESSES

 

Whether you are in the business of making pastries or in the business of proofreading legal documents, there is always a way to get noticed in your community. With some easy-to-apply ground rules, take a look at some ways in which you could start to expand your business.

Get Online

Getting set up on the internet is always a big help. When someone wants to search for a service like yours in a city or town like yours, they will often just type in the key words into a search engine. They will type “sewing” and “Milton” for example and see what comes up. You want your company name to be among those that come up in the search results. Get some help with building your website if online programming is not your thing. You could always pay your child or a friend’s child to help you with the development. There are lots of website templates to choose from online that provide the framework for the website’s design. There are sony vegas pro templates if you want to look modern and cool, but there are also more basic templates if that’s what you’re looking for. Spend an afternoon with someone who can help and get your presence recognized on the internet first.

Get Noticed

Do you have a sign up outside of your local shop? If it’s flat and facing the other side of the street, that’s great for those who are looking from that point of view. But what about people who are on the same side of the street as you? Consider a mounted wall sign that sticks out from the side of the building so your business is more noticeable. There are also those folding signs you can set outside on the street so your business logo is at street level. This type of sign is great for restaurants and coffee shops but even if your business is about custom hats, people’s eyes will still be drawn to the writing on the board. Many people will probably think it’s a food menu as they approach and read it out of curiousity. By the time they are finished reading your sign, they’ve realized that it’s not about food but instead about whatever it is that you’re promoting. Even if they feel a little disappointed that they didn’t read what they expected to, the point is that they read your sign.

There are also magnetic car signs your can put on your car doors or on the back. This way your company name will be noticed and recognized as a local character over time. Whether you’re driving to get some supplies or parked outside the office, your car will be advertising while you work.

 Give Samples

This one could get tricky, depending on the business you’re in. If it’s food or wares, it may be easier to give out samples. If you work in a trade or in accounting for example, it will be more difficult to produce some sort of enticement sample. It’s easy to hand out cupcakes but not so easy to hand out tax paperwork. If you can’t hand out samples at local events, try posting your services with a prominent logo on one of the bulletin boards at your community center. You could also leave a flyer with a business card stapled to it in neighbor’s mailboxes. Don’t do that last one too often though, or it could have a negative effect of being considered junk mail.

4 Benefits Of Having A Community Website

COMMUNITY

 

It’s surprising to see who is engaging in social media these days. Our parents and grandparents use facebook, our uncles talk about twitter and our neighbors know what youtube is. Some people think that their community doesn’t need a website or a blog, because that’s what the community center is for. What they don’t see, is that the community website could be an extension of the community center and could act a 24 hour-a-day liaison between the center and the people who need to look up a number or check a class time.

Here are some benefits that could come from establishing community website:

 Creating Jobs

The development of the blog or website alone will cost money, but you can probably get the job done by a local resident who is studying the field of web development or has recently graduated and is looking for work. What a fantastic job to put on his or her resume. A lot of people offer to do web design for free when they are graduating soon, in order to boost their portfolio and look more experienced to future employers. There are a bunch of people in the community who would love to experiment with some free html5 templates for a weekend. Don’t know what that means? Don’t worry! They do, and that’s what counts. Once the site is developed, you’ll need people to fill the contents of each page and a web admin to make sure information is current and up-to-date. Things like class times and registrations, contact numbers and more, will need to be kept current to be reliable.

Promote Local Talent

If there is a local show, play or fair coming soon, promote it on the website! If people sign up for e-mails about local events and promotions, they’ll get word of the local event and spread the word to neighboring friends. With an automatic e-mail blast, the website will be doing the promotions for you at no extra cost.

 Promote Local Work

Many communities are filled with skilled laborers who have mastered one trade or another over the years. There are skilled neighbors all around us that people may not know of. There are plumbers, woodworkers, electricians, glaziers, painters, demolition professionals and even pest control aficionados. These locals have honed their skills and already have their character vouched for by the others in the community. No more worrying about who to trust to do work in or around your home. Create a “Jobs Board” section on your community website and those who are looking for a certain type of work can post their requests up there. You’ll be giving work back to the community and keeping business local as well.

Boost Education

The “Jobs Board” could also have a spot for those looking for tutors. Whether it’s for their children or for themselves, you never know who can play piano or who used to be a math teacher until you reach out and ask. Get local tutoring from a trusted community member to help you or your children learn outside of the classroom. Even if it’s just a weekly group meeting to discuss current events in the news, your site could be promoting education for all ages. This kind of opportunity could potentially give work to older community members who used to teach but have retired since then. Giving them a few hours of work a day can do wonders for their moral and could lift the spirits of the whole community.

