A community outreach coordinator utilizes his or her public relations skills to promote awareness, find volunteers, and organize events that benefit an organization. He or she works directly with members of the community to educate people and explain the importance of a particular cause. Most coordinators work for nonprofit groups that rely on the public's support to meet their goals. A professional may also be employed by a health-care agency, hospital, or a private company that is active in community affairs.
Depending on the nature of the organization, a community outreach coordinator may focus on a specific activity or offer a broad range of services. A coordinator for an environmental protection group, for example, might create informative pamphlets and articles that explain the state of a polluted river in the community. He or she can answer the public's questions about the problem and what can be done to fix it. The coordinator might organize a community-wide cleanup project and promote it through newspaper ads, social networking websites, and door-to-door campaigns.
A community outreach coordinator may also set up fundraiser events to encourage the public to support an organization. He or she may schedule a raffle drawing, golf tournament, family picnic, or another activity where people can enjoy themselves while helping out an important cause. It is important for a coordinator to be creative and determined when setting up fundraisers to make sure they will be successful.
In general, coordinators are outgoing, friendly, and comfortable speaking in public. They may be asked to host community events, appear on television or radio, or lead internal meetings at organization headquarters. Most coordinators use computer programs to create materials and schedule events, so computer literacy is very important. In addition, coordinators need to be highly organized and detail-oriented in their work to make sure volunteer schedules, employee payroll information, and company funds are updated and accurate.
The requirements to become a community outreach coordinator can vary. Many small organizations will hire dedicated high school graduates who are willing to work their way up to the ranks of coordinator over the course of several months or years. A bachelor's degree in public relations, social services, or a related field is required by some employers. After gaining experience and succeeding in the job, a community outreach coordinator may have the opportunity to advance within his or her organization to another administrative job or even an executive director position.