Marketing Afterschool

Marketing your program can raise your profile in your community, attract participants and funders, encourage positive media coverage for your program, and help build visibility and support for the entire afterschool field.

What you can do to market afterschool

A strong marketing campaign will be multifaceted — reaching community members and policymakers most effectively will mean using many different resources, from community events to media outreach.

Partner with allies and tell your program’s unique story in a compelling way to maximize the impact of your efforts. Plan to use a combination of media outreach, events, and outreach to policymakers to really drive home the importance of afterschool.

Lights On Afterschool

Celebrate your afterschool program every October
The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things—such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do, and poetry—and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs.

Powerful marketing strategies

Marketing experts share best practices to help your afterschool program spread the word about its impact on young lives and to help your organization maximize program participation.

Branding 101

Learn the fundamentals of effectively marketing your program to stakeholders in your community.

Examples of Powerful Afterschool Campaigns

Find inspiration for your next afterschool campaign with these examples of powerful messaging.

Storytelling Best Practices

Leverage these tips to ensure your audience knows why your afterschool program matters.

Secrets of Successful Afterschool Programs

Get the insider scoop from experts on how to achieve ultimate program success.

Tips for Increasing Parent Engagement

Parents are a busy bunch. Discover key insights and tips that will boost parent engagement and participation!

Marketing Channels that Work

Find out which platforms parents use to learn about their child's next afterschool activity.

Social Media Tips for Afterschool

Just getting started on social media? Different platforms have different conventions that can be tough to figure out when you’re getting started, but these Facebook and Twitter basics can help.

The out-of-school time (OST) community often shares interesting articles and helpful resources on Twitter, and you should feel free to share your own thoughts and expertise—it's easy to join these conversations if you know which hashtags to check out. Check out this list for some hashtag suggestions to get you started.

For deep dives into social media strategies, take a look at our previous webinars on Social Media Outreach Strategies for OST Programs and Social Media Metrics. Experts from Burness Communications joined us to dig into successful goal-setting strategies, analytics, and more.

Social media can also be a good place to reach out to policymakers—surveys of Capitol Hill staffers have found that even a handful of social media comments can draw attention. To reach out to your senator or member of Congress on Twitter, find their handle in our searchable database.

Create Your Afterschool Program Profile

Whether your audience is policymakers, potential funders, or parents interested in enrolling a child, a concise, descriptive, and visually engaging handout will enable you to showcase what your program offers and make the case for why they should support, fund, or join you. If you already have a program profile, a one-pager, or a brochure that effectively describes your program, be sure to bring several copies to the Afterschool for All Challenge to use as “leave-behinds” for your meetings with Members of Congress and their staff.

If you don’t, fear not! You can easily create one by compiling some key information that you already have about your program. The best one-pagers are short, sweet, and readable. Use bullet points instead of full paragraphs wherever possible. Use what you create for the Challenge to educate Members of Congress about your work, and then take it back to your community to continue building local support.

Consider including details such as:

  1. Your organization’s name, contact information (including email and contact person), website address (if you have one), and mission statement
  2. A sentence or two on the needs in your community, e.g., number of children alone after school, graduation rate is xx, involvement in gang activity has increased xx, etc.
  3. Facts about your program
  4. Evaluation data (If you do not have evaluation data for your program, use nationwide or state-specific data) a. Parent/student/teacher satisfaction with the program b. Improved social/emotional/academic behavior of participants, increased school attendance
  5. Organizational accomplishments, i.e., in xx years our organization has served xx number of kids, has involved diverse community partners including xx, has participated in community events such as xx, etc.
  6. A quote or very short personal story from a student, parent, or supporter to add a personal element to the statistics
  7. A few photos—visuals can go a long way in helping tell your story