 

 

Build Your Community With Local Handiwork

COMMUNITY 2When your home needs work done, the task can seem daunting. You’re wondering who to call for the job, who will not overcharge and who has the best work ethic. Consider asking around in your own neighborhood and see who has the skills you need. There are many in your community who may be skilled in different fields of work concerning residential or commercial repairs. There may be some older folks who used to work in the trades for decades and have since retired. You may be giving someone a job they really need or allowing an older member of the community to feel that they are not forgotten. Here are some areas where local handiwork can help.

Fencing

If it’s a matter of putting up a fence where none was before, that’s a job. It could also be that the existing fence is collapsing or tree roots have eroded the surface and are pushing the fence posts up. If you’re repairing an old one or installing a new one, fences are easier to build when there are more people on the job. Ask around in your neighborhood and see who is good with their hands. If you can round up a couple of people who know what they’re doing, they can help you out for a smaller fee than a contractor would. You could always offer to repay their kindness with food and drinks as well. A team effort from the neighborhood folks is a great way to build relationships and strengthen community ties.

Pavement

Paving is a little more complicated than putting in a fence, but it could still be beneficial for you to ask the locals who did their driveways and who they would recommend. They may also tell you who to avoid, so a moment to seek the advice of the community folks could go a long way and save you stress in the future. If no one in the neighborhood has anyone in mind, perhaps the local community center knows of a person who could help. They know more people in the community than you do so give them a try as well. Even if they know of someone on your street who works with http://www.xlasphaltmelbourne.com.au/, it’s somewhere to start.

Painting

Painting is a big home repair job, even if it’s only one room. If you are in your first home and are new to renovations, this is another good opportunity to chat with your community members and see who can recommend some help. They may know of a company who did their interior or exterior a few years ago and will get you their number. Or they may tell you that it’s not that hard to do it yourself and that they will help you out. Having some folks over for a team painting day is a fun way to get closer to the people in your town. Keep your helpers well fed and make sure they don’t go thirsty either. Treating them to a nice barbeque dinner afterwards might even be payment enough for those who just want to help out and be useful.

By reaching out to those in the community for home renovation help, you may be surprised at what the people around you know and what you can learn. If they end up doing the job with you, you’ll grow from there and a few years down the road you can return the favor to the next new neighbor.

 

 

How to Rejuvenate your Community Centre

COMMUNITYIs your community centre running out of ideas? Is attendance dropping on the weekends or evenings, or are children losing interest? It’s hard to keep attendance up when new people are moving in, old people are moving out and some folks get lost in the jumble.Here are some ways to increase attendance in your community centre and keep those who are there interested in coming back.

Have a Meet and Greet

What better way than to have the families who are already there meet the newcomers? This is a great way for the older families to lend some tips or advice on the new neighborhood. This is also a great chance for the new families to break down those social barriers and lose their intimidation of joining a new community. An event like this creates a safe and neutral place for folks to meet and get to know one another. The event doesn’t have to be all night either. Something easy, say from 6-8pm on a Friday or Saturday would probably work best for most families.

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

This is fun for the children and the adults! You could make maps for the players to use to find their way around the community centre grounds. Make the hunting clues lead inside and out for optimal fun and a little more exercise. This way, families who have been there can help out the newer ones by joining up on the same team and showing them around the centre. Some parents may have a Garmin navigation system or some kind of GPS on their phone or watch to help find the more difficult locations. Bring out the pirates and explorers in all of your community members young and old with an activity like this. Prizes for the winning team could be simple like a new juice jug for the fridge or a kitchen towel set for the stove. Or perhaps some coupons for a future activity at the centre, like a swimming event or a game of tennis.

Have a BBQ

To save on budget costs, ask some families to sign up in advance and make it a potluck dinner. That way, people can pitch in whatever they can afford and by the time of the event, all parts of the dinner should be sorted out. Post an invitation and sign-up sheet near the entrance to the community centre and make sure each attending family writes their family name, what they will bring and a number they can be reached at. That way, the participants can be reached if there are duplicate appetizers being made. Post this sheet at the beginning of the month and plan the event to take place three weeks later. That gives everyone time to make room in their schedules for the neighborhood barbeque. I might also help to mention new families in your advertisement. This way, if new families have just moved in, a neighbor can stop by and let them know and perhaps bring them along as well. This is a great way for new members to get acquainted with their new community centre and hopefully spark some interest in signing up for a class there in the future. You’d be surprised how many old veterans of the community might have forgotten what they loved about the centre in the past and may sign up for something they haven’t done in years.

