At times, scientific research can be so all-consuming that we forget to share what we are doing—and why—with the community around us. The Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), a Bioscience Institute that conducts plant research, demonstrates the positive impact an Institution can have by opening its doors to the outside world and sharing the ongoing adventure of discovery.
Here are 3 ways they do it:
A winning section of the Boyce Thompson Institute website is “Your Gift at Work,” which highlights recent discoveries made possible by donors. The team at BTI uses this section to share engaging content that demonstrates how the science of what they do impacts the world around us. It also allows donors to share in the excitement of making a difference in the world one discovery at a time.
Takeaway: By showing your supporters how you apply your findings in the real world, you involve them in the magic of science—making your brand the hero!
Boyce Thompson Institute posts educational and informative videos about how plant science impacts the world on both their website and on Youtube.com. These videos, which include many formal lectures, celebrate the adventure of research and discovery, and invite the public to take part in that process, lending a friendly, open attitude to the BTI brand.
In addition to posting their own videos, BTI shares videos from allies like the World Wildlife Federation (WWF). By aligning their brand with another environmentally conscious cause, they demonstrate an investment in nature, not just plant science, which shows their values and elevates their brand.
Takeaway: Sharing quality videos that inspire and inform can legitimize your institution’s work and help spread infectious enthusiasm for the “big picture” behind your cause.
Hosting Community Events
When I visit the websites of Biomedical Nonprofits, I sometimes find empty pages where events and news should be. Following BTI’s example can help your Institution avoid going silent for too long. They keep their events page fresh by holding regular seminars and consistently sharing their ideas with the public. The events page also includes icons that differentiate the happenings and add interest. These efforts keep their web content fresh, and show the public that the exchange of ideas is alive and well at BTI. Is that your Institution’s event page is communicating?
Takeaway: People want to interact with your Institution, so it pays to hold regular events. This can mean hosting monthly lectures, inviting the public to engage in “Citizen Science” events or hosting a Q&A session on a regular basis. Keeping your events page fresh gives “outsiders” a chance to feel like insiders, which can build excitement—and more support.
It’s easy to let time lapse between community events and other outreach efforts, but BTI proves that putting effort into your external programs is worth it. Do you know of a Bioresearch Institution that is doing a great job generating enthusiasm around their work?