Refreshing your community is good. How about start with refreshing yourself.

REFRESHYou want to see your community thrive and do well in the environment it’s in. Think about it though, how can you refresh your community when your own world is upside down. You’ll want to start by refreshing yourself. Some things in life come out best when you work them from the inside out.   Pause your busy schedule for a minute and see how you can refresh yourself and put yourself in a better position to help refresh your community.

One way to do that is to set an example. Feel good on the inside by helping things on the outside such as recycling things that can be recycled. That’s what those colored bins are for, and people will see you doing it and want to pick up and help and start recycling too. It’s an awesome feeling on the inside to know that you’ve made recycling a part of your daily schedule. That good feeling you get, well, it will spread throughout. People will see you doing it and follow along. There, you’ve done something for yourself, now it’s time that the community sees a brighter, happier you helping out.

Another way you can refresh yourself from the inside out is through education. One way to do that is to take up an education, start a career. That feeling of helping others through your own accomplishment is the best way to refresh yourself. There are many different paths you can follow such as the up and coming, growing field of radiation therapy. Don’t believe that something like that could be a career for you? Stop for a minute and take a look at radiationtherapyschoolshq.com/ and see what it can do to you. Better yet, there are probably places in your community that could use someone with training to help. Take your education, refresh yourself, and then use your knowledge to help refresh your community.

Taking care of yourself on the inside makes the work you do on the outside sparkle a little bit more and people around you will see that sparkle. You like to help people, but don’t forget about yourself. A little refreshing on the inside goes a long way when it comes to refreshing things that are on the outside. Communities talk, and you’ll be the subject of some positive conversations when people see the inner glow you’ve gained from refreshing yourself.

Make lists to see where you want to stand and where your goals are for yourself. Then make a list of goals you want to help refresh your community with. If you look really close at both lists you’ll see that they actually intertwine. You’ll see that refreshing yourself on the inside is helping you to be able to refresh more on the outside, in your community. This list should be your mantra and as you cross things off you’ll feel an inner self-worth that you might not have felt before. This is the way to do it. Refresh your community by starting with yourself and you’ll find yourself on a track to both inner and outer success.

Hold a community meeting to meet the neighborhood

COMMUNITY MEETINGA community is a group of people that come together to help each other out with daily activities and community support. One way to do that is to have a monthly meeting to discuss community issues, the passing of neighborhood members and additions to the neighborhood. There is a great idea that communities work together to raise the children of our future so that the future would be brighter, friendlier, and more respectful. We would teach the children in the community how to work problems out and how to help others without expecting in return. With this thought in mind, maybe we should all band together in our communities and meet our neighbors, introduce our work services to each other so that we can help each other in times of need. What if someone broke into your house? Wouldn’t you want the police man two doors down to come help? Maybe as the neighbor who owns a window install company for a good quote on the work to replace the window broken. Or how about talking with the Insurance agent next door to you about insuring your father, ask for more info on your options and what you can and can’t do to help your parents out in this aspect. If your mother and father are over fifty then you can read more here about the different policies and options you have for this age group.

A community that bands together and helps each other helps make the community seem like a small town with everyone helping every one like back in the 50’s. Those were the times when people were nicer, communities were smaller, and you could let your kids walk around without adult supervision. But times have changed and we have strayed from that type of community environment. Why not take your community back to those days and have a town meeting every month to discuss the improvements to the town, or proposed changes to the town, or even business services that each person in the community can offer their fellow neighbors.

A potluck is a great idea for such an event. Everyone in the community brings a dish to share with the other members of the community and we all get to try new foods that maybe we have never had and get to introduce ourselves to the rest of our neighbors. Your kids may meet the new kids down the road and make new friends. You may meet a group of women for a book club, or your husband could find a few new buddies to talk about tools and grass cutting.

Some people won’t be interested in participating but the ones that are can help make the meeting a fun event for everyone and maybe help you find your next pool boy or landscaper. You might be able to set up a community neighborhood watch program in case of break in’s or troubled teens vandalizing people’s houses. Community meetings can benefit everyone when you think about the opportunities you will have to meet new people and help support neighborhood businesses.

3 Ways Get Your Community Active For Cheap

community

Whether your community is big or small, it’s wonderful to have a network of people in your neighborhood to count on. In the event of an emergency or if only to check up on the elderly, it feels good to be a part of a community and to know that people in your neighborhood are thinking of you.

As close as some of our neighborhood friends may be, we all get swept up by everyday life. Our jobs, children, around-the-house projects, they all take up time in our weeks. Before you know it, you’re only seeing each other on special holidays and often times that’s not enough.

Here are 3 easy ways to get your community involved in some healthy activities that won’t break the bank. Don’t wait until Christmas and plan an outdoor excursion now!

1) Go Camping

Most members in the community love camping. It’s a low-stress activity and the kids love it. If not everyone has a tent, you can share. Pots and pans, cooking materials and sleeping pads can all be gathered together and shared as a group. Camping sites don’t cost that much and once you split the fee between families, it’s next to nothing. Even if it’s only for one night, it’s a great way to get the kids (and parents) away from the TV and into nature. If you only have one night and a campsite is too far to get to, you could always pitch your tents in a neighbor’s backyard! It’s fun and still gets the kids away from technology for a few hours. These are times your children will remember when they’re older.

 2) Go Hiking

Okay so you can’t gather the community together for an overnighter. How about just an afternoon, followed by a barbeque dinner? Find a nice walking trail in your town and plan a hiking trip with the neighborhood gang. Spend your afternoon hiking, then return with a good appetite worked up for a delicious evening of hot dogs and hamburgers. The outing would only cost you the gas to drive to the trail and the cost of dinner supplies afterwards. If you live in a town with some serious paths and mountainous trails, make sure you get some proper footwear. Some of these trails require more than your typical running shoe to make it through the trek. A quick internet search will give you some great womens hiking boots 2014 reviews to see what’s new on the market. Men and children have great options too.

 3) Go Swimming

Most communities have at least one recreation centre or even better, an actual lake to swim in. If hiking or camping is not what your neighborhood friends are into, then perhaps a cool day by the water would be better. You’ll still get your exercise and it’s relatively cheap too. Most recreation centres charge a couple of dollars for a public swim session and some have them for free on the weekends too. If there are children, they’ll love it. It’s low stress and low preparation for the adults too. Once the swimming is over and everyone is dry and refreshed, follow the gang back home for a barbeque dinner as mentioned above. Again, it’s low cost when multiple households are pitching in for drinks and dinner cost. A couple bowls of potato salad and you’re set for the evening. Make time for your neighborhood friends this summer and share your tips on how to stay fit and have fu

Building Your Community Center’s Website

COMMUNITY WEBSITE

 

So you have a community center and need a website. What do you do to get started? Well that is an easy question to answer. There are many sites that offer free websites such as Tumblr. But what you really need is to invest in a domain name form any reputable domain name company online and set up a self-hosted WordPress site. This can be done by yourself or you can hire someone, but seeing as how you’re a non-profit it would be easier to do it yourself and cost a lot less.

 

 

  • Domain names

Domain names generally run anywhere from .99 to 12.95 for the first year depending on who you purchase form and who is running a special, but remember when the renewal comes around that low cost name could cost you 30-40 dollars for one year renewal so be careful who you use. Domain names is the web address that you type in to direct you to your page. So it’s very important to pick something that reflects your community centers message.

  • WordPress platform

WordPress is the platform that houses your files and where you login to handle your cpanel and dashboard. This is where you will set up your design and write your articles pertaining to the community centers activities. This can be done with a little CSS coding or you can install a standard free theme and tweak it to how you like it. The CSS coding will need to be done by and expert but the free theme can be done by yourself. It’s a simple download and pick colors, sidebars, footers, and buttons. You will need a header and that can be created through picmonkey.com with a few simple clicks.

  • Buttons

Buttons are an essential part of blogging or business pages. You will need to go to CSS3 button generator in order to learn how to make buttons for your side bar. Buttons make everything so streamlined and professional looking. You will also need a button for your page to direct people from other sites to your site. This is called advertising.

  • Design and theme

Once you have set up your page theme and design you will need to start adding an about us page, a contact page, and some basic information about the community center. This requires a competent writer to put into words the great work your community center does for the community. You can also do a schedule of events and price listing for any fee based services.

  • Writing

Making pages at the top near the header will help you to organize everything into separate areas of the blog. Such as a page about activities for children and adults, or fee services offered, the gym page, or computer lab page, and local events. These are all things that will help the community to keep up to date on activities and functions at the community center.

  • Advertising

By offering advertising on the community centers page for local businesses you can earn a profit off of the advertising to put back into the community center. This is one way to help your non-profit afford the bills that come along with running a business and a web page.

Ways to help the less fortunate

THOSE IN NEEDMany communities coordinate events to feed the homeless, or collect clothing for the needy. Some even set up play grounds for kids, or build homes like with Habitat for Humanity. Community’s band together to help each other out. That is what is best about a close nit community. They come together to find ways to support the less fortunate and add entertainment and solutions to everyday life needs.

When working with a community outreach program its very rewarding. But sometimes the thanks you get from the smile on the faces of those in need just isn’t enough. So why not do something special for all those volunteers by throwing them a party or movie night.

This can be accomplished pretty affordably. To throw a BBQ you will need a grill or smoker and the best way to find one is http://thankyouforsmokin.com. They offer many options for your needs. If this is out of your price range why not throw a movie night. A movie night can be much more affordable, you can pick up a movie projector from any local store for a pretty affordable price and get movies as low as $1.50 for rental or $5.00 for purchase. Snacks that would be really great to have at a movie night are popcorn, candy, soda, water, and pizza. All these items can be purchased pretty affordable. You don’t always have to go with the most expensive items, sometimes the cheaper option is the better option.

Community BBQs and movie nights are a great way to also give back to the community for all the hard work they have done and to give to the needy for entertainment that they could not otherwise afford. When we give back to the less fortunate we are making a better world for all. This is one of the best things you can do for your community. Many people don’t get but one meal a week or they go to a church soup line and get a meal a day. Some communities have food trucks that come around and provide sandwiches to the poor, but that isn’t in every city.

More cities and communities need to band together to help the needy and offer a little bit more support for those less fortunate. There are so many women and children who are on the streets or need help due to no fault of their own and simply are too shy or proud to ask for help. By throwing movie night or a BBQ and inviting everyone to come you are not only helping them out but you are showing them the kindness in your heart and making them feel better about themselves. Some people will come to a free community event but will not otherwise ask for help on any other day. So doing these type events can really help someone without them having to swallow their pride and ask for it.

There are many sites online that offer stuff for free, these sites are called Freecycle, but if the less fortunate have no access to a computer with internet how are they supposed to know about these sites. So throwing community events can really bring the ones that really need some help the help they need without them feeling uncomfortable about their situation.

Help your community and volunteer regularly because you never know it may be you needing the help next.

Technology that helps the community

COMMUNITYTechnological advancements have come a long way in the recent years. Many inventions have come out in the past few years that would be a great asset to the community. Some community centers need to be updated and brought into the 21st century. To do this you have to know what the cool gadgets of the 21st century is and add them to the local community center. Some gadgets that will help the community center be more technologically advanced would be tablet computers, laptops, cell phones that function as walkie talkies also, and maybe some new age watches that can be used for communicating between the community center workers.

Community centers are the epicenter of your community and lots and lots of teens visit community centers on a daily basis. The community center needs to have modern technology for the teens and kids to stay up to date with what is going on in the world and to help them with their homework assignments. Many people use the community center for a refugee from the outside world that can be harsh and cruel. Not all families can afford a computer or internet and some homes don’t even have a car to go to the library which could be all the way across town, so when kids come to the community center they are having access to something that they may not necessarily get at home. This makes community centers the most important environment for children and teens.

Not only do community centers help children and teens it helps the elderly and the unemployed. With access to the internet and computers that don’t cost for use the unemployed can access job search sites and possibly find a new job or even go back to school online so that they can advance their careers. The elderly use the community center for meeting other elderly in the community and playing games such as chess and card games. They also use the community center for exercise when the center has a gym or a pool, many do provide these types of areas. With all the advantages of a community center technology is definitely something needed to help people.

Many people volunteer at the community center and build relationships with the children and elderly that come there on a daily basis. Volunteering can be a very rewarding thing for both the center and the children and elderly. Volunteers need ways of keeping track of the kids that come to the center and they also need ways of keeping track of the inventory that the center purchases. One way to do that is with hand held PDA’s, they help organize everything into lists so that you can keep track of things that are important. Keeping a daily tally of every child that enters the center will help the parents to know where their children are and what activities they are participating in during their time at the center. Computers can help the centers directors plan activities and field trips for the kids during summer break and organize the budget of the center.

Using technology to build a thriving business is a great way to invest in the future of your business and a community center is a business that needs to be invested in.